Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On Pres Obama, Notre Dame, Politicians and Abortion

As you know there was great controversy this Sunday when Notre Dame had President Obama, admittedly the most pro-abortion president ever, give it's commencement speech. It also gave him an honorary law degree. The controversy stems from the question on whether a Catholic University should be honoring such a pro-abortion politician. A similar question lies in the decades old controversy of whether or not a Catholic politician can be pro-choice.
Notre Dame President Fr. Jenkins stated that this honor would open the channels of dialogue and cited Pope Benedict on faith and reason. President Obama stated he favored openness and stated that options needed to be found to reduce abortions, promote adoptions and help those who want to carry babies to full term. (to quote Gregg Willits, "Why reduce abortion if there is nothing wrong with it?")
Pro-choice Catholic politician have said that they have to separate their faith from their political stances.
To quote Archbishop Chaput, "Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops’ guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life." In this statement the bishops stated that honors should not be given to politicians who support the killing of the innocents.
Notre Dame also ignored the pleas of 70 bishops who voiced their concerns over the honor bestowed upon President Obama, include Bishop D'Arcy--the bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Catholic politicians cannot separate their faith from their political stances on abortion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the "formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. (CCC 2272)" So by being pro-choice and supporting pro-abortion agendas they are formally cooperating in abortions. A grave offense means that when politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden or Katheryn Sebelius supports abortion they put themselves in a state of mortal sin. When you are in mortal sin you cannot accept communion until you go to confession. Part of confession is promise that to the best of your abilities you will not commit the sin again. So . . . in essence. . . NO--a politician cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.
Catholic institutes such as universities and Catholics themselves (politicians or not) uphold Catholic teaching to fail to do so causes scandal and confuses people about what Catholic teaching is. We ALL must do better.


  1. Unforetunately Pope Benedict made Sarkosy a canon of a Roman church and Sarkosy is pro choice and married twice. What if ND's Jenkins saw that and took it for an example of what was permitted. I agree with you that ND was wrong but Benedict therefore was also wrong. Be careful of assigning what cooperation is meant and that people have definitely done mortal sin. You may be correct but then why has not any Pope since Cuomo reigned in such pols and are such Popes then in mortal sin for not having done so. Do you see how quick one can become extreme? The results of such strictness are often the opposite of strictness....witness Luther marrying a ex nun and Mel Gibson now having a child with a young woman. Both men started off being stricter than Rome and look where they landed.

  2. Bilbannon - I think people are using the Pope's making Sarkozy a canon as a way of absolving Notre Dame.

    From what I understand, the honor of "canon" is a common thing that the Church has given to heads of state in France throughout history (from Kings, onward) more to recognize France's history as being considered the "eldest daughter of the Church."

    The problem with Notre Dame's honor is that the administration, one would think, contains many "intelligent people" who had to know that this would bring unwelcome disunity, debate, insult to Catholic people. Whether you think Notre Dame should give an honor to Notre Dame or not, NO ONE should have been shocked that for many Catholics who Pro-Life issues are of primary concern (and have been increasingly worried about Life issues since last year's elections) this was at a minimum an insensitive move.

    Is there really no one out there who could have been a speaker and received an honorary degree where all Catholics wouldn't be offended? Wouldn't it make sense to try to find someone like that on a day when Notre Dame is suppose to be simply focusing on the achievements of their graduates and sending them out into the world?

    Quite simply, it seems to me one of the stupidest moves Notre Dame has made.