Will Notre Dame Continue to Betray its Catholic Identity?

Indiana has shown that it values religious freedom. The University of Notre Dame has a moral obligation to embrace it.

On Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which says that government may not “substantially burden” religious exercise, except when using the “least restrictive means” of advancing a “compelling government interest.”

It’s similar to the federal law with the same name, which has been cited in a number of federal court cases involving religious freedom. The federal RFRA was central to last year’s Hobby Lobby ruling, in which the Supreme Court exempted certain private companies from the Obama administration’s requirement that employee health plans must cover sterilization and contraceptives, including some that cause early abortions.

Church leaders and attorneys also hope that RFRA will protect faith-based employers from any overreach resulting from laws redefining marriage, particularly attempts to require spousal benefits for same-sex couples even when it violates the employer’s deeply held beliefs. The results of RFRA claims in such cases are far from certain, but RFRA gives religious freedom a fighting chance.

There’s one catch: the federal RFRA applies to laws, regulations and actions of the federal government but not the states, where marriage is being redefined. So 19 states, now including Indiana, have passed state-level RFRA laws to place proper limits on the authority of state and local governments.

But last October, when a federal appeals court in Chicago struck down the state’s law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, there was no state RFRA protecting Indiana’s religious employers. The University of Notre Dame quickly offered spousal benefits to same-sex couples, insisting that it agrees with Catholic teaching in support of traditional marriage, but nevertheless claiming that it must comply with “relevant civil law.”

Of course, it was never quite clear what “relevant civil law” Notre Dame was referring to. As South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades pointed out in his public statement lamenting Notre Dame’s decision, there has been no clear indication that Indiana will force religious institutions to change their employee benefits in violation of their own beliefs.

What is clear, Bishop Rhoades suggested, is Notre Dame’s obligation as a leading Catholic institution to oppose laws that violate religious freedom—especially when that freedom “is threatened in potentially numerous ways by the legal redefinition of marriage.”

Cardinal Josef Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) said it clearly while doctrinal chief for the Vatican: “In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.”

But Notre Dame chose not to exercise that right. Five months later, Notre Dame has done nothing to assert its Catholic identity over an unjust law, whether real or perceived.

At least with regard to the Obama administration’s mandated insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, it can be said that Notre Dame has gone through the motions, filing a lawsuit that it continues to pursue in federal court—even as it undermines its own case by simultaneously complying with the mandate. But on marriage, the University has seemed delighted to expand its spousal benefits, touting its “respect for diversity” and support for “GLBTQ families.”

Justifiably, some Catholics have charged the university with willfully compromising its Catholic mission. Last month three Notre Dame professors—the law school’s Gerard Bradley and John Finnis, and political scientist Daniel Philpott—wrote a scathing critique at Public Discourse that found Notre Dame’s actions to be “morally indefensible.” William Dempsey, whose Sycamore Trust organizes fellow Notre Dame alumni to advocate stronger Catholic identity at “Our Lady’s University,” has lamented the “astonishingly quick surrender” of Notre Dame to advocates for same-sex marriage—and even accuses the University of “encouraging” couples to violate Catholic teaching.

No doubt leaders of Notre Dame would defend their intentions, and now is their opportunity to prove it. Because if they don’t now take cover under Indiana’s RFRA and cease providing benefits that would have horrified Notre Dame’s Catholic founders, then there’s no confusing the message that Notre Dame will send to its students, its employees and the American public: We deny Catholic teaching on marriage.

To be sure, that’s an attractive option for those who would like to preserve Notre Dame’s standing in American society. To be faithfully Catholic is counter-cultural and even self-damaging today—especially for a university that thrives on the popularity of its athletic team and merchandise sales. It would be a tough thing to not be liked.

Worse, standing for Catholic beliefs could incur charges of discrimination, even when that’s the last thing that Notre Dame would ever promote. In its student activities and faculty relations, Notre Dame has often pushed beyond the boundaries of Catholic morality to prove that it loves and respects all its members, regardless of sexuality. Far better it would be to do the rewarding work of a faithful Catholic university, teaching why the Catholic understanding of marriage is most compassionate to children, to spouses and to all mankind.

Notre Dame is a Catholic institution, and it’s about time that it shares in the hard struggles of the many faithful Catholics and other Christians whose faith and morality are, sadly, no longer fashionable in the United States. It could uphold marriage while truly displaying Christian love and charity to all our brothers and sisters, and yet it would incur the hatred of those who fail to understand. But in so doing, Notre Dame could do more to teach its students and a nation about things that matter than it does in many of its classroom activities.

Notre Dame needs to take the exemption that has been made possible by Indiana—not simply to opt out of laws that don’t respect Catholic values, but to opt in again to the Catholic community that it has too often neglected for the sake of public prestige.

Patrick J. Reilly

By

Patrick J. Reilly is founder and president of the Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization to advocate and support the renewal of genuine Catholic higher education.

  • Blaise Pascal

    Fathers Jenkins and Malloy have been disasters for Notre Dame. It is more important for them to be accepted by the Higher Education establishment than abide by Catholic Teaching.

  • Its “Catholic Identity” notwithstanding, doesn’t Notre Dame employ non-Catholics? I daresay there are even Atheists who teach there. And I suspect school administrators don’t feel it would be proper to coerce non-Catholic employees and students into abiding by official church doctrine.

    • lifeknight

      Many schools which proclaim they are Catholic employ and admit those persons who are not Catholic. Having said that, the mission of many schools is to be faithful to Catholic teachings. This does not exclude other people, but does make the education conform with the Magisterial teachings.

      However, your point is well-taken. Around 2000, Pope John Paul II asked that Catholic colleges require their faculty to swear to that idea of abiding by Catholic teaching. Notre Dame did NOT do so. There is a list of colleges who have complied to his request and those can be found at the website for the Cardinal Newman Society.

      I would not give one thin dime to any “Catholic” institution unless they are on that list.

    • JP

      Up until the late 1960s that was the case. When my own uncle went through Notre Dame during the mid to late 1950s, most of the professors and lecturers were Catholic priests.

    • Asmondius

      As far as I know, employees and students join Notre Dame voluntarily.

    • “Its “Catholic Identity” notwithstanding, doesn’t Notre Dame employ non-Catholics?”

      If they didn’t, people like you would be screaming discrimination.

      • “If they didn’t, people like you would be screaming discrimination.”

        That’s simply not true. I don’t care if a religious institution discriminates against anyone. Church schools do it all the time. Kids have been kicked out of parochial schools because their parents were Gay. It’s sad, but such schools are well within their rights to do so.

        HOWEVER: If a school receives public funding, they had better not act in a discriminatory fashion.

        • JP

          Are you making threats? Can a Catholic school be indicted for firing a Catholic teacher for adultery?

          • Mickey’O

            Short answer – yes.

        • Objectivetruth

          But one man choosing to commit sodomy with another man isn’t a protected class that falls under the civil laws protecting against discrimination.

          Sorry, Chuckie. You’re just a group of guys who like to do perverted acts with each other. Not a protected class of individuals.

          It’s Holy Week. Can you take your soft sell sewage elsewhere for seven days, Screwtape?

          • Screwtape. Heh.

            • Objectivetruth

              I’m sorry…..are you wormwood?

          • The idea that some people are in “protected classes” and others are left to fend for themselves, IS discrimination.

        • Actually Chuck that is true.

          HOWEVER: If a school receives public funding, they had better not act in a discriminatory fashion

          In other words, ones rights are not rights but mere grants from government.

          • Would you want your tax dollars going to organizations that discriminated against Christians?

            • Ruth Rocker

              That is already happening thanks to the current idiot-in-chief and his determination to destroy Christianity in general and the Catholic Church (especially in the US) in particular. If that wasn’t the case, there would never have been an issue about forcing unacceptable things like abortion onto religious believers!!

            • Objectivetruth

              What do you think Obamacare is?

            • They already do. So you admit homosexuality is a religion, fascinating.

            • Mickey’O

              They already are….

          • Annette Magjuka

            No, an institution can choose to take or forgo public funds. Take the funds=no discrimination.

    • Objectivetruth

      Cute Chuckie, cute.

      Keep up your evil attacks on Christ’s Church. Death comes to us all, good luck with your final judgement.

    • ForChristAlone

      “If a “Catholic Identity” is what’s most important, Notre Dame should simply accept only Catholic students and employees.” Excellent idea. But first we should start with Chancery Offices. I went to work for a diocese and found among those working there a Muslim. Nice lady but I thought to myself, “How does a Muslim advance the ministry of the bishop by working for his administration?” Answer: She doesn’t and cannot. But no one mentioned this to the bishop because he would not have been able to comprehend the conflict because he himself is unsure of his own ministerial obligations.

      Oh, wait until the General Judgment; it will be more entertaining than watching Notre Dame lose to Kentucky.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      The Catholic Church, throughout its history, has always agreed to teach non-Catholics and non-Christians. The only proviso has been that all must agree to learn the totality of Catholic thought, which includes orthodox theology of course, and not promote anything anti-Catholic when accepted as a part of the Catholic learning community. Most of us here realize that this excludes Notre Dame from being considered in any way a Catholic institution.

    • Guest

      But if the students or parents agree to attend a specific school then they are agreeing to what that school represents. I have had to listen to other parents from Pre-K to now High School complain about all the “Catholic” stuff taught in a Catholic School and how they think it is unfair that their children have to study Catholic Theology, all the Pope pictures, the Crucifixes and attend Mass. You always have the opportunity to attend elsewhere or work elsewhere. If they agree to work or attend school there then they have agreed to all that will entail.

      • THAT I don’t understand. Someone spends good money to put their kids in a Catholic school, and then later complains about the “Catholic stuff” that is taught there? That seems kinda silly to me.

        • Objectivetruth

          Two guys claiming to be “married” seems real silly to all of us, Chuck.

          And as I said before, for a guy that has such an incredible “gay” life, you suuuuuure do spend the vast majority of your day on Catholic websites!

          • Anyway, getting back to the topic of Catholic schools …. here in Charleston, West Virginia, Sacred Heart operates both Sacred Heart Grade School and Charleston Catholic High School. Well-heeled parents in this area pay good money to send their kids there, and the kids don’t have to be Catholic or even Christian to attend. The mission statement of the grade school is as follows:

            “In the context of a Christian community, Sacred Heart Grade School strives to help students fulfill the potential of their God given talents and abilities by guiding them to develop themselves spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally, aesthetically, and socially. Staff, students, and parents work together to develop a community of shared values based on the respect and concern for self and others while at the same time encouraging students to use their gifts and values to better the world in which they live.”

            Sounds like a great place for ANYONE to send their kids to.

            • Objectivetruth

              And being a Catholic school, I’m sure that when they teach about the sin in Genesis 19 it ain’t about lack of hospitality!

            • Guest

              These schools would not work for me! “community of shared values based on the respect and concern for self and others….” although laudable it is not defined as a Catholic School. There is a difference This is the problem in many Catholic Schools today; they want to fit in so badly they are willing to let go of what makes them Catholic. I would guess their Theology is also some watered down version of the Catechism that is almost unrecognizable. . Sad!!

        • Guest

          I agree. When I have asked it is because of the “education” and that “the school is safe!” They think that since they have spent good money the school should bend to their wants.

  • jacobhalo

    According to a study done by the late Father Greoschel, there are only about 20 Catholic colleges that are genuine Catholic colleges. Most are Catholic colleges in name only.

    • Jim in Pittsburgh

      Please share that list with us.

      • RooforLife

        The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College

        The Newman Guide
        recommends Catholic colleges and universities because of their
        commitment to a faithful Catholic education. All the institutions
        recommended in the Guide are unique, each with its own special charism, approach to education, and campus culture.

        For instance, some immerse students in every aspect of faithful Catholic
        life, while others, though faithful, serve a more diverse group of
        students. Some allow opposite-sex visitation in student bedrooms, while
        others do not. Some have a strong core curriculum, while some offer
        more electives and encourage specialization.

        One type of institution may not be better than the other. But one type
        is likely better for your unique needs. Parents and students should
        look closely at each college to decide if what it offers is what you
        need and are looking for. We pray that you successfully find the
        college that is the best fit for you! http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/TheNewmanGuide/RecommendedColleges.aspx

        • Jim in Pittsburgh

          Thank you.

          • RooforLife

            You’re welcome, God Bless!

        • GG

          Please be advised that although the faculty may be in line with Catholic teaching the student body may not. My daughter attended Mount St. Mary’s and met with many who do not hold to the Catholic faith. Her roommate was gay as well as some of her friends. She spent a good deal of time defending life and marriage. She has since tranfered to a Catholic school out west and has found a very Catholic culture.

          • WSquared

            Your daughter is still Catholic, all the likely because that experience forced her to defend her faith.

            The Catholic identity of a Catholic college is very important and crucial. But one isn’t really Catholic until one actively chooses to be. Your daughter chose to be. Good for her!

          • Rondre

            Exactly.

      • AugustineThomas

        Aquinas College
        Ave Maria University
        Belmont Abbey College
        Benedictine College
        The Catholic University of America
        DeSales University
        Franciscan University of Steubenville
        Holy Apostles College and Seminary
        John Paul the Great Catholic University
        Mount St. Mary’s University
        Northeast Catholic College
        St. Gregory’s University
        Thomas Aquinas College
        The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
        University of Dallas
        University of Mary
        University of St. Thomas
        Walsh University
        Wyoming Catholic College
        http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/TheNewmanGuide/RecommendedColleges.aspx

        • Jim in Pittsburgh

          Thank you very much. My son is a freshman at the University of Dallas. He says it’s very demanding, has a great campus culture, and serves the local community. Many of the students come from large families, and many were home schooled. Most sophomores do a semester in Rome. HE LOVES IT!

          • Tony

            I would add Christendom College, of course, and my own college, with all of its warts (and its considerable merits), Providence College.

            I’d also add a couple of colleges that are not Catholic in name at all but that are tremendously friendly to Catholics: Baylor University, Grove City College, Hillsdale College.

            • AugustineThomas

              That was my mistake. Christendom College is on the list.

            • Rondre

              Christendom, which along with Ave Maria and others on your list is charged with turning out the next generation of mindless Catholic lay-bots. Going to a so called “Catholic” college won’t make a person any more Catholic. That comes from the home.

          • AugustineThomas

            That’s really wonderful. I’ve heard great things about U of D, in regard to both faithfulness and academics.
            If I had it to do over again, I would have applied exclusively to schools from the list, including U of D.

            Best of luck to your son!
            God bless you!

          • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

            My nephew (and Godson) graduated from U. of Dallas. In my opinion, it is, overall, the best of the best.

            • Guest

              Mount Saint Mary’s and The University of Dallas are the two schools we are definitely looking at. Thank you for the comment about U of Dallas….this enforces my belief that we are on the right track.

          • A.J. Boyd

            Sounds alot like Notre Dame, to be honest…

        • Kristina

          Make sure you distinguish between University of. St. Thomas, minnisota and University of St. THOMAS, Houston. The Houston school is very faithful, I am an alum and my husband teaches there now. The Minissota school has some issues, I believe

  • Dick Prudlo

    Notre Dame is lost in a sea of apostasy of its own making.

    • BillinJax

      Yet another example of what happens when we chose to eat the forbidden fruit of political correctness. The whole concept of being in the world with Satan without becoming part of it has been lost in the sea of which you speak.

    • Artistree

      So why doesn’t the Church do something about it, unless the Church here in the US is apostate too ? Has the RC Church erased St. Paul’s instruction on Church discipline from sacred Scripture?

      • 1crappie2

        The dirty little secret is that many in the USCCB want it this way.

        • My former Bishop is the present BIshop of South Bend. A couple of years ago, in the interregnum that followed his Episcopal successor’s death, members of my parish invited him to attend a party that was held because Notre Dame’s football program was giving some indication of potential it hadn’t seen in years.

          In any case, he was the principal celebrant in that Mass and apparently aware of those of us who find Notre Dame (and the bizarre cult of its football program) to be an occasion of mourning, not celebration, spent considerable time in explaining his lack of actual authority over that institution.

          I found it wanting. The USSCB has no problem issuing letters on the economy and inchoate bugaboos like “marginalization”, but can’t seem to issue a pointed finger at the fraud in the inducement that accompanies every slick and glossy student brochure that goes into a Catholic home.

          Worse, they’ve found more Episcopal suckers.

          http://news.nd.edu/news/56752-notre-dame-and-latin-american-bishops-sign-memorandum-of-understanding/

        • me, myself & I r all here

          please name your dirty secret usccb list….

        • ThirstforTruth

          Well, the late Father Hesburgh certainly did! His Land of Lakes Conference was the starting point for all this apostasy in Catholic institutes of higher learning. In the name of “academic freedom” they chose Caesar’s money ( big government grants) over Truth. Let’s
          not blame the bishops alone for this mess but where it rightfully belongs. Although, I must add that Rembrent Weakland was a large
          presence at this conference. Check the history here.

      • Objectivetruth

        Notre Dame (and all Catholic colleges) are under the local bishop whose job it is to determine “Catholicity.” Any public denial of Catholic teaching should warrant a revocation by the bishop of the institutions Catholic designation.

        In other words, about 190 Catholic colleges in the United States need to receive the threatening letter from their bishop that unless they straighten up, crucifixes need to be taken off the walls. You are no longer a Catholic college.

        “I’d rather have fewer, devout Catholics in the world than many, lukewarm Catholics not living the faith.”

        Pope Benedict XVI

        • Artistree

          Great quote from Pope Benedict, but I think we all know that those 190 Catholic colleges will not receive a threatening letter. Which begs the question; if our bishops are not devout Catholics, are they even authentic Christians at all ? Will Christ spit out the lukewarm Christians because they are useless ?

          • Mickey’O

            “…if our bishops are not devout Catholics, are they even authentic Christians at all ?” Which is why I went with the SSPX! Those priests are hard core, Latin spewing, true Catholics. I discern between those who talk the talk and those who walk the walk. See: http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/1643-by-their-fruits-you-will-know-them

            • Artistree

              Thanks for the link Mickey’O. I read a different and much briefer article about this a couple days ago. Very interesting. God Bless you with all things Good and Beautiful, and Catholic : )

              • Mickey’O

                Te Deum Laudamus!

        • kellen2005

          Great B16 quote, but where did he say it? Sounds like an interview bit with Peter Seewald?

          • Objectivetruth

            My apologies! The quote is actually Pope Benedict responding to the priest sex abuse crisis. He said (paraphrase): ” I’d rather have fewer, holy priests than many unfaithful priests.” I’m not sure where he said it. Obviously though, one can substitute the word “Catholics” for “priests.”

            Sorry again.

        • ThirstforTruth

          Not quite true ( Notre Dame (and all Catholic colleges, are under the local bishop whose job it is to determine “Catholicity ) For example, in South Bend/Fort Wayne Diocese, where ND is located, the bishop does NOT have that jurisdiction you speak of but rather the Holy Cross Order has jurisdiction over the university. The bishop there can speak out and propose ( which several serving there during these difficult times have done) but they cannot impose any orders. If
          Notre Dame were to have the title of “Catholic” removed, it would have to come from Rome. The Vatican recently revoked any connection with the Church from a university somewhere in South America but do not recall its location/name. Why this is not happening here in this country? All I can think is that the wheels of justice turn very slowly and deliberately in Rome.

      • Mickey’O

        “…the Church here in the US is apostate too ?” Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

    • St JD George

      My eyes were first opened to this phenomena when I met a friend years ago who went to Gonzaga for his undergrad and then Notre Dame for his Master’s degree in engineering. He said he never once took a course on religion. I didn’t appreciate until that moment that the institution was just another collection of brick and mortar buildings whose only Catholicity was the heritage of it’s founding order. After that, the disgraceful display by Georgetown and Notre Dame allowing themselves to be used like a cheap prop has caused me to never think of them the same way again.

      • Annette Magjuka

        Notre Dame has a theology requirement for all undergraduate degrees

        • ArtND76

          Yes it does, but at least in the mid 70s that theology requirement could be met by studying a variety of non-Christian theologies such as Chinese Buddhism.

          As I recall, the department I dealt with as a student that was the least Christian was the Theology department, with a recently deceased department chair trying very hard to be so “forward thinking” as to dip into heresy occasionally. He had more than a little of the Gnostic attitude that he was more “sophisticated” – that he knew more than the Pope, to say nothing of his attitude to the local ordinary. There were then and are now theology professors there who more than comply with a mandatum, but I think they are still a merely “tolerated” minority of that department’s faculty.

          I found the most Christian department to be Physics! My second year there the Physics prof I had always started the class with an “Our Father” – but beyond that explained the concepts with an attitude and verbal comments of wonder about the universe God created. He was not a charismatic, but a very devout traditional Catholic. Sadly for us, he is no longer with us.

          • Annette Magjuka

            Are you talking about Fr. O’Brien? He was a leading theologian of our time.

            • ArtND76

              Yes, Fr. O’Brien, the “leading theologian” who published 3 editions of a book called “Catholicism” without an imprimatur – because when it was reviewed by the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices they issued a statement saying it was inaccurate or misleading on several major doctrinal issues and therefore would not grant an imprimatur.

              He also made direct use of other “leading theologians” as contributors to other works he edited – theologians such as Hans Kung, Richard McCormick and Charles E. Curran. All of these “leading theologians” are or were well known dissenters.

              In my opinion, he was a theologian that was more “leading” us to hell rather than heaven.

    • Jim in Pittsburgh

      Yes, but we must NOT give up the virtue of HOPE. The Franciscan University story is about a small, financially troubled Catholic college ready to close its doors. Then Fr. Michael Scanlon became president. That was about 35 years ago. He took a college ranked by Playboy as a great party school, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, transformed it into a real Catholic institution. Franciscan University is a story about a president who really believed in “hope and change.”

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        Careful, Jim, there is quite a bit of “self-promoting legend” in that story. The locals in Steubenville dispute the story and find it highly offensive, as do many who graduated “BS” (Before Scanlan). It’s one reason the relationship between “town” and “gown ” is so bad.

        • Jim in Pittsburgh

          I did not intend to give offense. Fr. Scanlon admitted some years later that he made some big mistakes. I know thrt basketball supporters were incensed, as well as others. However, unless “the self-promoting legend” is a lie, I think the story is one every Catholic should read. I was “in the dessert”, so to speak, when I read “let the Fire Fall” by Fr. Michael. I was stunned that such a counterrevolution was possible. I know anti-Charasmitics thought that it was a wild experiment that would fail. But it didn’t. Stubenville is no longer “that crazy charasmatic college”. It is solidly orthodox.

          • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

            The part of the story that is “legendary” (as in a lie fabricated out of whole cloth) is the part about the College of Steubenville being a “party school” rated highly by “Playboy Magazine.” Every faculty member I ever spoke with, who pre-dated the Scanlan era, said it was absolutely untrue. So do locals in the community. The college was in decline because of a declining local population, and the fact that the college had no particular appeal outside of the Ohio Valley. It was perhaps a modest city college, but it was neither a scandalous nor an un-catholic place. As for the “charismatic renewal” stuff… well, a response to that is topic enough for a book in its own right.

            • lifeknight

              My first one went to FUS and it was a tad too charismatic at that time (2000AD), however, the bishop required all to swear the oath (?madatam?) to the magisterial teachings. I sent another one there as well for Nursing. She came home still Catholic.

              I suppose one can find the party people wherever they go. My third FUS freshman did. We brought that one home after one semester. I have good feelings about that college in general. I just wish ALL the truly Catholic institutions were more affordable.

            • Jim in Pittsburgh

              Ok. You win this point. I did some fact checking and all I came up with was this:

              “On the other side of the coin is Franciscan Univ of Steubenville. Before the friars came – and before it was Catholic – Steubenville was listed in Playboy’s Party School directory in the 50’s.”
              Posted on Catholic Answers Forum, April 5, 2011.

              So, there is no evidence that it had an official designation from PB. In fact, PB did not start rating party schools until the late 80s. What you say about population loss, etc. is probably quite true. I’m from the “rust belt” too.

              I will not get into an argument with you about the school’s preScanlon orthodoxy. Nor will I engage in an argument about the charismatic renewal. As I stated, Fr. Scanlon admitted that he did some things poorly. But he also did a LOT of things right. Hence, the current very orthodox Franciscan University.

              For those of us who are dismayed by the state of Catholic higher education and are in a position to effect change, the question of the day should be, HOW DO WE RENEW CATHOLIC COLLEGES? Maybe we can look at the few remarkable success stories, like Stubenville, and find some good ideas.

              I’m tired of hearing and reading about complaints. Let’s share some solutions.

              • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                Jim, you’ll get no argument from me on this.

      • Interesting. My secular University was specifically excluded from PB’s list of top party schools because it wasn’t fair to compare professionals with amateurs. We used to wear shirts that said the institution was “a drinking school with a football problem”, They more or less continued on, with some changes as state laws and cort cases made underage drinking more problematic and perilous.
        Of course the other aspects of bacchanalia continued unabated until a former coach made national news.

    • Mickey’O

      Notre Dame stopped being Catholic the day after Vatican II. I would judge the faculty and student body as somewhere between Unitarian Universalist and outright Atheist. Why Bishop Rhodes doesn’t drop the hammer on this place speaks volumes….

      • Annette Magjuka

        Mickey, did you go to ND? I did, as did two of my children. What you say is just not factually accurate. And Vatican II is part of our Catholic faith. I somehow fell into this site where it seems a lot of bitter people post. Notre Dame is a world class academic institution where the students learn to live a Catholic life into their adulthood. The students are engaged and involved.

        • Mickey’O

          Annette, you must live on another planet. I’ll agree ND is a notable academic institution. But learn to live a Catholic life? BUWAHAHAHAHAHA! They learn that Catholicism is evil and only secular left wing politics will save them. How do you explain ND’s acceptance and promotion of contraception and abortion? Or embrace Emperor Obama’s visit by covering every cross and religious statue on the grounds by imperial edict? Talk about being ashamed of your religion!

          Here is commentary from a ND senior, circa 2013:

          http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/13969/

          • Annette Magjuka

            Wow. I do not understand any of what you just wrote. You sound a little unhinged and it is scary. I am sending you wishes for a blessed Easter season.

            • Annette Magjuka

              I read the article from the ND senior. It sounds as if he, like most of the posters on this site, is very conservative. And that is OK. Do you accept that Vatican II happened and is part of Catholicism now? It seems as if you are desperate to roll back any signs of Vatican II. There are extremely conservative Catholics, and there are progressive Catholics. We can live together in peace and love, as Christ commands. God bless.

  • ssuzanne

    “Catholic” universities are a huge disappointment. Even the coveted Newman’s List recommendation still isn’t a guarantee that the university is actually a good Catholic school that will be a good environment of Catholic learning community for your child. We learned this personally with our son, a good student who went to a school on the list and left after one semester because he couldn’t take living in an environment of pot smoking and hard drinking. We were shocked. Lesson learned.
    He now goes to a state U that is actually a dry campus to our surprise, and two years costs less than one semester at the Newman’s List “awesome school”.
    Never felt such a sense of disappointment and betrayal like that before. We had vetted so carefully and gone on campus visits, asked so many questions.

    • ForChristAlone

      Why not share the name of the school so that corrective action can be taken either on the part of the school or the Newman List? This would be useful information to all, don’t you think?

      • Asmondius

        Good poker play!

      • ssuzanne

        I emailed the Newman Society and let them know our experience.

        • ForChristAlone

          So why not name the school here?

          • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

            Because the school she is speaking of would aggressively sue her, that’s why. They are known to do that sort of thing.

            • ForChristAlone

              To say that “my son/ daughter attended this school and we were unhappy with the experience there and withdrew him/her because it did not match our expectations of a Catholic school”? I do not see the problem here.

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        Is the school really a secret? All Catholic educators know one which it is. Just Google “Student Reviews of…” and you will easily discover which one ssuzanne is talking about. I heard from a student on that campus that the Catholic students are actually afraid of the athlete population and avoid them at all costs.

    • Asmondius

      Sorry for your experience, but I would be hesitant to blame an entire institution, and more so an entire class of institutions, for the behavior of some individuals. Catholicism does not make people perfect, after all. I’m sure pot smokers and hard drinkers are in the pews each Sunday.
      .
      You make a good point about the money factor – Catholic institutions tend to be just as expensive as other private schools but with distinctively less financial aid. Notre Dame, I believe, is an exception in this regard. This is largely because Catholic education is really no longer considered a vocation or a goal by the American Church. When was the last time your parish took up a collection to help Catholic college students?

      • “Catholic institutions tend to be just as expensive as other private schools but with distinctively less financial aid. ”

        Good point. I eagerly await comments from our contingent of agoraphobes about the CINO institutions obsession with profit and mammon.

        Have at it, agoraphobes. Here it is justified.

        • Asmondius

          Now, to be fair, although state institutions generally have cheaper tuition (for residents) they are no less expensive regarding room, board, and fees and don’t provide as much financial aid as many of the better private institutions do. For an outstanding student, Yale may be less expensive than their flagship state university.

          • Colleges and universities have erected one of the most nefarious pricing schemes out there, an approximation of first degree or “perfect price discrimination”, or the ability to extract from each individual the price they are willing to pay.

            http://www.economicsonline.co.uk/Business_economics/Price_discrimination.html

            • Asmondius

              The college game requires the same amount of arcane knowledge as buying a house or buying a car – perhaps worse since the transaction continues for four years.

      • ssuzanne

        Pot smokers and hard drinkers are surely in the pews every Sunday. I don’t care about that.
        Am I paying thousands of dollars for my child to live in a closet sized space with them for months on end?
        No.
        I am not judging the people, I am judging the university who lied to my husband and I to our faces about what kind of things went on.

        We aren’t naive, but I didn’t expect a “premier Catholic school” highly rated on the Newman list whose tuition rivals an Ivy League Univerity to have freshman who were not even old enough to buy alcohol to be drinking almost every night and baked out of their minds, not to mention promiscuous sex ongoing. Kids drink. I am not stupid, but really?

        My son, whose old childhood friend is a drug addict and alcoholic, won’t touch that stuff with a ten foot pole. It really disgusted him. And he told us we were wasting our money sending him there. He want to learn, not babysit. Pretty mature for a 19 year old.

        • Asmondius

          So name the school, already. Since your comments are anonymous, you have nothing to fear.

      • ssuzanne

        Also, to answer your other question, our parish has two separate scholarships for college students.

        • Asmondius

          That’s great .

      • WSquared

        Catholicism is meant to make people holy– to make them saints.

        But they have to choose to let it.

        • Asmondius

          The Church can only provide the wisdom and support for one to become a saint – it cannot ‘make’ someone a saint. A large part of becoming a saint is recognized as the effort of the individual despite their human failings.

  • thomistica

    Cardinal Newman Society–as well as Sycamore Trust (which just published a new bulletin)–are to be commended for their excellent work in monitoring Notre Dame’s continuing departures from Catholicity.

    I am taking the liberty of re-posting something I posted to the one of the Sycamore Bulletins. It concerns the issue of ND’s compliance with the HHS mandate, which is of course related to the issue about same-sex marriage–ND’s stance on both represent significant departures from Church teaching, and cannot be treated separately.

    Like its stance on the issue of traditional marriage, the university’s compliance with the HHS mandate is a deeply problematic from Catholic teaching. In both cases, we are not of course talking about a specifically Catholic issue. But Notre Dame has forsaken its leadership role with respect to both issues.

    Unfortunately, many persons, even some pro-lifers, seem relatively unperturbed with Dame’s compliance with the HHS mandate to distribute abortifacients and seem satisfied with the status quo.

    While it might seem an obscure dispute in moral theology, in my view the university cannot stand behind material cooperation arguments to justify its compliance. And nor should any pro-lifers take such arguments at all seriously in this context. A lot of practical concerns are at stake here; these issues are not just arcane theological disputes.

    That line of argument assumes that one does not accede to, or intend, that compliance. That is, to plausibly invoke this line of argument, one must have prior, grave reservations about participating in the evil and regard the actions in question as intrinsically evil, to begin with.

    Those are framework presuppositions for plausibly invoking and standing behind material cooperation arguments.

    But Fr. Jenkins et al. have not definitively demonstrated in rhetoric and deed this unwillingness to comply. Perhaps it is an almost fanatical devotion to the Notre Dame mythos, as cultivated by Hesburgh, that leads many persons not to call for their removal from office. (Perhaps it is a variety of denial: how could the university, such an icon of American Catholicism, go so far astray?)

    At least one alternative to abiding by the HHS mandate was available for the university. Moreover, the university did not use its considerable prestige among Catholics, and corresponding political power, to thwart –at the very get-go–HHS by declaring publicly it would not comply. There was too much political capital at stake for HHS not to stand down. Also, there are no indications that ND’s current “lawsuit” against HHS is sincere and not mere window-dressing.

    All this is in line with the tepidity implied in Jenkins’s comment about “epistemic humility” with respect to moral wrongdoing. In sum, the administrative stance at ND is two-faced. The stance is consistent with a university that wants to leverage its historical Catholic identity to attract students, but wants acceptance amongst secular universities. (Why that felt need for ratification by the “big league” is a mystery; could it be that American Catholics still crave for acceptance? Surely ND has sufficient resources to create its own vibrant, countercultural presence in American culture.)

    The situation, in its moral status, is no different from one in which surgical abortion were currently funded by the university. But the Catholic tradition is very clear: to risk lives by using abortifacients is no different from intending the destruction of those lives, as in surgical abortion.

    To put the point bluntly: Jenkins and other administrators at ND now have blood on their hands. One more reductio ad absurdum of the university direction that Hesburgh set in motion.

    Questions arise: why have protests at the university have not materialized by pro-life activists over the HHS mandate compliance?

    If HHS mandate were to mandate surgical abortions, would ND object? Apparently not.

    More generally, there is now a strange quiet across the land with respect to compliance with the HHS mandate by (historically) Catholic universities that take ND as a role model. Just how many other of these universities have adopted ND’s lead in complying with the mandate?

    • WSquared

      Did you ever see the YouTube video of Fr. Bill Miscamble and those Notre Dame students who chose not to attend the commencement exercises when Mr. Obama spoke? It’s well worth the watch.

  • NH-Skeptic

    The short answer: Absolutely, and with all the speed and enthusiasm it can exhibit. ND has long since abandoned any pretense of supporting/defending/adhering to Catholic/Christian principles.

  • GaudeteMan

    Does anybody really think of Catholicism when they hear the name Notre Dame?

    • GG

      Of course not. Mention Notre Dame and football is what people think of, exclusively.

      • My favorite part is when some idiot wearing a leprechaun jacket speaks of how “we” did in the most recent game or season.

        • GG

          Oh yea, where our treasure is…

    • Jim in Pittsburgh

      For those of us who are informed, the answer is NO. For the rest, CINOs, and non Catholics, they consider ND as our “flag ship”.

  • 1crappie2

    Notre Dame is like an undocumented alien Catholic education.

  • St JD George

    With all the strife in the world today which can give us pause to doubt and anxiety, I just wanted to wish everyone a blessed Holy Week as we prepare to celebrate our Lord’s passion this coming Easter, and pray that we may be nurtured with renewed strength and vigor to tackle the challenges which lie before us.

  • orientstar

    I am sorry but it is obvious to everyone that Notre Dame is not a “Catholic” University neither does it wish to be. Direct your money and your students elsewhere and let’s just stop talking about Notre Dame – it’s just like one of those titular bishoprics they used to exist but now they don’t.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    Notre Dame is about as “catholic” as the Sorbonne. The real problem is not their apostasy. There is nothing scandalous there, because no educated Catholic thinks of the place as Catholic. The real scandal is the refusal of the Bishop of South Bend to make it plain to the ordinary faithful that ND is no longer Catholic.

    • Guest

      Absolutely!! When my son came home from High School last Spring with ND in his top three choices, it was removed immediately along with the two other Catholic in Name only schools! It only took a minute to explain it to him and then he was done with them as well. He has been in Catholic School his entire life and I have no desire to have all that he has been taught and how he was raised (and still is by the way) to have his eternal life put in jeopardy by this craziness. We went straight to the Cardinal Newman List and found two acceptable schools for now. We still have some time to find more, but Notre Dame is not ever going to be one of them!

      • eallen

        Good for you and your son!

      • guest

        I understand, but please know there are many brilliant, wonderful, faithful, Catholic Professors and staff at ND. It’s just hard to hear their voices above the non-faithful BS that the media then amplifies from all the others.

        • MHB

          It would help if these faithful Catholic professors formed a unified group to protest the anti-Catholic decisions that are made at Notre Dame. The school has a bad “reputation” now as these scandalous matters have become publicized.

          • guest

            MHB, thank you for your reply. They are truly many faithful professors and staff in most departments and colleges at ND. Even when they (well the professors anyhow, staff cannot as they are not at all protected)–when they do speak out, it gets little to no play in the media, so the likes of you and I hearing about it are nil.

            The faithful that have remained at ND despite ridicule and sometimes persecution by their colleagues and certainly by most of their superiors need our prayers–they are all that remains at ND that respect and defend Our Lady and her University’s true mission.

            I do not hold out much hope that five more years of this administration will not effectively render ND just another secular-lefty private school, and i personally think if, God Forbid, that should happen, it would only be another five years after that when the whole thing collapses, as who would want to spend 50k a year to go to a private university in such an ugly, bitter cold, part of the country?

            Point I am trying to make is the deep faith and genuine love of Our Lady’s University by these admirable people that stay is so great, that adding our prayers to their deep commitment to see Catholicity reign once again at ND is the least we can do and I hope you will join me in doing so.

            • Will

              Sorry that you think this is an ugly, bitter cold part of the country. I hope your child gets input on where he wants to go to college.

              • EverTheGreen

                Of course they don’t, Will. Fascists are fascist at home first. That kid will be told where they’re going to college, and if they don’t like it they can pay for it themselves. That’s how fascists work.

                • Amatorem Veritatis

                  Fascism is a left wing, socialist pathology. You were evidently looking in the mirror when you typed your self indictment. You progressives are such intellectual adolescents.

                • guest

                  Wtf are you talking about? My kids are long out of college.
                  And fwiw, they chose.

              • guest

                Thank you for a polite reply. They are long out of college.
                (I lived there and it is ugly and cold in the winter.) Was only trying to make the point that it is far an ideal climate, and that just in general, if they were to become essentially secular, who would want to spend that much/incur loans when you could go to school near a beach?

            • EverTheGreen

              Do these “faithful professors” preach the free market and give the rich a pass? If so, they are not “faithful,” at least not to any form of Christianity. Remember Jesus’ words and actions.

        • lindsey

          This is true – it’s still a place to fight for, not give up on.

      • Jerryb53

        Good for you Tim. More Catholic parents should have the moral courage you displayed regarding your son’s choice of Colleges. I for one stopped thinking ND was a Catholic College when they allowed Obama to speak at the College and then covered up the Statues of Jesus and the Saints. Despicable.

        • EverTheGreen

          I lost my faith in ND when GW Bush was allowed to speak there.

          • Jerryb53

            I agree. As a Catholic University no Politicians should be allowed to speak there.

            • Annette Magjuka

              Notre Dame should welcome any US President because ND is a world class academic institution.

              • Jerryb53

                Wrong. As a Catholic Religious University Politics should be left out of Academia.

          • J_Bob

            But it was OK for Barack Obama?

        • Steve Newton, CSC

          This never happened. Pure false rumor, and calumnious when spread!

          • Jerryb53

            What never happened that Obama spoke at ND?

            • Steve Newton, CSC

              No, this: “and then covered up the Statues of Jesus and the Saints. Despicable.”

              • Jerryb53

                I saw them covered up. What’s despicable is allowing a President who favors late term abortions to speak at a so called Catholic University. THAT’S what’s despicable.

    • MHB

      This is the case in many states where there are “so called” Catholic colleges. I don’t know why the Bishops don’t strip them of their Catholic name.
      Our children were very fortunate to attend a State college where FOCUS missionaries were doing campus ministry. They pretty much saved our daughter from leaving the Church and they were very effective in modeling and teaching authentic Catholic faith.

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        There are some excellent Newman Centers at state universities. I rediscovered the Faith while at a very secular and dissipated state university, where the priest at the Newman Center was as orthodox as he knew how to be, and there were many exemplary Catholics. Surrounded by this island of tranquility, all the insanity of the rest of the institution had no impact on me whatsoever.

        • WSquared

          I asked a former student how he stayed Catholic in college, particularly on a secular campus, and he also said that he stuck close to the Newman Center.

  • FrankW

    Notre Dame has been on this track for years. Their administration and the majority of their faculty seem far more interested in pleasing popular culture and getting positive feedback from secular media outlets than they are in upholding the Catholic faith. I would not pay one dime to send any of my children there, and would not approve of them going even if they received a full scholarship.

    We saw the Notre Dame administration and faculty almost drooling on themselves back in 2009 when they foolishly invited Barack Obama to speak, and awarded him an honorary degree. They did this despite the fact that Obama was in the process of constructing an administration and health care law that would be designed to undermine any truly Catholic institute’s ability to do business according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. They did this despite the fact that, even at that time, Obama was already the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history, once have even refused to support an infant’s born alive act, that would have required medical staff to save the life of a child that survived an attempted abortion. Yet there was Father Jenkins willingly stepping into the role of useful idiot for the Obama administration. For what purpose?

    The only logical answer is that Notre Dame, as in institution, is far more interested in being known as an American University than a Catholic University. They have proven they do not have the courage to stand by the Catholic faith.

  • Blaise Pascal

    Bishop Rhoades has the power to confront Notre Dame but doesn’t seem to have the will or conviction to take action. At some point we need bishops that have to check out their manhood. Cardinal Burke has passed the test.

  • GreggorytheGreat

    Notre Dame is no longer Catholic it wants the glamour of the world like Yale and the other Ivy league universities but we see this with all the Catholic Universities. Notre Dame are run by Homosexual Priests that pose as Heterosexual Priests pushing a Homosexual agendas and have a relationship with the militant homosexual group LGBT which in itself is sinful. This has to stop and Notre Dame needs a serious house cleaning equivalent to Jesus turning over the tables in the Temple perhaps this will have to be by Divine Intervention because we Catholics can’t seem to do nothing about this ABOMINATION!

    • Annette Magjuka

      This comment is crazy.

      • GreggorytheGreat

        Annette you like LGBT so called Mass. That’s not Catholic. LGBT glorifies Sodomy which is accepted by Notre Dame. It is an abomination to our Lord and the Catholic Church ! Pull the blind fold from your eyes smell the Sodomy in Notre Dame !

  • Peter Smith

    Jesus was counter-cultural and he did not choose whom he served, so Mr Patrick Reilly, your views are sadly not representative of what Jesus’ stance would be in such circumstances. According to your view, when Jesus was working as a carpenter, he would have had the mentality to turn away leppers or prostitutes. Not so according to the NT.

    • drk

      So, he would have built a brothel?

      • Peter Smith

        No. A brothel facilitates an explicitly immoral practice, but a carpenter’s bed is for sleeping in. If used for other purposes, that’s for the user to determine, not the carpenter or Mike Pence to determine.

        • Kevin McCormick

          So should Catholics be denied the right to refuse service when being asked to work an event which directly violates God’s law as understood by the Church?

          • Peter Smith

            Provide some examples please

            • Kevin McCormick

              Should a photographer, musician or wedding coordinator have the right to refuse to participate in a same-sex ceremony based on religious belief?

              • Peter Smith

                In such cases the photographer can simply say they have another commitment so won’t be available- no one can be charged with discrimination for not being available, therefore no RFRA is needed. They are not forced to take the job and don’t need a law to protect their choice

                • Kevin McCormick

                  Does the photographer have the right to say that his Catholic faith would be in direct conflict with participating in such a ceremony and therefore he must decline? If not, then it all comes down to a word game. That leaves open the possibility (really the probability) of a lawsuit. In a court of law, the photographer would have to spell out his reasons for stating “another commitment.” However you slice it, it’s a grave violation of the first amendment. If the federal government won’t protect religious freedom, then the states are perfectly within their rights (and smart) to do so.

                  • Peter Smith

                    Your comments here are thought provoking and I’m not if a decided opinion abt that. However, to me it is equally troubling that in the USA there would often be a knee jerk law suit, in the run up to a marriage- of any kind, instead of the rational and sensible alternative of hiring a different photographer so that the catholic who declined on principle, is not under threat. That to me, is just as troubling and even puerile behavior, to litigate. When in doubt, litigate. That’s absurd, as if there is only one decent photographer in town

                    • GG

                      It is not about litigation. It is about tyranny. It is about oppression. It is about inversion.

                    • Peter Smith

                      Could you elaborate please?

                    • InHisGlory

                      Unfortunately, there are examples of just what you mentioned in one of your posts, “A wedding photographer is not forced to photograph a same sex marriage”. Although this particular photography studio (link to story below) may not be owned/operated by Catholic Christians, they do say they are Christian. Another link is included to a story of how a couple stopped renting their farm for weddings as they were forced to pay a fine for refusing to host a same sex “marriage”.

                      I also take exception to your comment to simply say “they have another commitment”. If there is no other commitment, that person(s) is now sinning against the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

                      http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/court-holds-that-wedding-photographer-cann...

                      http://www.religionnews.com/2014/…/farm-owners-fined-saying-lesbian-wedding

                    • Peter Smith

                      Thoughtful response. I’m from Australia and I’m not sure if the same litigious mindset exists. Maybe it does now. I am still reeling in my effort to digest the fact that folks would choose to sue a business for denying service, instead of getting another recommendation. I do feel people of any stripe should be able to decline a service in many industries. ex. Not taking on a new student to tutor if you don’t feel like it, (even if you have a space), without having to commit a sin in the process or breach a law. That seems absurd in a society that thrives on business competition. There are dozens of tutors vying for business, and thousands of wedding providers. Law to counter law to counter law…reminiscent of the pharisaical traditions Jesus spurned for straining an a gnat while swallowing a camel

                    • Kevin McCormick

                      Yes, you are right. It has reached the ridiculous, but unfortunately these cases have already happened in New Mexico, Oregon and elsewhere and the defendants have lost their cases (one even being passed over by the US Supreme Court. Hence the recourse to the legal protections offered in the individual states.

    • Scott W.

      There is nothing counter-cultural at all about most ostensibly Catholic colleges. The have capitulated utterly to the prevailing culture of Political Correctness which masquerades as neutral secularism but is really an ersatz religion that enshrines meglomania and erotomania.

      • Peter Smith

        I’m in agreement with this. My point was to challenge the article’s use of the term counter- cultural to legitimize the freedom of religion recovery act, which, in my view, is in no way aligned with Biblical theology

        • Scott W.

          I’m not sure IvI understand your point. I see the RFRA as merely a tool rather than embracing a theology. Much like St. Paul when he used his Roman citzenship to dodge punishment from uppity locals. It was hardly an endorsement of Pilate’s actions.

          • Peter Smith

            If the RFRA can be used, as it appears it can, to deny service to customers on the basis of lifestyle or beliefs, this is discriminatory legislation. It’s stated intention according to Gov Pence is to provide additional protection for religious liberty, yet by condoning discriminatory practices-,which in my mind is theological

            • GG

              Discrimination may be just or unjust. Some forms of discrimination are good and should be done. To force another to illicitly cooperate with evil is gravely unjust.

              • Peter Smith

                I completely agree that using the word discriminating to mean exercising wise judgment is good. That’s hardly what discrimination refers to in the debate about treatment of minorities. A wedding photographer is not forced to photograph a same sex marriage. It is a choice. Therefore the RFRA is redundant and unnecessary. Religious freedom is already sufficiently protected under the U.S. constitution. Give me an example where the absence of this new law forces a person to illicitly cooperate with evil?

                • GG

                  People are forced to participate in a fake wedding or face huge fines that can put them out of business. Such cooperation is gravely unjust. Just discrimination is now illegal in many places.

                  • Peter Smith

                    You are suggesting if a wedding service provider says they are not available they can and will be fined through the courts. Of course this is gravely unjust. I agree. But the situation is insanity that it exists in the first place. The answer surely is not more laws. We have an endless cycle of law counteracting laws which counteract other laws , so the USA has the embarrassing reputation internationally for being one of the most litigious countries on earth and the attorneys get richer.

                    • GG

                      The answer is to repeal unjust laws, but that is not happening. In the absence of that all we have is more laws to counteract insanity.

            • Mickey’O

              So who has the greater claim on rights? The gays or the religious? This is an “either/or”, not “and” situation.
              Right now, the cult of universal “non-discrimination” discriminates against certain religious business owners. Just like in the Soviet Union, you can pray in the closet. Shuck your religious beliefs at the church door, or to the gulag you go.
              As I have mentioned elsewhere, the US is on the verge of another religious pogrom. (last one was mid-19th Century) This time, it’s faithful Christians and Catholics on the receiving end of the public’s intolerance.

              • Peter Smith

                Religious freedom is protected under the constitution. Gayness is not. I don’t experience the world here in the US the way your last post describes- faith can be carried into all walks of life, but I don’t consider rejecting service to others to be an expression of faith since Jesus dwelt upon all stripes of people without taking up lifestyles or embracing attitudes contradictory to his Father. Sadly many folks are intolerant of believers as we get misconstrued as unthinking judgmental and inhumane. Yet we have the freedom in the US to prove otherwise by how we live. My faith is lived in the world and not confined to behind church doors

                • Mickey’O

                  Peter (ironic), Jesus walked among us and REBUKED the sinners. He did not just pat people on the head, give them a thumbs up, and keep on truckin’. Jesus saved the prostitute from death by stoning to show His mercy, but Jesus also told her directly, “Go, AND SIN NO MORE.” Part and parcel of the Great Commission is to try and do as Jesus did and instruct, correct, and if necessary, rebuke the sinners. That includes active homosexuals. And not just on Sunday morning within the four walls of the church, but every day and every where. Even at work.
                  One other thing, the Constitution is irrelevant today. The law is whatever the judges say it is. The judges say you can pray within the four walls of your house of worship or your closet at home, but that’s it. Public displays of religion will no longer be tolerated. All businesses now have “No religion” clauses in their employee handbooks, backed by the courts. And, yes, Gayness is now a protected class.

          • Peter Smith

            I’m not sure the analogy holds. If Paul is being compared to Christian businesses, he appealed to his citizenship to avoid some persecution or imprisonment to have liberty to preach the gospel- I feel service denial is antithetical to the gospel

            • Scott W.

              Not if giving service constitutes formal or proximate material cooperation with evil.

              • Peter Smith

                Is Jesus washing a prostitute’s feet proximate material cooperation with evil? What are 5 examples of that which you speak? So far folks are citing a florist selling flower arrangements for a same sex marriage- a wedding photographer: note both are abt same sex marriage. What other topics might some folks think exist that justifies the need for RFRA?

                • Scott W.

                  Please cite the passage where Our Lord washes a prostitutes’ feet.

                  • Peter Smith

                    No passage cites Jesus washing a prostitute’s feet. However, given the preponderance of NT evidence underlining the incarnational quality of Jesus’ love through both words and action, and his call to Pharisees that it’s the sick who need a doctor, not the (self) righteous, and his call to disciples to be feet washers, this is a literal and a symbolic definition of the nature of love that cuts through into the lives of those who do not know or love the gospel- in my view Jesus probably washed the feet of many folks that in first century terms would be dinners or outcasts, and that in that very context, he found a forum to find them receptive to the power of Gods love- the command such as “woman, go and sin no more ” is given within a context of protection and advocacy for her,not as a sinner,but as a fellow human being

                • TerryC

                  I think you’re reading of Scripture is rather misinformed. One Jesus never washed any prostitutes feet. He washed the feet of the Apostles, the future bishops of the Church. Rather a prostitute washed Christ’s feet. After which he forgave her sins and told her to go and sin no more.
                  Never once did Jesus say to a person, “I validate your right to sin, go and keep sinning.” His words were always of forgiveness, but that forgiveness was dependent on repentance, and his command to “go and sin no more.”
                  As for the purpose of RFRA I can think of a number of needs. For one hospitals attempting to force surgical nurses to assists with elective abortions. Churches being forced to cover contraception for their employees. Christian business owners being required to cover abortion and contraception for their employees. Christian Clubs being required to allow non-Christians to join and even stand for leadership positions. There are no limits to the actions of government in the violation of Religious conscience.

                  • Peter Smith

                    I am in agreement that Jesus never confirmed a person’s sins. It is true there is no passage citing Jesus washing a prostitute’s feet, rather Jesus permitting a prostitute to wash his- not merely a marker of his Lordship, but more his permission counter-punching 1st century pharisaical views of uncleanness. Could Jesus’ permission have been taken by the woman as condoning prostitution? No. Not merely because of his instruction to go and sin no more, but in the first instance, because he CONNECTED with the woman, he allowed her to enter his world. She would not have been receptive to his words of forgiveness nor his instruction to sin no more, had he not allowed her to enter his world- foot washing being an intimate task of service in first century world. Jesus’ washing the disciples feet was both a literal and a symbolic action. The symbolism speaks to the very nature of Christian service, which is sleeves rolled up and entering into the real lives of others, regardless of their lifestyle, yet without embracing attitudes or actions that compromise the Lord. The incarnational nature of Gods love in Jesus demands He entered into the real world of people and he did not simply preach from a hilltop and move on his way.
                    I agree with you that Christian organizations should not be under threat of legal persecution for refusing service. That is puerile, but in my view, its equally puerile to have a RRFA, which in time, will put us all on a litigious merry-go-round no one can get off

                    • Peter Smith

                      Jesus would build a bed for a prostitute in his carpentry shop, but not a brothel. A bed is for sleeping in, and its use is determined by the user. A brothel is for an immoral practice. The RFRA in Indiana permits the ‘prostitute’ being refused not only a brothel, but also a bed. This is one of the problems with such legislation.

              • Peter Smith

                I am in agreement Jesus never confirmed a person’s sins. I also believe a society should permit individuals or organizations to decline service based on religious or other convictions, without fear of reprisal, yet without the need for further legislation that can cut both ways. It is ludicrous to me that the US needs laws to prevent people suing others for such denials. Why sue when you can walk down the street to find another vendor that provides good service? The current climate breeds paranoia instead of common sense. Having said this, I think we have a different view about what exactly constitutes cooperation with evil. We all have shadows and to stigmatize some folks for select actions or lifestyles seems to me gross self-righteousness. The light finds its power in the midst of darkness, not apart from it. Human beings engaged in deceit, greed, abuse and so on, are still human beings and still can and do love their children, work hard, visit their grandmothers and so on. Is the grandmother promoting evil by permitting her drug addicted grandson to visit her and take her to lunch or drive her to visit her sister in hospital?

    • ForChristAlone

      Patrick Reilly’s views DO reflect what Jesus’ stance would be in such circumstances.

  • BXVI

    Of course they won’t. Why are we even asking this question? Is it meant to be rhetorical?

    This ship sailed in the 1960s at the Land O Lakes conference where Catholic universtities in the United States declared their independence from the Church in the name of “academic freedom.” Pope St. John Paul II’s attempt to guide Catholic universities back toward their true mission in ex corde ecclesiae has been resisted tooth and nail. This problem will only get worse, not better, in the future. Notre Dame is not yet Georgetown, but the fact that it eventually will be another Georgetown is inevitable without a radical departure from its current course. This is the inevitable result of Land O Lakes just like modern Anglicanism, which bears no resemblance to Christianity except in some external trappings, was the inevitable end-result of the “Reformation.”

  • Myshkin

    The failure of the Bishops publicly to excommunicate heretics and apostates who persist in manifestly grave sin is itself a scandal and calls into serious question, in my mind, the legitimacy of the Church itself. That is why it is called a scandal. How do people who are thinking of becoming Catholic view the situation? How can they view it as anything other than that the Catholic Church does not believe in practice what it preaches? Why be Catholic? Notre Dame gives no answer, and the Bishops who refuse, through inaction, to do anything at all about the situation — such as public anathemas and excommunications — by their inaction have committed, likely, grave sins of omission as well. That anyone should be Catholic at all is open to question by an ongoing scandal. This scandal involving Notre Dame is but one example among thousands in America alone that prove that the gates of hell have prevailed and that therefore the Catholic Church cannot be the Church founded by Jesus, and cannot be legitimate.

    • Scott W.

      All cards on the table please. Are you now or ever been a Catholic?

      • Myshkin

        I have edited my comment so as to be less inflammatory. My hyperbole is meant to make a point: That the Catholic Church cannot attract converts like this — i.e., ongoing UNCORRECTED scandal! Critics of the Church – especially Protestants — rightly question the legitimacy of the Church’s claim to have prevailed over the gates of hell when in far too many instances the reverse has occurred. I am not talking here about institutions per se, but about the real, on-the-ground, day-to-day lives of individuals. In the lives of INDIVIDUALS who are harmed by the Church’s UNCORRECTED scandals, the gates of hell HAVE in fact prevailed. It is precious little comfort – indeed, none – that the Church as an INSTITUTION should somehow survive, century upon century, leaving in her wake millions and millions of scandalized Catholics whose faith is shaken or lost — and WOE! to those who scandalize the little ones!
        P.S.: Yes, I am Catholic, there is no other Faith that matters. Too bad so many of our Bishops seem to subscribe to indifferentism and relativism.

        • I have encountered this as well, and I’ve noticed over the years, the objections are less about the Borgia Popes or other centuries old scandals, but how things are now.

  • me, myself & I r all here

    sadly, it appears that, following the American Irish example of the Biden’s, etc, this school might be more concerned about their basketball “identity” than their Catholic “identity”

  • St JD George

    I can’t say I’ve heard of Barry University (Catholic) in FL, but this perversely amusing full throttle acceptance of all diversity was an eye opener (on Drudge today). Any Barry alum out there?
    The school’s mission statement says ‘all members of our community’ must ‘accept social responsibility to foster peace and nonviolence.’ … I wonder how they reconcile with their conscience, assuming they have one.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3017455/Barry-University-officials-approve-club-raising-money-ISIS-video.html

  • B. F.

    I say this with a heavy heart. The university name should be changed to Notre Shame. Because it is shameful. It’s blasphemous to carry the name of Our Blessed Mother and fly in the face of the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus Christ.

    • Myshkin

      I am sure that all of us wish, like Sergeant Schultz, that we could “see nothing!! Nothing!!”

  • cestusdei

    ND will continue to move away from the Catholic Church. In our lifetime it will probably become official.

    Indiana did the right thing and I hope others follow.

  • eddie too

    compassion to the mentally ill is a good thing. charity toward the mentally ill is a good thing. affirming the mentally ill in their delusions is neither compassionate nor charitable.

  • eddie too

    maybe I was a bit cavalier in labeling those suffering from same-sex attraction as mentally ill? if so, let me phrase what I meant this way. compassion to those enslaved to vice is a good thing. charity to those enslaved to vice is a good thing. affirming the enslavement to vice is neither compassionate nor charitable.

    • Ruth Rocker

      I think you got it right the first time. Anyone who is entrenched in any kind of sin and not only not calling it sin but promoting it as virtue has mental issues!!

  • Myshkin

    There is de facto schism. And many American Bishops & priests are complicit. The German Bishops threatening open rupture over communion for those re-“married” are only more openly honest about it. Watch for more to follow their lead.

  • Ruth Rocker

    It seems simple. If the University doesn’t change its policies, then the Pope should rescind its “Catholic” identity. If they want to be part of the popular (and idiotic) culture around them, then they should not be allowed to be called Catholic thereby confusing both Catholics and others. And shame on them in any case!!

  • Peatbogjeff

    It is just the same story with the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota…two once Catholic institutions that are going down the drain, with weak leadership allowing the dark storm of secularism and sin to destroy their Catholic ethos.

  • vivi

    Wyoming Catholic College is an authentically Catholic school. They do not accept federal funds for student loans and provide loans to students which are comparable or better than what the government gives out. Check them out. They are in the lovely little town of Lander Wyoming and served by a vibrant Catholic church culture.

  • Jacqueleen

    It was down hill for Notre Dame ever since Holy Cross turned over the University to the Trustees. Just take one look at the list of names on the Board of Trustees list and you will understand that this is no longer a Catholic University but rather very, very secular.
    Alumni should stop donating and contributing to the demise of what used to be an A-1, American, Catholic, highly respected University. Now, it is just one of many Universities in America. I often wonder what Father John Jenkins does there…his title is president but with little or no Catholic influence at all!

  • bdlaacmm

    It’s long past time to disassociate the Catholic Church from any and all institutions that refuse to “be” Catholic. Cast them adrift, and let them fend for themselves. Start brand new universities untainted by the failures of Today’s allegedly Catholic institutions. Let’s see how long they survive without the Church’s support.

    “If your right hand offends you, cut it off and throw it away.”

  • >>Will Notre Dame Continue to Betray its Catholic Identity?

    -Patrick J. Reilly<<

    Hell yeah!!

    Go Irish!

  • jacobum

    The only thing at Notre Dame that is still Catholic is the Golden Dome and the Lady on Top of it. They scandalize her every day.

    • Notrefrog

      Technically, the Lady was Jewish. I also don’t know what is particularly Catholic about a golden dome, or hating gay people.

  • John Grondelski

    Interestingly, Kenneth Briggs has a piece in the New York Times excoriating ND because, unlike some other Indiana Universities, it has not (yet) joined the mutual yelp in protesting the Religious Freedom Act in Indiana. Briggs attributes it to ND trying to get on the Church’s “right” side post-Obama degree, Vagina Monologues, etc.

  • Richard McGuire

    Why do people keep referring to schools like Notre Same, Fordham, Georgetown,,etc as Cathoilc. Most Catholic colleges gave up this title in the late 60’s to accept direct federal funding. They took the crucifixes out of the classrooms and now have a Catholic identity which they push when recruiting and fund raising.

    • GG

      A great point. ND gets a lot of press in Catholic blogs and such but why? They are a football school. With all the academic talent in America we focus on this one place.

      • Annette Magjuka

        ND is a top academic institution. Some on this blog do not know what ND is or what happens there.

  • Myshkin

    See my new comment, below, replying to Scott W.

  • Annette Magjuka

    Many Catholics, myself included, work for full rights for LGBT people as a matter of conscience. We are to treat LGBT people with dignity. It is not dignity to deny health care, fire people, or to marginalize, isolate, bully or name call. The Sycamore Group is not upholding the Catholic directive to treat LGBT people with dignity.

    • Myshkin

      But it is right to fire them from Catholic institutions when they openly live by LGBT principles. As Archbishop Cordileone pointedly asked the politicians of San Francisco who had the hubris to demand that Cordileone forsake longstanding Church policy about hiring and employing persons who openly defy Church teaching as a matter of course in their off-campus lives: Would YOU hire someone to work for your campaign for re-election who openly support your opponents?

      Let them work elsewhere!! Let them get their gay “wedding” cakes elsewhere! But we have a RIGHT — given by GOD Almighty — not to be COMPLICIT in condoning evil lifestyles. YES — EVIL LIFESTYLES!

    • Myshkin

      I notice, Annette, that you fail to address Bishop Cordileone’s come-back to the politicians. Why should politicians hire someone who openly supports their opponents. You just can’t admit it: You are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, babe.

      • Annette Magjuka

        It is not a good analogy since I am not the Catholic church’s “opponent,” but one of many who believe that LGBT people deserve full equality and protection under the law. Many Catholics, including myself, believe that LGBT people should be able to marry just as heterosexuals do. I am not WRONG, WRONG, WRONG–we are Catholics who disagree with one another.

  • Annette Magjuka

    I totally disagree, Myshkin. What is happening in SF is terrible. What you wrote sounds like hate speech to me.

    • Myshkin

      You didn’t address Archbishop Cordileone’s remarks to politicians.

      As for the “hate speech” allegation? Sorry you see it that way.

  • Good article, Mr. Reilly.

  • ND ’63

    What a bunch of religious bigots on this board!

    I think that ND has not gone far enough in displaying moral leadership. When over 90% of Catholics approve of contraception ND still chose to fight the Obamacare law. Shame.

  • m8lsem

    When a Court of last resort (in the case in point) announces what the relationship between one entity/person and another entity/person shall be, the University is correct to obey that law. It is not correct to ignore the law, nor correct to disobey until prosecuted.

    (By the way, the easiest way to end or nearly end abortion is to ensure that no woman need fear that the birth will literally be a financial disaster.)

    • Myshkin

      Immoral law is no law. The University is wrong to obey the law. Also: “nor correct to disobey until prosecuted”? Huh? Why would ND be prosecuted for obeying the law? Non sequitur, demonstrating your fundamental lack of coherence.

      Further: Why would a woman fear that the birth of a child, rather than aborting, should be a financial disaster when the Government provides free prenatal medical care for all who are indigent, free birth, free formula for those who can’t/won’t breastfeed, subsidized daycare (even at the high school if the mother is a high schooler), free Head Start, free preschool, free school where free breakfasts and lunches (and even dinners) and free aftercare are provided? How about just giving the child up for adoption?

      Or, how’s about this: Rely on your church, your United Way, your family, and — gasp!! — the baby’s father!! Who would guess that there might be a role for traditional family in all this?

  • drPC

    ” it would incur the hatred of those who fail to understand”

    it is not that they “fail to understand,” they refuse to even consider any point of view other than their own because they have an agenda to push and they are going to push it regardless of who they destroy in the process — this is just how liberals/progressives roll — be forewarned

  • Myshkin

    “…continue to betray its Catholic identity?” Uh, I didn’t know that Notre Dame is Catholic any more.

  • Peter Banks

    I totally agree with this article. If one is going to be truly Catholic, then be Catholic. If not, then why try to claim the name? I’m tired of all of these phony Catholics. They are worse than non-Catholics when it comes to not following Catholic teaching on many things: homosexuality, divorce and remarriage (without and annulment), abortion, and premarital sex. I see it in the classroom with the attitudes of the students who are “Catholic” at a Catholic school. They become irate when one teaches the Truth of the Catholic Faith. It is unbelievable. Catholic institutions like Notre Dame need to set the good example otherwise they are leading these “little ones” astray.
    Peter

  • BeeKaaay

    “Notre Dame is a Catholic institution”

    No, it is a CINO institution. It is fake. Phony.

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