Notre Dame Faculty Cabal Calls on Bishop Jenky to Step Down from Board
Posted by John Jansen (April 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm)
In response to the stunningly powerful homily recently given by Bishop Daniel Jenky, CSC in which he excoriated President Obama’s “radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda,” some faculty members of the University of Notre Dame are calling on him to step down from the University’s Board of Fellows.
Because in his homily, Bishop Jenky said the following:
Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.
In the late 19th century, Bismarck waged his “Kulturkampf,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.
Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.
Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.
Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.
This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries — only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the instrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.
No Catholic ministry – and yes, Mr. President, for Catholics our schools and hospitals are ministries – can remain faithful to the Lordship of the Risen Christ and to his glorious Gospel of Life if they are forced to pay for abortions.
Clarifying Remarks Fail to Satisfy Notre Dame Faculty Cabal
In response to some complaints about Bishop Jenky’s homily, Patricia Gibson, chancellor of the Peoria Diocese, issued some clarifying remarks last week:
“Based upon the current government’s threatened infringement upon the Church’s religious exercise of its ministry, Bishop Jenky offered historical context and comparisons as a means to prevent a repetition of historical attacks upon the Catholic Church and other religions,” said Patricia Gibson, chancellor of the Peoria Diocese.
“Bishop Jenky gave several examples of times in history in which religious groups were persecuted because of what they believed,” Gibson said. “We certainly have not reached the same level of persecution. However, history teaches us to be cautious once we start down the path of limiting religious liberty.”
In her remarks, Gibson reiterates the bleeding obvious: Bishop Jenky never said that the current situation in the United States is as bad as Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, but nonetheless, you’d be a fool to think that once a government starts curtailing religious freedom that it will soon stop.
Still, the Notre Dame faculty cabal wants Jenky out. Their letter reads as follows:
Dear Father Jenkins and Mr Notebaert,
As you will be aware, the Most Reverend Daniel Jenky, a member of Notre Dame’s Board of Fellows, has been widely quoted for a homily in which he described President Obama as “seem[ing] intent on following a similar path” to Hitler and Stalin. Bishop Jenky’s comments demonstrate ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide, and absence of judgment. We accept that Bishop Jenky’s comments are protected by the First Amendment, but we find it profoundly offensive that a member of our beloved university’s highest authority, the Board of Fellows, should compare the President’s actions with those whose genocidal policies murdered tens of millions of people, including the specific targeting of Catholics, Jews, and other minorities for their faith. We request that you issue a statement on behalf of the University that will definitively distance Notre Dame from Bishop Jenky’s incendiary statement. Further, we feel that it would be in the best interest of Notre Dame if Bishop Jenky resigned from the University’s Board of Fellows if he is unwilling to renounce loudly and publicly this destructive analogy.
This may well be the best example of misplaced outrage you’ll come across today.
Who is the one demonstrating “absence of judgment” and making “incendiary statements” — the president, whose HHS Mandate is a naked assault on fundamental religious freedom, or the bishop who, in the course of exercising his duty to guide and instruct the Catholics in his diocese, speaks out in opposition?