Monday, April 27, 2009

Good For Mary Ann Glendon

By now everyone has heard about Mary Ann Glendon's decision to decline the Latare Medal, which Notre Dame had planned to award her.

I think that Glendon has made an excellent decision, one that I hope her fellow pro-life Catholics will support to the fullest degree. It is one thing to be given an award at the same time that the University makes a disgraceful decision to bestow an honorary degree upon a man who believes that children who survive their own abortions don't deserve to live; it's quite another to have that University point to the award they're giving you as proof that, now, really, they're not so blind to the impropriety of celebrating pro-abortion politicians as all that.

Mary Ann Glendon was being used, and from her polite but firm letter to Fr. Jenkins it's clear that she realized that. It was an unconscionable thing for Notre Dame to do to her, to award her an honor and then claim that she could be "equal time" to balance out the appearance of the nation's Abortionist-In-Chief; the best thing for her to do is what she has done--withdraw, and make it clear to everyone just why she is choosing to do that.

There is a battle being waged for the soul of the Church in America, that goes far beyond our usual Catholic spats about Latin vs. vernacular, ad orientem vs. versus populum, Haugen/Haas hooting vs. Adoremus hymns, etc. It's not that these things aren't important; in a way they relate to the larger battle, which can be summed up as: must we, to be Catholic, accept everything the Church teaches, or can we consider ourselves perfectly good Catholics en route to Heaven while dissenting from any number of important Catholic teachings? The dividing line between the two sides is clear, and hot-button issues like abortion end up being flashpoints for a lot of the associated skirmishes.

Notre Dame, like a lot of other so-called Catholic universities, has come down on the "dissent" side of the equation. Universities like these take an agnostic approach to the truth, whatever their religious "traditions" may be--and however much they like to talk about these "traditions" when they send out fund-raising materials to wealthy, elderly alumni who don't know that things have changed drastically for the worse since their own college days. These sorts of universities don't officially believe in the truth, particularly not as taught by the Church; they are always much more interested in exploring different "faith traditions" and seeking "truths" in the plural; they tend to argue that serious scholarship demands that students not give any sort of pride of place to revealed truth, to Church teachings, or to the Catholic philosophical tradition that has developed over the centuries since the death and resurrection of Our Lord. Faced with some Catholic students who are pro-life, vocally so, and others who are not, such universities tend to chide the former for their "stridency" or for not being inclusive or respectful of the journeys of others, or some such rot--but the latter are almost never called to account for their openly heretical opinions, and are instead considered courageous for "daring" to think outside the Catechism, so to speak.

I don't think we've ever had a president who would so clearly take sides in what ought to be an internal Catholic battle, but President Obama is doing exactly that. He has surrounded himself with American "Catholic" dissenters, ranging from those who make a pious show of their Mass attendance and their reception of Holy Communion despite their slavering enthusiasm for the dismemberment and death of innocent babies in utero, to those who have been informed by their bishops that it isn't seemly for Death Eaters to snack on the Bread of Life. He will now bolster his association with weakling and quisling Catholics by showing off at Notre Dame, and add to his collection of photos of himself being fawned over and toadied to by priests who ought to know better. And he will do so to try to advance even further the big lie being told by American Catholics to themselves--that it is possible to be a good, pious, devout Catholic, in love with the Lord and His Church, while still thinking that abortion is a really terrific idea, a way of keeping the whole "sex without consequences" thing going, a fully acceptable kind of "collateral damage" in which helpless children pay with their very lives for the selfish hedonism of their parents.

Obama and Fr. Jenkins were both perfectly willing to use Mary Ann Glendon's appearance at Notre Dame to further this lie. Good for her, for seeing through them and refusing to play this very evil game.

1 comment:

Magister Christianus said...

Erin, you have said it well. You write, "There is a battle being waged for the soul of the Church in America...." I have been reading John's Gospel this week and was struck by the passage where Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers. Zeal for His Father's house consumed Him, and it should consume us, His followers, as well.

You ask, "can we consider ourselves perfectly good Catholics en route to Heaven while dissenting from any number of important Catholic teachings?" The answer is clearly and logically no. A person may go to church and sing all the hymns of praise he likes, but when he departs from the teaching of the Church, he can no longer call himself Catholic. He may call himself by a Methodist if he likes...until such time as he departs from Methodist teaching. This goes back to an issue of definitions, which I spoke of in a post called "The Meaning of Words" at A person does not change reality simply by uttering a few words. A person cannot be Catholic simply by claiming such a title. Jesus said that many will say "Lord, Lord," and He will reply, "I never knew you."

You rightly excoriate universities that claim to be about the search for truth, but then clearly rule truth arrived at through certain means off the table. This is intellectual dishonesty.

I have posted elsewhere my praise for Prof. Glendon's decision. She has the courage of her convictions, and I pray her minor martyrdom will inspire others to do likewise.

P.S. Erin, I would be honored if you chose to include bedlamorparnassus in your blogroll. I find there to be great similarity in our posts.