Latest Entry: American Pravda and New York's Sixth Crime Family     Latest Comments: Talk Back Here

« Finally, a logical argument for GOP conservatism | Main | "The American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed" »

May 17, 2009

Fr. Wilson Miscamble's speech today at the protest rally at Notre Dame

Topics: Faith, Political News and commentaries

Readers will find the speech given today by Fr. Wilson Miscamble, CSC, at the pro-life rally at Notre Dame - here (pdf) and in the extended post below..

Here's a brief excerpt of Fr Miscamble's speech:

[...] The honor extended to Barack Obama says very loudly that support for practically unlimited access to abortion - and approval for the destruction of embryonic life to harvest stem cells - are not major problems for those charged with leading Notre Dame. They seem easily trumped by other issues, and by the opportunity to welcome the president to our campus. Bishop John D'Arcy, the great bishop of this diocese who so loves Notre Dame, said it well - Notre Dame chose "prestige over truth." How embarrassing for an institution dedicated to the pursuit of truth to settle for temporary
attention over eternal honor.

Friends, just ask yourselves whether anyone - regardless of their other accomplishments - would be honored here at ND if they held racist or anti-Semitic sentiments. They would not - and rightly so! Yet Notre Dame honors at this Commencement a politician who readily proclaims his support for the Freedom of Choice Act, and who is clearly the most radically pro-abortion president in this great nation's history.

As you know well, Notre Dame undertook this sad action in the face of the 2004 instruction of the U.S. Catholic Bishops that "Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles." In so doing, the administration has distanced the University from the Church that is its lifeblood - the ultimate source of its identity.

A number of my fellow Holy Cross priests and I believe that such a "distancing puts at risk the true soul of Notre Dame." Regrettably, this distancing also puts Notre Dame in the service of those who seek to damage the teaching authority of our Bishops. What a sad circumstance for an institution that should stand at the very heart of the Church.

Fr. Miscamble is a Professor of History at Notre Dame University, and has been and remains the great hope for the future leadership of Notre Dame.

(HT - Bruce Fingerhut)

TALK FOR ND RESPONSE RALLY -- SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2009

Wilson D. Miscamble, csc
Professor History
University of Notre Dame
____________

True friends of Notre Dame -- I thank you for your presence.

I want to thank especially our treasured students in ND Response for inviting me to be with you. It is a great privilege and honor. As I look out on the good and decent people gathered here, I know one thing: There is no place I would rather be. I have been a teacher at Notre Dame for more than two decades. But today I come before you primarily as a Holy Cross priest - a member of the Religious Order that founded Notre Dame more than a century and half ago.

On November 26, 1842, an extraordinary French priest named Edward Sorin and a small band of Holy Cross brothers arrived at this site - a place where French missionaries had once ministered to the Potawatomi Indians. Fr. Sorin christened the place Notre Dame du Lac. He and his Holy Cross confreres began the work of building a college with a small log chapel as their point of departure. They aimed to serve Christ here. And they sought to evangelize in His name under the patronage of the Blessed Mother. When the young priest wrote home to his superior - Fr. Basil Moreau, the founder of the Holy Cross Order - he put it this way: Here in northern Indiana, he said, he hoped to establish "one of the most powerful means for good in this country." Since then, the university has prospered. But building this university was not an easy task. The tiny school faced horrendous tribulations during its initial years. Damaging fires, a terrible cholera outbreak, and a series of financial crises failed to halt the onward march of the school. Whatever the odds against them, Father Sorin and his collaborators never gave up or quit.

Those of you familiar with Notre Dame's history would know that this tenacity had perhaps its finest moment on April 23, 1879. That was the day that the so-called "big fire" swept over the campus. In just three hours much of the work of the previous three decades lay in ashes. A few days later, Father Sorin trudged through the still-smoldering ruins of the venture to which he had devoted his life. Then he called the whole community into the campus church - which had miraculously survived the fierce blaze. With absolute faith and confidence, Father Sorin looked forward and told his anxious band of followers this: "If it were ALL gone I should not give up." The effect was "electric." As one observer put it, after that "there was never a shadow of a doubt as to the future of Notre Dame."

Under God's providential care, our university did recover and grow. Father Sorin ... his determined band ... and the generations of Holy Cross religious and their lay collaborators who followed them built something special. Their blood and sweat and tears are in the bricks and mortar -- and they are reflected in the lives that they touched. They were "educators in the faith" who understood in the words of Fr. Moreau "that the mind could not be cultivated at the expense of the heart." These folk built Notre Dame into a distinctive place that nurtured its students' religious and moral development, as well as their intellectual lives. Notre Dame challenged them to serve God and neighbor. And, as it did so, it proudly proclaimed its Catholic identity and its loyal membership in a

Church that was and is unafraid to speak of moral truths and foundational principles and beliefs. In the process, Notre Dame came to hold a special place in the hearts of Catholics all across America.

Now friends, jump ahead to today. The formal leadership of the University still

proclaims its fidelity to this vision. --University leaders assert that Notre Dame is and will be different, so that it can make a difference; --University leaders assure the parents of incoming freshmen that Notre Dame won't be like those 'other' schools that merely associate themselves with a Catholic or Jesuit 'tradition'. NO! - to the contrary - here at Notre Dame, their children will find an institution unashamedly Catholic and willing to embrace all the tenets of our faith. Notre Dame will instruct its students in the Church's moral truths and in its foundational beliefs and principles. Of late, that rhetoric seems to ring rather hollow. The words have not been matched by deeds. Instead of fostering the moral development of its students Notre Dame's leaders have planted the damaging seeds of moral confusion. By honoring President Obama, the Notre Dame Administration has let the students and their parents down. And it has betrayed the loyal and faith-filled alumni who rely on Notre Dame to stand firm on matters of fundamental Catholic teaching - and so to affirm the sanctity of life.

The honor extended to Barack Obama says very loudly that support for practically unlimited access to abortion - and approval for the destruction of embryonic life to harvest stem cells - are not major problems for those charged with leading Notre Dame. They seem easily trumped by other issues, and by the opportunity to welcome the president to our campus. Bishop John D'Arcy, the great bishop of this diocese who so loves Notre Dame, said it well - Notre Dame chose "prestige over truth." How embarrassing for an institution dedicated to the pursuit of truth to settle for temporary attention over eternal honor.

Friends, just ask yourselves whether anyone - regardless of their other accomplishments - would be honored here at ND if they held racist or anti-Semitic sentiments. They would not - and rightly so! Yet Notre Dame honors at this Commencement a politician who readily proclaims his support for the Freedom of Choice Act, and who is clearly the most radically pro-abortion president in this great nation's history. As you know well, Notre Dame undertook this sad action in the face of the 2004 instruction of the U.S. Catholic Bishops that "Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles." In so doing, the administration has distanced the University from the Church that is its lifeblood - the ultimate source of its identity.

A number of my fellow Holy Cross priests and I believe that such a "distancing puts at risk the true soul of Notre Dame." Regrettably, this distancing also puts Notre Dame in the service of those who seek to damage the teaching authority of our Bishops. What a sad circumstance for an institution that should stand at the very heart of the Church. Now, we can be sure that today the president will offer a fine address - crafted by a talented speechwriting team to appeal to a "Catholic audience." No doubt too, President Obama will deliver it eloquently. There will surely be a tribute to Notre Dame's former president, Father Hesburgh, for his important work on civil rights. The president will claim that he is influenced by Catholic social teaching and will appeal for folk to work together in the areas where common ground can be found. Most of the crowd will cheer ... the photos will be taken ... and soon the event will be over. The President will board Air Force One and fly away.

But what matters for us here is less what President Obama says, but rather what the day will mean for Notre Dame and its place in American Catholic life.

Other coverage: Notre Dame History Professor speaks at campus rally, praises hard work of students

Posted by Hyscience at May 17, 2009 2:54 PM



Articles Related to Faith, Political News and commentaries: