Epiphany at Notre Dame?
Ralph McInerny sees a silver lining in the cloud of scandal cast over the Church by the honoring of President Barack Obama by the University of Notre Dame.
And like Notre Dame’s Bishop John D’Arcy, McInerny sees this light most clearly in the witness given by the graduating seniors who chose to pray for human life instead of joining Obama at their own commencement ceremony.
“If the Obama invitation has stirred such passionately prayerful reaction from an heroic band of students, from alumni and Catholics across the country, and — mirabile dictu — from more than seventy bishops, it may prove to have been providential, an opportunity for Catholics to recognize that their house is indeed divided,” McInerny, a Catholic author and professor who has taught at Notre Dame since 1955, writes in an article posted at The Catholic Thing.
“Anathemas have been called for,” continues McInerny’s article. “Some long to have Notre Dame declared non-Catholic. Perhaps it will come to that, but the awakening of the laity, simple priests, a large number of the bishops, suggests that this is a possible epiphany. The sad fact is that people act contrary to the faith without realizing that that is what they are doing. A heretic chooses the opposite of the faith, but when in the present confusion as to what is in and what is out, heresy is not the appropriate word.
“And so, on Sunday, surrounded by priests and all the panoply of Notre Dame, the smiling Caesar, thumb turned down on life, was engulfed in allegedly Catholic applause. Elsewhere on campus, faithful Catholics gathered and sent up prayers of reparation.”