View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, April 27, 2009

ND Latest: Glendon turns down award

Yet another twist in the ongoing Notre Dame scandal. This one a real slap in ND's face.

Former Vatican ambassador Mary Ann Glendon has refused the university's Laetare Medal, which she would have received at the same ceremonies involving President Barack Obama being honored despite his pro-abortion views.

A pro-life feminist and Harvard professor, Glendon wrote to Notre Dame President Father John. Jenkins saying she could not speak alongside President Obama at the May 17th Commencement exercises.

In her letter, which she released to the public, Glendon said she was initially “profoundly moved” at the news that she would receive the Laetare Medal. But in March she learned that she would not be giving the commencement speech, but that President Obama would be doing so instead.

Glendon said Notre Dame's plans to award Obama an honorary degree would “disregard” the U.S. Bishop’s “Catholic’s in Political Life” document.

She criticized some of Father Jenkin's arguments concerning the controversy, including the one that her receiving the Laetare Medal would somehow "balance the event."

“A commencement is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice,” she wrote.

She also worried that this situation might encourage other Catholic institutions to ignore the U.S. Bishop’s teaching.

“It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony,” she concluded.

Good for her. Good for all the Catholics - lay and clerical - who have decided that they cannot participate in honoring pro-abortion politicians at Catholic colleges.

Meanwhile, the "petition" opposing Obama speaking at Notre Dame and receiving an honorary degree is up to 336,521 (as of 5 p.m.), some 47 bishops have spoken out, and there are reports that in just one week ND alumni have withheld more than $8 million in donations.

Phew. Wonder what will happen in the next 20 days!


Anonymous Mary Kay said...

Good for her!

7:54 PM  
Blogger David Marciniak said...

God bless her! And here's to egg on Jenkin's face over this embarassment.

10:24 PM  
Blogger RailRider said...

"There are some well-meaning people who think Notre Dame has given away its Catholic identity, because they have been caught up in the gamesmanship of American higher education, bringing in a star commencement speaker even if that means sacrificing their values, and that accounts for some of this," said the Rev. Kenneth Himes, chairman of theology department at Boston College. "But one also has to say that there is a political game going on here, and part of that is that you demonize the people who disagree with you, you question their integrity, you challenge their character, and you brand these people as moral poison. Some people have simply reduced Catholicism to the abortion issue, and, consequently, they have simply launched a crusade to bar anything from Catholic institutions that smacks of any sort of open conversation."
Boston Globe, 4/28/2009

12:14 PM  

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