Pope Addresses Notre Dame

Pope Francis shakes the hand of Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins, while Cardinal Donald Wuerl (Washington, DC) introduces him. Meanwhile, the poor assistant on the left holds some sort of sculpture which was probably a gift to the Pope, as he thinks to himself, “What on earth is this thing that I am holding?”

Pope Francis today received a delegation from Notre Dame University, on the occasion of their inaugurating a new Rome center. In light of some of the recent, astonishing news that has been coming out of that institution, the Holy Father’s address takes on particular import. Here is a relevant excerpt with some emphasis added:

Essential in this regard is the uncompromising witness of Catholic universities to the Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors. It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness. And this is important: its identity, as it was intended from the beginning. To defend it, to preserve it and to advance it!
[Read the whole thing here.]

The Holy Father’s wish that Notre Dame “continue” to offer unambiguous testimony is probably a polite vaticanese way of lessening the blow of what he is really saying: Start acting like a Catholic University, promote and stand by Catholic principles!

A gross failure in upholding Catholic principles and a disastrous decision in the recent history of the American Church.

A gross failure in upholding Catholic principles and a disastrous decision in the recent history of the American Church.

Although there are some fine things happening at Notre Dame, and I know some fine people who have gotten a fine education there, yet there are many bad things happening there as well, and souls are being led astray in a place where they should be led to the fullness of truth… as recent news indicates.

Pray that Notre Dame takes the Pope’s message to heart!

A photo I took of the interior of Notre Dame’s famous Basilica, back in 2007.

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2 Responses to Pope Addresses Notre Dame

  1. Amy Welborn says:

    They’ll spin that “continue” as hard as they can, though…..

  2. Patrick L. says:

    Courtesy of Fr. Emmerich Vogt, O.P:

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference; living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.

    This is my prayer for Notre Dame … and for the Vatican.

    Paul VI issued [Humanae Vitae] on July 25, 1968. … In September, the bishops of Canada gathered in Winnipeg and published a statement saying couples ‘may be safely assured that whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience.’

    A similar thing happened with divorce. Rather than deny the Church’s teaching, American dioceses granted backdoor divorces through the liberal use of annulments. As of 2007, the U.S. accounted for 60 percent of annulments granted globally despite being home to only 6 percent of the Catholic flock.

    Both these developments reflected what Archbishop Antoni Stankiewicz calls an ‘anthropological pessimism’ that holds ‘it’s almost impossible to get married, in view of the current cultural situation.’ Modern man, in this view, is twice fallen. Bishops ceased to believe the faithful were capable of following Church teaching, and so they ceased to teach it by discipline and word. In light of this, the reaction of the faithful is more than understandable. Why would they take seriously a teaching their pastors refuse to?

    At the end of the day, it’s not that dissenting Catholics don’t care what the Church teaches; it’s that the Church has taught them not to care. To that lesson, they’ve paid close attention.

    This is to say nothing of the gross liturgical irreverence that has spiraled out of control in parishes everywhere.

    I agree with the content of the Vatican’s criticism of Notre Dame. Nonetheless, I, for one, am of the opinion that evidence that the Vatican has nothing better to do than wag its finger at Fr. Jenkins is wanting.

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