Mayor Pete at ND — “Friends in High Places”

LGBTQ alumni agenda finds favor @NotreDame with members of the Jenkins administration #GoCatholicND. Click To Tweet

Last March, Notre Dame gave the Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association of Notre Dame (GALA) and its gay marriage agenda a boost by allowing GALA to honor Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg and to stage a panel supporting same-sex married teachers in Catholic high schools. We describe these events below and take a look at the inroads GALA has made during the Jenkins administration.

GALA and same-sex marriage

In a previous bulletin, we described in some detail GALA’s hostility to Church teaching on homosexual sex and same-sex marriage. 

GALA doesn’t hide its position. Its newsletters celebrate legal recognition of same-sex marriage and criticize the Vatican’s reaffirmation of Church teaching. And year after year GALA has honored leading promoters of same-sex marriage at its Thomas Dooley awards dinner.

Gene Robinson honored by Notre Dame Gay And Lesbian Alumni (GALA) at Notre Dame

As we have reported, those awardees have included expelled and disciplined priests and nuns as well as co-habiting and married lesbians and homosexuals. The 2017 award went to a St. Mary’s graduate, Kristen Matha, who had been honored by St. Mary’s as Outstanding Young Alumna – and who was “married to her wife, Kendra, who together raise their son, Micah.”

The most prominent awardee was probably Bishop Gene Robinson, the Episcopal bishop who divorced his wife to marry his male companion (whom he subsequently divorced). Robinson has been a leading advocate of the compatibility of same-sex marriage with Christianity. The Notre Dame student body president who was present at the award dinner praised Robinson’s “version of Christianity.”

The 2019 Awards

The pattern continued with this year’s three awardees: South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rev. James Martin, S.J., and John Sullivan (ND Law ’83). 

Since Buttigieg is the most prominent and we intend to discuss Father Martin later in connection with his earlier appearance at Notre Dame, we pass quickly over Martin and Sullivan. We note simply that GALA praised Sullivan’s support of “marriage equality” and that Martin is the most prominent clerical advocate for the Church’s treating same-sex marriage as if  homosexual sex were not, as the Church teaches, gravely sinful (Catechism 2357). 

Now for Buttigieg, who “came back from the campaign trail just in time to receive the award” and who, with his “husband,” has become a national advertisement for the normalization of same-sex marriage. (They “hope to have a little one soon.”) 

Buttigieg, who was married in the Episcopal Church, was baptized a Catholic and attended a Catholic high school. Both his parents taught at Notre Dame. In accepting the GALA award, he is reported to have referred (incorrectly) to the “teaching of the Catholic Church that homosexuality is a sin” and to have lamented the Church’s doctrine on gay marriage. (“I’m sad for LGBT Catholics that they don’t have the same opportunity [a Church wedding] today.”)

Buttigieg couples his promotion of gay marriage with opposition to religious freedom legislation and full-throated support for abortion, the latter in a way that has touched Notre Dame directly. 

In a widely publicized action, Buttigieg acceded to abortion rights advocates and vetoed a city council rezoning permitting a pro-life women’s pregnancy center to locate next to a new abortion facility. (See the National Review coverage by Alexandra DeSanctis (ND ’16), a Sycamore Trust past student awardee.)

The center was the Women’s Care Center of South Bend/Mishawaka, which was founded by a Notre Dame professor and is served by many Notre Dame student volunteers and alumni staff.

Father Jenkins, a member of the Center Foundation’s board, declared he was “saddened” by Buttigieg’s decision, which “thwarts plans that had met the criteria for rezoning and had been approved by the Common Council.”

GALA’s ” Solidarity and Identity” Panel

The awards dinner was preceded by a GALA panel discussion that showcased Shelly Fitzgerald, a lesbian Catholic who lost her job in 2018 as a counselor in Indianapolis’ Roncalli High School when she contracted a same-sex marriage. (The Department of American Studies co-sponsored the event.)

Ms. Fitzgerald’s case has received widespread media coverage and become an LGBT cause. She has spearheaded the effort with a legal complaint, countless interviews, TV appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres and other shows, and her role as Grand Marshal of the Indianapolis Gay Pride parade. 

Ms. Fitzgerald and her co-panelist Father James Martin spent a good deal of time “taking on the institutional Church,” as the moderator put it. Father Martin had been “stupefied” by the schools’ decision, which was ratified by Archbishop Charles Thompson, and leveled his usual criticism of Church “discrimination” agains homosexuals and lesbians. 

But as the Archbishop stressed, this case “is not about sexual orientation but about the Church’s teaching on marriage” with respect to teachers who are obligated “to convey and be supportive of the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

While Fitzgerald and Martin were repeatedly taking the Church to task, the University’s panel participant, a member of the Center for Social Concerns staff, spoke of other things. 


Notre Dame knew where GALA and Buttigieg stand on same-sex marriage and the latter on abortion. Indeed, the Alumni Association had denied GALA’s application for recognition. Why, then, did the University provide GALA a platform? 

Bryan Ricketts (ND ’17), a GALA officer, tells us why. He was president of both the Notre Dame student body and the LGBT club (PrismND) and an outspoken opponent of Church teaching on gay marriage. (He helped organize the rainbow “flag drop” from dorm windows in protest of Vice President Pence’s 2017 appearance as commencement speaker.)

Ricketts acknowledged to the ND Observer that it “was not always possible” to hold the dinner on campus – this was only the second time. But, he divulged, “[T]here are welcoming people in administrative positions” who “helped us pull this off.” 

GALA’s Inroads

And not only these events. 

GALA has long been engaged in extending its influence at Notre Dame. Each year, for example, it awards scholarships to two students “who identify with the LGBT community,” and it sends a ND student to Camp Pride, “the premier national training ground for LGBT and ally youth activism” on gay agenda issues including gay marriage.

An especially revelatory GALA effort to “strengthen [its] connections with current students” is its “end-of-year queer dance” (which, thankfully, the university does not endorse).

GALA’s and its allies’ efforts have been remarkably fruitful during the Jenkins administration. Some items:

  • In 2012, Father Jenkins reversed long-standing policy and approved an LGBT student club. 
  • In 2014, Father Jenkins recognized same-sex marriages for employee spousal benefits – a decision called “morally indefensible” by three of the University’s most prominent faculty members.
  • GALA has sponsored talks and panels on gay-themed subjects, including, notably, Bishop Gene Robinson’s 2013 assault at Notre Dame on Church teaching on homosexual sex and same-sex marriage

This is by no means all. There is, for example, the Notre Dame Magazine’s decision to publish congratulatory notes about alumni same-sex marriages, which we’ll discuss in a subsequent bulletin. 

But it is enough to show that the University has overshot the mark of “accept[ing]” persons with same-sex attraction “with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” and without “unjust discrimination,” as the Church enjoins. Disregarding and subverting the Church’s increasingly unpopular condemnation of homosexual sex and same-sex marriage is the mark of a fading Catholic identity. 

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21 Responses to “Mayor Pete at ND — “Friends in High Places””

  1. Brendon Johnson ND '97 July 11, 2020 at 10:14 am

    As Catholics, whether you attend Traditional or Novus Ordo forms of the Roman Rite, and whether you observe the tenets of the faith affirmed by all ecumenical councils, (Council of Trent for example, or the more vague and liberal documents of Vatican II with the 1980’s catechism that followed), there is absolutely no way for Notre Dame to be considered a Roman Catholic University and I would argue that the University is no longer Christian as it disregards all biblical teachings, established Church Tradition (with a big T). And the most horrific of all is the denial of the teachings of our of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The start of this pervasive revolution and “tolerance” pre-dates Fr. Jenkins in its origin. Leftist, anarchists, hedonists, Islamists, Freemasonry, LGBTQ and Satanism were known and not condemned by the CSC during the time I was a student at Notre Dame – (1993-1997). Fr, Malloy was the President during the beginning of my studies. I was co-President of the ND Right to Life and openly condemned in my interactions with the University. No priests served as ministers to us and we received no support from the University. Further – GLNDSMC formed during the years I was at Notre Dame and they received recognition on campus eventually. At the time, I and other colleagues contributed to a Thomistic-based newsletter – Right Reason. We were again condemned openly by many of the other approved clubs in the University and even told by Fr. Jenkins, at the time a leader of on campus ministry, that we needed to be more tolerant. Tolerant! Tolerant of what? Heresy, Blasphemy, Hedonism, Desecration of the sacrifice of the Mass with strange adaptations to the rubric and Canon to include preaching against our Doctrine? Oh, and what of the rampant homosexual culture within the CSC priesthood on campus and within CSC and the clergy at large?

    I pray for all the mis-guided souls and ask Our Lady to pray for us and intercede for us to help bring Notre Dame back to the true Roman Catholic faith.

    I think is time to bring back the Oath Against Modernism that Pope Pius X gave to the clergy and faithful in 1910 and which was quietly dismantled by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the faith under Paul IV in 1967 in the “new spring” of Vatican II. Any priest validly ordained during this time period is still bound to this oath.

    Even in our post-conciliar times, our Holy Father – St. John Paul the II intervened directly to correct Catholic Universities and the Land O’Lakes apostasy with Ex Corde Ecclesia.

    I am so saddened to see the university drift ever distant and away from the faith and its graces.

    In my view, Father Jenkins must be corrected for his failed ministry. Tolerance does not trump Doctrine and Tradition, nor the Bible.

    Let’s face it – the Obama and Biden addresses where just a fully unveiled attack on the Church and on life. Appointing Pete Buttegieg to a faculty position is the open spread of heresy and apostasy.

    Our Pope Francis has stuck out on another errant path with the Abu Dhabi Agreement and blessing a Pachamama statue within the Vatican.

    I fear the destruction that Notre Dame and other “Catholic” universities do not defend the faith at all and lead souls to damnation. What is a 18 year old supposed to think when he/she is a practicing Catholic and then hears the twisted messages of Fr. Martin and the openness to just about anything by Fr. Jenkins.

    Our Lady of the Lake (Notre Dame du lac) – Pray for us.

  2. What about The Holy Cross priests who remain silent in regards to the Sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, and the Sanctity of the marital act within The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, refusing to hold, keep, and teach The Catholic Faith?


    The Catholic Church’s teaching informed by Christ in regards to sexual morality is clear, and not up for debate:

    “5For (this ) cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. 6Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”

    (this) being singular, proximate, demonstrative.

    In all cases, among all people, regardless of one’s beliefs, desires, inclinations, orientation, acts of depravity are always a perversion of authentic Love, which is always rightly ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons existing in a relationship of Love and thus devoid of lust.

    In order to make the claim that acts of sexual depravity, even if consensual, or performed between a man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife, could simultaneously be acts of authentic Love, they will need to demonstrate exactly how acts of sexual depravity, which, regardless of the actors, or the actor’s desires, serve for The Common Good, when we can know through both our Catholic Faith and Reason, that acts of sexual depravity, which are always abusive, in all cases, amongst all people, demean the inherent Dignity of our beloved sons and daughters, are a perversion of Love, and thus, in all cases, amongst all people, acts of depravity, are devoid of Love.

    “Where have they taken our Lord.”

  3. Evil finds its resonance with the Good and then inverts the path. The same-sex marriage movement gains its momentum from branding itself as a victim, bullied by the Church. In response, Notre Dame averts its eyes and bows its head to appear accepting. Then in roads into corrupting the Spirit of Notre Dame by perverting Church doctrine continues to grow. It is the same principle as a child continuing to test a parent to see how far the child can push the boundaries.

    The alternative is for leaders to take a stand. “Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake. Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12. The Church has always faced attacks, that is the way of the Cross. The difference is that people today believe that being persecuted for our beliefs is unacceptable.

    Going along to get along paves the way for the revolutionary spirit to infiltrate Notre Dame and for that spirit to gain momentum. As it gains momentum, chaos inevitably ensues. The principle of ‘the most intolerant wins’ by Nassim Taleb is simple and straightforward. The validity of the principle reveals itself by looking at the transformation of Europe over the last two decades. The spirit of fait accompli is simple and straightforward as well (a thing accomplished and presumably irreversible). The spirit of fait accompli permeates the culture of the US. It has opened the doors of Notre Dame to an intolerant revolutionary spirit.

    GALA and its allies’ efforts are abhorrent because they fail in reciprocity. Notre Dame extended an olive branch, following the theological virtue of charity by its recognition of the members of GALA being first and foremost Notre Dame students and neighbors. In turn, GALA uses its collective voice to speak intolerance against Notre Dame and Church Doctrine.

    GALA has been given a platform for several years. GALA has used that platform to promote sin. The Bible is clear on the next steps for Notre Dame. “But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.” Matthew 18:15-18.

  4. Thank ND for recognizing the diversity that has always existed in human lives. There have always been gay people at ND, (remember the bachelor dons?), always gay priests, always people torn apart by the anti-gay rhetoric. At least now, people can have the dignity of being treated as a human being, the highest example of what Christianity is all about. The hypocrisy of those opposed to equal rights & dignity for LGBT people turn their heads when people like Trump have affairs while married, divorce, sexually abuse women, etc. No one supports abortion – we support women’s right to decide their own course of action in consultation with their doctor and religious advisers. We don’t want government regulating women’s health. Justify for me why people like our liar-in-chief in the White House can get away with his amoral values and lifestyles. Hypocrites.

  5. They “hope to have a little one soon” should read, “They hope to manufacture a child and conscript a woman to gestate that child soon.”

  6. James J.Holstein,M.D. August 8, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Have we completely surrendered our Catholic identity in the face of political correctness? Tolerance is one thing but advocating for activities and encouraging such actions on the campus of our Catholic universities is unacceptable. The essence of a Catholic education is the recognition and acceptance of the Church”s teachings without exception. The role of the student is not to advocate for activities in opposition to the Church.

  7. Grateful that the Sycamore Trust is leading the fight against the total secularization of Notre Dame. So sad that “we” have fallen so far, so quickly under Fr. Jenkins “leadership.” Prayers to Our Lady who is shedding rivers of tears over her university. Lord, have mercy

  8. Thomas F. Longeway '63 August 7, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    I am personally offended by my Mother’s school endorsing same sex marriage and abortion. I thought we were a Catholic School not a place for liberal social projects. Where did we go wrong ? What would Fr. Sorin say ? what would Fr. Ted say ? Men are men women are women having surgery does not change that . But if we let all the gays marry each other then by a couple of generations they will die out and we can get back to having sex with the correct opposite sex partner.

    Where did this start ? Why is it being allowed to continue ?

  9. Dr. Carolyn Linnig O'Rourke, Ed.D. August 7, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    I immediately thought of a quotation from scripture: “And Jesus wept.”

  10. Joseph W. McManus'53 August 7, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    How is it that sodomy is now different from bestiality, incest, masturbation or, to get away from sex, cannibalism and so on, ad nauseam? (from George Wenz “61) Do they really have a condom truck at the circle?(from Leo P. Callaghan)
    -Joseph W. McManus ’53

  11. Dick DeLorenzo August 7, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    How do you know you’re getting old? You can remember when Notre Dame was a Catholic University. I can even remember when the Jesuit Universities like Georgetown, Fordham, Marquette, etc. were Catholic. That was prior to Land o’Lakes thinking and Father James Martin SJ type thinking taking over at the formerly Catholic Universities.

  12. A solid legal, logical, pragmatic and ethical argument can be made for the government and civil law abdicating any future role in “marriage” at all. With the perversion of the institution and the concept by “gay marriage” we see the final nail in that coffin. A shrinking minority, of the population (national and global) sees any need or viability or legitimacy to any such formalized illusory lifetime commitment contract. (In like manner few employees or employers entertain notions of lifelong careers.) There is no stigma to out-of-wedlock children. Let’s relegate marriage to the religious or spiritual realm, solely.

  13. The only way for Notre Dame to understand is $$$$$$$$$$…..why would anyone contribute to the University!!!!!

  14. George Wenz x'61 August 7, 2019 at 11:20 am

    First we must clearly distinguish between someone who is an LGTQ or homosexual person,nevertheless is a child of God and equally worthy of respect. Such a one may or may not also be a person who chooses to commit wrongful (sinful) acts, including, but not limited to, sodomy. What is the problem? We are all sinners. However none of us can rightfully claim that our sinful acts and failures are not sins, can we? Certainly the law, natural, governmental and ecclesiastical, is not subject to change simply because some individuals do wrongful acts while declaring them to be innocent! It is the individual who own sthe problem, isn’t it? I was enlightened as to this while in college both at ND and at then for two more years, at that great little Jesuit school, St. Peter’s. How is it that sodomy is now different from bestiality, incest, masturbation or, to get away from sex, cannibalism and so on, ad nauseam? People, now hear this, it isn’t!

    George Wenz x’61

  15. Notice the sign in the picture: “You say Anti-Christ like it’s a bad thing.”

    Mathew 10:28 “. . . be afraid of the one who can destroy both the soul and the body . . . .”

    Repent, Humbly Return to Christ, and May the Immaculate Heart of Mary Triumph soon.

  16. It’s hard to be precise on this, and even harder to be understood…

    I don’t object to civil marriage ceremonies between same-sex couples, nor do I oppose legal adoptions by same-sex couples, but I do agree with our church’s teaching that the sacrament of matrimony is reserved for marriages between an eligible man and an eligible woman.

    John McCarthy, ND ’58

    • John, I don’t know whether it will be helpful or not, but I offer the observation that the issue here is not liturgical or legal but rather moral. Of course the Church’s teaching on marriage is implicated, but more specifically the key teaching is that homosexual sex is “intrinsically” and gravely immoral and that same-sex marriage is accordingly immoral at its heart. It is therefore scandalous for Notre Dame to provide a platform to honor advocates of same-sex marriage and to attack the Indianapolis archbishop for avoiding scandal at a Catholic high school. In contrast, an academic debate about the Church’s teaching would be entirely in order. Thanks for engaging. Bill

      • John, It is unjust discrimination to discriminate against the inherent Dignity of the essence of being in essence, a beloved son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife, father or mother, just as it is unjust discrimination to condone the engaging in or affirmation of sexual acts that regardless of the actors, demean the inherent Dignity of the human person as a beloved son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife, father or mother, because one believes a desire/inclination to engage in a demeaning sexual act, justifies the engaging in of a demeaning sexual act.
        The desire to engage in a demeaning act of any nature, does not change the nature of the act. All demeaning sexual acts demean the inherent Dignity of the human person.

        Although we do not always choose who we exist in relationship with, we choose how we are going to behave in those relationships.

        Our Call to Holiness, has always been a Call to be chaste in our thoughts, in our words, and in our deeds.
        The Universal Call to Holiness, serves out of respect for the inherent Dignity of every beloved son or daughter, in private, as well as in public, thus denying that Holiness is a Universal Call, is not only a moral issue, it is a legal and liturgical issue as well.

        Being in communion with Christ, and His One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic Church, is not a matter of degree; if you are not with Christ, you are against Him.

        “No one can Come To My Father, except Through Me.”

  17. I simply C-A-N-N-O-T understand how ANY of this open defiance of Christ’s teachings goes on – at a Christian (especially one calling itself “Roman Catholic”) institution!! – Am both mystified and intensely angered.

  18. Leo P. Callaghan August 7, 2019 at 9:00 am

    I am totally sadden by the leadership and desecration of my university. Between the condom truck at the circle and the acceptance of GALA and all its meaning, there is little left of the “Notre Dame Spirit”.

  19. john robinson '57 August 7, 2019 at 8:56 am

    discussed and ashamed of the Jenkins Administration.

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