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Monday, September 21, 2009



Forgive me, but I'm so sick of thanking people for the bare minimum. I'd have some words for Father Jenkins, but they wouldn't start off with: "First, permit me to express my appreciation for the expressions of support for the pro-life cause in your September 16th 'Letter concerning post-commencement initiatives.'"

Gee, Father, thanks for not supporting the murder of babies! Golly gosh, you're swell.

Is this how far we've devolved that the president (a priest) of the University of Notre Dame has to be thanked for his hollow words in support of life?


On a side note, does anyone know who the professor on stage at the commencement was who stood but refused to applaud when Obama crossed the platform? I wonder about him every time I see that otherwise infuriating video clip.

Clarence Knutsen

To Thomas: Many, many thanks! Your insight has been a bur under my Catholic saddle for a long time. Speaking to the Obama/Notre Dame love fest only: if we believe that you cannot be poorer than dead; and if natural law, supported by the Church, says that abortion, etc. is the worst abomination extant; why, in the name of the God Who made those murdered ones, do we give any credit to the likes of Fr. Jenkins?! As others have said, Hitler built roads and gave people jobs. The abortion industry is killing the poor just as readily as the rich. How does that advance the poverty "discussion"?

Mr. H

The letter by William Dempsey referenced by Mr. Rice above can be found in its entirety here:

Ed Peters

Charlie "Relentless, Devastating, Accurate" Rice. My favorite line: "Notre Dame should give Fr. Weslin the Laetare Medal rather than throw him in jail."

ps: Thomas, and Clarence, I see your point (really, I do), but read Cicero on rhetoric, and you'll see Rice's.


Permit me to follow Dr. Peters: if Prof. Rice thinks it's a good idea to write a letter in a particular way, we should all think it's a good idea to write the letter that way.

David Charkowsky

How do we get mailing addresses for these people in prison?

Clarence Knutsen

Dr. Peters: I hear you and Prof. Rice. I'm not in Prof. Rice's situation and respect his judgment. That being said, my disappointment, sometimes anger, stands. Christ often stood in the face of power and told them the truth about themselves without apologizing in His "opening remarks". The alternative, it seems to me, is the kind of "Catholic" charade we witnessed at ND and the Kennedy funeral. I'll pray for a more peaceful mind.


I recently had the honor to communicate with one of the 88. Professor Rice is good to have shared his letter because it provides a teaching moment for us all...let's hope and pray that it provides a true learning moment for Father Jenkins


Another impotent man with no authority, Jenkins has reaped what he has sown.

Bring back the mighty men of old, the Priests with a good right hook.

David Volk

We pray that something gets through to Fr. Jenkins. ...And the "complicit Fellows and Trustees", one of whom is my bishop, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, IL.


My intention wasn't to criticize Dr. Rice, but to show my contempt for Jenkins.

Ed Madigan

It's a fairly simple question - If you are truly Catholic, you believe in all that she stands for - the Church has not wavered in over 2000 years. The same holds true for our Catholic Institutions, they either support the Church 100% or they cannot claim to be Catholic. Christ did not come to earth to make everyone happy, he came to impart the Truth given by his Father, so that the Father's children may come to know Him. This can only happen by embracing and living the Truth of the Church even if it is painful.

Seth T

Link to video of Fr. Weslin's arrest


The magnificent pro-life film, "Thine Eyes" was supposed to film Notre Dame students, but I understand they had to be abandoned after the university's foot dragging. Instead, Benedictine College of Atchison, Kansas was featured as well as two other pro-life groups. Notre Dame missed a big chance to show how pro-life they really are, or maybe that's the way they wanted it.

Camilo Vera

Greetings Brothers and Sisters:
I would like to comment on a few things. First off, I think anyone who can read (and that's everyone)can tell that Professor Charles Rice essay is very well written. Secondly, Professor Charles Rice is a very respectable man. That being said, Father Jenkins is also a respectable man who truly believes in the sanctity of life. With that being said, I do not believe that being vehemently opposed to abortions in all cases, is more important than supporting socioeconomic programs for feeding starving children in undeveloped countries. I think Father Jenkins is one of many Catholic priests that is aware that making a certain action illegal, wont necessarilly do away with it. A great example would be Prohibition in the 1920's. Or laws targeting domestic violence. These laws had good intentions, but were not as effective as intended. With that being said,these laws still were somewhat effective. My main point with that, is that just saying you are opposed to something, and praying for it to change, wont necessarilly change things without action taken to reduce or eliminate its causes. Abortion is a function of an abortive mentality that many women have, in an un-supportive environment.

Thirdly, I think it is important to note that within the Catholic Church there are various factions of prayerful people who may have serious and legitimate disagreements.This does not necesarilly undermine the strenght of the Church in fact it may strengthen it. One of the reason why our Church is so strong is because it is truly Catholic and embraces all that is good, and permits some pluralism. Many Popes have made positive comments supportive of dialogue within our Church.
And even within the Vatican, not everyone agrees on every little decision. I do not think it is fair to our Church for some of us to label others as "leftists" or make unilateral and alienating comments such as "you are either for the church or against it". This will certainly contribute to Disunity. something anthetical to what our Church stands for.

In conclusion, I think it's important for all Catholics to have respect for their Priests and Bishops regardless of were our priests and Bishops stand on certain political issues (assuming they are not blatantly pro-choice) or unless they go against our Church's most fundamental teachings. And that is why I urge you all to respect others as well, and their maybe imperfect opinions. We need charity and love for one another and rededicate ourselves to the common good.

With love, and respect

Camilo Vera



Unfortunately, that "professor" who didn't clap is no professor at all, but a member of the Secret Service--watch some of Obama's other speeches (Arizona St., etc.) and you'll see the same guy there.


First one is ASU, second one is ND. Does that "professor" look familiar?


Thanks for the response, BRH.

Too bad that takes the total number of professors on stage with a Catholic pair down from one to none.



Your entire response is a non sequitur. In his letter to Father Jenkins, Professor Rice is not questioning the legitimacy of attacking abortion from angles other than combatting its legal protection. He's merely imploring the President of the University to drop the charges against the 88 individuals arrested for praying on campus during commencement weekend. His case for dropping these charges is fairly convincing by my estimation. If Father Jenkins wants to be taken seriously by the Pro-Life movement, it behooves him to stop pursuing criminal charges against the very Pro-Lifers who sacrificed their time, energy and money to pray for the Catholic identity of Notre Dame and her commitment to the cause of the unborn.

Patrick D. Roach

camilo Vera

The State is pressing the charges, not the University. They
(the prolife porstesters were protesting without a permit)
broke the law, and they were asked to leave, and asked several times. In defiance of the law, they were arrested. I think the University was just following proper procedure. I hope my brothers and sisters that were arrested got fair treatment. i admire their courage, and wish them the best. As for Father Jenkins he is probably in direct communication with the prosecutos office, asking for leniency. Trespassing is a minor offense that statistically only carries punishments of small fines, warnings, a couple of nights in jail, or even just community service. They shouldn't twistthis punishment into sounding like a "secular crusade against them". That with be unfair and dishonest of us.

In Christ, love and peace:



The protesters arrested were there as part of the Randal Terry movement who promised to 'turn the campus into a circus.' The pro-life movement must succeed, but it will not do so with such tactics. Notre Dame should support justice for those who not only violated the law, but those who continue to set back the pro-life movement with their self-absorbed and tone-deaf strategies.


So now involvement in any pro life actions is dependent on everyone thinking exactly alike. Dr. Rice seems to be mixing issues. What a shame - just another set back on the world stage of how stupid people look.


Fr. Jenkins is not in "direct communication" or even INDIRECT communication with any prosecutor's office. To even begin to suppose otherwise is naivete beyond belief.

This is witnessed by his response when my husband (as did many others) wrote him directly asking for him to step in and intervene in some way on these charges. He not only claimed he couldn't do anything, he spent volumes of words talking about all the GOOD "pro-life" things he's going to do--like joining the March for Life. Yeah, Father! You go, Father! You'll only be 27 years too late!

The state may be in charge of dealing with these "offenses," but the fact is, the "offense" was "trespassing" on Notre Dame's property. The property owner has the right and option to ask that charges be dismissed at any time. For Fr. Jenkins to claim that he has no power in this situation is at best disingenuous, and at worst downright insulting to anyone with a grain of intelligence.

Fr. Jenkins has used power he had no business using to defy his bishop; mere civil authorities shouldn't be so intimidating to this man that he can't step in and say, "Enough is enough." What does he have to fear? He's got the culture, and even the President of the United States, on his side already!


Jerry Monroe

I'm sorry, but anyone who truly believes that the administration of the University did not acquiesce in these arrests (if indeed it did not directly request them), or that it could not have prevented them if it wanted to, or that it didn't know it could prevent them, or that it couldn't get the charges dropped within 15 minutes if it really wanted to (forget about how), is just too naïve to be entrusted with the formation of young people. God bless you, Dr. Rice.

Helen Reilly

I really don't see any reason why one can't be opposed to abortion and also be soncerned with other social ills. The two are not mutually exclusive. The unborn are among the most defenseless in our society. Fr. Jenkins, if you will pardon my expressing my opinion bluntly, is a hypocrite. I don't know what his inmost thoughts are, but I know that he is trying to cover all bases publicly. He wants to have it both ways. How can he honor Obama, the most anti-life president we have ever had the misfortune to have, and then march in the March for Life, especially since he has not done so before? How can he do that while the people arrested for praying on an open campus face prosecution? And Prof. Rice is absolutely right in pointing out that there were sign-carrying pro-Obama people on campus who were not arrested. President Obama is not my Messiah. Jesus is.

Helen Reilly

I feel compelled to comment on something else Camilo said. The American Church is no longer strong; it has become weak. It is a straw, blowing in the winds of secular culture. The Pope and the bishops are supposed to be shepherds of Christ's sheep, leading and guiding them. The Vatican has made clear its position on abortion. There's no wiggle room there. Yet the Church in America has been talking the talk, but not walking the walk. The Church has allowed politicians who are very public and very radical advocates of abortion in all its forms to receive Communion, implying that said politicians are not doing anything morally wrong. This gives scandal to Catholics. The glorious funeral giving Kennedy honors worthy of Mother Teresa gave scandal to Catholics. Installing Cardinal Law, the great Protector and Defender of Pedophile Priests, a post of honor in a church in Rome, thereby getting him out of the way of prosecution by Boston authorities, gave scandal to Catholics. The Church is falling apart. We are supposed to have one, holy, catholic, and apostolic faith. On the day Pope Benedict was elected, I saw an interview on EWTN of Cardinal Ratzinger by Raymond Arroyo. Ratzinger said the Church has to stand up for the truth and not be afraid to teach unpopular things, and if that drives people away, so be it; the Church would begin again with 12 people and a storefront if necessaray, just as Christ did with the Apostles. I for one am hungry for more of that fearless moral guidance, and hope to hear more of it from Benedict. One last thought: can bishops, priests, and even laymen possible think that Fr. Jenkins and Notre Dame did the right thing if they truly believe in Jesus? As those bracelets some of our young people wear say, "What would Jesus do?"

Manuel G. Daugherty Razetto

The suave and apparent kindness expressed by Camilo, doesnt impress me at all. The typical use of terminology by, yes, leftists in the Church is so obvious in his first comment that one must have serious doubts about his true adherence to the Magisterium. He promotes 'pluralism' 'serious and legitimate disagreement.. that strengthen (the Church) it' and others. The matter dealt at ND was neither little nor simple. Fr Jenkins has lost respect from many true Catholics, with good reason.
Father N.Weslin treatment was shameful, unchristian, reproachable.

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