NOTRE DAME, IN – Project Sycamore sends petition with 940 alumni signatures to Fr. Jenkins.
In this bulletin we reproduce the letter we have sent to Father Jenkins respecting The Vagina Monologues, and we also provide additional information respecting both the current state of affairs and the recent episode involving the bishops that was the subject of our last bulletin.
Since that bulletin, we have learned that the bishops’ conference was a much more important gathering than news reports had indicated. Based on those accounts, we originally reported that only seven bishops, members of the Committee on Doctrine, together with Cardinal Levada, were involved. But we have learned that all members of the Conference of Catholic Bishops had been invited and that from forty to fifty actually attended. This meeting was a major Episcopal event. The “collective decision” of the bishops in attendance to move their meeting from the campus, as Bishop D’Arcy described it, cannot be minimized.
The principal significance of this clash is what it signals respecting the relationship between the University and the Church. Father Jenkins’s decision to support The Vagina Monologues over the bishops’ convocation exacerbates a disjuncture that became evident with his dismissal of Bishop D’Arcy’s strongly held views respecting this play two years ago. The intense faculty pressure that resulted in Father Jenkins’s decision reflects the secularization of the University that is the center of Project Sycamore’s concerns.
As to the status of the play, we understand that the application for final approval is pending before Dean Mark Roche. Ultimate responsibility, however, remains with Father Jenkins. Under the applicable guidelines, “[I]f the President has concerns that inappropriate judgments are being made,” while he is to seek the views of others, in the end the decision is his.
Accordingly, we and many other Project Sycamore supporters have written Father Jenkins. A number of these messages are posted and discussed on our blog site. We encourage those who have not written to do so promptly.
Here is our letter on behalf of 940 petition signatories: Dear Fr. Jenkins
2028 E Ben White Blvd
Austin, TX 78741
Sycamore Trust provides a source of information, a means of communication, and a collective voice to Notre Dame alumni and others in the Notre Dame family who are concerned about preserving the Catholic identity of the University.