Academic Freedom Run Amok

.@NotreDame hosts a talk by a pro-abortion speaker arranged by students with @Irish4RepHealth who are suing #NotreDame for free abortifacients. Click To Tweet

The pro-choice student organization Irish 4 Reproductive Health (“Irish 4”) is hosting a talk this evening on campus by the noted pro-abortion advocate Katherine Watson.

The event has no Notre Dame sponsor. Irish 4 is an unrecognized student group that is suing Notre Dame to require it to provide free abortifacients to students and employees through its health programs. Because it is not recognized, it cannot act as a sponsor; and, as The Irish Rover has reported, the Anthropology Department withdrew its sponsorship upon being told it could not in effect take the place of an unofficial organization.

Thereupon, the department chair, Dr. Augustin Fuentes, reserved the space for Irish 4 and its event.

We asked Paul Browne, the Vice President of Communications, “whether it comports with University policy for Dr. Fuentes to book space in a University facility for a pro-abortion presentation that has no Notre Dame sponsor.”

And we sent a copy to Father Jenkins “so that he will be aware of this event and have the opportunity either to cancel it or permit it to proceed.”

We have received no response. Evidently the event does accord with university policy as construed by Father Jenkins.

The pro-abortion character of the event is predictable. Dr. Watson is a member of Planned Parenthood’s National Medical Council and on the board of the National Abortion Federation, a group of independent abortion clinics.

As to her subject, her book “Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Ordinary Abortion,” Dr. Charles K. Bellinger of Texas Christian University had this to say in his Public Discourse review:

She summarizes the standard arguments that are made for and against personhood beginning at conception, obviously siding with the latter…. Watson’s overall argument boils down to two key ideas: individual autonomy and respect for pluralism. The individual woman should have the power to determine what moral status the embryo has — for her. Watson is okay with pro-life advocates trying to persuade others regarding the moral wrongness of abortion, but she does not want them to try to “impose” their views on others through the force of law; that is a refusal to respect pluralism.

So this is the reach of academic freedom in the Jenkins administration:

A single faculty member may reserve a university facility for a talk by an adversary of the Church on abortion that is arranged by an unrecognized group of pro-abortion students who are suing the university to require it to furnish free abortifacients to students and employees.

Some reach!

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23 Responses to “Academic Freedom Run Amok”

  1. There is nothing “ordinary” about abortion. This is how the Left gains power; first, they control the language with insidious revisions, cultural inventions, and dumbing down common decency, then they indoctrinate the new thinking through the media and academia.

  2. Marion Gingras '92 March 10, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Pres. Jenkins and his Board are clearly working hard to re-brand Our University and change it into a secular one, standing for nothing Catholic and instead focusing on appealing to pop culture.

    What and where is the money trail coming from that they are following?

  3. John McNamara '86 March 8, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Dear Bill and Sycamore Trust- What is the status of your lawyers letter to the US District Court in Indiana or the Seventh Circuit? Did you notice how VP Affleck-Graves, a South African citizen, resigned after Sycamore Trust said it was going to send the letter to the courts and he will be returning to S. Africa later this Summer? How coincidental is that? Think he didn’t want to answer any questions from US federal courts about the affidavit he provided in Notre Dame’s lawsuit with the Department of Health and Human Services? Is there a lesson there with respect to Mr. Jenkins?

    Congratulations again on getting Notre Dame to rescind Mr. McCarrick’s honorary degree.

    In an ironic way, I am happy to see so many responses/comments to this particular posting. I was afraid a lot of the previous writers had given up on Notre Dame and thrown their arms up in the air in exasperation. I believe the admin looks at these newsletters and I encourage as many readers as possible to write, as so many did this time. Don’t give up, you are turning the tide, but it’s still early in the battle.

    THANK YOU for identifying at least one professor in the lawsuit against Notre Dame, to make Notre Dame provide abortions. Dr. Fuentes, a relatively young man in his thirties, presents kind of a radical persona on his Youtube videos, and would have fit in quite naturally at Woodstock.

    I echo RC Clark’s comments. I have a son graduating from high school in two years and I am very conflicted about encouraging him to go to Notre Dame. I’d love to keep the tradition going, my grandmother’s brother played football on the same team Knute Rockne played on a hundred years ago, but Notre Dame IS NO LONGER A CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY, it is a university affiliated with the Catholic church,. but not following the Catholic faith, as Dr. Quin and Dr. Delaney have stated or alluded.

    Imagine being a Catholic priest talking to Dr. Fuentes and telling him that first and foremost, Notre Dame is a private Catholic university, which he knew when he was hired at ND, and that Notre Dame follows both Catholic Church law/Canon law/the Catechism, and federal law, and like a Christian baker, UND does not have to provide lectures supporting abortion, any more than a Christian baker has to bake homosexual wedding cakes or cakes depicting anatomical parts to someone changing their sex; or Yeshiva University has to provide lecture halls to members of the PLO, who also want a plate of ham sandwiches; or a Catholic school in Kansas City has to retain a teacher volunteering for planned parenthood. Imagine having the power to take a stand like that for the Church and do good and stand for something! How the Church needs someone like that today. If you want to grow the Catholic Church, stand for something! When you don’t stand, you really strongly show that you don’t believe and don’t have faith in God.

    Now imagine being a priest hearing confession. You have a priest before you who had BILLIONS of dollars of assets and an army of lawyers, lawyer alums and law school professors, and given multiple times to take a courageous stand at multiple Marches for Life and graduations and a federal lawsuit, to defend millions of children from being aborted each year, a modern holocaust, given the bully pulpit of being able to call out the governor of New York, and like- minded governors in Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island and Massachuestts, for legalizing abortion and infanticide, having the bully pulpit to call out the President and the Vice president for the same American genocide, instead you remained quiet like a mouse and gave a couple of them a medal or a diploma, what would you say to this rodent? Then this same Catholic priest, who many parents were trusting in good faith to educate their children in the faith , not let them get sexually assaulted, provides lectures by advocates of infant genocide like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or lectures dissenting from Catholic theology, like the recent homosexual conference, what would you say to such a man to give him a chance for penance, as he gets long in years? It is obvious that such a man has no belief in Catholic theology, and no fear of judgment in Heaven, no worries about misdirecting young people in the faith, just a fear of judgment in courts and public opinion. What would you say?? It’s time for John Jenkins to do some deep reflection, even if it’s completely focused on himself and being viewed with the same historic criticism that some level on the Pope during World War II. Instead, John Jenkins stands with abortion, a practice that arose out of concerns over a world population explosion, eliminating “undesirable people”, racism and eugenics. You’re keeping some company there, Jenkins, and that is your legacy,

  4. For Fred Gade (’60): I disagree with Watson’s argument that the government should not interfere with a woman’s choice and her Doctor’s views on Abortion and Infanticide, as this is a violation of pluralism (whatever that means). A better view would be to have the government pay money to the woman if she agrees to have the child and then she also agrees to allow Adoption of the child.

    As to pluralism-we would then have one more protected citizen baby in the country- which would truly lead to pluralism in actuality.


  6. Phil Kierl '69 March 6, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Father Jenkins and I say that reluctantly is not a Catholic priest and the University of Notre Dame unfortunately is no longer a Catholic University it is shameful after all of the foundation laid by father hesburgh of those before them that the leadership is list of this University has fallen into the hands of such a uniquely incompetent and faithful and despicable human being.

    Our lady’s University deserves better and the board a fellow should be ashamed of themselves if they don’t act upon this why are they even there.

  7. Joseph Leo Schaefer '59 March 5, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Considering the on-again / off-again positions Notre Dame has taken on the matter, presumably by seeing which way the wind is blowing in the legal world and the confusion in its own general counsel’s office, the lack of governance by the Fellows and the Trustees, it would appear to me that it is afraid of a lot of things: legal liability (whether imagined or real), cut-off of Federal Funding for this or that, loss of grants for this or that non-STEM research funding, risk to recruiting “high achievers” from the SAT world, the otherwise perceived risk to attracting faculty and guest lecturers and symposia, determination not to become a “provincial” Catholic university, the desire to undergo the initiation in the fraternity of the elite and former religious origins of these universities, und so weiter, we are approaching the crucial issue of whether, in order to recognize the direction Notre Dame has taken and to avoid further scandal to the Faith, it should continue to be led, for now, by an ordained priest. The scandal has been done. I see little possibility for Notre Dame to change course because it is too heavily invested in its current courses, as above. But like many things, privates winning battles their generals said were lost, the gains by pro-life advocates, including the contributions made by Notre Dame students, to include the Edith Stein and SCOT groups, in pro-Life states, such as my own Texas, by Catholic students at non-Catholic universities, such as, Texas A&M and TCU, I do see the time coming when the university president, the Fellows, the Trustees, will look about and “see the troops marching”, and ask, “Where are they going? I must follow them!”

  8. Dr. William F Delaney March 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Pro abortion students have no business attending a Catholic university. But that begs the question: Is Notre Dame still a Catholic university? It was when I graduated 68 years ago but, alas, it has become increasingly less than truly Catholic in the intervening years. The current administration (all levels) needs to get on their knees and beg forgiveness for sullying the Holy Name of the Mother of our Lord and Savior. Repent and confess. Your souls are in danger as are the souls of the young people entrusted to your care.

    Dr. William F Delaney, ’52

  9. Appalling!!! Our brilliant and talented high school junior year grandchildren want to matriculate there as so many of their relatives have. We are hoping against it happening and we are not conservatives. I am a triple diner.

  10. Consider what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (footnotes omitted) states in these four (4) paragraphs:

    “¶670 Since the Ascension God’s plan has entered into its fulfillment. We are already at ‘the last hour’. ‘Already the final age of the world is with us, and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain real way, for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect.’ Christ’s kingdom already manifests its presence through the miraculous signs that attend its proclamation by the Church.” . . .

    “¶672 Before his Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel which, according to the prophets, was to bring all men the definitive order of justice, love and peace. According to the Lord, the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness, but also a time still marked by ‘distress’ and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church and ushers in the struggles of the last days. It is a time of waiting and watching.” . . .

    “¶675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.”

    “¶677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.”

    “By Thy Holy & Immaculate Conception, O Mary, deliver us from evil!”

  11. The solution is to hit them in the pocketbook. BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT

  12. Dear Father Jenkins – “we can only ask, with fear and trembling, ‘Who is next?’”

  13. Michael O. Kenney '80, '83L March 5, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Michael O. Kenney ’80, ’83L

    St. John Paul II, World Youth Day, Denver, August 15, 1993:

    Vast sectors of society are confused about what is right and what is wrong, and are at the mercy of those with the power to “create” opinion and impose it on others.

    The family especially is under attack. And the sacred character of human life denied. Naturally, the weakest members of society are the most at risk: the unborn . . . .

    Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life . . .

  14. So tragic that this is allowed on our Lady’s campus. How much longer does Fr. Jenkins have before his term is up? Too long I’m afraid.

  15. Dr. Anne-Marie Vickers Quin March 5, 2019 at 10:34 am

    President Jenkins and the Board of Trustees, as well as the Congress of the Holy Cross priests, the people who directly make the decisions at the University of Notre Dame, are excruciatingly disappointing. What religion are you representing; could it be that of the malignant narcissistic dictates of moral relativism?

  16. I recall the turbulent “60s when students protested the way with sit-ins in University offices. Father Hesburgh advised the potential demonstrators that Notre Dame is private university and they would be invited tlo leave should they decide to stage a sit-in at the administration building. Seems that this would be anappropriate way to handle the current challenge from dissenters of the values and teaching of the Catholic Church.

  17. Therese More MSSW March 5, 2019 at 10:13 am

    This is what happens when the inmales are allowed to run the asylum.

    And, an asylum is what the University of Notre Dame has become.

    May Our Lady, to whom she is dedicated, intercede for that former bastion of Catholicity to come to their senses!!!

  18. A true outrage at our Blessed Mother’s
    university. john Jenkins should resign!

  19. A species that promotes abortion, which removing restrictions on it means, is fouling its own nest, and thus is a species on its way out, for it has destroyed the basis of any true pietas, any relation of respect for nature, ancestors, family, and future stability. It reduces what remains of our polity to a satire of libertarianism, and the state to an enabler of idiosyncratic individualism … for the time being. Next the state will act as totalitarian ecology police and force abortion (as we have seen in China), ironically in the name of the common good, a concept largely absent from libertarianism save as provided for by some vague “unseen hand.” The hand of the state is never invisible, however. It is the General Will with clubs.
    We may be headed for a most unpleasant future, for it seems that Paul VI (“Humanae Vitae”) and Thomas Malthus (“An Essay on Population”) were both right. But why should Notre Dame aid and abet secular utilitarianism on our road to Camp Siberia? “Fiat Justitia, Ruat Coelum.”

  20. Steven. Bingham March 5, 2019 at 9:29 am

    I continue to be appalled by Fr. Jenkins. I do not understand why the Church has not reined him in. Where is the Holy Father’s outrage? Are actions like this not grounds for excommunication? I’m disgusted! I hope the students protest this.

  21. Willliam Dotterweich March 5, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Christopher Columbus would be turning over in his grave.

  22. Dena Maria Fredrickson March 5, 2019 at 9:06 am

    So will there be an “unofficial, unrecognized group” there to protest?

  23. When are we going to get rid of that asocial misfit of a University President? Was not lying to the Supreme Court sufficient to tell us who John Jenkins is? I’m for “Bye, bye, Johnny – it ain’t been good to know ya.”

    “Don’t let the door hit ya’ on the backside when you leave.”

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