Cover Columbus! Show Porn!

.@NotreDame covers Christopher Columbus while uncovering porn. #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

Two Notre Dame events that have received widespread publicity recently stand in strange juxtaposition. The first, which we described in a prior report, is the request to Father Jenkins by over 1000 petitioners, mainly students, for installation of a filter to block the torrent of pornography the university provides to students 24/7 through its Internet service.

Father Jenkins has been conspicuously silent about this for some three months, while a Notre Dame spokesman has indicated there will be no change.

The second notable event is Father Jenkins’s decision just a few days ago to cover up the series of murals in the Main Building dating from the 1880s that celebrate the achievements of Christopher Columbus. But for Native Americans, Father Jenkins declared, the discovery of America was “nothing short of a catastrophe.” So much for the murals.

We will report further on this episode, but the incongruity of the University’s covering up heroic images of Christopher Columbus while funneling rancid, sexually charged images to students is so striking that it should not go unremarked in this update on the pornography issue.

As to that issue, it is past time to hear from Father Jenkins. The students presented to him compelling documentation of the corrosive  consequences of pornography. Indeed, one wonders why that should be necessary at all for a Catholic priest responsible for deciding whether to limit Notre Dame’s indiscriminate dissemination of pornography to its students, for the Church’s teaching on pornography is unyielding:

[Pornography] offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense.

But one discrete factor underscored by the students that should be of special concern to Father Jenkins is the link between pornography and sexual assault, which, as they observe, “has occurred all too frequently at Notre Dame.”

Indeed! We will report shortly on the university’s most recent “Sexual Climate” survey, but for present purposes it’s enough to note these startling results:

With about half the students responding, there were during the prior year:

  • 78 rapes, or about 9 rapes on average a month, and
  • About fifty other sexual assaults a month.

The only reaction to the student petition from the university so far has come from Paul Browne, the Vice President for Communications. He says Notre Dame has a rule against students watching porn on the Internet and that’s good enough because “God’s given us the choice of whether to be sinners or not.”

Does Father Jenkins really believe an unenforced, unenforceable, and widely disregarded rule is good enough for Notre Dame, that Notre Dame has no responsibility to do what it can to mitigate the effects of the porn it funnels to its students?

Not surprisingly, some Notre Dame students, we suppose many, agree with Mr. Browne. Two women students went on record in The Observer in favor of “good porn” and its role in promoting students’ “conversations about their likes and dislikes” in having sex.

Then there is the student who assailed the anti-porn students because they “stigmatized and undermined” the “profession” of  performers.

Finally, there is a free speech/academic “slippery slope” warning by the student pointing to Somalia, Sudan, China and the like as the end of the “censorship” line. (Prospective Onion headline: “ND Stops Supplying Porn to Students, Philosophy Professors Take Hemlock.”)

On the other side are the Holy Cross brothers who run Holy Cross College down the road. They’ve installed a filter. Their students know that these CSCs mean what they say when they condemn the vile products of a vile industry. What is it that makes one CSC school so different from the other?

The students have acted with courage and intelligence. They deserve a reasoned response from Father Jenkins. As do we all.

The students also deserve a helping hand from all alumni and others in the Notre Dame family who agree with them. The number of signatories on their petition has reached 1,700, mainly students.  Only a few hundred alumni have signed. We urge you to join the petition if you haven’t and to recruit others – alumni, relatives, friends of the University. (The petition is below.) 

And we encourage you also to take a few minutes to tell Father Jenkins what you think and ask him for his response to the students. His address:

Support the Students’ Petition

You don’t need to be a student to support their request for a pornography filter on Notre Dame’s Wi-Fi.  To add your name to the students’ online petition, please click on the image below.



ABC Nightline interviewed Notre Dame student Jim Martinson and several of his associates on their campus anti-pornography campaign for its feature “Renewed Pushback Against Online Porn.”

The program centers on Tumblr’s decision to ban adult content on its social networking site and the Notre Dame student petition to the University to install a filter that would stop the use of pornography on its Wi-Fi.

You can view the Notre Dame student portion of the Nightline program below and the full segment on ABC here.

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22 Responses to “Cover Columbus! Show Porn!”

  1. What we should be fighting for first and foremost, is Holiness.

    It has recently become clear that the administration has not done its due diligence in regards to the fact that filters are necessary in order to prevent unwelcomed obscenity and indecency from being sent to one’s computer without permission, and thus without the consent of a multitude of persons who have had to place filters on their access to the internet, in order to prevent unlawful intruders from entering and causing harm.
    Perhaps the administration of Our Lady’s University, if they are concerned about the safety and well being of their students, can begin a class action lawsuit against the criminals who are trespassing against us in order to cause physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual harm.
    Let no one deceive you, that which sexually objectifies the human person, denies the inherent Dignity of the human person as a beloved son or daughter, and is thus obscene and indecent.
    Every act of pornography serves to sexually objectify the human person; in this, there are no shades of grey.

    obscene material – Legal Definition
    According to a Supreme Court decision, material is obscene, and hence not protected by the free-speech provision of the First Amendment if it has three elements: It must have prurient appeal, as decided by the average person applying the standards of the community; it must portray sexual conduct in an offensive way; and it must be lacking in serious artistic, literary, scientific, or political value.

    It is important to note that unwelcomed trespassing is often used to cause harm not just by exposing the innocent to obscene and vulgar material, that sexually objectifies the human person, but also as a means to attach spyware, viruses, and additional harmful material that can steal private information, putting the entire University and the members of The Notre Dame Community at risk.

    “A Web filter is a program that can screen an incoming Web page to determine whether some or all of it should not be displayed to the user. The filter checks the origin or content of a Web page against a set of rules provided by company or person who has installed the Web filter. A Web filter allows an enterprise or individual user to block out pages from Web sites that are likely to include objectionable advertising, pornographic content, spyware, viruses, and other objectionable content. Vendors of Web filters claim that their products will reduce recreational Internet surfing among employees and secure networks from Web-based threats.”

    Regarding, “It must have prurient appeal, as decided by the average person applying the standards of the community”, if a community’s standards have become so demeaning as to embrace the sexual objectification of the human person thus objectifying the human person and denying the essence of being a beloved son or daughter from the moment of conception, than woe to us all for tolerating the violating Divine Law which is anti Christ.

  2. Fr. Jenkins, if you value the purity of truth over modish beliefs du jour, if you deplore hysterical bigotry, if you love Notre Dame, if you love our country: Go to the murals in the Main Building! Fr. Jenkins, open your mind! Fr. Jenkins, become a strong leader with the strength and integrity to admit mistakes! Fr. Jenkins, tear down those mural coverings! Fr. Jenkins … Fr. Jenkins, let the light from the lamp of Lady Liberty shine brightly upon those depictions that are symbolic of a proud heritage that rightfully belongs to us all … a heritage that led to to founding of a free and exceptional nation governed with the consent of the governed including today the descendants of its indigenous people many of whom now occupy seats in our government and are candidates on ballots running for all areas of government: state and local legislatures, governorships, and the Congress in Washington.

    John S. Krol

    MIT ’50

  3. The comments from Edward (Ed) Smith concerning the attitude of Jenkins relative to Cardinal McCarrick and also to the Christopher Columbus murals are both examples of poor leadership. Sometimes I think Father Jenkins would like to have
    ND as an Ivy League university.

  4. Summary of an article from January 29th’s Boston Globe:

    What kids aren’t telling parents about porn on social media

    Pornography today is not your father’s Playboy. Instead of reaching under the mattress for a magazine, teenagers are just a few phone swipes away from hard-core videos. Porn is now more affordable, accessible, and violent than ever before, and many boys are watching it as early as age 11 or 12.

    Lots of parents worry that their kids might be surfing free porn sites such as Pornhub. However, most are unaware that porn is also infiltrating mainstream social media sites such as Snapchat and Instagram. Parents, here’s what you should know.

  5. Here is an article from Life Site today, about some activity we may not have heard about on the Notre Dame campus. Life Site is a pro- Catholic, pro-life website.
    SOUTH BEND, Indiana, January 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A famously pro-gay Catholic bishop is slated to lead an “LGBTQ retreat” next weekend at the University of Notre Dame.

    At the retreat, Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky “will be integrating sexual orientation and faith from a Scriptural and Biblical perspective,” according to an online description provided by the University’s Gender Relations Center (GRC). The University’s Campus Ministry is a cosponsor.

    LifeSiteNews reached out to Bishop Stowe requesting an explanation of what it means to integrate “sexual orientation and faith,” but he declined through his spokesman.

    Other questions which went unanswered were:
    •Does Bishop Stowe intend to hold fast to magisterial teaching, or will he offer some other interpretation which affirms homosexual activity and transgenderism? If so, would Bishop Stowe be willing to share the Scriptural passages which might advocate for this?
    •Is Bishop Stowe concerned that participating in an event labeled “LGBTQ” might affirm someone who is already experiencing difficulty escaping gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender “identity”?

    The upcoming retreat featuring Bishop Stowe “is primarily geared toward students of the LGBTQ community,” according to its description, a term which in and of itself defies Catholic Church teaching.

    Bishop Stowe recently made headlines for penning an op-ed scolding the Covington Catholic High School students who were accosted by radical activist Nathan Phillips while wearing “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hats after the March for Life. The bishop criticized the students, whose lives have been turned upside down by false media reports, death threats, and doxxing, suggesting they weren’t being pro-life by wearing MAGA hats.

    Stowe is one of five bishops who endorsed pro-gay Fr. James Martin, S.J.’s book, “Building a Bridge,” and was also a featured speaker at a 2017 conference for the dissident group New Ways Ministry. The gathering was titled “Justice and Mercy Shall Kiss: LGBT Catholics in the Age of Pope Francis.”

    New Ways Ministry was condemned in 2010 by then-president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, and in 2011 by Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, USCCB chairman of the Committee on Doctrine.

    Additionally, in 1999 the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “permanently prohibited” the group’s co-founders, Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent, “from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons,” after ruling that their teaching was “erroneous and dangerous” and “doctrinally unacceptable.”

    Last summer, a spokesperson for Bishop Stowe’s diocese said it was “up to each parish” whether to promote homosexuality.

    Also in Bishop Stowe’s diocese last year, Fortunate Families, a pro-LGBT “Catholic” organization working in partnership with “Lexington Catholic LGBT Ministry” and the University of Kentucky LGBTQ* Resource Center, hosted dissident Fr. Bryan Massingale. He spoke about “LGBT Persons in the The Age of Pope Francis & Social Ethics.”

    I think homosexuals should be ministered to, but with all the craziness going on n the Catholic Church today, one has to wonder whether liberal priests are modifying and switching Catholic doctrine on sexual issues, and whether this Notre Dame conference is another example of that..

  6. Jeffery Murphy argues that providing porn on the ND campus is a matter of “free speech”. This is a very clever argument. Why, who can be against free speech? This argument is similar to the equally clever argument pro-abortion advocates used when they cloaked abortion under the banner of “Freedom of Choice”. Why, who can be against the freedom to choose?

    What Jeffery is missing is that the ND campus is “home” for the ND family. Moreover, it is actually the extension of the home from which the students came. A home is where a father and mother guard and guide their children on the right paths and keep them from all harm. The ND administration, priests, and professors are entrusted by the parents- essentially parental surrogates- to provide that same kind of protection and bonafide parental control. That is how Catholic colleges were advertised and promoted “back then”, i.e., 1950’s.

    I wonder if Jeffery would argue for the exercise of the “Right” of his children and grandchildren to view porn in his family living room when they visit. No. It is not a matter of free speech. It is a matter of the administration’s obligation to provide a family environment and a training ground for the students to grow strong in their faith and develop sound morals so that when they leave “home” and are exposed to the secular world they will have the courage and capacity to reject immorality, and be a voice to counter a degenerate culture instead of being a part of it. (“Do not conform yourselves to this corrupt generation, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God’s will, what is good, pleasing and perfect”, Rom. 12:2)

    ND was once a “pillar” of Catholicism, but is now the “pits” of porn. This stage of ND, I feel, would very much sadden its founder, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., finding the Golden Dome of is beloved “L’Universite’ de Notre Dame de Lac” tarnished and its reflection on St. Mary’s Lake dimmed. Fr. Jenkins resignation would be a blessing. In the absence of that Gregory Hoffman’s suggestion is a consideration. Given the present state of ND- I pray for its conversion- it would be better to level it to the ground to end cultivating confused corrupted Catholics, and return the land to the Indians. It would be a “healthier “place to visit.

  7. Jenkins is a morally obtuse self hating Catholic man. Contrary to one of the comments above, Jenkins is not a good or honorable man. Consider his self proclaimed pinnacle at ND was honoring the most pro-abortion president in US history. He demeaned millions of Catholics by honoring Biden with the Laetare medal. He finds abortion to be an ambiguous policy and moral issue. He is a political animal not a moral leader nor an intellectually honest man. If he were truly interested in the pursuit of the truth to inform ND’s decisions he would permit dissenting voices on the Bd of Trustees compared to the wealthy sycophants stacked therein by him, who kiss his fanny and who certainly brook precious little public dissent. This ensures his lack of accountability. Jenkins seems hell bent on covering up murals honoring a man who in part brought Christianity to the New World and there can be little honest debate that he is equally hell bent on secularizing ND to appease his secular and politically correct like minded leftists. He could not find a confederate statute on campus so he grabbed at the next low hanging fruit to ensure his leftist credibility. If this were truly a position motivated by moral outrage by the conduct of a man’s action some 530 years ago, he should forthwith remove the KofC Hall from campus, steak sandwiches and all, and even more poignantly refuse KofC scholarship money. You will find Jenkins’ values and ideals to stop just short of the bank teller’s window. As the hard progressive left continues to come for Catholics and know well they are doing so, count on Jenkins to kiss our cheek, emulating Judas, when he betrays Catholics and Catholicism and ND. When the final chapter of Jenkins’ shameful legacy is written I trust his critics will find cause to erase from the campus the building bearing his name.

  8. Like many of you, I am disappointed in Fr. Jenkins. While I do not know him personally, I am sure that he is a good priest and well-intentioned, but he is obviously not a strong leader. There are at least three causes of the dissatisfaction so many alumni feel about ND: (1) a Board of Trustees that does not insist that all of NDs actions be consistent with the teachings and principles of the Catholic Church; (2) a faculty that is not overwhelmingly comprised of committed, practicing Catholics (my goal would be a faculty of at least 95% strong Catholics, like the late Charles Rice of the ND Law School); and a president who is too easily pressured into allowing activities that he knows, or should know, are inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Until all three of these problems are addressed, and resolved, we will keep seeing the same kind of embarrassing conduct that we have witnessed for the last ten years or so.

    If ND is not going to stand firm against the nationwide effort to secularize our Catholic universities, who will? And, if ND will not do so, what exactly is the reason for its continuing claim to be a Catholic university? Of course, we also have to ask ourselves whether we should continue to subsidize a secularized ND.

    I do wonder what Our Lady thinks about some of the activities that have been permitted to occur on her campus. The next time Fr. Jenkins is faced with a demand that he further secularize ND, one of the things that he might ask himself is whether Our Lady would approve. If she would not, neither should he.

  9. I am sorry to bring this point up, it’s not very nice, but I’ll try to be discrete. Perhaps we are looking at the pornography issue at Notre Dame the right way, but not the way the ND Administration is looking at it. The focus by Bill Dempsey and most Sycamore Trust readers and the ND students has been “How is it in the best interest of Notre Dame students and Catholic doctrine for the University of Notre Dame to permit internet pornography to be broadcast over Notre Dame’s internet wifi system?” Perhaps the administration is looking at the question this way, with all apologies up front: “Is it better for the University to allow the priests to view internet pornography and exercise their baser instincts that way, under the cover of an unedited, uncensored University wifi system, rather than encounter more accusations of the type made by Catholic Militant reporter and Notre Dame grad Michael Voris regarding his experience at ND, or accusations of the type made against Cardinal McCarrick?” It’s very cynical, but wouldn’t that explain the University’s weird position and silence?

  10. John McNamara '86 January 25, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    I suppose it would be too much to ask for consistency from a pretend intellectual and a pretend priest like John I. Jenkins. After all, Father Jenkins is the guy who goes to the March for Life with Notre Dame students and has smiling photo ops, then comes back to campus and proposes policies to have the University of Notre Dame fund contraception and abortion, until he backed off abortion when the heat got too hot.

    John I. Jenkins is the defender of free speech when it comes to internet pornography at Notre Dame, but is the censoring tyrant when it comes to Fr. Miscamble reporting a survey on the internet, regarding which professors support Catholicism and which professors are less likely to support Catholic teaching

    John Jenkins covers up murals of Columbus that have been hanging in the admin building for over 130 years, because of complaints by liberal groups that Columbus enslaved Native Americans. However, as Gregory Hoffman points out, John Jenkins is not returning or buying replacement land for Native Americans displaced by the University of Notre Dame. A consistent intellectual would remove all reference to Holy Cross Priest Edward Sorin on campus and temporarily change Sorin hall to Cuomo Hall, in honor of Mario Cuomo’s affirming speech in the 1980’s. Similarly a reading of the history book, “Colonel Roosevelt” by Edmund Morris would reveal that former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt kicked Fr. John Zahm CSC off Roosevelt’s expedition of the Amazon, because Zahm treated the Native Amazon Brazilians so poorly, and Zahm insisted that the native Amazon peoples actually enjoyed carrying Zahm on a chair mounted on a platform carried by multiple Amazonians, not unlike a king, so that Zahm would not get too tired or wet and dirty. Perhaps if John Jenkins was consistent, he would get rid of the name Zahm Hall and rename it Sarah Weddington Hall, after a famous woman attorney. (please understand I am being facetious about using the names Cuomo or Weddington).

    Finally, if John Jenkins is going to be consistent, he has to realize that Christopher Columbus’ flagship was the “Santa Maria”, which for Jenkins’ sake, means “Saint Mary” in English. We should not honor anything connected to Columbus’ travels to the New World, and that requires that John Jenkins throw a black tarp over that statue of Santa Maria on top of the Administration Building’s Gold Dome. It’s only intellectually consistent and logical right? Again, I am being sarcastic. Much more time needs to be spent looking to Santa Maria these troubled days at Notre Dame.

    Have no fear, John Jenkins is not consistent, he’s not an intellectual and it’s very questionable about his commitment to Catholic doctrine. He is a liberal from the hippy generation, and anyone who knows hippy liberals knows that they believe rules are for other people, not for liberals, and he’ll just do whatever his liberal friends tell him to do, without concern for the whole story, consistency, integrity, or the law, unless he feels heat or a money squeeze.

  11. With regards to a Porn filter, it is the administration under Fr. Jenkins who should, long ago, put in a filter. The fact that the students are petitioning for a filter denotes just how lax, the administration and Fr. Jenkins particularly are on this matter. This is not the first time that Fr. Jenkins has not stood for the moral integrity of the University, and I believe he should resign, or be replaced as Administrative head of Notre Dame.

  12. If Father Jenkins and the Board feel that the Columbus murals are offensive to Native American Indians and that it is immoral to continue to show them, then givie back to the Native Indians the land that Notre Dame stands on today. See how far that suggestion goes at the next Board Meeting! These murals represent our American history, and as Edmund Burke pronounced , “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”! Please leave the murals as they are now in the Administration Building!!

  13. Richard Ruffing, MD '79 January 25, 2019 at 6:55 am

    For a great commentary on this issue- Read Catholics against Columbus – on the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal January 25. Please people get the word out to fellow alumni of faith that Sycamore Trust is a vital organization in the fight for the heart and soul of our great University

  14. Paul Vincent Coleman January 24, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    For the secound submission it is my observation that Jenkins should be fired for being mentally incompetent.

  15. Joseph Leo Schaefer '59 Universal City TX January 24, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Fr. Jenkins appears to be easily managed. Moral leadership is required. The quotes from the students supporting porn is truly appalling. Nobody; Fellows, Trustees, the bishop, or Rome seems to care. So long as the money flows in nobody cares.

  16. Brady P McKaig, MD January 24, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Perhaps we should call up a few new murals to replace those in the Admin. Bldg. which depict Indians in “stereotypical submissive roles” and show them engaged in their ongoing pursuits of human sacrifice and cannibalism…

  17. Kathleen McAllister January 24, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    It’s time for Fr Jenkins to step down. He has turned what once was a proud Catholic College into a laughingstock with his unhinged non-leadership as evidenced by his support of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick and his condemnation of Christopher Columbus.
    If I had a son or daughter in ND I would immediately withdraw them. There is no evidence that this is a Catholic school and therefore it’s accreditation should be removed.

  18. Edward (Ed) Smith January 24, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    “Our deepest failures are those we don’t see as failures. There’s a sort of moral blindness in what we do, and that’s sometimes the greatest moral tragedy.”

    Ironically, this is a quote from Fr. Jenkins (talking about Cardinal McCarrick) while defending his decision to withhold revoking Cardinal McCarrick’s honorary degree. Apparently, he has more sympathy for an admitted predator than Christopher Columbus…. and fails to see his own failures as a leader.

    Pray that Our Lady will help us in the course of our life to do what is right and that those in positions of power will succumb to a life of service and humility.

    I recall the occupation of the Main Building during the Vietnam War. The University ordered the evacuation under penalty of expulsion. But, an edict was not the end of the story. Fr. Hesburgh’s solution was not a cover up or a decision to ignore the issue. Instead, recognizing the beauty and power of prayer, he said let’s have Mass together on the Main Quad at the Flag Pole and pray for peace. He brought people on opposite sides together at the Mass.

    That is a real leader… an authentic leader and priest. Unfortunately, we are not seeing that today.

  19. Notre Dame has become the new Georgetown University. Soon Jenkins will be covering up the crucifxes. Where is the Board of Trustees?

  20. Mr. Martinson is very impressive in this leadership role. He should be a role model for Father Jenkins. Notre Dame: Put Catholicism back into the school!

  21. m.l. abbatemarco January 24, 2019 at 11:21 am

    When is Bishop Rhodes going to step in to reign Mr. Jenkins in???

  22. Willliam Dotterweich January 24, 2019 at 10:56 am

    The Columbus thing has made ND a laughing stock among my adult friends. Application of today’s standards to historical figures would leave few (including the esteemed Edward Sorin) unscathed. Teenagers don’t seem to understand that.

    And the porn filter thing is such a no-brainer that Father Jenkin’s position (or non-position) leaves us alumni in a state of acute embarrassment.

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