Some of you who read this might be upset that Obama was honored by Notre Dame, despite the teachings of the Catholic Bishops of the US. If that's you, you probably are also embarrassed or frustrated or saddened by the so-called "Catholic" university and its identity crisis.
Some of you who read this might think it was right for the president to be honored since he's an honorable man. You may be Catholic or not. But if you are Catholic you probably don't attend Mass every Sunday.
At our house we waited a long time for Bishop Jenky, our bishop, a member of the Holy Cross order which runs ND, and a member of their Board of Trustees, to make a statement on this issue. While we waited we hoped that he was so silent, while 83 other US bishops publicly opposed the choice to honor Obama, because he was using his power as a board member, brother and bishop on the inside to make a difference.
However, even after the graduation day he has remained silent and will most likely remain so. Perhaps he is being obedient, which I can respect, but I would think that his role as a bishop - a leader of the people - would be to make a stance against it. I often checked the diocesan website and carefully read the diocesan newspaper to see if there were any remarks. When I continually found none I called the newspaper to make sure I hadn't missed anything. They pointed me here, to the April 12th edition's editorial written by Bishop Jenky. All it is, though, is a blanket statement: abortion is bad and politicians should work to stop it.
To me, this isn't enough. I really wish he would use this opportunity to talk about the value and dignity of each life and to teach what that should look like:
- no death penalty
- no torture
- immigration laws that make it easier for people to come here, work here and support their families back in their native lands
- thorough support of mothers in need, whether they are pregnant or have a 3 year old
- charity towards immigrants, unwed mothers and fathers, mothers and fathers who chose abortions and others who are often mistreated by Christians and conservatives
- no abortions
- no contraception which cause abortions (ie the pill)
There's a really great list of coverage, reactions and statements about President Obama's presence at Notre Dame here: http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2009/05/pres-obamas-nd-appearance-links-commentary-analysis.html
I'm interested how other Central IL Catholics feel about our bishop and his silence. Any thoughts?