Phoenix Bishop says Notre Dame prez “disobedient”

posted by David Gibson

A remarkable development in the Obama-to-Notre Dame saga, via Thomas Peters, the “American Papist”: Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has sent Fr. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, an email saying his invitation to Obama to speak at the May 17 commencement and receive an honorary degree was “a public act of disobedience to US Bishops.”

Olmsted concludes: “I pray that you come to see the grave mistake of your decision, and the way it undercuts the Church’s proclamation of the Gospel of Life in our day.”

Peters says he was given the email and permission to print it by Mike Phelan, Director of Marriage and Respect Life for the Diocese of Phoenix, who said:

“Due to the fact that the invitation by Notre Dame’s president, Fr. John Jenkins, to President Barack Obama to give the commencement speech at Notre Dame’s May graduation is a public act causing widespread public scandal due to the US President’s clear support of policies which fail to protect and even attack innocent human life, Bishop Olmsted has given permission to release the attached email text publicly.”

 A screen shot of Olmsted’s letter is below:

Olmstead Letter.png

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catholic hermit

posted March 26, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Am prayerfully thankful for Bishop D’Arcy’s stance, and now this statement to Fr. Jenkins by Bishop Olmsted. May there be more to come, as this is a turning point for Catholics. Shine clear lights upon what the Church IS, to be clear lights through, with, in Christ, not only for the world but for foggy Catholics, as well. We must continue to work hard to be heard, harder to be seen witnessing, and most of all to be assured and to assure that prayers will be answered.
What clear-light Catholics can count on are prayer and the Sacraments, unimpeded by disobedience, dissent, and confused contortions of the Faith. Lest we forget that the Most Holy Trinity and the Virgin Mary, angels and saints feel our pain, Christ will have victory in this.
Part of that victory is the very fact that clear-light Catholics are willing to lay all else aside and stand firm for the Truth of the Church, to defend Her, and to be media-politic-culturally martyred if necessary.
There is a supernatural reality, and this is spiritual warfare being finally brought out into the temporal scene. It is more than Lenten Penance. Passion week is coming soon. Who is the victor, always, in this world and for all eternity?
Let us lay our lives down for Christ and His Church: turn away from cunning deceptions of politicians even of foggy Catholics. Be not afraid to be clear lights of Christ and His Church: obedient, prayerful, and sacrificial. Offer all for God, for what remains worthy if we do not have the Truth? Let the Notre Dame scandal be the light switch for conversion.

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posted March 26, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Here and here are examples of pro-choice politicians being awared papal knighthods, that is, high honors, in the West Indes and Europe. Also please note that that avatar of pro-choice evil Nancy Pelosi, among others received communion in the U.S. at a Papal Mass. If these bishops who are apparently more Catholic than the Pope are really, truly sincere, let them call the Pope himself and the Cardinals to task. Remember, the apostle Paul opposed Peter (the first Pope!) to his face when he (Paul) believed him (Peter) to be in the wrong about circumsions of Gentile converts. I might note that St. Catherine of Siena was not shy about telling the Pope of her day what his obligations were. If the bishops are not willing to do this, it would seem to me that it would be prudent (and at least consistent) for them not to say anything.
Do I agree with Obama on pro-life issues? No, though overall I think he was the lesser of two evils and I voted for him. Do I fight for pro-life causes, even against the policies of the man I voted for? Absolutely. I just think that the bishops either need to try to constructively engage those whose policies violate Catholic teaching, or just be quiet. Granstanding of this type is cheap and does absolutely squat to change hearts and minds, let alone laws.

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posted March 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm

What is a “clear-light Catholic”?

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posted March 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm

So lets reignite those ancient sectarian fires and find ways to close doors to keep each other out and as far away as possible. A brilliant plan that has worked so well before. This “My way or the Highway” stuff works for organizations that must deal with immaturity and childish behavior. But it does not speak well for an institution that is intended to suuport dialog and debate, sophistication and awareness.
I applaud the PRes. Of N.D. for his willingness to hold open the doors and to invite the Pres. to his school. It certainly elevates their rpesence and status among colleges and Universities. But even more, it indicates a level of matruity that goes beyond blind, thoughtless obediance.

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posted March 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm

From my understanding the bishops are communicating directly with university personnel who are inviting the abortion radical president and facilitating this commencement event. Whether or not journalists and bloggers choose to go public with this information is their concern. Hence notifying policy-setters at ND of their ingregious error isn’t grandstanding of any type seeing as how it is meant for the eyes and ears of the recipients, not the news spectators.
If the President of ND chooses to be a free-radical (scientific analogy), then so be it, so long as he doesn’t compromise the Catholic integrity of the university.

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posted March 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm

You said: “This “My way or the Highway” stuff works for organizations that must deal with immaturity and childish behavior. But it does not speak well for an institution that is intended to support dialog and debate, sophistication and awareness.”
That is the RC Churches history, in a nutshell. The holding of power and control is still very much a part of the belief system, as, in their minds, they speak for God, though personally, I think they end up telling “God” what he thinks more often. The bottom line is this is their University and religion so they can do or say as they want and most but not all Catholics will say nothing because they were not taught to question or think for themselves but rather to obey.

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Jim McCrea

posted March 26, 2009 at 5:35 pm

The poor bishop will be missed. Maybe he can try to be on Dancing With The Stars that night.

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posted March 26, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Dear Gwyddion9 and jestrfyl,
What do you base your knowledge of the Cathoilc Church upon?

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posted March 26, 2009 at 5:58 pm

How insulting for all of us who hold our United States President Barack Obama in high respect and esteem. Little wonder that more Roman Catholics have left their religion than any other denomination in America, in the last two years.

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Your Name

posted March 26, 2009 at 6:49 pm

I wonder what black Catholics think about this. The bishops have never gone against a white Republican President with such venom. It is fine if people want to criticize particular policies of President Obama but it seems to me that it is going beyond that. There is a large group of people that has a deep dislike for President Obama and I find this troubling. I think these people are alienating many black Catholics and young Catholics. Some are even telling Catholics that support and respect our President that they are not “real Catholics.” Look at what Henrietta just said here.

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Clare Krishan

posted March 26, 2009 at 7:08 pm

O.K. I’m in a collegial mood I’ll see your race card and raise you:
[ Rancid smell warning ] let’s take the “Social Justice” peace train shall we and talk how to make abortion in America less likely by making family life more amenable in this difficult times of economic meltdown. POTUS#44 has tabled a plan to reward the malfeasance he inherited with POTUS#43’s TARP plan:

“…providing a huge transfer of wealth from the US taxpayer to the very people who got us into this mess”

Please explain to me what is moral about this economic stimulus, saving baby by impoverishing his mommy’n’daddy? If this passes for ‘progressive’ morality, its hardly surprising we’re talking past each other, we’re on different planets it seems to me…“Abortions, Vasectomies Increase as Economic Woes Continue” says Fox news.
Lets avoid the ethics of sex and dwell instead on the ethics of money, shall we, an argument can be made that procreation is a luxury that the downtrodden can’t afford perhaps? Heck, who’s got time for makin’ babies, we can’t afford to let out guard down lest our net-worth depreciates, right?
“A man in his thirties who plans to
retire thirty years from today (2008) must calculate with a
depreciation factor in the order of 3. That is, he needs to save
three dollars today to have the purchasing power of one of
these present-day dollars when he retires. And the estimated
depreciation factor of 3 is rather on the low side! It follows
that the rational saving strategy for him is to go into debt in
order to buy assets the price of which will increase with the
inflation. This is exactly what happens today in most western
countries. As soon as young people have a job and thus a
halfway stable source of revenue, they take a mortgage to buy
a house—whereas their great-grandfather might still have
first accumulated savings for some thirty years and then
bought his house with cash”
page 195 in “The ethics of money production” at mises.org/books/moneyproduction.pdf
We’re been reduced to nothing more than indentured servitude.
What contribution to civil rights do you want to attribute to the honoree? That he perpetuated the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich since the Great Depression?

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catholic hermit

posted March 26, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Actually, a respected African American priest who is connected with Notre Dame but who has worked tirelessly and successfully with progressing the right to human life, has written his reaction to Fr. Jenkins’ invitation to Obama to speak. The priest decries the action, and says that Obama has done more in 100 days to harm the work he had accomplished over a course of years. Seek it out online and read his letter. It is another truth to put in your hearts. Pray for this good priest, for it must be very difficult to have one’s life work hindered by a fellow African American who does not comprehend faith and morals, nor the Church. Thanks be to God for the many priests and Bishops of all races who stand firm in Christ’s Church. Might also check facts about how many people are confirmed each year and that the Catholic Church is growing vibrantly, as it always has. Youth, yes: the JPII Generation! Besides, the Catholic Church is not a “denomination”. That designation has been necessary for various protestant groups.
Pray for the Church; pray for the country; pray for all souls. God bless!

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Little Bear

posted March 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Dear Catholic Hermit,
You must really be living the life of a Hermit! People did not vote for Obama because he is pro-choice. They are worried sick about loosing their jobs, their homes, their insurance, their hospitalization. They are worried about their kids—that they can’t send them to college. And they are worried that they won’t be able to retire.
Do the bishops have to worry about any of these things? Absolutely not. Everything is taken care of for them. So it is easy for them to harp on the anti-abortion plank. If they had the same worries as the laity—they wouldn’t be so strident.
The people voted for a man that they felt would be able to help the country out of its financial woes. You worry about the people that are sitting around your table—people who are already here and walking on this earth. There’s an old Eastern European expression that states: “God made his own beard first.” You take care of your own family first—and the people of our national family are taking care of their national family first.
As far as the African priest is concerned—-Africa has its own problems—-but America needs to get its economic house in order first.

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Gospel Catholic

posted March 26, 2009 at 9:27 pm

catholic hermit and Clare Krishan and the like: You might want to save your comments for Amy Welborn’s blog or one of the other sites that unquestioningly support your point of view and the Church’s righteous rightness. They’ll take you in and shower you in Amens, and you can all write comments back and forth in which you capitalize Truth and Mother Church and congratulate each other on being God’s chosen Catholics. Meanwhile, you might as well leave us moderate monsters to chat among ourselves. After all, even if we are pro-life, if we voted for Obama we are inherently evil and we obviously condone the slaughtering of all children, so sharing a comment board with us could contaminate your holiness.
(Maybe among yourselves you could also come up with an answer as to why eight years of having all those sterling pro-life Repubs in power ended up not doing a dang thing to change abortion law … and yet we hear not a word from you in criticism of them?)
Sorry for the sarcasm (which I’ve tried to avoid up to now), but the crass hypocrisy, pathetically transparent Republican bias and medieval modes of thought evident among so many Obama detractors in this Notre Dame incident is really disheartening. I thought we could all just get along somehow, showing mutual respect for each other as fellow Catholics despite our differing views on things like Obama, a seamless garment of life and the uses or limits of excommunication. Seems I was wrong, judging by the viciousness of the My Way Or Highway contingent. I’m sad for the future of the Church in America. … Or maybe hopeful for a new one to be born out of this mess.

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posted March 26, 2009 at 10:27 pm

March 26, 2009 5:42 PM
Dear Gwyddion9 and jestrfyl,
What do you base your knowledge of the Cathoilc Church upon?
Having cousins who are devote Catholics. We discussed some of the same points that i raised. He, my cousin, said that to be a good Catholic, you are not to question your priest, church or the pope.
You can see the same thoughts here.

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Clare Krishan

posted March 26, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Gospel Catholic, ok lets talk instead about civil rights and AIG’s credit default swaps swamping us in systemic risk, shall we?

“When slavery was a common practice, much discussion raged as to whether or how much the master should be monetarily compensated for the loss of his slaves if slavery were to be abolished. This discussion was palpably absurd. For what do we do when we have apprehended a thief and recovered a stolen watch: do we compensate the thief for the loss of the watch, or do we punish him? Surely, the enslavement of a man’s very person and being is a far more heinous crime than the theft of his watch, and should be dealt with accordingly. As the English classical liberal Benjamin Pearson commented acidly: “the proposal had been made to compensate the slaveowners and he had thought it was the slaves who should have been compensated.”[1] And clearly, such compensation could only justly have come from the slaveholders themselves, and not from the ordinary taxpayers.”

citation: http://littlealexinwonderland.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/the-ethics-of-liberty-part-vi-slavery-and-theft/
So let the bankers bail each other out, if there’s nothing left in the kitty BINGO, bankruptcy court will sort out what remains of the fictional fractional reserves on the balance sheets (and whatever remains of our retirement savings (*) when the stockholders get wiped out)
Why should it be my concern to bail ‘em out?
Why does POTUS#44 want to misappropriate my property to reward the folks who helped pay to elect him?
Sorry I really do not get it – why is this agenda a good idea for encouraging men to stick around till their babies are born?
* maybe if we’d been into procreation instead of recreation we’d have someone to care about what happens to us when we’re pennyless. I fear the next stage of comfortable retirement, the assisted living facility isn’t on the cards since its another unfunded mandate. Its going to be assisted suicide or mercy killing for most of my generation, you watch my words…

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Clare Krishan

posted March 26, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Ron Paul got a bad rap, he was never given a hearing because, like me and many other Catholics here, he was anti-war. (Even Pres. Jimmy Carter has seen the light on the civil rights movement’s blinkered take on the Civil war – every other Western democracy got rid of slavery non-violently, why not the US? http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/025997.html) Perhaps the financial profiteers manipulated events to their favor? We are doomed to repeat history until we learn its lessons…

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posted March 27, 2009 at 12:32 am

I am a minister in a protestant denomination (check out my bio here on B’net). My experience comes from many years (almost 30) of working with RCC colleagues. Many of them have chaffed from the unduly tight reigns held by insecure bishops whose low self-esteem is compensated for by insisting they are right, without any regard for constructive criticism or well-considered opposing views. You can tell who really knows their “stuff” by how tightly they feel they have to control those who are supposed to be in their care. The truly aware bishops allow latitude and discussion. The ones who slept through some of their classes and know only how to succeed in hierarchical situations and administrative institutions insist on one way, their way, or no way.

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posted March 27, 2009 at 9:38 am

Bishop Thomas Olmsted is perhaps being too timid in his request. He has forgotten to chasten his own flock, the 91% of married Catholics who use birth control. Sad to say, but if used even once, their marriages are not open to life and are thus invalid, if used even once. If a fertilized embryo, pardon me, I mean a human fails to implant because of this, they are also in fact, automatically excommunicated.
We Catholic apostates here in America should look to the glorious example of the Catholic Philippines. Such is the respect for human life over there that the battle is not about abortion, but to rid the evil of birth control from the country. It is heartening to see the faith in action, on the slopes of smoking garbage in the Payatas trash dump near Manila. Thousands upon thousands of non-aborted children, picking through trash for rotten food. By omission, they will likely die before their fifth birthdays from disease and neglect, but at least they weren’t aborted and our consciences will be clear. It may look bad over there, but the job of the Church is to lead faithful souls to heaven, not to help anyone materially. We might as well send these children on to their reward quickly (we got them baptized after all), that is the Church’s only responsibility, don’t try to misquote anything out of the Second Vatican Council.

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Susan Peterson

posted March 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm

The only thing which makes a marriage invalid (with respect to the birth control issue) is if at the time of the marriage, either one of the couple has the intention of not having children at all. They could even have the intention of doing so by using natural family planning; it is the intention, at the time of the marriage, of willfully rendering the marriage unfruitful, which makes it invalid. That is why the couple are asked when they are being married, if they will accept children from God.
They are undoubtedly sinning if they use contraception, but it does not invalidate the marriage.
As for the issue of abortifacient contraception, and whether the automatic excommunication would attach to it, you would have to ask a canon lawyer, but my guess is that one would have to know that there was an embryo and then deliberately destroy it, for the excommunication to apply. That does not mean that the use of abortifacient contraception such as an IUD is not gravely sinful, perhaps more gravely sinful than the use of barrier contraceptives. The difference in gravity would only apply subjectively if the couple understood the way the IUD (and possibly some dosages of oral contraceptives) works, which one cannot presume. Doctors are quick to try to cover this up. They have redefined “conception” as the moment of implantation, and thus assure couples that the IUD prevents conception.
However, from reading his post to the end, it is clear that DML is not one who cares much for moral distinctions, or even for the truth. He is just looking for ways to abuse the Church. So I submit these distinctions to prevent the spread of misinformation to others who might care to have accurate information.
Susan Peterson

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Clare Krishan

posted March 27, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Latest South Park episode cuts to the quick:
(caution to religiously sensitive types – you may find the allegory as depicted deeply offensive to sacred shibboleths. Which ones? You decide!)

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Your Name

posted March 27, 2009 at 9:14 pm

If I could write as eloquently as Catholic hermit does,I would,but I can’t. I therefore agree with what he has said as he has a firm grasp on what the Catholic Church stands for. Too bad others on here don’t and don’t want to. Considering that this is a Catholic thread, why do some of these people read this or even care as they obviously don’t understand the true faith nor care to?

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Jimmy Mac

posted March 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Good for these bishops! I say, retreat, hell!
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. Circle the wagons. Run in circles, scream and shout.
That’s a GOOD Catholic way to further alienate members and non-members alike.
If you can’t persuade, then excoriate, excommunicate and genuflect, genuflect, genuflect.

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