Notre Shame


The pic above certainly sums up the damage this scandal by the president of the University of Notre Dame Fr. John Jenkins has caused.


Seems the President of Notre Dame, Fr. John Jenkins, comprimised everything he lives and stands for for a few pieces of silver.

(Biretta Tip: Paul Nichols at Catholic Cartoon Blog & Zach at In Toon With The World via  Jay Anderson of Pro Ecclesia)

1. Matthew Archbold of Creative Minority Report has an exclusive interview with Mary K. Daly, the President of Notre Dame’s Right to Life group, and their plans to boycott President Obama among other options here.

2. Catholic Analyst, Deal Hudson of, speculates on Fr. John Jenkins reputation as it lays in tatters after this horrible mistake here.

3. Ralph McInerny of The Catholic Thing, a professor at Notre Dame for many years, tackles the problem that Fr. Jenkins caused with his invitation of the Pro-Abortion President Obama here.

4. Christopher Blosser of the American Catholic has reactions around the country here.

5. Again, the Cardinal Newman Society has created a website,, protesting Notre Dame’s diabolical invitation of President Obama here.

6. For more information regarding the scandal of inviting the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States to the flagship Catholic university in America click here.

Update I:Notre Dame’s president, the notorious Fr. John Jenkins, finally responds here.

More to explorer


  1. Mark,

    You crossed the line one too many times with me. I had to delete your comments for the first time ever. I’ve tolerated your obtuseness for far too long.

    Please, if you can’t be constructive don’t comment.

  2. I think Rick Garnett’s take is the best I’ve read so far. In particular, I like the mild tone:

    Most institutions don’t, in the big picture, really matter. There are workable substitutes available, and lots of other players doing pretty much the same thing in pretty much the same way.

    The University of Notre Dame — which is, obviously, flawed and fallible in many, many ways — does matter. Truth be told, it is the only real hope left for a great university that is meaningfully Catholic. The Church and the world — all of us, Catholic or not, football fans or not — desperately need such an institution.

    This great need imposes a weighty burden. To paraphrase Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, with Notre Dame’s matter-ing comes a great responsibility to be true to her calling and worthy of her mission. Unfortunately, by honoring President Obama — who has, in recent weeks, taken steps that are glaringly in conflict with his bedrock moral obligation to respect and protect the equal dignity of unborn children — Notre Dame has clouded what should be clear, and deeply disappointed not just her usual critics, but also those of us who want very much for her to succeed (and work hard to help her succeed).

    To say this is not to say that a Catholic university should only invite speakers or engage leaders and thinkers whose views and records are consistent with the Church’s teachings. It is not to question President Obama’s accomplishments or to deny that his election was, in many ways, historic. Certainly, a Catholic university should engage, challenge, learn from, and “dialogue” with, the wider world.

    Still, to do these things, to be what the world needs her to be, Notre Dame has to be distinctive — not weird, “sectarian,” narrow, or nostalgic, but authentic, courageous, integrated, and . . . interesting. Here, I am afraid she failed.

  3. Mark,

    It represents the mood of the country quite well among Catholics.

    John Henry,

    Good article. Yes, she has failed us.


    It’s a reference to Judas selling out Jesus for silver, ie, Fr. Jenkins sells out the relatively good name of Notre Dame worldly adulation.

  4. It’s a reference to Judas selling out Jesus for silver

    I get that. My question was whether the reference had any basis in reality. I take it the answer is no.

  5. BA,

    It can be interpreted any which way you wish.


    This is your last warning.

    Anymore ad hominem’s from you and you will be placed back on moderation. That is my way of dealing with someone who does not practice his Catholic faith by showing a lack of charity in the comm-boxes. The rest of your actions will be left up to God to judge your lies and deceit.

  6. I am sure Obama was not invited because of his position on abortion. He was invited because he is president of the United States.

  7. “That is my way of dealing with someone who does not practice his Catholic faith by showing a lack of charity in the comm-boxes.


    Where is your charity to Father Jenkins? I would bet my eternal soul that he did not intend his invitation as an endorsement, condonement or acceptance of Obama’s abortion position. And do not hide behind the “mood of Catholics in the country spill, used already above!

  8. Tito,

    You compared Notre Dame’s president to Judas. That’s an ad hominem. I think Professor Garnett is right to express some disappointment; but I think some of the commentary has been excessive.

  9. ….Jenkins made clear the University is not honoring the president for his stances on these issues, but for his leadership.

    “The invitation of President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should in no way be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of life, such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research,” Jenkins said.

    These “crucial differences” in positions on the protection of life are not being ignored in extending the invitation to the president, Jenkins said, but rather can be used as a catalyst for dialogue.

  10. Mark,

    Fr. John Jenkins has repeatedly crossed the line as president at Notre Dame. First with pushing the V-logues on campus and now with the invitation to President Obama.

    If Fr. Jenkins is the president, wouldn’t he have anticipated the uproar that this would cause? If he didn’t then he needs to be fired. If he did, then he is thumbing his nose at God.

    Either way, it was a grave mistake and to come out and say that he doesn’t endorse Obama’s abortion policies is incorrect. He knows full well the contentiousness of abortion in the country, especially as a Catholic priest. He was fully aware what his actions would do, create the scandal that has now hit Notre Dame.

    He bears full responsibility and he has damaged the reputation of Notre Dame and has marginalized himself from Catholic orthodoxy for the forseeable future.

  11. John,

    It is certainly creating a lot of ‘dialogue’.

    [ed.] Henry Karlson is besides himself in profane and explicit verbal attacks on anyone who would dare try to protect the lives of the most vulnerable and innocent, the unborn children of God.

    Par for the course for alleged and dissenting Catholics.

  12. Henry Karlson,

    Keep digging your hole and I’ll keep deleting your un-Catholic comments.

    You and your fellow dissenting Catholics can bad mouth the Church, Her teachings, and Her followers, but God will have the final say on how you have pushed the agenda of the Culture of Death.

  13. Tito,

    As you are well aware, Henry and Mark are not dissenting Catholics. I think Henry’s rhetoric (although it’s been deleted now, so he can’t defend himself) was ill-advised and intemperate. That happens to most people from time to time on comment threads. But he is not a dissenter.

  14. John Henry,

    That is where you and I disagree.

    When one leads others away from the faith with lies and deceit, ‘dissenting’ is one of the few kind words I can think of that is allowable in the comm-boxes.


    And if you consider lies, deceits, and threats to me a form of ‘defense’, then so be it.

  15. Tito,

    I am defending abortion in no way, shape or form.

    How do you expect to advance the culture of life, if you do not provide forums to charitably engage with those who have influence, but disagree with you in the public square?

    What if some good comes out of this engagement?

    Perhaps Obama may–albeit ever so slightly–see things with another perspective in mind. He is not pure evil. He is a human being on his way, just like the rest of us, who now has the responsibility of being the leader of the free world. Cannot this be an opportunity?

  16. Henry Karlson, [ed.]

    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    — Holy Gospel of St. Matthew 7:15-21

  17. Tito,

    For heaven’s sake, calm down.

    And you cannot insult me personally, because I think very little of myself apart from Christ, so don’t waste your energies about my false prohecy deceptive clothing et al. I did not know, for one, that wolves wore T-shirts and dungarees as sheep’s clothing. What if I were wearing my blue blazer and grey flannels? A sweater and khakis? Would that be different?

    Please answer my questions.

  18. Jenkins said that Notre Dame was “honored” by the President accepting their invitation. Is there any political position that a President could hold which would cause Jenkins not to be honored by the President accepting such an invitation? Being in favor of the legality of kids being killed in the womb is rather an extreme example I would think. Perhaps if he were in favor of infanticide Jenkins would draw the line? Although considering the fact that Obama raised campaign funds based on his opposition to banning the disguised infanticide known as partial birth abortion I guess that line has been crossed. Perhaps if a President were in favor of cannibalism Jenkins would draw the line?

  19. Greetings,
    Obama deliberately chose the Notre Dame invitation out of dozens of private schools he could have chosen. It is part of his re-election campaign in which he seeks to deceive the ill-informed Catholic voter into believing the rhetoric about “abortion reduction” and him being some sort of “moderate” on abortion. He is using Notre Dame and Jenkins is letting him do it.

    Obama has sized up the Catholic bishops and decided that they are too weak and too cowardly to hurt him. He is basically spitting in their eye to see if he gets any reaction. If he does not get a reaction, he will go further next time. Next up is the removal of conscience rights. Then it will be Catholic hospitals. Eventually it will be FOCA.

    The Catholic bishops need to speak together and Notre Dame needs to lose its right to call itself a Catholic university. If Jenkins had thought that would happen, he never would have invited Obama.

  20. No Mr. DeFrancisis, Jenkins extended the invitation to Obama. Obama accepted and Jenkins says Notre Dame is honored by the acceptance. Considering that the invitation was extended in the first place, I take Jenkins at his word. So I repeat my query, what political position would a President have to take before Jenkins would draw the line at inviting him to give the commencement address at Notre Dame and receiving an honorary degree?

  21. Just a little thought experiment. Does anyone wish to argue with a straight face that Notre Dame would extend these honors to a President who publicly stated that blacks were an inferior race? I assume that Jenkins would prefer to eat ground glass, and rightly so, before he would honor such a man, President or not. In what way is the moral offense of honoring an overt racist greater than honoring a President who, throughout his career, has fought vigorously for abortion on demand? Could it be because in academia white racism is rightfully regarded as evil, while abortion is regarded as a sacred right? Isn’t the explanation for this decision painfully obvious? The administration at Notre Dame fully subscribes to the beliefs and prejudices predominant in American academia, and opposition to abortion is anathema to these beliefs and prejudices. By inviting Obama they are defending their faith and it has little in common with the Catholic Faith.

  22. I guess Joseph Cassano wasn’t available to initiate a dialogue on greed and unrestrained speculation.

  23. The question (for me, at least) isn’t whether inviting Obama to deliver the commencement is a good idea. I think it was a big mistake. The question is whether comparing Father Jenkins to Judas is a proper way of expressing one’s disapproval of the decision.

    I don’t know Father Jenkins personally, but he was the spiritual director for a friend of mine. She speaks very highly of him.

  24. “Are you prone to believe in conspiracy theories too?”

    Mr. DeFrancisis, you can do better than that. Anyone who has dealt with any colleges or universities in the past few decades will readily concede that abortion is viewed as a sacred right, not to say rite, by the powers that be in most of those institutions.

  25. If one was serious about thinking Fr. Jenkins to be on a par with Judas because of the decision to invite Obama, I think one would pretty clearly be unhinged. But then, the political cartoon is a genre in which William Jennings Brian was portrayed as a Christ figure for supporting the gold standard (or was it the silver standard?) Overstatement would seem to be the nature of the genre.

    I think it was a very poor decision on ND’s part, but it hardly strikes me as surprising. They’ve had a great deal of difficulty over the years trying to decide how to balance being Catholic with fitting in with the rest of elite academia. And this seems to fit their overall pattern.

    I’d be curious to know why they didn’t invite (or at least didn’t get) Clinton, yet did invite Obama. Was the reasoning for not inviting Clinton anything to do with moral issues, and if so what was seen to be different with Obama?

  26. William Jennings Bryan was an advocate of bimetalism often called the “Free silver” policy. The cartoons followed his speech at the 1896 Dem convention where he said “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.” His rhetorical style was prone to hyperbole.

  27. Christ Himself was given to hyperbole when He felt it appropriate. He had pretty harsh words for the Pharisees whom He called “whitewashed tombs” and “blind fools.” He said things that obviously were not meant to be taken literally, such as “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” He even had harsh words for His own apostles at times. Yet He can hardly be accused of lacking charity!

    We fallen human beings are going to have a harder time telling the difference between righteous indignation and just plain being insulting. Some of us are going to draw the line in different places that others.

    It is a well known principle of media law that public figures are pretty much fair game for satire, parody and editorial cartooning. Fr. Jenkins, being the president of the nation’s best known Catholic university, should know this. He is not some innocent private citizen being held up to ridicule after being sucked into a controversy not of his own making. He HAD to know this would tick off a lot of people. Since he stands accused of ‘selling out’ one of the most important values his institution is supposed to stand for (right to life from conception to natural death), the comparison to Judas in an editorial cartoon is not, in my opinion, inappropriate. (If it were, you would hear Bill Donohue of the Catholic League screaming about it all the way from NYC.)

  28. ” John Henry Says: ….Jenkins made clear the University is not honoring the president for his stances on these issues, but for his leadership.”

    Yeah, promoting the killing of innocent babies not just in the U.S. but globally is a notably excellent leadership quality.

    Heck, might as well hail Hitler for his leadership quality as well given how he raised Germany from the ashes of the first World War — you’ll just have to ignore the fact that he had wanted to exterminate an entire people, which according to some Catholics, unborn babies are not actually.

  29. e.,

    That was a quote from the link in the update, not my opinion. I am disappointed by Fr. Jenkin’s decision, but he has at least made it clear that the University does not endorse Obama’s position on abortion on ESCR.

  30. Catholic Anarchist, don’t you have better things to do in the wee hours of a Saturday morning other than to spread bile?

  31. Michael,

    Yes. It’s one thing to have a strong reaction to topics related to abortion; quite another to play the troll (as, I believe, you are). The former is understandable; the latter, to use your phrase, ’embarrassing’.

  32. I would have to say it’s a human characteristic, rather than an American characteristic. There seems to be some sort of ridiculous fallacy floating around VN that because a character trait is exhibited by some Americans, it’s unique to Americans or distinctively American.

    As far as whether defending one’s own or a desire to be fair is on display here, that’s for others to judge. As this is not my thread, and we are rather far afield, I will not comment on this any further. I would appreciate it if you did not as well.

  33. I think we tend to try to take each case individually, which may or may not be characteristically American — though it does seem to be something Michael can congratulate himself in being quite free from.

    I, for one, am certainly not embarrassed by Tito. He at times makes statements that I disagree with, and when that happens I sometimes ignore it and sometimes tell him so. However far from being embarrassed by him I have a lot of respect for Tito. Among other reasons, because he far surpasses me in the ability to take fraternal criticism honestly and humbly.

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