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Father Jenkins, Lou Holtz, & Joe Biden

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Joe Biden proud to marry gay couple
.@NotreDame president Fr. John  Jenkins slams former Irish football coach @LouHotlz for criticizing @JoeBiden's anti-Catholic position on abortion. #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

Strange Happenings in Father Jenkins’s Office

There have been strange and revelatory happenings in the President’s Office at Notre Dame during the political conventions just ended.

Pete Buttigeig

First, as we noted in our last bulletin, during the Democratic convention Pete Buttigeig, a newly appointed Notre Dame Faculty Fellow, pressed the case for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the party’s ultimate pro-abortion and pro-same-sex marriage ticket, with a side dish of anti-Catholicism served up by Harris.

Fr. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, said not a word about his new faculty member’s exhortation.

Lou Holtz

Then, during the Republican convention, Lou Holtz, Notre Dame’s legendary former football coach and a tireless pro-life advocate, supported President Trump, declaring “nobody is a stronger advocate for the unborn,” and denounced the Biden/Harris ticket as “the most radically pro-abortion in history.”

He continued:

They and other politicians are Catholics in name only and abandon innocent lives. President Trump protects those lives.”

Father Jenkins immediately issued a statement declaring that Notre Dame’s long departed football coach didn’t speak for Notre Dame and criticizing him for what he said about Biden.

While Coach Lou Holtz is a former coach at Notre Dame, his use of the University’s name at the Republican National Convention must not be taken to imply that the University endorses his views, any candidate or any political party. Moreover, we Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions, we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith, which is due to the mysterious working of grace in that person’s heart.

So here we have the President of the country’s leading Catholic university and a supposedly nonpartisan member of the Commission on Presidential Debates inserting himself into the presidential campaign to put down a former Notre Dame coach supporting the pro-life Trump/Pence team while he watched in silence as a current Notre Dame employee lauded the pro-abortion Biden/Harris ticket, celebrated same-sex marriage, and jabbed at religious liberty claims of people of faith. 

Why would Father Jenkins do that? 

Consider what he says.

First, Holtz “used the University’s name,” so people might think Notre Dame “endorses his views.”

Really? 

Holtz is a quarter century removed from Notre Dame, and this is how he “used the University’s name”:

I used to ask our athletes at Notre Dame, if you did not show up, who would miss you and why?

and

You know, there’s a statue up of me at Notre Dame. I guess they needed a place for the pigeons to land. But if you look closely, you will see these three words there: trust, commitment and love. All my life, I’ve made my choices based on these three words.

Surely Holtz’ response to Father Jenkins’s professed concern during a Fox News interview was right:

Everybody knows I’m not a representative of Notre Dame.

Still, perhaps Jenkins thought Holtz so calumniated Biden that he should speak up to provide moral instruction. “We Catholics,” he explained, “must never question the sincerity of another’s faith.”

But Holtz did no such thing, and it is decidedly unfair of Father Jenkins to say that he did – even assuming Jenkins has a roving commission to admonish former employees for what they say about political issues. 

Holtz didn’t remotely hint that Biden doesn’t believe he’s Catholic, that he’s just faking it, much less that he was without any faith at all. As Holtz said about Father Jenkins’s accusation during a Fox interview:

I understand Biden’s a fine young man. I can’t tell what’s in his heart, but I can tell his actions are not in accord with what I understand is Catholicism.”

Unfounded Claim

Holtz was simply saying what countless other Catholics have said, namely, Biden’s claim to be a full-fledged Catholic, which by any reasonable standard includes fidelity and witness to the Church’s fundamental teachings, is in fact unfounded, irrespective of what he thinks about it.

Consider, for example, how Dr. Robert George of Princeton, one of the country’s most prominent Catholic public voices, recently said substantially the same thing as Holtz in calling Biden’s support for codifying Roe v. Wade “disgraceful”:

How can anybody who, as a Catholic, is committed to the proposition that every single member of the human family… is a creature made in the very image and likeness of God… expose an entire class of human beings to death?

Here’s the heart of Lou Holtz’s response to Father Jenkins:

https://vimeo.com/459335094

The complete interview is here

The Catholic Card

Holtz was certainly not reaching for an issue. Biden regularly boasts about his supposed Catholic credentials. The Catholic card was played again and again at the Democratic Convention. See America’s “Joe Biden’s Faith on Display” and a convention video featuring Biden’s audience with the Pope. Then, for example, there are the multiple stories about Biden’s confiding to reporters that he always carries his deceased son’s rosary in his pocket.

Biden’s most recent iteration of his purportedly robust Catholicism came in the Fox interview of Holtz:

I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life. I practice all the elements of my faith.

That is so spectacularly false that one wonders how Biden could bring himself to say it. 

As any sentient prospective voter knows, Biden, who supports public funding of abortions and who officiated at a same-sex marriage in the vice-presidential residence, publicly and unequivocally rejects the Church’s historic and fundamental teachings on abortion, sex, and marriage. 

Warning to Catholic Politicians

Just the other week the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglio, reiterated the Church’s warning to Catholic politicians to “stop promoting laws against the life” of the unborn. “The Church is very clear in this regard,” he declared. “It is a response from the Catechism.”

This prompts the question why, if Father Jenkins for some reason decided he should instruct Catholic voters about what they should not hold against Biden, he did not also instruct them what the bishops say they most certainly should hold against him. 

In the bishops’ “teaching guide” for the election (“Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”), Catholics are warned that it is “impermissible” to vote for a candidate who, like Biden, supports “intrinsic evils” such as abortion and same-sex marriage except for “truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences.” And if the Catholic voter supports the candidate’s views – e.g., approves same-sex marriage – then that voter “would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil.”

Causes and Consequences

One can only speculate why Father Jenkins acted as he did in these two convention incidents. The most obvious explanation is that offered in a National Review article by staff writer (and Sycamore Trust board member) Alexandra DeSanctis (ND ’16), “Notre Dame’s Party Politics.” Father Jenkins simply prefers Biden, and Obama before him, and is acting accordingly. 

Perhaps, too, this affair has something to do with Father Jenkins’s bewildering 2016 choice of Biden as recipient of the Laetare Medal, an honor bestowed annually by Notre Dame on a Catholic “whose genius” “has illustrated the ideals of the Church.” Holtz’s indictment of Biden certainly underscored the impropriety of Father Jenkins’s decision. 

Or perhaps we have here just blunders and unforced errors. 

Whatever the reason, the result was lamentable. It is disheartening to see the President of Notre Dame publicly chastise a man who has meant so much to the University, and it is especially painful when that chastisement is warrantless.

Lou Holtz brought Notre Dame a National Championship, two #2, one #4, and one #6 finishes in one of the most sparkling and exuberant periods in Notre Dame football history. In 2008, a grateful assembly of Notre Dame notables, including Father Jenkins, dedicated a sculpture of Holtz with two of his players that stands in the stadium alongside other past football superheroes Rockne, Leahy, and Parseghian. 

And in the years after Notre Dame Holtz brought so much to so many that on September 4 President Trump announced he will shortly confer on Holtz the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. As Unversity Vice President Paul Browne noted in a statement congratulating Holtz, he is not only “among America’s greatest college football coaches” but “his contributions off the field have been equally inspiring.”

And Holtz brought himself to Notre Dame with his contagious enthusiasm, his fierce loyalty to the school, and his deep and crusading Catholic faith, qualities that have continued to mark his life in the years after Notre Dame. 

Father Jenkins, most relevantly, has brought Notre Dame Joe Biden. And Barack Obama. And Pete Buttigeig.

Lou Holtz Trust Commitment Love

64 Responses to “Father Jenkins, Lou Holtz, & Joe Biden”

  1. It is again sad to see Notre Dame with another mis-step going down the “road less traveled”. Notre Dame is continuing its decline and the tarnishing of the Golden Dome. Seems liberalism is at work destroying every once great institution. Fr. Sorin’s heart must be aching.
    – Frank Diorio
    Class ’56

  2. Class of 1966
    Fr. Jenkins word and actions have been very disappointing. Lou Holtz was a great coach and has inspired millions with his wit, wisdom, love. I was fortunate to have been at ND when Fr. Hesburgh and Ara lead the Irish and Notre Dame to greatness.

  3. Alfred (Fred) Gade September 27, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Coach Holtz is to be commended for his service to Notre Dame and the South Bend community for both his football success and his charity and moral leadership. I do not understand what Fr. Jenkins is admonishing him about. Certainly not his football success that still enhances the reputation of the University. Clearly not for his moral position on opposing Abortion and agreeing with President Trump on their Pro-Life beliefs. Even Pope Francis has taken public positions opposing Abortion as necessary Catholic teaching, and President Trump is awarding Coach for these beliefs and actions by presenting him with the Medal of Freedom. These are things a Catholic priest and President of a Catholic University needs to proudly cherish. Instead, as per the AP report dated Sept. 4, 2020, Jenkins is admonishing Coach Holtz for questioning the “sincerity ” of so-called Catholic Joe Biden’s faith (personal piety?).

    Coach Holtz apologized to Biden on national t.v., saying he was not judging Biden’s personal piety as a Catholic (wrongly accused of such by Fr. Jenkins and certain other high level clerics in the area}. But Coach Holtz did question Biden’s Pro-Abortion position as being against the teachings of the Catholic Church which Coach firmly believes is a necessary Roman Catholic belief. Coach also believes he has a free speech right as an American to critic “Catholic” Biden’s public Pro-Abortion stance.

    In my opinion, Coach Holtz also could have and should have questioned Joe Biden’s judgment as a Catholic when Biden selected as a running mate the most Anti-Catholic woman in the Senate. She has demonstrated this publicly several times, most importantly including prosecuting Pro-Life Catholic and other Christian advocates whenever she got the chance (e.g. as when she was CA AG).

    I think Fr. Jenkins and other misunderstanding clerics owe Coach Holtz an apology. Alfred (Fred) Gade, ’60

  4. Michael S Strathman September 22, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    An open Letter to the Notre Dame Family,

    God bless our Blessed Mother’s university, Notre Dame. We live in bizarre times. Catholics have been taught by Jesus Himself and the priests of His Church for more than 2000 years that all life has dignity. In the past 100 years human beings in Germany, Russia and China have killed other humans (likely more than 100 million) in defense of totalitarian political systems. Decisions of courts and social tolerance have added more than 60 million innocent babies in the US alone to that enormous total. These events in our lifetime are evil. Catholics are asked by the church to defend the dignity of every human being!

    God bless Coach Holtz and President Trump for standing up in witness of Jesus’ truth: all lives matter. Fr Jenkins’ decision to dismiss Coach Holtz comments as not representing the University is strange since it is Our Lady’s university and she is Jesus’ human mother, and Jesus taught us directly about the dignity of human life.

    It is time to act, Notre Dame family! Most of us do not have a prominent position, like Coach Holtz, but we can all pray. We need to pray as often as possible. Formal prayers or just a thought in faith are welcomed certainly by our Father in heaven.
    1. Ask our Blessed Mother to intercede with Jesus for our country and our world.
    2. Politically, Jesus expects us to act in faith as we vote and talk with our friends. He will provide the right words.
    3. Our Blessed Mother asks us to pray for our shepherds. Please pray for them and especially Fr. Jenkins and others who make statements that seem to contradict the teachings we have heard for years.
    4. Please pray for the vast majority of priests, and consecrated leaders of the church who stand up for our faith. Help their words and actions accomplish Jesus’ teaching.

    Thank you to the Sycamore Trust for your support of Notre Dame. Pray for them.

    God Bless you all.

    Just another Notre Dame Parent

  5. I am very disappointed about the trend Jenkins is fostering. My father ND law 1931 is turning over in his grave. I am disappointed also.
    Richard Dittoe 1965

  6. Jack Gallagher '86 September 21, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Why Father Jenkins, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world, but for the approval of Biden and Buttigieg and others who call themselves Democrats or progressives?

  7. Perhaps, as John Kegaly noted, there were several justifications of the invitation of the former President. I understood that included a public acknowledgement of his being the only (half) African American President – breaking that color barrier. Starting a dialogue could be a good thing if the invitees’ intent is to promote the common good, per Catholic Church teaching.

    Having read the former President’s graduation speech, I believe the content included Conscience Rights. Yet, to my knowledge, the former President did not allow such Conscience Rights Protections when Catholics (such as the Little Sisters of the Poor) objected to his administration’s policies.

    In the interest of fraternal correction, another Catholic Church teaching, some dialogue could be valuable – if aimed at the common good.

    If there is something I have learned from the many job networking groups I attended, that would be that “your best days are still ahead of you”.

    I like to think the above could be true of Notre Dame’s President. If someone that he trusts could have a crucial conversation with him about the topics discussed on the Sycamore Trust agenda, with fraternal correction, the University President may witness his best days ahead.

    If the Notre Dame University President had conversations with some of his former award invitees, perhaps he could continue that dialogue & teach them what the Catholic Church teaching is on life, etc. such that the dialogue would bear fruit – “fruit that will last” – per Jesus Christ & the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

  8. Thank you, Bill Dempsey, for drawing attention to the disgraceful and un-Catholic behavior of John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame. He continually brings shame on the school. Don’t blame the Trustees. Jenkins is control, he picks the Trustees he wants through his control of the CSC. How can Our Lady’s university be rescued?

  9. Posted at the request of Charlie Regini:

    It’s the firm opinion of myself and numerous
    loyal Roman Catholic conservative friends with
    long-standing loyalty and respect for
    Our Blessed Lady’s School, that Rev Jenkins
    does not serve the best interests of our great
    Catholic University ar Notre Dame.

  10. David Sponseller, Class of 1953:

    In the Spring of 2009, 1000’s of us pro-lifers descended on the ND campus to protest Fr. Jenkin’s curious bestowal of an honorary doctorate on the most pro-abortion U.S. president, Barack Obama. (I have often wondered if he did this at the urging of the late Fr. Hesburgh, former head of the president’s Civil Rights Commission, who had helped ‘launch’ Obama as an activist.) We were appalled that Jenkins had over 100 protestors arrested for the ‘crime’ of stepping on Our Lady’s campus with pro-life signs. (Sadly, Jenkin’s comfort with a pro-abortion president reflects that of most bishops, who never cried out when all 20 candidates for the 2020 presidential nomination in the one-time party of Catholics approved of abortion.) None of us could have believed that the Trustees would keep this confused leader at the helm all these 11 years since that fateful day, including the time in 2016 when he honored pro-homosexual-marriage Biden with the Laetare Medal, and now this attack on the very popular and faith-filled Lou Holtz. Hopefully the trustees will sack Jenkins in the near future. If enough donors withhold donations, as many of us have done, this could happen.

    Regarding David Wilmot’s and John Riely’s unease about the value of an unborn baby, I remember being pleasantly surprised at reading the observation of a Harvard philosophy professor during the early years after Roe v Wade. He opined that the unborn have even more value because they have more years ahead of them than the rest of us. We might add to this, their utter innocence makes killing them an even greater crime.

  11. John Kegaly ’56

    I seem to recall that when Father Jenkins invited the recent past President to address commencement one of the justifications he expressed was that although he was aware of the fact that the man held opinions contrary to those of The Catholic Church, the invitation would serve as an opportunity to start a dialog.

    I also seem to recall that part of what the speaker had to say in his address amounted to; you think the way you’d like and I’ll think the way I’d like. I am curious as to how much of a dialog regarding Catholic Teaching has resulted between the speaker and The University.
    My guess would be NONE.

    My pride in being an Alum lessens with each one of these decisions that seem to fly in the face of supporting true Catholic Principles.

    I am proud to be a supporter of Sycamore Trust and sincerely thank Bill Dempsey and his staff for all that they do to bring these issues to the attention of caring alumni and all who want to see Notre Dame maintain it’s Catholic character as we knew it in the past.

    John Kegaly, ND’56

  12. Thanks, William Dempsey & Sycamore Trust for Speaking the truth of the Catholic faith.
    Father Jenkins stated he believed that people “may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions”. Putting aside whether a person agrees with that or not, if a Catholic person voting in the upcoming election were to judge Candidate Biden’s actions, would they be consistent with Catholic Church teaching? Let’s put our critical thinking skills to work on that.

    Following are References from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
    2270: “Human Life must be protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”
    (Biden – no points, Trump/Holtz – faithful Catholic teaching)
    2271: “… the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion……You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish….Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.”
    (Biden – no points, Trump/Holtz – faithful Catholic teaching)
    2273 “The inelienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority.”
    (Biden – no points, Trump/Holtz – faithful Catholic teaching)
    2274 “…the embryo must be defended in it’s integrity, cared for…like any other human being.”
    (Biden – no points, Trump/Holtz – faithful Catholic teaching)

    Judging former VP Biden’s actions compared to Catholic Church teaching, the judgement against his actions is clear. His past actions & spoken words not only confirm his actions against Catholic Church teaching, but also confirm his spoken words to continue in that same (anti-Catholic Church teaching) path. His past actions against the Little Sisters of the Poor & his spoken words to remove the relief provided by the Trump administration yet again confirm Mr. Biden’s actions (against Catholic Church teaching).

    (I have often wondered why those that cried fowl against the Little Sisters of the Poor for not violating their consciences & their Catholic faith against the Obama/Biden HHS Contraceptives Mandate found no fault with the exemptions provided to Mobil & Pepsi from that Mandate.)

    Whether using Common Core math or not, looks like Trump/Holtz win on Catholic Church teaching.

  13. While I was distressed again by Fr. Jenkins public statement in response to Lou’s comments regarding Biden I have grown accustomed to him taking such positions which appear to diminish church teaching. In so doing he seems to implicitly emphasize that the school is no longer a Catholic institution and needn’t conform to the church teachings. Not so long ago we experienced the academic freedom fence being built around our alma mater and subsequently it’s leftward drift’ All of which raises the question in my mind, is it still necessary or beneficial to have a Holy Cross priest be president. Seems to me that a lay president would be better suited and avoid the confusion of having a Catholic priest take public positions that as a minimum give the appearance of being opposed to standard church doctrine. As an old school ND grad, one of the things I came away with was a pretty clear notion of right and wrong. Looks like the moral climate may not be so clear there now.

  14. Frank Freidhoff, Class of '58 September 20, 2020 at 10:32 am

    It is not a new revelation that Fr. Jenkins is a devote liberal. When he celebrated Obama at Notre Dame he showed his leanings for the Left and has continued that position with the hiring of Buttigieg to teach at ND and his disgraceful comments concerning Lou Holtz. I stopped my contributions to the University when Fr. Jenkins recognized Obama and will not contribute to Notre Dame again until Fr. Jenkins is gone as President of the University

  15. [Fr.] Jenkins, like most leftists, is so consumed with his unfounded and delusional hatred of President Trump that he will publicly assert absurdities that disgust normal, reasonable Catholics, and he is so lacking in self-awareness that he thinks he abides with the angels, apparently. Sad.

  16. I stand side by side with Lou Holtz.

  17. Since Father Jenkins has ceased responding to any exhortation, it is encouraging to know that ignored pleas flow from so many members of the Notre Dame Family. Thank you for this forum, Bill Dempsey!

  18. David V Fuchs '72 September 19, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you Bill Dempsey for exposing this hypocrisy of Fr. Jenkins in divorcing the University from one of its true heroes- Coach Lou Holtz, yet refusing to comment on a faculty member’s endorsement of candidates who openly support abortion and same sex marriage. I would expect that the President of our great University would extoll Lou Holtz for his courageous support of the pro-life movement. Instead, once again, Jenkins tarnishes the image of Notre Dame.

  19. I thought immaculate conception was reserved to Our Lady.

  20. If situation arises where Trump nominates Notre Dame’s Prof Amy Barrett for Supreme Court am sure we will hear a full throated support from our Fr. Jenkins???

  21. Bill, thanks so very much for the work you do for the Trust and for all of us who have been blessed in one way or another by the University. I cannot fathom the strategy of the “War of Jenkins’ Here” in this or many other cases.
    The issue about the particular sanctity of unborn life is not that it is more valuable than other forms of human life, but that it is INNOCENT (i.e., “causing no harm” ) human life. As I am given to understand the injunctions concerning the taking of human life by members of our species, it is that innocent human life may never be taken directly and with specific intent. I stand to be corrected, of course. By the grace of God and the fortune of history we have been able thus far to sanctify the womb as a privileged sanctuary for human life. The fetus hugs the altar of the maternal cathedral, and ought not therefore be ripped from its sanctuary by “force of arms.” And if intrauterine life is not innocent, then no human life is innocent, and the whole damned species is but a scab on the skin of “nature” and ought to be obliterated. The application of a univocal idea of the sanctity of human life is but a drivelers’ dream, a pious, romantic, idealist bag of bulging bogus baloney. If we cannot maintain the sanctity of the cathedral womb, then all chivalry is dead. You may say, “Well and good!” You cannot be chivalrous without a horse. What then shall we do? Sit unhorsed in the muck ?
    It is not that I have not been there. It is that it is not particularly pleasant. Not particularly – human ?? Christian? “Si non e vero ….”
    John Lyon

  22. You are incorrect Fr. Jenkins, Lou Holtz does speak on behalf of (my) Notre Dame! (So does Bill Dempsey.) If it is not our Blessed Mother, who is it you speak for, Fr. Jenkins?

  23. Alexander Mangani September 19, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Every year, when a current student calls me for my donation to the Annual Fund, I give them the same reply: “Notre Dame will not receive a dime from me as ling as John Jenkins remains its president.”

    Alexander Mangani, ‘65

  24. I’m disappointed to see our class leader Bill Dempsey giving his endorsement to the notion that lives of those in the womb are more valuable than the lives of those delivered, and that the cost in the latter which the Trump administration has exacted can be set aside.

    • John T Riely, ND 1981 September 19, 2020 at 5:30 pm

      I have only been in this space for a few months but I see nothing either implicit or express which supports your assertion that unborn lives are of more value than those of walking the planet or that that position is advanced in this space. Indeed, the consisent ethic advanced on these pages seems to find all life sacred.

      • Where do you find the assertion “that unborn lives are of more value than those walking the planet”? If you point it out we will swiftly remove it, for it is of course utter nonsense.

        • I believe Mr. Riely is replying to Mr. Wilmot and his asserrtion

        • John T Riely, ND, 1981 September 20, 2020 at 9:52 pm

          Pls re read my comments. While perhaps somewhat inartful, I indicated I had not been a reader of this space for long but that I found nothing to suggest the lives of the unborn were of more value than those walking the planet. I went on to double down and write that reading of this space was that it had a consistent life ethic.

      • agreed, Mr. Riely — but Mr. Wilmot is spouting typical Democrat talking points and lies about the President based on their irrational hatred of him — hatred is not a Catholic value, I’m pretty sure

    • I put to you, Dave, the same question I did to another participant: Where do you find support in our bulletin for such an absurd notion. Now, if you’re speaking about the direct and intentional taking of a human life, that’s a different matter. We rest on the teaching authority of the bishops, as we showed in our citation of their 2020 guide to voters. We could have cited also their introductory letter in which they declared: ““The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family and because of the number of lives destroyed.” As the passages we cite in the bulletin indicate, this does not end the discussion, but it certainly weighs heavily against Fr. Jenkins’s warrantless intervention in favor of a ticket that goes all-out in favor of abortion and same sex marriage and pledges to repeal the administrations regulations protecting religious liberty. On a personal note, it’s good to hear from you, and please know of my warm wishes for good health and good cheer in these strange times.

  25. So well written. This reflects exactly what I have been feeling for several years now. What has happened to Notre Dame? Thank you for putting the thoughts of many in paper. May we share this?

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    Every true Catholic must be reeling right now as Notre Dame “distances” itself from Lou Holtz.
    Coach Holtz only spoke the absolute truth about Joe Biden and his running mate. It is no secret Joe and his party do not value human life. Everything Coach Holtz said is factual concerning Joe’s beliefs and support of dismemberment of babies in their Mother’s wombs. Does Father Jenkins think Our Lady would tolerate for a moment the killing of those who cannot speak for themselves? When did legal murder become a Catholic belief? I was raised to believe that murder in any form is a mortal sin.
    We should all pray that God opens the hearts and minds of Father Jenkins and all those connected with Notre Dame who believe this to be true. I wonder if Notre Dame is also taking the words “Under God” away from the National Anthem when it is sung on campus?
    Jacqueline Gill
    Granger, Indiana

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  27. Anyone who professes to be a true Catholic knows that life begins at conception, and should be willing to stand up for those that cannot fight for themselves. A Catholic who doesn’t condemn the Anti-Catholic belief should be excommunicated. Life begins at conception.

  28. Frank Mashuda ND 68 September 19, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Please let me thank the author and all of the contributors to this community for giving me the insight to see I am not alone in my disappointment and near bewilderment with Notre Dame and the direction it is taking at a time when the Church needs leadership and courage.. It is like TS Elliot said in one of his poems: “This is how the world ends, This is how the world ends.. Not with a bang, but a whimper:” With a bilion dollar endowment, the school is fearful and pathetically timid. How will it help us during a Harris Administration?

  29. Mark Sellner alumni dad September 19, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Money talks at Notre Dame. If the next $50 or $100 million donation came with the proviso that the university start acknowledging and celebrating its Catholic Identity (instead of the donor basking in the glow of their self-righteous holiness) we might, just might, start getting the Administrations attention. But for way too many alumni, it’s all about the football and Ivy League acceptance. The Board of Trustees is guilty of perpetuating this.

  30. It is amazing to me that a priest ,let alone President of Notre Dame, does not understand, Matthew 15:18 “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the HEART, and they defile a man.” We can know a person’s heart and Joie Biden is a Catholic in name only!

  31. Joseph (ND57) and Helen Drozd September 19, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    It breaks my heart that Holtz, the true Catholic, is chastised by Fr Jenkins, who although a priest, is not supporting the Catholic teachings. Further Fr Jenkins has embraced the likes of Obama, Biden and Buttigeig, who mock and despise Catholic held beliefs.

  32. Bishop Rhoades has stated that he no authority over Jenkins. The Head of the CSC does. Despite that, however, Bishop Rhoades (increasingly) has no inclination to speak out on any errors which Jenkins makes. In would seem that they are cut from the same cloth, share the same inclinations and proclivities and identify with the same political party which is hellbent on destroying the last great citadel of freedom on earth…our Republic. They also don’t seem to place a high priority on the survival of The Church. Let us pray for their soul as well as an intervention to defeat any and all malign intentions which they harbor.

    • John T Riely, ND 1981 September 19, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      You raise an interesting point.about the hundreds of other CSCs both on campus and elsewhere who appear to stand silent while Jenkins panders to, honors, and supports the gay agenda, the abortion upon demand culture, and the far left which will drive faith out of American society. The secularists dont just want to be secular. They will insist you be so as well. Is there not one csc who will call Jenkins out as the traitor to the faith that his is. Is there not one csc who cares about the thousands of students, their formation and their souls who see their president honoring abortion advocates repeatedly while being critical of those who adhere to catholic teaching on life. Is there not one csc who cares about Jenkins’ enternal soul as he paves his way towards eternal damnation. Im asking is there not one csc who will risk it all to take on abortion johnny

    • Bishop Rhoades has spoken out against Jenkins, although not as often as I would like. Still, I am unable to discern which way the bishop votes from his words and actions. Perhaps Mr. DuBree has insider information.

  33. I guess the former ND coach Lou Holts is MORE CATHOLIC than it’s current president . SHAME SHAME Fr JENKINS you will have much to answer for in the next life.

  34. Jenkins will have a rude awakening when his official meeting with our Lord occurs unless he does an about face God will not be mocked

  35. I am struck by the dichotomy here between Fr. Jenkins and Lou Holtz given the Gospel today: “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.” It is clear that “in a time of testing,” Fr. Jenkins has fallen away and been “choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life.” His vainglory and pitiful desire to be embraced by the world in all its sinfulness is a sad juxtaposition to Lou’s “honest and good heart” which will “bear fruit with patient endurance.”

  36. I am disappointed, not ar all surprised. However, Fr. Jenkins is not “at the mercy of the Trustees…”. These actions are based on his own beliefs! To this day I cannot fathom how a Catholic priest can hold to this ideology and claim to be Catholic.

    The solution, as I have said on Sycamore Trust many times, is to defund Notre Dame. In 2019 I quit the O’Hara Society after belonging since graduation, gave up my sesson’s football tickets and removed Notre Dame from my will. Many many more must do the same so that ND gets the message….and I pray for Fr. Jenkins and the ND community every day.

  37. Seems like “Father” Jenkins is owned by the EVIL ONE.

  38. Stephen O'Neil, '87 September 19, 2020 at 10:43 am

    “By your fruits they will know you.” Matthew 7:16
    Although many wonderful faculty and student groups are doing such wonderful work for the Culture of Life (Faculty for Life, Irish Rover, Center for Ethics and Culture, Students for Life, etc.) Fr. Jenkins is, in essence, throwing them under the same bus he threw Lou Holtz.
    By his actions and decisions Fr. Jenkins is disqualifying himself to be president of Notre Dame and the Board of Directors needs to take actions and remove him without delay.
    Notre Dame is going the way of Georgetown and Marquette.
    Being “elite” is not worth selling your soul.
    We don’t need more Ivy League wannabes, we need a Catholic Notre Dame.

  39. Dark days for Our Lady’s beloved University. Pandering, appeasement and politicizing morality is giving evil a victory which will ultimately end in the complete collapse of our Judeo-Christian heritage.

  40. Why can’t the Bishop of that diocese do something?

    • The current and most recent past bishop of this diocese HAVE chastised [Fr.] Jenkins, but can do little else because it is a private school, not a diocesan institution. There are still many good, faithful Catholics at ND; unfortunately, Jenkins is the most visible.

  41. It’s time to recognize that ND is not Catholic in any way other than its tax status. Jenkins is at the mercy of the Trustees and the liberal/communist thinking there. Similar to the “business” of the Catholic Church, it has been corrupted. I firmly believe we will see this reversed in time. We are seeing the worst and most blatant sides of this now, because these forces are overconfident. Hold tight to prayer and Bible beliefs. Ignore the rest.

  42. How can Fr Jenkins say he is Catholic? I do not understand.

  43. Jenkins continues to disgrace Notre Dame. Thankfully we have Lou Holtz!

  44. It pained me to see the President of my beloved alma mater, a Catholic priest chastise a faithful Catholic and Notre Dame legend for his objective remarks on his presidential preference, which are grounded in the most fundamental Catholic teaching of protecting human life. Fr. Jenkins once again made a significant error in the reprimand he issued because as you point out, Lou Holtz did not invoke the name of Notre Dame with any reference that he had any official agency with it.

    Lou Holtz gave the University his heart, soul, energy and wit as its football coach. His influence on it went well beyond the accomplishments on the football field, its certain monumental financial impact benefitting the university to the critical formation of young men now representing the University as graduates. He often referenced his reverence for “the lady on the dome” during his public remarks. His record is one of “walking the walk”, including to this very day when he directly links his support for a presidential candidate that protects the unborn.

    Fr. Jenkins’ statement is another in a long line of disappointing comments and actions for which his is responsible. May Our Lord through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother lead him to fidelity to the Church’s teachings as Lou Holtz exemplifies in his support for President Trump.

  45. You know the old expression, “character is what you do when nobody is looking”? Around 1988 or ’89, during Coach Holtz’ tenure at ND, one of my roommates and I sat a few pews behind him at the 5pm Pangborn Hall Sunday night Mass, the “Pangborn Express.” Our delight at sitting so close to a man already recognized for his high moral fiber turned to awe as the collection basket came around. Out of his wrinkled pocket Coach Holtz pulled an endless stream of crumpled and balled bills in multiple denominations, more and more and more. In they all went to the basket. In his mind, nobody saw but our Lord. This great man has more character, more honor, and more fidelity to Truth than the entire administration put together. When the wheat and chaff are sorted, Coach Holtz will have a place in the only Hall of Heroes that really matters.

  46. Coach Holtz is absolutely CORRECT in his thinking and courageous (sad to say it is that way now) pronouncements!

  47. Father Jenkins threw Lou under the bus while Mayor Pete rode in the front seat. I recently watched the Fox interview of Mayor Pete, essentially an ND employee, by Martha and he made some very critical statements and insinuations about President Trump. A very political and undocumented position. Martha pushed back. She is great. Loved to see her on our football field last year with her son on Senior Day.. Am still waiting to hear what Father Jenkins has to say about the comments made by his employee, Mayor Pete.

    Rich Griffin’60

  48. Excellent article and background information.

  49. Impeach-Excommunicate jenkins. He has lost his way!!!!

  50. I agree completely with this article.

    • Did not attend Notre Dame but there was a time when I wished I had been more fortunate to do so. I attended lowly Villanova and its law school. In recent years, as I remember contemporaries who had that good fortune of being alumni of Notre Dame, I since have learned how disappointed they have become. I had attended several football games both in South Bend and elsewhere. Remember them playing Army one year in Yankee Stadium.
      But football was not my main appeal with the school. It was its academic excellence as a preeminent Catholic institution of higher learning about which we, as Catholics, could all be proud.
      And while other schools such as Georgetown or Fordham were on par, the school in South Bend is the only one dedicated to the Blessed Mother. Such a circumstance carries with it much responsibility, and a very high bar of moral excellence. I always thought one very critical role of a Catholic university was to set a good example for the nation and the world. Apparently that’s simply a too old-fashion concept.
      It is therefore humiliating to Her name, and how disappointed She must be. It was she who convinced Her Son in Cana to supply more wine and as an obedient Son, He complied. Such was the institution of marriage as a sacrament. Its at least ironic that “Her university” is the one making it a mockery.
      Its one thing, and inexplicable enough, to “throw Lou Holtz under the bus”. However, I personally would never wish the task of answering to the Lord for having “thrown His mother under the bus”. God help you, Fr. Jenkins. How you make up for this slight is beyond my wildest imagination. God have mercy on your soul. And the next time you say the rosary…if you ever say it at all…when you say all the Hail Marys, think of what you’ve done. Let each prayer in its saying hammer home once more the insult of ignoring the death of over 50 million deprived of a life we all deserve and are constitutionally guaranteed to live. Figure out how you are to explain this one. Talk about fumbling the ball in a championship game on the one yard line. When the Dean of Villanova Law School brought scandal to the school some years back, he was man enough to resign. Please consider that option before its too late. Its your soul to save.
      Brian E. Downey J.D. (from Villanova, about which I’ve never been prouder!)

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