As cited below, retired Archbishop John R. Quinn, who wrote in support of the Notre Dame invitation earlier in America magazine, has sent a personal note to President Obama in which he says wants “to offer a different voice from the often strident outcries over your forthcoming visit to Notre Dame University.” Quinn says he recognizes differences with the president, especially on abortion, but also notes the history-making breakthrough represented by the election of an African-American, and the example of his family life, which is so important to the Church. He concludes:
It strikes me that you have shown a measured, thoughtful approach to issues of public concern and your ability to listen to and weigh views different from your own is an asset to the discharge of your high responsibilities. This admirable quality inspires hope for further dialog on issues over which there are major differences.Mr. President, I address this letter to you not to deal with matters of policy or legislation, but simply to wish you great blessings and to assure you of my prayer that your service as President will bring lasting benefits to all Americans who, with you, cherish the ideal of “liberty and justice for all.”
In a phone interview on Thursday, I asked Quinn why he had written to the president – especially since at age 80, he so rarely speaks out these days: “No, I really don’t,” he said, “but I just thought there needed to be a positive note in this whole discourse.” [snip] The archbishop said he had not heard back from the president, and wasn’t waiting by the mailbox. “But I hope he feels some encouragement from what I said, and knows that some of us see some very positive features even though we retain some differences.”
“He respects people who differ, but he’s resolute in his decision because he did it based on conscience and what he really believes in,” says Notebaert, in a profile of Jenkins that should be required reading, esepcially by those ready to burn him in effigy–or real life.
Catholic World News also points out that Notebaert is a major Republican donor, having donated $67,800 to McCain Victory 2008 and $28,500 to the Republican National Committee, according to Federal Election Commission records.