Throughout Lent, we have received a number of letters from individuals who are connected to Notre Dame through friends or family, who are interested in sending their children to Our Lady’s University, or who, by virtue of their membership in the Body of Christ, are deeply concerned about the protection and fortification of the Catholic voice of our beloved alma mater. This Good Friday, the day on which our Savior’s great act of self-sacrificial love compels each of us to choose to identify ourselves with Him, we feature a sampling of voices that deeply value that identification.
Dear Father Jenkins,
I beg you to support the Catholic Bishops stand against the HHS regulation issued by the Obama administration. It appears in the beginning you opposed the regulation and are now willing to accept the so called “appeasement” offered by the Obama administration. The Catholic Bishops have rejected this appeasement. I compare your silence on this appeasement to Neville Chamberlains support of the Munich Accord. When will you and people like you learn that you have to stand up and be counted as a true Catholic, who is in accord with our Bishops.
I hope you read Francis Cardinal George’s message of February 26, 2012 (http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2012/0226/cardinal.aspx) regarding this matter. Cardinal George states four (4) choices for Catholic institutions if the HHS regulations are not rescended. What choice will Notre Dame chose? I believe that the following quotes from Cardinal George’s article are excellent and apply to any action or lack of action you take on this matter. “behavior doesn’t determine morality.”, “Trimming morality to how we behave guts the Gospel”, “There have always been those whose personal faith is not adequate to the faith of the church.”, “Bishops don’t claim to speak for every baptized Catholic. Bishops speak, rather, for the Catholic and apostolic faith. Those who hold the faith gather with them; others go their own way. They are and should be free to do so, but they deceive themselves and others in calling their organizations Catholic.” Also, Timothy Cardinal Dolan stated in an article in the Wall Street Journal, concerning the so called appeasement rule “The rule forces insurance companies to provide these services without a co-pay, suggesting they are “free” - but it is naive to believe that. There is no free lunch, and you can be sure there’s no free abortion, sterlization or contraception. Ther will be a source of funding: you.”
Is Notre Dame and it’s administrators deceiving themselves by calling Notre Dame a Catholic University when the President of the University remains silent on this very important issues? I hope that you learn from history that appeasement of evil laws and regulations has never been a solution to any problem.
John C. Murphy
Dear Fr. Jenkins,
I am a resident of Ave Maria, FL and I am just a regular person trying to live out my faith everyday. Trying to show my love of God in my daily actions, my joy, my self-sacrifices, and my prayers. I am not one to normally be political but I have been very concerned about the HHS Mandate. I am troubled that our President, while trying to do what he believes is right, is forgetting that this country is based on a constitution that has protected the rights of religious people for hundreds of years. I know that you know about the mandate. I just want you to know that me and many of my friends here would be so pleased and honored if you took a stand against this mandate. Think of the excellent example it would be to Catholics everywhere if the President of Notre Dame stood with the Bishops on this issue. United we would be. I pray that you will show unity with all Catholics and all other people in your support of our freedoms.
Kelli Steele Adams
Dear Father Jenkins:
I am not a student at Notre Dame nor an alumni. I am a catholic. As we are one body in Christ I appeal to you through the Body of Christ. We are called to evangelize Jesus as Saviour and Lord. I wish I did a better job of it every day but I try and reach out to Christ for the strength to not only proclaim Him but discern correctly how to do it. Perhaps your heart is troubled and you are not certain how to proclaim Him in these most difficult times. I ask you Father from my heart which belongs to Christ to your heart which belongs to Christ too - to seek Christ out and ask Him the best route for you to take with this issue. I ask you to get up early in the morning - before dawn - as Christ did and go to the Father and pray for guidance. Pray from the depths of your soul to the One who is Love and then trust in His will for you and the University for which you were entrusted in His Name.
Thank you and the peace of Christ be with you.
Brenda A. Baietto
Dear Father Jenkins,
As a recent convert in 2009, I was confused by the clamour over the University awarding President Obama an honorary degree. So I paid a great deal of attention to his speech. The President made a point to emphasize that he would never create policy that would force people to act contrary to their conscience.
President Obama has chosen to go back on his word with the HHS mandate. Will you stand with President Obama or remain silent on the issue?