The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

In place of Glendon…

Notre Dame evidently has elected not to give a Laetere Medal this year, after honoree Mary Ann Glendon backed out.

But someone will be making some remarks. Thomas Peters has the scoop:

Judge John T. Noonan Jr., the 1984 recipient of the Laetare Medal, has accepted an invitation to deliver an address in the spirit of the award at Notre Dame’s 164th University Commencement Ceremony on May 17. His speech will be in lieu of awarding the medal this year.

“In thinking about who could bring a compelling voice, a passion for dialogue, great intellectual stature, and a deep commitment to Catholic values to the speaking role of the Laetare Medalist, especially in these unusual circumstances, it quickly became clear that an ideal choice is Judge Noonan,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of Notre Dame. “This commencement ceremony, more than anything else, is a celebration of our students and their families. Judge Noonan will join with President Obama and other speakers in that celebration, sending them from our campus and into the world with sound advice and affirmation.

“Since Judge Noonan is a previous winner of the Laetare Medal, we have decided, upon reflection, to not award the medal this year.”

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Chris Sullivan

posted April 30, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I’m sure Judge Noonan will give an excellent speech. He has written a number of excellent books on the history of Catholic theology, including one on contraception and his more recent “A Church that Can and Cannot Change” – the title of which is extremely relevant here.It is a pity that Mary Ann Glendon declined to speak as her input could have been very helpful in addressing the deficiencies of Obama’s programme from a pro-life perspective.The danger we are getting into is the increasingly divided factions in the Church are refusing to talk to each other and instead “bunkering down” in their own little ghettos. Mary Ann Glendon’s decision unfortunately exacerbates and encourages that problem and her example of refusing to dialogue and engage is not a good one for the future of the Church.God Bless

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posted April 30, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Folks,It would seem that people are missing the point of a commencement ceremony and graduation exercises. This is the culminating moment for the women and men who worked to earn their academic degree(s). It is not a time to enter into a political debate or a religious encounter.The solution, as some colleges already have done, is NOT to invite public personae to be honored, but to focus on honoring those graduates in attendance.Commencement speakers should only be the graduates theselves.Ecclesiastes: ” .. there is a time for everything…”Deacon Mike

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posted May 1, 2009 at 1:31 am

It is Obama that needs to do the right thing as Glendon has. It would have been interesting last night at his so called press conference if he said when asked about ND and his wacko stance on abortion and promise on FOCA that he had decided not to attend and was sending word to ND. He could simply say that he honored the Catholic faith and the large number of bishops of that faith who clearly said that ND should not have invited him and so he was stepping down to show his respect for those bishops and for the 2004 letter from the USCCB that he was not aware of at the time of the invite. He could have said, “Oviously I am pro abortion in every way and so should not have been invited. To be honest, I really do not understand how any Catholic who actually believed in their faith could have voted for me with my track record on this issue. So to show the respect I have for that faith and their freedom to run their University as they wish, I will now do the right thing and as ND to let me out of my acceptance. I think that they should then reinvite the person who does believe what the Catholic Church teaches and so ask Mary Ann Glendon to reconsider and come in to speak. That way, they can leave that poor 73 old guy alone they were trying to bring in for cover. In closing, I would ask the Catholics who support me to actually go to their local bishop and talk over what the Catcholic Church teaches and if you do not believe, stop calling yourself Catholic. If you want to vote for me and others who are pro abortion, don’s make silling excuses to do so. I did that for years with Rev Wright and it really is stupic. I did not believe his silling rantings and stayed in the church for 20 years. If you do not believe in the Catholic Church, get out and find something you do believe it. As you know, we have been searching for a new church ourselves.” Now that would have made some news and showed some class. It might have saved a few souls at the same time.

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