13 May 2009

Saint Augustine's and Notre Dame, Part 2

Father David Ruchinski has posted the following response regarding Father Gillespie's Notre Dame remarks.


For those who are interested in the pastor’s position regarding President Obama’s visit to Notre Dame, the following is a copy of the letter he sent to the White House last week.

Dear Mr. President:

I write to thank you for accepting the invitation to speak at Notre Dame’s Spring Commencement. I trust that you will share wise words with the graduates, their faculty, family, and friends.

I hope you will also take the opportunity to listen while you are there, to see the vital witness of a Catholic university in action, engaging in dialogue, in the pursuit of truth and living action. The sharp and, at times, embittering reaction of some to your invitation, may not represent all Catholics. But I think there is a unanimity of concern by Catholics and others of good will, at the possibility that your administration might broaden access to abortions, ease legal and legitimate restrictions, and compel cooperation by health workers and professional doctors, physician assistants, and nurses in performing abortions. I hope you will not try to lead our country in such directions. I certainly will not follow, nor will the vast majority of Catholics.

Like is a gift from God, to be valued and protected from conception to natural death. It is in defense of human dignity and worth that we oppose abortion and the death penalty. Life is a seamless garment, not to be ripped asunder or economically apportioned out to high bidders.

Please re-enter the dialogue with people who oppose abortion, and especially at Notre Dame with the Catholic Church, so that renewed witness may re-shape your priorities and policies. Just as the hope for stem-cell research can be realized in moral ways, so the desire to help pregnant women facing difficult decisions can be accomplished without taking baby’s innocent life.

As St. Paul argues in the Letter to the Romans (Rm 13: 1), since all authority comes ultimately from God, may you deserve the respect and honor (Rm 13: 7) we give you as our president: “he whom you serve is the Lord” (Rm 12: 11).


Rev. John D. Gillespie
Director of the Catholic Student Center

Fr. Gillespie believes strongly in the importance of dialogue as called for by Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Ecclesiam suam. At the heart of a university is respectful dialogue.


I tried posting the following, but my attempts were met by a blank screen except for the word "discarded". Haha! Not sure what that is about.

I am glad that Father Gillespie wrote to President Obama, laying out the Church's teaching on the sanctity of life.

I don't think anybody is trying to be 'intolerant' of people, but we must be 'intolerant' of certain ideas if 'tolerance' is to mean that we believe that President's Obama's position on 'choice' is a valid opinion to hold.

What the University of Notre Dame is doing is not dialogue. The president will be given an honorary degree, as well as a platform to speak. Matt brings up a good point in that the bishops of the United States clearly said in Catholics in Political Life:
"The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

Some 75 bishops have come out and said that Notre Dame's decision is a serious error and a grave scandal. The point I like to consider is this: would we allow a hypothetical man who supports the right to kill daily 4,000 Jews? Of course not! The idea is completely ludicrous. We need to realize that the unborn baby is just as important as any human life, and that we should not honor those who support this genocide. Respectful dialogue is at the heart of the university, yes.. but the Catholic university MUST remain "Ex corde ecclesiae"- at the heart of the Church.


Blogger Anthony said...

Gillespie's letter was certainly well intentioned and I am relieved that he places some semblance of importance to pro-life questions (despite his "impeccable" choice of staff at St. A's). All the same I find that he proves to be a poor communicator, easily wandering into erroneous messages in his sermons and incomplete points in his writing. I wish that he would have appended some mention of the real problem of Obama's appearance to his letter but alas, at least we got some sort of encouragement.

May 14, 2009 12:04 AM  
Blogger Patricia said...

Not to be a boring stick in the mud, but I cannot help myself. In Gillespie's letter, you wrote: "Like is a gift from God" I suppose you meant to write "Life is a gift" unless of course, the mistake was already in the letter itself. If so, might I suggest you insert a "(sic)" behind the word "like" to let the reader know about the mistake.

Again, sorry for being so annoying. :)

God Bless,

June 12, 2009 12:24 PM  

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