The letter from our Archbishop to Fr. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame. This happened under the radar, or at least under my radar, which probably isn't saying too much... At any rate, I thought his concise, strong message is a great example of how to take a position and communicate it.
"If your brother sins, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that 'every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
"If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector." Matthew 18:15-17
March 26, 2009
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.President, University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Dear Father Jenkins:
I have just learned that you, as President of the University of Notre Dame, have invited President Barack Obama to be the graduation commencement speaker at the University’s exercises on May 17, 2009. I was also informed that you will confer on the president an honorary doctor of laws degree, one of the highest honors bestowed by your institution.
I write to protest this egregious decision on your part. President Obama has been a pro-abortion legislator. He has indicated, especially since he took office, his deliberate disregard of the unborn by lifting the ban on embryonic stem cell research, by promoting the FOCA agenda and by his open support for gay rights throughout this country.
It is a travesty that the University of Notre Dame, considered by many to be a Catholic University, should give its public support to such an anti-Catholic politician.
I hope that you are able to reconsider this decision. If not, please do not expect me to support your University in the future.
The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis