Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
The Notre Dame scandal shows no signs of stopping.
Two more bishops — Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, Tenn., and Bishop Gerald Barbarito of Palm Beach, Fla., — came out with statements opposing the University of Notre Dame’s invitation to President Barack Obama to speak at the school’s May 17 commencement exercises and receive an honorary degree of law. That brings the total number of cardinals and bishops who’ve issued statements or letters to 33.
“As a Catholic, I am embarrassed by this gesture of the University of Notre Dame,” wrote Bishop Stika in a column in last week’s East Tennessee Catholic. “The president’s approach to abortion rights, embryonic stem-cell research, and other issues is not in keeping with the teachings of our Catholic faith,” he continued. “It seems that the University of Notre Dame has abandoned its Catholic identity in this matter. I feel that it is embarrassing and shameful.”
Bishop Gerald Barbarito of Palm Beach, Fla., published an April 3 letter he wrote to the university’s president, Father John Jenkins.
“I wish personally to express my disappointment in solidarity with the other expressions of disappointment you have received,” Bishop Barbarito wrote. “If Notre Dame does not alter its present course, it will be difficult for me to offer support for the university on any level,” he said.
In addition, over a quarter million individuals have signed an online petition by the Cardinal Newman Society condemning the scandal.
The bishops who have so far publicly criticized Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama (in alphabetical order) are:
1. Bishop John D’Arcy - Fort Wayne-South Bend, IN
2. Bishop Samuel Aquila - Fargo, ND
3. Bishop Gregory Aymond - Austin, TX
4. Bishop Gerald Barbarito - Palm Beach, FL
5. Archbishop Daniel Buechlein - Indianapolis, IN
6. Bishop Robert Baker - Birmingham, AL
7. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz - Lincoln, NE
8. Archbishop Eusebius Beltran - Oklahoma City, OK
9. Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantú - San Antonio, TX
10. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo - Houston, TX
11. Archbishop Timothy Dolan - New York, NY
12. Bishop Thomas Doran - Rockford, IL
13. Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty - Scranton, PA
14. Cardinal Francis George - Chicago, IL; president, USCCB
15. Archbishop José Gomez - San Antonio, TX
16. Bishop William Higi - Lafayette, IN
17. Archbishop Alfred Hughs - New Orleans, LA
18. Bishop Jerome Listecki - La Crosse, WI
19. Bishop William E. Lori - Bridgeport, CT
20. Bishop Robert Lynch - St. Petersburg, FL
21. Bishop Joseph Martino - Scranton, PA
22. Bishop Charles Morlino - Madison, WI
23. Bishop George Murry - Youngstown, OH
24. Archbishop John J. Myers - Newark, NJ
25. Bishop R. Walker Nickless - Sioux City, IA
26. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt - Saint Paul and Minneapolis, MN
27. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien - Baltimore, MD
28. Bishop Thomas Olmsted - Phoenix, AZ
29. Bishop Kevin Rhoades - Harrisburg, PA
30. Bishop Alexander Sample - Marquette, MI
31. Bishop Edward J. Slattery - Tulsa, OK
32. Bishop Richard Stika - Knoxville, TN
33. Bishop Anthony Taylor - Little Rock, AR