Notre Dame Humiliates Itself (and Its Fans Like Me)

It’s getting harder to admit how fond of the school I am given that its leadership keeps making boneheaded decisions.

I’ve been a Notre Dame fan my whole life. And by that I mean as my friends here in Indiana were divided in loyalties between IU and Purdue, I disassociated with their petty debates over the second most renowned school in the state. Oh sure, IU had more basketball championships, but Notre Dame had more NCAA tourney invitations. And football? No contest.

But that said, it’s getting harder and harder to admit to people how fond of the school I am given that its leadership keeps making boneheaded decisions like this:

The University of Notre Dame stopped being a Catholic institution ever since the reign of President Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who allowed full-blown heretics like Father Richard McBrien to transform the theology department into a bastion of card-carrying leftists that believed the miracle of Jesus feeding the multitude was Him getting a bunch of hungry peasants to share loaves and fishes with each other.

The reign of President Rev. John Jenkins has not fared much better, having awarded then-President Obama an honorary degree despite the man's opposition to every doctrine on life the Church holds sacred and now caving into the Obamacare mandate "requiring employer health care plans to cover the cost of contraceptives and abortifacient drugs," according to The Wall Street Journal. What is most distressing about Rev. Jenkins' decision to defy Catholic teaching is that he did not have to under the rubrics of the Trump administration's religious exemption.

This might explain why Jenkins and Notre Dame were so uncomfortably at peace with the Obama administration despite its flagrant opposition to doctrine that ostensibly the University was supposed to care about. As long as Obama held office, the school could follow the spirit of the age and simply say they had to obey earthly authorities whether they liked it or not. Now, with President Trump allowing the school to not have to violate its supposed standards of faith and conscience, Notre Dame’s brazen hostility to Catholic teaching is laid bare.

Writing at the Wall Street Journal, Alexandra DeSanctis reveals just how unnecessary and offensive Notre Dame’s move is from a Catholic perspective:

“Father Jenkins’s decision also does a disservice to Notre Dame’s faculty and students. They have always been free to exercise personal conscience in their moral lives, but Notre Dame has a responsibility to assist in forming those consciences. By essentially endorsing contraceptive use, Notre Dame leaves many of its children not in the bliss of freedom but in a harmful state of sin.”

Bingo. Notre Dame has surrendered their moral authority for the sake of keeping up with the culture. Though I’m not Catholic, this all strikes me as particularly dishonest given the fact that the university attempts to display to prospective students. If you’re passing on being “set apart,” admit it and sell yourself as a worldly institution with worldly guideposts, that has a great football tradition.

Honesty matters, and you’d think a place like Notre Dame would know that.

Do you think the President has no God but God? Do you think the President keeps holy the Sabbath day? Do you think the President's business dealings amount to stealing? Do you think the President always bears true witness? Do you think the President never covets other men's wives? Are you a fan of the President? And where the President may fail at these things, do you think he's trying to avoid these sins? Still a fan of the President?

If the President were to claim to he is a Catholic and then not just act in violation of Catholic teachings (which all Catholics do at one time or another----it's called "sin") but implement policies that were directly in contradiction of Catholic teachings, perhaps the self-appointed "REAL Conservative" would have a point. Maybe. But the article is about an allegedly Catholic school openly promoting beliefs and policies that are distinctly un-Catholic. One might even say anti-Catholic. This is not just an individual passing judgment, it is an analysis of established Church doctrine and how it is being ignored and contradicted by the actions of an allegedly Catholic institution. Birth control pills don't, for the most part (other than the abortificant "day after" pills) stop a fertilized egg from implanting---they inhibit ovulation. There is a possibility that an egg might be released and fertilized and then not be able to implant because of the altered hormonal state of the uterus, but this is not common. This also happens without human intervention. We have no way of knowing how many cycles of fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant, or implant imperfectly and then fail to develop. Certainly it is foolish to claim that every month an egg is fertilized and then impeded from implantation as not every egg released is fertilized, and there are myriad reasons for failure to develop after fertilization. This is in no way comparable to the savagery of a late term abortion. The statement "....every time a fertilized egg fails to attach to the womb that's as bad as a late term abortion..." would be laughable if it were not so horribly toxically false. A late term abortion imposes great pain on a sentient human being capable of feeling pain, a nearly fully developed human being that has already shown a personality in utero as it has chosen activities such as thumb-sucking and playing with its toes, and is probably capable of surviving and thriving outside the womb. BenjaminD might as well say "every time a person dies of a disease that's as bad as a brutal murder".

This is not about the doctrines of man. It is about fidelity to Scripture vs. Faustian deals with the world. It is about those who have decided to worship the messianic state as their temporal saviors rather than the One Who hung on the cross for them.

For the record: not all women are on birth control, a fertilized egg which does not implant under normal circumstances is something that happens outside of a woman's awareness and is therefore not a choice to kill anything, and the Catholic church does not approve of any form of birth control or abortion. (Natural family planning is a viable alternative and it does work. No, it's not the rhythm method. Do the research.) Bottom Line: Any organization claiming affiliation with the Catholic church should at least attempt to follow the Catholic theology/perspective. Otherwise, own up to your new philosophy and move on.

If my memory serves me correctly AND the incident was reported as it actually happened, we have to remember that Notre Dame covered religeous symbols at the behest of then President Obama, apparently as an incentive (demand?) for him to give a speech at the university. For me, and I am not a Catholic, that is more indicative of the trend in thinking of those who are the "caretakers" of this university than the examples reported in the article. If a cross is so egregious to someone that it has to be put out of sight then I wouldn't want that person to speak to the student body.