Saturday, May 9, 2009

Right Wing Goes Insane over Opposition to Notre Dame

Peter Steinfels, one of the Church's most respected journalists on Catholic concerns, has an excellent column in today's New York Times. Steinfels shows just how extreme and counter-productive the anti-Obama/anti-Notre Dame protesters are.

Bishop Robert Finn (R-MO) has even gone so far to equate the President and the Notre Dame community with Satan.

The extremists are attacking the University administration, faculty, graduation class and student body as enemies of the pro-life movement.

Selections from the article follow.

May 9, 2009
Roman Catholics’ War Over Abortion

Discord is nothing new for Roman Catholicism. But the controversy surrounding the appearance of President Obama at the University of Notre Dame’s commencement on May 17 suggests that run-of-the mill discord among American Catholics is escalating into something closer to civil war.

Just watch that airplane circling over the famous Golden Dome of Notre Dame’s Main Building and the spire of the university’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The plane pulls a banner with a picture of an aborted fetus.

The group flying the banner is unhappy not just with the university but also, according to a spokesman quoted in The South Bend Tribune, with “the pro-life community at Notre Dame.”
“If they were doing a good job of reaching the campus,” he said, “it’s unlikely Obama would have been invited.”

Now listen to Bishop Robert W. Finn, bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese in Missouri. “We are at war!” he told an anti-abortion convention on April 18. “We are engaged in a constant warfare with Satan.”

Although this war must never involve violence, he said, and Christians must love the human enemies who come under Satan’s power, “even without their fully realizing it,” he went on to say that the most dangerous enemies were not those openly attacking the church but “more subtle enemies.” These included Catholics who “attack the most fundamental tenets of the church’s teachings.”

Mark Noll is a leading historian of American Christianity, an evangelical and a strong opponent of abortion who joined Notre Dame’s faculty last year. In an interview this week, he said “temperate objections” to Mr. Obama’s appearance could stimulate useful thinking about the role of the church in politics and the nature of a Catholic university. Still, he said, “I am surprised at the visceral level of the opposition.”

An editorial in America, the weekly magazine published by the Jesuit order of Catholic priests, characterized much of the opposition in even stronger terms: “They thrive on slash-and-burn tactics,” the editors wrote, adding that “their tactics, and their attitudes, threaten the unity of the Catholic Church in the United States, the effectiveness of its mission and the credibility of its pro-life activities.”

Of course, the editors are now being accused of “slash-and-burn tactics” themselves, if not of falling under the power of Satan.

The student body and especially the graduating seniors appear overwhelmingly in favor of hearing him. Afterward, people may wonder what all the fuss was about.

In 2004, a few bishops seconded that demand during Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign. The resulting furor and division among the bishops led them, at their June 2004 meeting, to hammer out a statement on “Catholics in Political Life.” It is this hastily composed statement, now being treated as highly authoritative, that is being waved at Notre Dame.
It includes the injunction that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.” (It also includes a plea for “more effective dialogue and engagement with all public officials.”) Exactly what the bishops meant by “in defiance” is unclear, especially as it might apply to non-Catholics whose adherence to Catholic teaching can hardly be presumed.

But the wording of the statement was less important than the feeling behind it — a feeling that the anti-abortion cause was not being loyally supported by Catholics themselves.
In 2008, that sense of betrayal turned white hot, what with a majority of Catholic voters and even some Catholics well-known for anti-abortion views supporting Mr. Obama,

Increasingly, conservative Catholics appear to be making a specific form of anti-abortion politics, condemning the administration root and branch, a test of Catholic identity.

The problem, at least to the editors of America magazine, is that “it is not adherence to the church’s doctrine on the evil of abortion that counts for orthodoxy, but adherence to a particular political program and fierce opposition to any proposal short of that program.”

for the full article, go here:


shiloh said...

When President Obama visits the Pope at the Vatican are the right wing nuts gonna have a plane fly a banner with a picture of an aborted fetus over St. Peter's Square!Just wondering ...

take care, blessings

Fr. Paul said...

Crazy as a loon

Anonymous said...

So, last night at the press dinner, the looney comedian (if you want to call her that) made teh comment that Rush Limbaugh's kidney's fail. The president laughed.

Well, I guess the shoe is on the other foot now. We have the President laughing and hoping that someone dies. Nice, real nice.

So much for the compassionate ones. Would love to see you headline that.

Wanda Sykes said...

Michael Steele laughed too!

phlojd said...

Mario Cuomo had this to say recently about the ND situation:

"The president's appearance at Notre Dame will not in any way serve as an acceptance or condonation of his position on abortion and stem cells, but rather will provide the university the opportunity to reject — freely and clearly — those positions for all the world to hear and read," Cuomo wrote. "Better that confident and respectful stance by the university than a defensive and impolite insult to our nation's respected and singularly important world leader, who demonstrated his respect to Notre Dame by agreeing to come to the university."

phlojd said...

Ever stop to think that maybe he was laughing at something else?

Just because she was talking nonsense doesn't mean that Obama was paying rapt attention to her ramblings.

And the White House has already made a statement about the supposed incident.

You folks are really, really despearate to bring up something so cheesy.

martin m said...


Of course they bring it up. They got nothing else.

shiloh said...

Hey, America has a great sense of humor! "We" re-elected Bush43! ;)

Although "we" did get it right in 2000 when Gore got more votes than Bush. Too bad America is a Republic instead of a Democracy!, I digress.

What's the difference between an Irish wake and an Irish wedding? ... one less drunk!

How do you find Texas? ... You go west until you smell sh*t, that's Oklahoma, then you go south until you step in it! That's Texas!

Yes Virginia, the old jokes from the 1960's are the best, eh :)

take care, blessings

p.s. I'll be here all night and please tip the waitresses ...

Susan said...

Maybe he was laughing at something else???? And you say those on the right are nuts.

shiloh said...

Comedians are comedians, some are funny, some aren't and many cross the line, especially at the annual White House Correspondents dinner. One year Imus skewered Bill Clinton every which way but loose!, I digress.

Bottom line, the annual dinner should be canceled. Reporters should never cozy up to politicians, that's not their job! Their job is to honestly report the news, not to be celebrities.

And Susan, the De factor leaders of the Rep party ie Cheney, Gingrich, Rove are nuts! And most of the troops ie Boehner, Cantor, Bachmann, Hannity, Limbo, Savage, Coultergeist, Ingraham, Sanford, Perry, Palin are nuts also!

and poor RNC leader Steele is a puppet on a string the rest of the Rep party is laughing at.

Once again, I reiterate, how did the Dems get sooo damn lucky! lol

take care, blessings

phlojd said...

I think he was still laughing at one of her previous jokes when she was busting his chops for thinking he was a great basketball player (coz nobody would play tough defense against him with the secret service right there). And again, the White House made a statement about the inappropriateness of the comedienne's remarks about wishing ill upon Rush (who nonetheless is a jerk of the highest magnitude who has said much, much worse about people). You probably missed that because you just read the propaganda on blogs. Besides, doncha think that hoping Obama fails, like Rush does, is treason against our country?

Susan said...

Treason? Last time I checked people are still free to THINK what they want in this country. That may not be for long, however.

ND Class of '02 said...

Free to think what you want and free to make a total fool of yourself, as the anti-Notre Dame people are doing.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad Conservative Catholics are not concentrating on the moral values of the country over abortions. Abortions are not supported by a ride margin. Abortions is here for women in need. Noticed, the Catholic Church never had any regard for women, ever and yet the violence, abuse and to not acknowledge her is very cruel indeed. The Men have not grown up. Our souls have no sex orientations, yet, some don't see that.