23 April 2009

So Far...

Update: Let's just fire Fr. Jenkins and be done with it.

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Update: Nearly fifty bishops have publicly voiced criticism of Fr. Jenkins's decision to honor Obama at Notre Dame, the latest being Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde. Archbishop Wuerl of D.C. has also said he disagrees with the invitation, but does not think at this point the invitation should be rescinded.

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The petition to Fr. Jenkins in favor of honoring President Obama at Notre Dame University has approximately 34,000 signatures.

The petition to Fr Jenkins against inviting the President has 333,000 signatures.

Bishop John D'Arcy has more strong words for Fr. Jenkins. The university president has publicly interpreted the USCCB statement from Catholics in Political Life (forbidding honors to leaders who consistently contradict the moral teachings of the Church) to apply only to Catholics and not to non-Catholics; therefore, the prohibition is inapplicable to President Obama, as he is not a Catholic. To prove his earnestness, Fr. Jenkins said he had asked for the opinion of canon lawyers and bishops of other dioceses, who confirmed his interpretation. Bishop D'Arcy responded in a letter:
...I reminded Father Jenkins that he indicated that he consulted presidents of other Catholic universities, and at least indirectly, consulted other bishops, since he asked those presidents to share with him those judgments of their own bishops. However, he chose not to consult his own bishop who, as I made clear, is the teacher and lawgiver in his own diocese. I reminded Father Jenkins that I was not informed of the invitation until after it was accepted by the president. I mentioned again that it is at the heart of the diocesan bishop’s pastoral responsibility to teach as revealed in sacred Scripture and the tradition.
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As I have said in a recent interview and which I have said to Father Jenkins, it would be one thing to bring the president here for a discussion on healthcare or immigration, and no person of goodwill could rightly oppose this. We have here, however, the granting of an honorary degree of law to someone whose activities both as president and previously, have been altogether supportive of laws against the dignity of the human person yet to be born.
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I consider it now settled — that the USCCB document, “Catholics in Public Life,” does indeed apply in this matter.
The failure to consult the local bishop who, whatever his unworthiness, is the teacher and lawgiver in the diocese, is a serious mistake. Proper consultation could have prevented an action, which has caused such painful division between Notre Dame and many bishops — and a large number of the faithful.

That division must be addressed through prayer and action, and I pledge to work with Father Jenkins and all at Notre Dame to heal the terrible breach, which has taken place between Notre Dame and the church. It cannot be allowed to continue.
I ask all to pray that this healing will take place in a way that is substantial and true, and not illusory. Notre Dame and Father Jenkins must do their part if this healing is to take place. I will do my part.

Sincerely yours in our Lord,
Most Reverend
John M. D’Arcy
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