Notre Dame solution: Rename the University!

And Bishop Thomas G. Doran of the Diocese of Rockford, Ill., has a couple of suggestions in the letter of protest he sent to Fr. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame. After expressing his outrage (old hat by now), Bishop Doran gets creative–or snarky, depending on your point of view:

“I would ask,” he writes, “that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese. Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, ‘The Fighting Irish College’ or ‘Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.’

Though promotion of the obscene is not foreign to you, I would point out that it is truly obscene for you to take such decisions as you have done in a university named for our Blessed Lady, whom the Second Vatican Council called the Mother of the Church.”


Bishop Doran has been known to wield a tart tongue and sharp pen, on occasion, but I’m not sure this is his best effort. Other candidates? Or has the Notre Dame-Obama issue has finally “jumped the shark”? Let us pray.

BTW, this comes via the Cardinal Newman Society, which should tell you something.  

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posted April 2, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Notre Dame has become a secular college.Bishop Doran is fighting for what is right within the Catholic Church.The Catholic Church has not ever changed her views on life, Notre Dame may have, but the Church does not. I applaud Bishop Doran for standing up for life.

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posted April 2, 2009 at 9:29 pm

This tart and insulting tone by bishops trying to outdo each other in their attempt to appeal to the reactionary wing of the Church sounds exceedingly un-Christian and is an embarrassment to our faith.
OK, I’ll wait while my Catholic brothers and sisters now unleash the same vitriol on me. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

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Gospel Catholic

posted April 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Maybe Bishop Doran and his pals should rename “their” faith. How about the Republican Catholic Church? They certainly come across as a bunch of sore-losing GOP water-bearers, especially since none of them apparently found it “obscene” when pro-choice Condi Rice spoke at Boston College. The childishness and hypocrisy of some of their rhetoric makes it hard to refer to them as “shepherds” without choking on the word. If they spoke with even the slightest hint of honest concern for living out the Gospel in all its breadth instead of plain ol’ red-blooded American wedge-issue political partisanship, one might take them seriously for half a second. Instead, they sound more ridiculous with every new spew. With leaders like these, who needs … ? Oh, never mind.

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Gerard Nadal

posted April 2, 2009 at 11:03 pm

No vitriol-HONEST! Most respectfully, is it not possible that these Bishops are motivated by deep abiding principles, and that their faith, their witness, their Apostolic Authority is genuinely besmirched by heaping our highest Catholic honors on the most pro-abortion President in US history?
Their palpable anger is proportionate to their deeply held convictions, as with those of us who share those convictions. Reactionary is properly reserved for those who have opinions rooted in nothing deeper than their own egos.
God Bless.

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posted April 2, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Phweeew! Thank God for this. I was beginning to really get mad about the general lack of FUROR this story has been generating, because I like nothing more than a little furor. THIS story is the lynchpin for the movement. This one’s it I know! I know that every true Catholic is furious about this and damn well not going to taking it anymore. Ever since Obama signed the FOCA on his first hour in office and began taking measures to cram his anti-God agenda down our thr…
Oh, he didn’t sign FOCA? Not even being considered? But Randall Ter…said…that…
Anyhoo, I’M furious at Notre Dame! This is it! FURIOUS! MORE SCANDALOUS FUROR PLEASE!

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Your Name

posted April 2, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Bishop should go back to HS with his childish suggestions..

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posted April 2, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Inasmuch as Pope Benedict called Obama to congratulate him on his election, maybe Bishop Doran should write a letter to him too and express his outrage at the Pope’s act which dishonored practicing Catholics in the United States. LOL

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posted April 3, 2009 at 9:18 am

The bishops act as though they are a bunch of crazy bloggers! At least they are drawing a big line in the sand this time it seems. In the end, all Catholic universities should impose a litmus test on abortion and make everyone sign pope Pious X’s anti-modernist pledge, etc for students and professors. Only Steubbenvile will be left standing by my estimations.
Once this battle is done, the Church will be very lean and very mean.

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posted April 3, 2009 at 10:45 am

Tim, we all call for charity. But does Notre Dame, the institution, not deserve to be called out for its outrageous effort to ingratiate itself – and not exalt fundamental Catholic teaching. The Obama has begun an all-out assault on the Church and her institutions and you want, what, a quiet tea party? I for one am delighted that bishops are being bishops.

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posted April 3, 2009 at 12:01 pm

“I for one am delighted that bishops are being bishops.”
Maybe they should police their own ranks of pedophiles. More people might pay attention to them.

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posted April 3, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I can’t believe it. We have a bi-racial man whose father was an African Muslim (Obama is Christian) as President and some of these bishops are going on like it is the end of Western Civilization. And now Notre Dame is supposed to change their name just because they are letting President Obama speak there. They should have opened their mouths and gone on like this over all those that molested kids. Oh that’s right, they were concerned about reputations.

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posted April 3, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I ask… is it so terrible that a religious institution in this country for once stands up for itself? Personally, I feel that if our dear President wishes to engage in all mater of public speaking engagements he should learn a little more diplomacy and a little less verbal flagilence. Perhaps it would be wise for all of our law makers to respect the views and beliefs of the majority instead of catering to the wishes of the minority.

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posted April 4, 2009 at 11:26 am

I have a response to Bishop Doran. Why don’t we change the name of the Catholic Church in this U.S. to read, The American Catholic Church of the Republican Party.

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ed gleason

posted April 4, 2009 at 12:53 pm

according to Salon 93% of ND seniors support Obama’s appearance.
14 bishops out of 300 are complaining.. that 5-7 % make a lot of noise,
The 10% of catholics who are right wing also are over represented on these blogs..They are losing so their pitch gets higher, keep on blogging to shut them up..write to the ‘usual suspects’ bishops and let them know how you feel about their partisan attacks’

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sparkie x

posted April 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm

I don’t think either the Democrats or the Republicans have a monopoly on what’s right and what’s wrong. I like the Democrats because they tend to look out for the best interests “of the people”-at least many of them do. But there are many of them that are “pro choice” and for “gay marriage” or at least taking that stand to get elected. Which means that while many Republicans would favor cutting back on services and programs that would help poor and middle class people, they seem to be the “pro-life” party. But there are a few pro-choice Republicans too.
I don’t consider myself a “one-issue” voter even though I’m very much against abortion and attend Mass every Sunday. I told the man I almost married, also a good Catholic, that we could use “another FDR” in the White House to turn the economy around.
And I believe Obama’s making some changes already that are helping the people. But I also feel that the lives of the most innocent-the unborn-need to be protected as well. I was aware of Obama’s stance on abortion even during the 2008 election but felt we needed the positive changes he promised us.
As far as the efforts for the unborn, people who are for the rights of the unborn as well as the middle class, poor, elderly, and minorities can take other actions beside just not voting for the pro-choice candidate or boycotting an event like Bishop D’Arcy’s doing this year at the Notre Dame commencement.
A person who truly wants to help the unborn and the born can run for office, picket and pray in front of the abortion clinic, or send empty red envelopes to President Obama.
And if anyone else wants to join Bishop D’Arcy in boycotting the commencement that might be a good idea. But I think speakers at a Catholic university should stand for what the church says in other areas, not just abortion and gay marriage.
If all Catholic universities were subjected to the “Litmus Test” Steubenville, as well as a new one, Ave Maria University, may very well be standing alone. In fact Ave Maria was founded recently because of the other post-secondary schools being less than Catholic in many ways. In fact, If I were a senior in high school preparing for college at this time, I’d definitely look into Ave Maria and Steubenville. I’ve gotten my associate’s and bachelor’s at Catholic colleges, but they weren’t Catholic enough.

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sparkie x

posted April 5, 2009 at 8:07 pm

I can understand wanting to change Notre Dame’s name to that of a non-catholic university, but I have a better idea. I have learned that the the saint whose name someone bears is that person’s patron saint. For example, if your name is Paul, you can consider the Paul who wrote many of the epistles in the New Testament as your patron Saint.
Likewise with “Notre Dame” standing for “Our Lady,” which is the Blessed Virgin Mary, that makes Mary the patron Saint of the University. I grew up near Notre Dame and found out its real name is “Notre Dame du Lac” which is French for “Our Lady of the Lake” Maybe we ought to pray to Mary under the name of “Our Lady of the Lake” for the university. Maybe “Our Lady of the Lake” medals need to be made and distributed.

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posted April 6, 2009 at 2:12 am

(The citations are for your verification. You may edit the format as you see fit).
Recently, Bishop Doran expressed “dismay and outrage” at the decision of Notre Dame President, Father John Jenkins, to invite President Obama to speak at this year’s commencement proceedings.
Bishop Doran takes issue with this decision because Mr. Obama’s views on abortion are contradictory to those espoused by the U.S. Council of Bishops. However, the U.S. Council of Bishops is also vehemently opposed to the death penalty and has called explicitly for banning execution in the United States.
It is fascinating that similar “dismay and outrage” was never voiced when President George W. Bush spoke at Notre Dame’s commencement in 2001, despite the fact that he approves of the death penalty, and denied clemency to many many inmates sentenced to die, including several mentally ill individuals.
There is but ONE major difference between President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. It is not how compatible their views are with the Catholic Church, but rather their ideology. It is clear that Bishop Doran has chosen to put his political ideology ahead of his proclaimed faith, and his outrage is at best, disingenuous, and at worst, utterly hypocritical.

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posted April 18, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I would like to know where the” fighting Irish of Notre Dame” are ?Stand up for where your go to school, and your Catholic faith!

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