Hypocrisy at Notre Dame University
By Charlie Heise
It's high time that the hypocrisy of 'official' Catholics is exposed for all the world to see; not out of a sense of vigilante justice, but out of a sense of charity. Michael Voris in his review of Notre Dame.
During the 2009 Commencement at Notre Dame when that famous university decided their graduation ceremony would feature pro-abortion U.S. President Barack Obama, including honoring him with a honorary degree in law, hundreds of faithful Catholics were protesting on and near the campus.
Although previous demonstrators including pro-gay, anti-military and pro-Obama demonstrators were never arrested, the university moved to arrest these individuals for trespassing when they entered Notre Dame's campus in peaceful and prayerful protest against the University for bestowing honors on President Obama. Those arrested and handcuffed included Father Weslin, carrying a cross while praying the rosary. They came to be known as the “ND88.”
After the pro-lifers were booked and released on bail, Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins outraged pro-life leaders across America by refusing to request leniency for them. Legal experts agreed that the leniency request would have been heeded. Each convicted trespasser faced up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
In an effort to reduce the damage to the school’s reputation and restore falling donations, Father Jenkins set up a pro-life group within the Notre Dame organization and began a prominent presence at the National Respect Life march in Washington DC.
Attorney and Notre Dame alumnus, Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society recalled a bizarre personal encounter with Fr. Jenkins in which they had discussed the Notre Dame 88 during the previous week: "When I said to you, Fr. Jenkins, that these defendants believe that, like Dr. King, they did nothing wrong but were marching for civil rights and social justice for all Americans, born and unborn, you responded, 'But Dr. King served time in jail.'" "We submit, with respect, that Notre Dame should shun the role of either Birmingham and its police chief Bull Connor, or that of the 'moderate' churchmen on the other hand, to whom Dr. King addressed his letter [from Birmingham City Jail]," wrote the lawyer.
Father Jenkins falsely insisted he had no power to dismiss the charges, and declared the matter to be in the hands of St. Joseph County, Indiana. Also, contrary to Jenkins' assertions, the school had previously treated other trespassers with more lenience. In addition, pro-Obama protesters trespassing on the campus on the very same day were not arrested. Defense counsel, Tom Dixon, was regularly rebuffed in his efforts to persuade Father Jenkins to drop the charges.
Notre Dame’s attorneys tried but failed to prevent defense counsel from examining William Kirk, the long-time outspokenly pro-life Associate Vice President who had been in charge of the ND police until he was fired. At the time of settlement, the judge was about to rule on whether Mr. Kirk should answer certain questions directed at the University
Finally, after nearly two years, with the imminent filing of damage suits against the University; eighty-eight criminal jury trials with sympathetic defendants, one after the other, in the dock; cross-examination of Notre Dame personnel respecting the treatment of pro-Obama, pro-gay and anti-military demonstrators; and, a full range of other issues, Father Jenkins decided, in contrast to his previous statements, that it would be to his advantage to drop the charges. I am sure he could vision the drop in alumni donations as well as possible losses to those of the ND 88 who would sue Notre Dame. In exchange for dropping the charges he asked each of the ND88 to sign an agreement that they would not sue the university. Most, but not all of the ND88 did sign the agreement. Father Jenkins put a good spin on it, saying he acted out of compassion and wanted to "reconcile" with his "brothers and sisters in the faith,” but who could believe him? Where was his compassion for two years? Where was his compassion when he said the ND88 should go to jail?
And who can believe the administrators of Notre Dame? Within weeks of the dismissal of charges against the ND88, the 12-member "Board of Fellows" appointed Roxanne Martino to the Board of Trustees. Martino, an accomplished businesswoman and ND alumna, has given more than $30,000 over the years to Emily's List. The New York Times recently called it Emily’s List a "fundraising powerhouse." Arguably, it is one of America's best known and most prominent political organizations and it is dedicated to abortion rights.
What was Notre Dame's response? Both Father Jenkins and the chairman of the University's Board of Trustees, Richard Notebaert, came out with the same coordinated response, "She has through the years contributed to organizations that provide a wide range of important services and support to women. She did not realize, however, that several of these organizations also take a pro-choice position. This is not her personal position, and she will now review all of her contributions to ensure that she does not again inadvertently support these kinds of activities in the future." They said she was "unaware of the specific objective of Emily's List."
Emily's List exists for one reason and one reason only. Click the home page of its website, www.emilyslist.org. Emily's List is extremely clear about what it does and leaves no room for ambiguity. The words, “Pro-Choice,” are on every page.
Can anyone believe that Martino was, as Father Jenkins and Notebaert tell us, shocked to learn that Emily's List had any association with abortion? Shocked? Really? This would make her one of the most naive people in America and not one whose judgment would merit a seat on the Board of Trustees setting policies for Notre Dame.
Apparently, Father Jenkins and Chairman Notebaert are so used to stretching the truth they cannot stop. They are surrounded by atheists and lapsed Catholics. These are the same people who didn't anticipate the enormous reaction to the Obama honors.
An article appeared recently about Notre Dame officials chastising China for not providing adequate rights for “Union Workers.” As one reader commented, “This is like chastising the Nazi party during WWII for air pollution from their crematoriums when they burned the bodies of murdered Jews and faithful Catholics.” They just don’t get it.
Charlie Heise is a retired physicist and lives with his wife Barbara in Hedgesville, West Virginia. They are the parents of seven children and several grandchildren. Charlie devotes three days a week to protesting and sidewalk counseling outside an abortion mill in Hagerstown, Maryland.
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