Sunday, September 27, 2009

Notre Dame finds its pro-life voice; better late than never?

John Francis Borra quoted Law Professor Dr Charles Rice, a lifetime pro-lifer's letter to President Jenkins who suddenly feels the urge to attend the March for Life after 36 years, as charges are still pending against pro-lifers who protested the abortionist in chief's triumphant ride into Notre Dame where he received ovations and honors.

This is not an ordinary case of trespass to land such as would occur if a commuter walks across your lawn and flower bed as a short-cut to the train station. Notre Dame is ordinarily an open campus. Those 88 persons, 82 of whom are represented by Tom Dixon, ND ’84, ND Law School ’93, were arrested not because they were there, but because of who they were, why they were there and what they were saying. Other persons with pro-Obama signs were there but were not arrested and not disturbed. Serious legal and constitutional questions are involved, arising especially from the symbiotic relationship between the Notre Dame Security Police, who made the arrests, and the County Police.
This letter is not a legal brief. Rather I merely note that it is disingenuous for Notre Dame to pretend that this is merely a routine trespass case.Elsewhere in his letter, Dr. Rice alludes to Jenkins' pride, hypocrisy and contempt for the faithful:Please permit me to speak bluntly about your announced purpose to participate in the March for Life and to “invite other members of the Notre Dame Family to join me.” Notre Dame should have had an official presence at every March for Life since 1973. But until now it never has.
Notre Dame students, with the encouragement of Campus Ministry, participate in the March but the University, as such, has not done so. To put it candidly, it would be a mockery for you to present yourself now at the March, even at the invitation of Notre Dame students, as a pro-life advocate while, in practical effect, you continue to be the jailer, as common criminals, of those persons who were authentic pro-life witnesses at Notre Dame. When the pictures of Fr. Weslin’s humiliation and arrest by your campus police was flashed around the world it did an incalculable damage to Notre Dame that can be partially undone only by your public and insistent request, as President of Notre Dame, that the charges be dropped. In my opinion your attachment to the March for Life, including your offering of a Mass for Life, could give scandal in the absence, at least, of such an insistent request to dismiss those charges. Your decision to present an official Notre Dame presence at the March could be beneficial, but not in the context of an unrelenting criminalization by Notre Dame of sincere and peaceful friends of Notre Dame whose offense was their desire to pray, on the campus, for the University and all concerned including yourself. If you appear at the March as the continuing criminalizer of those pro-life witnesses, you predictably will earn not approbation but scorn—a scorn which will surely be directed toward Notre Dame as well.
As long as you pursue the criminalization of those pro-life witnesses, your newest pro-life statements will be regarded reasonably as a cosmetic covering of the institutional anatomy in the wake of the continuing backlash arising from your conferral of Notre Dame’s highest honor on the most relentlessly pro-abortion public official in the world.It goes without saying that Jenkins has effectively abandoned his vocation, forfeiting any moral authority he might once have possessed. The proof is in the pudding: When a lone pro-lifer called out to Barack Obama, "Stop killing our children," Jenkins' graduates shouted him down with "Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can..."The full text of Dr. Rice's letter is a must-read for anyone concerned with anti-Catholic, anti-life dissent within the Church. It's available at

Read the entire story at Veritatis.

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