15 May 2009

Off to a Good Start: Archbishop Carlson Weighs in on Sunday's Notre Dame Debacle

From STLToday:

Carlson assails school's plan to honor Obama

By Tim Townsend

SAGINAW, MICH. — St. Louis Archbishop-elect Robert Carlson said the University of Notre Dame's decision to honor President Barack Obama this weekend puts it at odds with church teaching and calls into question its future as a Catholic institution.

"Notre Dame has to figure out who they are — are they of the culture, or are they of the church?" Carlson said in his first interview since Pope Benedict XVI assigned him to St. Louis last month. Carlson said the university's actions will likely spark serious discussions with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dozens of bishops and thousands of lay Catholics have protested Notre Dame's decision to bestow an honorary degree on Obama — an abortion-rights supporter — at its commencement. Dozens of St. Louis Catholics are planning to drive together to South Bend this weekend to protest the commencement.

Former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, who is now the head of the Vatican's Supreme Apostolic Signatura, its highest court, said in a speech at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington last week that the honor is "a source of the gravest scandal."

"Catholic institutions cannot offer any platform to, let alone honor, those who teach and act publicly against the moral law," Burke said.

Carlson, scheduled to be installed as St. Louis' archbishop on June 10, said Thursday he hoped Notre Dame officials were listening to his predecessor. "As the head of the Apostolic Signatura, (Burke's) words carry great weight," he said. "And that's something that if I were at Notre Dame I'd pay very close attention to."


"Whatever process they used was flawed" based on Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Carlson said. "I would say the university really has to sit down — its board, its administration — and reflect on what its role is, and what they're going to be."

The archbishop-elect said he didn't believe the Notre Dame situation had progressed to a point where the school should give up the title "Catholic," "but I think we are at the point that when this is finally over, that we're going to have to sit down and have a heart-to-heart discussion about what is (Notre Dame's) future."

That conversation, Carlson said, "will be very helpful for the church and I think it'll be very helpful for Notre Dame."


TGL said...

I just hope that the Republican Catholics, including the chorus of "me too" bishops, will listen to what President Obama has to say at Notre Dame. I have no idea what that will be, but I'd be willing to bet that it's a lot more elegant than anything we've heard so far from the naysayers. After Sunday, they'll have to find something else to lament, like why do so many American Catholics view their bishops with such skepticism?

thetimman said...

TGL, I think there is every bit as much danger of living in the echo chamber on the left as there is on the right. Surely you agree?

Latinmassgirl said...

Obama's tele-prompter, if working well, will attempt to sound eloquent, but a rotten apple has a smell that permeates from beneath the skin.

Anonymous said...

Undoubtedly, Father Jenkins will have to be fired (they will allow the expression "step down" or "resigned due to health issues," of course.) I expect the Congregation of Holy Cross will also require a serious investigation of some kind. I would say that this religious congregation has some explaining to do.

Athelstane said...

Hello Timman, TGL,

No, I would go further: the danger of living in the echo chamber of the left is greater. And whatever some may think, anyone who has been paying attention knows that this where most of the American episcopate has lived in the four decades since the Council.

After all, it matters not that so many bishops have spoken out on behalf of immigrants, have called for an end to the death penalty, or criticized the war in Iraq. No, it matters now, because liberated sexual ethics is the hill that so much of the cultural elites have chosen to die on. And what they really want is a Catholic Church which is essentially indistinguishable from the Episcopalian on these issues.

Obama already has a very well established, extreme record on abortion and life issues - so it's not like the bishops don't have something to react to. But if Obama at Notre Dame miraculously recants part or all of his anti-life stance, I have to think the bishops would be first in line to praise him.

I certainly would be. Is this what TGL is anticipating?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, if the Rev. Jenkins can't, or refuses to uphold Catholic teaching as a priest and as a leader, then he and his leadership needs to step aside, it's as simple as that, or stop pretending to be a "Catholic" university.

Long-Skirts said...

TGL said: "but I'd be willing to bet that it's a lot more ELEGANT than anything we've heard so far from the naysayers"

and Fr. Hesburgh said on Thursday:

"Fr. Hesburgh said: “The 91-year-old Hesburgh said in an interview Thursday with WNDU-TV that the school was right to invite Obama…Solutions to difficult problems are going to come from “people from UNIVERSITIES. They aren’t going to come from people running around with signs,”

ELEGANT & UNIVERSITIES don't save souls:


We are St. Joan,
Philomena, Campion.
The Faith in its whole
Is what we do champion.

We are St. Margaret,
Pearl of York,
Where the bowels of the Faith
They tried to torque.

We are Sir More,
That's Thomas, the Saint,
Whose reputation
They could not taint.

We are vocations,
In Ireland, kneeling,
Adoring His presence,
It's not just a feeling.

We are descendents
Of Irish and beggin'
To stop all the men
Who are turning us pagan!

We are the poor,
Uneducated ones,
But in faith, well-informed,
The heretic shuns.

And when we are told,
"Don't kneel anymore."
Since we don't hold doctorates...
We kneel and IGNORE!!

TGL said...

Catholic bishops speaking out against the war in Iraq? When? Who? I'd really like to know.

Anonymous said...

As should have been expected - the scandal has exacerbated with the arrests on Friday and now reportedly again today, of dozens on the campus of Notre Dame. Among those arrested yesterday was Fr. Norman Weslin, an elderly and feeble Catholic priest, and former Ambassador Alan Keyes. Reportedly they were arrested and charged with trespass.

The videotape of what transpired leading up to and including their arrest clearly shows that they were attempting to walk peacefully on the campus, carrying images of Our Lady of Guadalupe with the message "Defend Her Honor ...." while praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Most Blessed Rosary. Because several of these faithful men and women have been previously arrested at Notre Dame for trespass, they are reportedly being held in jail without bail until a hearing on Monday.

In order for them to have been arrested for trespass, it is reasonable to assume that the University filed a complaint and agreed to press charges against these faithful men and women.

If that is the case, the scandal has truly escalated as the University authorities are now persecuting the faithful for their faith.

Long-Skirts said...

Anonymous said...

"as the University authorities are now persecuting the faithful for their faith."


Dare me Not
Notre Dame
To hold back His wrath
For my holy name

Dare me Not
Notre Dame
Bestowing great honors
On lawmakers who maim

Dare me Not
Notre Dame
With Judas you learned
At the first priests can shame

Dare me Not
Notre Dame
Transpose my nine letters
“Dare me Not” I proclaim!!

John 6:54 said...

Stop with the statements & "discussion" and do something tangible. Lord Help Us.

Anonymous said...

A "word to the wise" to our new Archbishop. Given the hullaballo a few years ago about St. Louis University winning its case about not being Catholic, one might imagine that the only thing about the Notre Dame scandal that is upsetting to the President of that university is that he didn't think of inviting Obama first. It might be a good idea to summon that worthy to the chancery ASAP to check his plans and make corrections where necessary.

Latinmassgirl said...

Long Skirts,

I really like that first poem, "the Irish Kneelers". I do not know how you write so eloquently at the drop of a hat.