The National Catholic Review

The University of Notre Dame made twin announcements that President Barack Obama would be giving the commencement speech and Ambassador MaryAnn Glendon would be receiving the university’s Laetare Medal this past weekend. The first news about Obama came on Friday, and blogger extraordinaire Rocco Palmo broke the story about Glendon Saturday evening. Whoever devised this timing in the Notre Dame press office deserves a raise! Maybe even a bonus!

The right wing of the Catholic Church was, as we noted on Saturday, up in arms within a twinkling of the eye over any honor being given to the President. Mr. Hudson is in high dudgeon at his blog, even issuing a veiled threat to Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop John D’Arcy: "Bishop D’Arcy, who has challenged Notre Dame before, must invoke the guidelines of ‘Catholics in Political Life’ or risk some of the other bishops doing it for him." (Must? Call me conservative but I do not think laymen should issue "musts" to prelates.) The Cardinal Newman Society has started a petition drive to protest the decision. Archbishop Charles Chaput, who has no ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the matter, urged a letter writing campaign to the university’s president. (Someone at the Catholic News Agency, a conservative propaganda outfit that pretends to be an unbiased purveyor of news, has contacted me to say that the Archbishop’s office is denying he said any such thing. The link above indicates someone thinks they heard otherwise. In the event, Archbishop Chaput has my email and if he objects to the characterization on the blog referenced above, I will be happy to change it.)

Now, of course, the stage at Notre Dame will be shared by someone whom the right has seen as a champion, Ambassador MaryAnn Glendon. There is no denying her credentials either as a conservative or as a pro-life advocate. I will bet dollars to doughnuts the next few weeks will make clear, however, that some on the right will begin attacking Dr. Glendon. Of course, Dr. Glendon, like the University of Notre Dame, is a source of pride for all Catholics, not just for conservatives. I view the world through very different lenses from Dr. Glendon, but I would be blind not to admire her accomplishments, her intellectual force, and her love for the Church. Whatever disagreements I have with her are disagreements within the family. (Of course, the right wing doesn’t view Notre Dame with the same "All in the Family" spirit.) And, in any event, here is a chance to fight another battle in the culture wars so who cares if Dr. Glendon must be thrown overboard?

This latest contretemps is disturbing not only because some of us are more than tired with the right wing insisting that only they can lay claim to the mantle of Catholicism, that those of us who see the demands of the world, or the challenge of the Gospels, differently are bad Catholics. Last week, before the latest mess, I ran into a priest whom I have known for more than twenty years but whom I had not seen recently. He did not discuss President Obama, he ranted. He did not offer a conversation or even an argument, he threw out slogans, and vulgar slogans at that, despite the fact that he is one of the least vulgar men I have ever known.

What is it about President Obama that makes the right wing so crazy, so uncharitable, so frothing-at-the-mouth unreasonable? I asked another priest who ventured racism was part of the answer. I am not so sure. I suspect that many people, with profound sentiments about abortion, had convinced themselves that our nation was close to seeing Roe v. Wade overturned and that Obama’s victory makes that less likely. But, overturning Roe would not have a large effect on the abortion rate as most states would codify the decision in their statutes. Besides that, what did the pro-life movement really gain from eight years of the George W. Bush’s presidency? Mr. Hudson may have had access to the White House, but what did the movement gain from the association? A phone call at t he Right-to-Life March? The Mexico City Policy, which is not nothing but it is not exactly a casus belli? I suspect the problem is that many on the far right listen to each other only, they have convinced themselves that FOCA will pass and Obama will be the "most pro-abortion" president in history, their understandable and laudable disgust at the entire nation’s tolerance of abortion has been channeled to focus on this man and like water entering a narrow channel, that disgust moves quickly and destructively. They are sincere, but sincere in the sense that they are the first to believe their own propaganda.

This crowd of conservatives does not own the Catholic Church. They certainly do not own Notre Dame. They are about to find out that they do not own Dr. Glendon either. The rest of us Catholics, however, must not let the public square think that they do. Our voices must be raised to say that we are thrilled such a distinguished Catholic university is considered such a part of the life of the nation that our President will be coming to address its graduates. We are thrilled that he will be sharing the stage with one of our Church’s and nation’s finest scholars and diplomats. And, we should be thrilled that the right wing commentariat has again adopted its smug "I thank Thee, Lord, that I am not like other men" stance. The Master condemned many things when he trod the earth, but none more than the smug judgmentalism of the Pharisees. Alas, like the poor, the Pharisees will be with us always. You will be able to find them on Graduation Day protesting outside the gates at Notre Dame.

 

 

Comments

Anonymous | 4/12/2011 - 8:48am
Over turned the Mexico City Policy- supplying tax-payer funding for contraception in foreign lands and freeing up money from organizations like Planned Parenthood to propagate abortion.

Anonymous | 4/4/2009 - 2:11pm
Since Obama has become President he has swiftly: Over turned the Mexico City Policy- supplying tax-payer funding for contraception in foreign lands and freeing up money from organizations like Planned Parenthood to propagate abortion. Promised to sign FOCA or (a piecemeal equivalent thereof) which will remove ALL restrictions the states have placed on abortions including term restrictions. Also implying that infanticide is permissible on infants who survive abortion. Rescinded the ''Conscience Clause'' that protected health care works and Doctors from participating in any procedure, obviously abortion, which is in violation of their conscience. Might I remind you that assisted suicide is legal is two states. Declared on the W.H web page under heading ''LGBT support'' his intention to overturn the ''Defense of Marriage Act'' approved by congress and signed by Pres. Clinton. Assembled the most pro abortion cabinet of all time. Most of his appointees have direct ties to ''Emily's List'', NARAL, and Planned Parenthood. Sebilias to "Tiller the Killer". As a Catholic conservative or otherwise, what does the above record, in less than 100 days have to do with Catholicism? NOTHING!
Anonymous | 4/2/2009 - 10:26am
The fact of the matter is we,as Catholic's know that abortion is murder. Now there are some Catholic's apparently that haven't gotten the gift of knowledge, wisdom, to know that. For if they did there would never be a President Obama. He would not have been elected. For we are to be our brother's or sister's keeper. Those of us that have received those gifts know that we are to help in any way possible to help stop the killing of innocent lives.That is why we are against having Obama (the most proabortion president ever)not speak and receive an honorary diploma from a university that was named after our Holy Mother. It is hypocritical for ND have him speak. It's like they are condoning his agenda,and that is exactly what this man is trying to do. Wake up Catholic's, christians, and all those who love Jesus!!! Do His work, not the secular's. I will continue to pray for the change of hearts.Thats not right wing that is God's wings.
Anonymous | 4/1/2009 - 10:00pm
Unfortunately, Mr.Winter wants to sidestep a rational conversation about Mr. Obama's [public] record on abortion; that would only add credence to those objecting to Obama's visit and honorarium at ND. Perhaps he forgot the ethos of Catholicism: Never do the right thing for the wrong reason - nor the wrong thing for the right reason. murder is murder - plain and simple - whether it is in a gulag or an abortion clinic. Seamus
Anonymous | 3/31/2009 - 12:14am
Mary R., you don't honestly think abortions go up and down depending on the President's moral objections to it, do you? You mean to day, don't you, that they've gone up, maybe because of the economy being in trouble, and that you hope we all don't lose sight of the tragedy of that? Right?
Anonymous | 3/29/2009 - 9:25pm
I can hardly stop frothing at the mouth here. There is so much to cry about in this situation with Notre Dame. My heart goes out to Obama and the editors of America and all the Catholics who really think our new president is not dangerous both to the unborn and to Catholics who really want to live their faith. Since when has it become crazy, silly,and intolerant to respect and unborn baby's right to exist. Abortions HAVE gone up in the last 2 months (check with Planned Parenthood- this is true) and there is no end to the suffering, denial and defense of the right to abortion in sight. I know what I need to do more and that is get off this computer and PRAY!
Anonymous | 3/29/2009 - 5:42am
I imagine that some Germans in 1940 were a bit concerned about their leader's answers to some issues but gave him the benefit of the doubt because of all the 'positives' he brought to the table. History teaches us that when innocents are being slaughtered, all doubts should be acted on vigourously and absolutely no benfit should be afforded. And certainly no awards from institutions which supposedly defend fundamental principles of Christianity..... 'thou shalt not kill.....' 'suffer the little children....' 'he who causes an innocent to lose his soul would better not have been born.....'. Lauding a preacher of 'death to the unborn if that's what you decide' is simply leading innocents astray. This President is being warmly received, honoured, awarded by a so called Catholic Institution. It isn't a discussion forum. Thou Shalt not Kill ...., right wing fundamentalism? No. The Word of God.
Anonymous | 3/29/2009 - 2:43am
These days, some Catholics hurl the epithet "Pharisees" at Catholics who vigorously oppose abortion. The Catholic Church in America, like public discourse in America, is in sad shape.
Anonymous | 3/28/2009 - 6:01pm
I was under the impression that the individual is responsible for making decisions re: matters of conscience - so could perhaps those who feel they are competent to judge the state of another person's soul chill out? Since we are throwing around all the rules here to condemn some as less than faithful Catholics - how about the old "judge not less ye be judged" thingie - ya know - that stuff that Jesus Our Savior said? While I agree with the Church's teachings on abortion my faith also tells me that there are many evils in this world. To be silent about those other evils - torture, war, capital punishment, turning away from the poor, while addressing only the abortion issue makes no sense to me. I would find the condemnation of Obama more convincing if the same condemnation had been applied to the horror of Pres Bush's policy of torture. The truth here is my friends, George Bush did nothing for us on the abortion issue - but he did support torture of people. This characterization of Obama as the wicked man - while their is silence over the moral failings of the Bush administration is incomprehensible.
Anonymous | 3/27/2009 - 11:34pm
We pro-lifer are the most anti-racist people on earth. Does President Obama realize that his abortion stand is killing more black babies than any other race in the US? Go see www.blackgenocide.org/gap.html. We want every baby of every race to have the luck of coming in this world and contribute to it. Does President Obama?
Anonymous | 3/27/2009 - 1:55pm
If anyone who takes a moral stand is "a Pharisee" and receives the condemnation of Christ, why have a church at all? Do you honestly believe that Jesus wanted us to honor those responsible for the death of innocents? I don't wish Obama ill. He might be a nice man to have over for dinner, and if I were to meet with him I'm sure (and I hope) that I would treat him very respectfully. Giving him an honorary Doctorate of Laws, though, is to hail him as a legal leader, and yet, as Catholics, we believe that he is leading us down a path towards increasing systematic murder in the United States. Do we really honor that? Notre Dame must chose whether it serves God or Mammon.
Anonymous | 3/27/2009 - 9:22am
Boy, you all sound as insular and paranoid as the extreme Zionists. Or Orangemen, for that matter. "No Surrender!" Good luck with that. Fact is, what President Obama has done in just the last two months - enlarging food stamp benefits, extending subsidies for children's healthcare, punishing pay discrimination against women (inc. working mothers) - will do more to reduce the abortion rate than anything the supposedly "pro-life" Bush Administration ever did. I'm proud of Notre Dame.
Anonymous | 3/27/2009 - 2:57am
I'm a 'cradle Catholic' who, despite my beliefs, is unnerved by the Pro Life movement for a very simple reason - the purpose seems to be more about hating people who are in opposition than it is about loving anyone, period.
Anonymous | 3/26/2009 - 11:52pm
The Republicans have had ample time to overturn abortion since 1972, and the last 8 years of Republican control the planets were aligned and they didn't move a single inch on this issue. At least Obama is upfront about his stance on abortion, unlike the Republicans who are just using the issue to say elected.
Anonymous | 3/26/2009 - 9:46pm
‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." (Galatians 5:14-15). It is sad to see a Catholic, any Catholic, who claims to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, calling his brothers and sisters in religion, Pharisees, conservatives, right-wing, or any other name. THIS IS A TOTAL LACK OF CHARITY. Had our brother Michael uttered such uncharitable comments while seated at St. Augustine's table, he would have been asked to leave the table for sure.
Anonymous | 3/26/2009 - 7:16pm
The article asks: What is it about President Obama that makes the right wing so crazy, so uncharitable, so frothing-at-the-mouth unreasonable? I'll tell you two things: 1. Obama's vote on the Born Alive Infant Act....not a very Christian way to vote. 2. FOCA...tell those pre-med graduates that the government will force them to perform abortions. That should make all people, not just "right wings", crazy.
Anonymous | 3/26/2009 - 6:28pm
The two reasons Obama has been invited to ND. 1. To give a speech. 2. To be honored with a degree. Mr. Obama is a man who in a few short weeks as president is responsible for the murder of countless through his pumping millions of dollars into the worldwide abortion industry. Three Cheers for Notre Dame - lets honor man and allow him to teach our students about murdering children in the womb. Notre Dame and abortion a great combination!!!!!
Anonymous | 3/26/2009 - 7:55pm
Oh Michael Sean, You have been duped, oh man of the world!
Anonymous | 3/26/2009 - 2:16pm
JACK: Try this parable, A man had two sons. He said to the first, ''Put an end to child sacrifice.'' The first son said ''No, parents should be free to make their own decisions.'' So he went to the second, as said ''Put an end to child sacrifice.'' The second son said ''Yes, Yes, everyday Yes,'' but for 35 years, despite constant struggle -- and all to often ,human pettiness and sinfulness, accomplished little. Meanwhile, the first son insisted that child sacrifice, while "tragic," was a fundamental human right, that all existing legal restrictions on child sacrifice should be lifted and the government should pay for child sacrifice at home and abroad. Which son did the will of the Father?
Anonymous | 3/26/2009 - 2:08pm
I usually don't comment, but this dialogue is deeply hurtful, I think especially to those of us with ties to Notre Dame. I have found it especially offensive that many people have said that the University of Notre Dame knows nothing about Catholicism anymore. Can you really judge the quality of an entire EDUCATION (both in the classroom and in the experiences) by ONE decision? Do we hold one another (or even the Church--see sex abuse scandal) to the same standard? I personally grew tremendously in both my faith and my understanding of Catholism at Notre Dame (even gasp! my understanding of the dignity of the human person and of all life)...and these lessons came from my experiences of serving others, from my friends, professors, mentors, residence hall staff, and priests. I honestly don't even want to talk about the commencement address; I see both sides. But I think the greater scandal is the delight people seem to take in ripping one another to shreds. This is not the gentle spirit of "fraternal correction." I hope we can do better with this "dialogue". Also, Francis, George W. Bush was the commencement speaker (recieving an honorary degree) during his first year in office (2001). I'm pretty sure ND has invited every president in the last 20 years or so. Not all accept.
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 9:34pm
Michael: your attempt at logic and your circumventing the issue would have earned you an "F" in logic class. Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot's policies were responsible for the deaths of millions. Obama's policies will be responsible for the deaths of millions. Period. As to your idea that the government does not provide abortions, may I remind you that some State governments do provide free abortions through the use of tax dollars. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court did not simply issue an "opinion," but rather a "ruling." It struck down all laws which protected the unborn, thus legalizing abortion. Even your so-called "pro-choice" friends admit as much.
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 7:30pm
''The government does not provide abortions, ...'' It certainly pays for them and promotes them. Sad that any Catholic would write a screed like this, sadder still that there are those that support such rabid attacks on the faith.
Anonymous | 4/2/2009 - 10:57pm
This issue has nothing to do with whether or not abortion was almost ready to be overturned, were it not for Obama (it was not). This is purely a matter of principle. A University that calls itself Catholic should not offer a platform and an honor to a man whose public words and actions are against Catholic moral teaching on the most important subject of all: life. We know that politicians use these things as feathers in their caps: "See, the Catholics like me anyway". It is not "right" or "left" wing. This is a faith, not a political party. There is only "Catholic" and "Not Catholic". Those who support pro-choice platforms fall into the "not Catholic" category. Simple as that. The Pharisee comment is narrow-minded and entirely incorrect. Pharisees were judgmental for their own sakes and were obsessed with minute details of the law more than the important aspects of faith. Matters of life or death for the unborn are not as trivial as "thou shalt not enter the church from the left side." These matters cut to the very core of our faith: protect the innocent and love all people, even the unborn. I guess what it comes down to is Notre Dame can choose whether to be Catholic or to be "part of the life of the nation." Sometimes you can't do both and this makes it clear which side Notre Dame chooses.
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 3:54pm
Ralph, your comparison to Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot is inaccurate. The government does not provide abortions, it merely does not allow their regulation by the states. This is because no one has advanced a constitutional measure giving them status (even in the second and third trimesters). That would actually be abortion legislation. There was no legislation involved in "legalizing abortion" - only a Supreme Court opinion saying that the states cannot ban it.
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 1:57pm
Catholic Universities primary obligations are to give witness and educate its students in a manner that assists them to fullfill their ultimate destiny, namely to spend eternity giving glory to God and enjoying everlasting happiness.There is as the Holy Father Benedict 16th said intinsic evil that is knowable and that abortion and other life destuctive acts rise above all other considerations including other social issues. No sane individual would invite Pot Pot,Hitler, Stalin or other mass murderer to the honorarium table and the last I heard the killing of babies born alive or in the womb is murder. You realize Jesus was a radical, a real right wing radical that believed the Truth was worth giving one's life for and I believe if He was present at the abomination of honoring a mass murderer he would take out the whips as He did in the Temple and overturn the podium and the tables and whip those that would scandalize the innocent and His Church. May God Bless You and hold you in the Palm of His Hand. Ralph Benware, ralphbenware@yahoo.com
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 1:40pm
In response to Marie's question: It would not sadden me a bit if BO declined the invite. He would however be mistaken that the Catholic Church "teaches that it is better that a woman die from the complications of pregnancy than that she be allowed to prevent the implantation of an fertilized egg". Where did you get this? Are you Jesuit trained?
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 12:36pm
Can an Honary Degree be given only for a persons status (holding the Office of President of the United States)and not his views? Engaging in this type of dualism discredits all Honary Degrees and the institutions that give these honors. I do not believe that Christ is served by Notre Dame giving an Honary Degree to President Obama, nor is he served by the views and tone of Mr. winters article.
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 12:27pm
I don't necessarily agree with Mr. Winters's post, but I think responsive commentary goes too far when it attacks "America" as not being a Catholic magazine. Take time to peruse the contents of the magazine itself, and you'll find a great deal of material that is decidedly "Catholic" in content and sensibility. As to the contributions made on this blog, "America" clearly states the following: "The opinions expressed here are those of our contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of America magazine." Some may nevertheless argue that "America" is tarred by association with Mr. Winters, or by other contributors who do not meet one's definition of "Catholic." I disagree. The magazine has provided a forum for discussion that can sometimes be vigorous, as this thread can attest to, but there have been many responses above that have provided cogent and rational counterpoints to those made by Mr. Winters, all made without the need to make blanket assertions about an individual's--or a magazine's--Catholicity. Folks, it's a blog, and heated, free-wheeling discussion often takes place in blogs. That's both good and bad. But the discussion is often educational, as many of the responsive posts here have been.
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 10:51am
For those who are confused by my smoking analogy, let me clarify. How is it a different mindset to say that by not banning abortion we are favoring abortion and not say that by not banning smoking we are favoring smoking (which, like it or not, is a form of slow suicide)? I say this not to justify abortion, but to get you to think about the contention that Obama (and Biden and Pelosi) favor or do not favor an action because he is unwilling to ban it. By the way, the federal government does subsidize smoking, both here and abroad, and not only allows it among the military but allows the selling of tobacco on base. This is not an either/or thing. How can one favor legal prohibition in one area (abortion) and not the other (smoking)?
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 10:41am
Michael Futschik, you have unwittingly shown why the pro-life is ineffective on this issue. You said: "Those who claim to be Catholic, yet support legislation protecting a woman's right to murder the baby in her womb, will have some explaining to do when they stand before the throne of God on Judgment Day." The problem is, there is NO SUCH LEGISLATION. Pro-choice politicians don't need to be for or against anything - since the PRO-LIFE SIDE HAS OFFERED NOTHING WHICH GETS TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. It can. They were told 25 years ago by me, when I was a pro-life aid to a pro-life senator. They didn't. They won't. It would damage their fundraising.
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 10:34am
Steve W., last I checked the Hyde Amendment was still in force and is likely to stay that way, at least at the federal level. Forget the FOCA folklore and stick to the facts. One of the facts is that there has never been adequate federal legislation protecting the unborn. Under Roe and the Constitution, the states are not competent to grant such recognition (any more than they can grant federal citizenship to the undocumented - although states can allow the undocumented to vote in elections for the assembly and therefore in federal elections). Whether Obama favors or does not favor legal abortion is meaningless until someone proffers a bill in Congress to grant such regulation. Until that point, no one need justify their position.
Anonymous | 3/25/2009 - 2:00am
Your paper has no business calling itself a catholic magazine. In your article it is clear who you really serve and it is not Christ!
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 11:53pm
Suppose Obama had declined the invitation saying that he would not speak at an institution that so clearly violated his beliefs on the status of women in society by its connection to the Catholic Church, which teaches that it is better that a woman die from the complications of pregnancy than that she be allowed to prevent the implantation of an fertilized egg in her uterus after she has been raped even if she is not Catholic?
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 11:51pm
It's time for both ND and this weekly to stop using the word "Catholic" to describe themselves or their mission, neither one has a clue what "Catholic" means.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 11:48pm
Mr. Winters, As someone who believes completely what the Catholic Church teaches (and is therefore opposed to a Catholic institution's honouring of a politician espousing legislation opposed to this teaching) yet is largely supportive of social democratic policies I am first and foremost somewhat annoyed by your constant referring to people like me as ''the right''. Secondly, I am profoundly mystified by the fact that you accuse this ''right'' of judgmentalism. It is surely not judgmental to say that Pres. Obama's attitudes regarding life and the family are in conflict with Christian belief and is not something of which we can approve. That is simply a fact. He has increased federal funding for abortion and has stated that he would not want his daughters ''punished with a baby''. In fact, you are open to the accusation of judgmentalism yourself when you state that the ''right'' is ''crazy'', ''uncharitable'', and ''frothing-at-the-mouth unreasonable'' regarding Pres. Obama.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 11:02pm
Nearly every time Jesus healed, every time he did not "condemn" he also said, "your sins are forgiven", "go and sin no more". It is our job as Christians to forgive sin but not to facilitate or permit it or to avoid calling a sin a sin. No sin is without its grief...our laws can protect young girls from committing a sin they will regret their entire lives...many to the point of losing their faith entirely out of belief they cannot be forgiven. Saying abortion is ok is not the same as forgiveness. It is saying abortion is not a sin but that is not true - we are lying to our most precious youth. Our nation, with Obama at the helm is condoning mass murder of babies inside their own mother's wombs, research on embryos, funding throughout the world for abortion. We need to see abortion for what it is...the killing of an innocent life...a sin. Thankfully, Jesus is there to forgive and save, but our laws need to reflect the laws of God. They need to inform our society...esp its youth of what is right and wrong. Our president needs to stand by the Laws of God- they are our guide to a nation of happiness and success. Our Catholic Universities need to stand by the Laws of God and have the courage to see the Truth. Death hurts - abortion kills...and the consequences don't change just because our laws permit it. God's Law does not permit this and that is the Law we have to reckon with deep in our hearts. We need to hear those Laws of love which includes a respect for all life from conception to grave. Please, all of you, see, see, see what you can't. Ask for the Truth from God. Pray, He will show you by giving you a heart full of love for both mother and child and both can live within that love!! Fight for presidents that will fight for BOTH a total pro-life movement and help for the people along their path in life. It can be done!!
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 10:42pm
Dear Michael, Thank you for linking to my post about Archbishop Chaput's visit to Detroit. It led me to google the Catholic News Agency's article in which they state: ****CNA was able to acquire an audio recording of the event in question and found that rather than calling for a letter writing campaign, the archbishop suggested it as a response to the situation. Responding to a question about how “faithful Catholics should respond to [general] situations like [Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama], Chaput suggested, “Protest, write letters, express your concern, do it charitably.” He further reminded the audience that “Jesus said we need to be like sheep among wolves” and to “act like Christians when we disagree: to be bold, courageous, and clear, but charitable.”**** I have updated my post to reflect what CNA has offered since the info which reached me, came by word of mouth and could certainly have gotten skewed. I'll stand by CNA's account which is based on audio from the event. Perhaps you would consider updating your post.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 10:19pm
Mr. Winters: Your chararcterization of those opposing President Obama's visit to Notre Dame is quite unfair. For someone so ''tolerant'' you quite freely hurl disparaging remarks towards those with whom you disagree, such as the loaded title of ''right wing.'' Mr. Winters, would you have a problem if, hypothetically, Notre Dame invited our first female U.S. President who claimed to be an avowed racist and was ''pro-choice'' on the slavery quesiton? Would you think it appropriate to call her an inspiring person and include the fact that she is making history as our first female President and bestow on her an honorary degree? If this hypothetical female President promised to do everything in her power to roll back the civil rights of African-Americans and vowed to only appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who favored the legality of slavery, would you be so quick to defend the presence of such a racist on the Notre Dame Campus, a visit which would honor such a woman? I think not.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 9:57pm
And this article is why, despite my able to read this magazine for free courtesy of the US Army Knowledge Online site, is why I don't read America. It is high time that the Jesuits follow Vatican II, go back to their roots, and reclaim what they obviously lost. This is not "academic discussion," America, through Mr. Winters, proven it is not a Catholic journal.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 8:27pm
You don't understand Christ's teachings. You don't understand that honoring someone (anyone) for their wordly accomplishments isn't neccessarily wrong except if honoring that person's wordly accompishments comes before and takes precedence over recognizing that person's immoral unconditional support of the killing of unborn people. What would you think if Pres. Obama states during his address at Notre Dame that he is doing his best for woman rights by supporting the ''right'' to unconditional abortions on demand ? Would you applaud that statement ? What would you think if Pres. Obama states during that address that the graduates should go forth and persue in a brave new world the potential of embryonic stem cell research ? Would you applaud that statement ? Having Pres. Obama at Notre Dame is giving the wrong message. What hypocrites we are if we profess that abortion is wrong, then have the most pro-abortion Pres. of all time give an address at Notre Dame. You have succumbed to the razzle dazzle of the Obama presidency.
Anonymous | 3/26/2009 - 12:05am
Joe Kash, Here is where I get the teaching that the Catholic Church would rather women die from a pregnancy than that they prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. If a woman who has been told that another pregnancy could kill her were to be raped and that rape occurred after the test showed she had ovulated, a Catholic hospital would not dispense Plan B to her despite the danger to her life that might result from a pregnancy. Maybe this is a distortion, but it is the same kind of distortion to which Obama's beliefs and actions are subjected. Obama, like most people actually, is not convinced that life begins at conception the way the Catholic Church understands it. On top of that, he is a lawyer, and lawyers often see things in legislation that the rest of us miss. They then cannot in good conscience support that legislation even though the sentiments underlying it are good. When those with good intention see their poor quality legislation opposed, they accuse those who oppose it of being baby killers, etc. In another example of distortion, Obama's repealing the "Mexico City Policy" is a far cry from imposing a version of China's one-child policy on the developing world, but people who hate him react as if it were. It allows agencies to discuss abortion with women who in many cases would be attempting abortion anyway. It does not mean that the agencies are recommending abortion or that the US wants them to recommend abortion.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 7:03pm
To the Editor: Why not just own up to the fact that your magazine doesn't give the least twit about the integrity of Catholic Church teaching as it is stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you are going to be making your living by undermining the Catholic Church's dogmas and teachings, you should not call yourself a Catholic (with a capital C) magazine. Either you are or you're not. To whom are you trying to appeal, or perhaps who are you trying to appease? Too bad--you could use your talents to build up the Church. Instead, I'm afraid your readership is going to take a dive.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 6:48pm
It's time for both ND and this weekly to stop using the word ''Catholic'' to describe themselves or their mission, neither one has a clue what ''Catholic'' means.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 8:50pm
Sean, You are soo earnest in earning admirers for being relevant...what a contribution to AMERICA.... Sean your diatribe against anyone who disagrees with your opinion is evidence of your lack of objectivity. It sadly reveals a lack of authenticity.. Be humble Sean
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 6:26pm
Michael Sean Winters: It seems that you are personally opposed to the official teachings of our Catholic Church with regards to abortion, contraception, homosexuality and eugenics (which constitute the core beliefs or convictions of President Obama) because that's the only logical reason that you are so excited and joyful about President Obama giving the commencement speech at Notre Dame. It's no wonder, then! I can't help but be reminded of our Lord's saying about wolves in sheeps' clothing! May our good God shower you and President Obama with His merciful grace!
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 5:13pm
Is this really a Catholic magazine? Have you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Do you follow the Pope? I am fed up being called a right wing Catholic because I follow the Majesterium of the Catholic Church and the Pope. Each one of us has a responsibility to protect life. When politicians and worse yet, priests and Catholic leaders try and dodge the abortion issue they mislead others and will be held accountable. President Obama is the most pro-abortion president we ever had - that is a fact! He should be respected as president but not honored by any Catholic institution.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 4:01pm
There is no 'right-wing' or 'left-wing' Catholics. This is merely a tool used by heterodox cafeteria-Catholics to distinguish themselves from those who are actually faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has always taught that abortion is morally wrong. From highly visible individuals such as Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, or Mother Theresa all the way back to Justin Martyr or Irenaeus, they all stated that abortion was morally evil. It seems as though those who are truly pro-life are in good company. Those who claim to be Catholic, yet support legislation protecting a woman's right to murder the baby in her womb, will have some explaining to do when they stand before the throne of God on Judgment Day. So, like I said - there is no 'right-wing' or 'left-wing' Catholics; only orthodox Catholics and those who dissent into heterodoxy. Let's call it like it is.
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 6:01pm
The writer stated; "Of course, Dr. Glendon, like the University of Notre Dame, is a source of pride for all Catholics, not just for conservatives." I'm neither a political, social nor economic 'conservative'. I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican [registered Independent.] I'm just Catholic. I have not viewed Notre Dame University with pride for over 25 years - but rather with shame. Over the last 25 to 30 years many Notre Dame grads of my personal acquaintance from all over the U.S. have gradually come to the conclusion that on many issues, Notre Dame is Catholic in just about name only. I've personally heard from over half a dozen of their alums here in my local area state that Notre Dame has now seen the last donation to their Alum and other funds --- till Notre Dame gets in step with at least the most teachings of the Catholic Church. [I personally don't see that happening any time soon.] And of course I'm not in the least surprised to see an article such as Winter's defending Notre Dame over this issue in America. [I'm Jesuit trained myself. LOL] As previously stated, I'm just Catholic. I can easily see the objective evil in a Catholic Unversity honoring any man who is openly and avowedly in favor of partial birth abortion. Even a child should be able to see the patent malevolence in Partial Birth abortion. As Christians - we are supposed to oppose evil - not honor its purveyors. Evidently Winters cannot see what the average child can usually see. Desmond
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 3:25pm
Perhaps the author consider Catholics faithful to the teachings of the Church as right wingers? Come on guys! Now if the author believes in tradition that will make Bishop D'Arcy -one of the successor of the apostles a right winger-
Anonymous | 3/24/2009 - 2:34pm
I am fine with Mr. Bindner's tobacco analogy but lets carry it futher. Lets tax the heck out of abortion clinics and lets put em out of business with government-aided litigation.

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