Notre Dame Marches Towards Life

Thomas Peters of the American Papist blog has posted a letter written by Notre Dame’s president, Father John Jenkins, explaining how the university plans to engage in the pro-life issue.

Among the initiatives he proposes to undertake: 1) President Jenkins plans to participate in the Jan. 22 March for Life and has invited other members of Notre Dame to join him; 2) President Jenkins has formed the Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life, co-chaired by Professor Margaret Brinig, the Fritz Duda Family Chair in Law and associate dean for the law school, and by Professor John Cavadini, the chair of the Department of Theology and the McGrath-Cavadini Director of the Institute for Church Life. The Task Force is considering and recommending to the president ways in which the university, informed by Catholic teaching, can support the sanctity of life. 3) President Jenkins encourages the university community to support The Women’s Care Center and other crisis-pregnancy centers nationwide.

The aftermath of President Jenkins’ decision to invite President Barack Obama to speak at Notre Dame’s commencement still reverberates.

According to organizers of the online effort, alumni and donors have withheld nearly $14 million in donations from the university.

In addition, Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., Bishop John D’Arcy has repeatedly addressed his concerns about the event. In an Aug. 31 edition of America magazine, Bishop D’Arcy wrote, “Although he spoke eloquently about the importance of dialogue with the president of the United States, the president of Notre Dame chose not to dialogue with his bishop on these two matters, both pastoral and both with serious ramifications for the care of souls, which is the core responsibility of the local bishop.”

“The diocesan bishop must ask whether a Catholic institution compromises its obligation to give public witness by placing prestige over truth,” he said.