“Justice Ruth, She Speaks the Truth!”???


Despite Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s  long record of judicial activism subverting  core Catholic values, the Notre Dame administration assembled half the campus to celebrate her life and career.  

NOTRE DAME, IN – At the instance of Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the university last Monday once again celebrated a prominent champion of the right to abortion and same-sex marriage and opponent of religious liberty, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  She appeared before a large and appreciative audience in a session moderated by Judge Ann Claire Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Judge Williams, a university trustee, a Catholic and an alumna who has just presided over a same-sex marriage. We consider this surprising episode first.

The September 11 New York Times reported

Michael Robert Jarecki and Chirag Gopal Badlani were married Sept. 10 in Chicago. Judge Ann Claire Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, for whom Mr. Badlani was a law clerk until 2012, officiated at the Chicago Cultural Center.

This public rejection of the Church’s teaching followed Judge Williams’s participation in the Court of Appeals decision declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right. As Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, the president of the Bishops’ Conference, and fellow bishops declared in reaction to Vice President Biden’s officiating at a same-sex marriage:

When a prominent Catholic politician publicly and voluntarily officiates at a ceremony to solemnize the relationship of two people of the same-sex, confusion arises regarding Catholic teaching on marriage and the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics. What we see is a counter witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth.

But this is not all. Judge Williams also participated in the Court of Appeals decision rejecting the religious liberty objection of Wheaton College to the Obama administration’s abortifacient/contraception insurance mandate. The Williams court didn’t dispute Wheaton’s claim that it could not in good conscience participate in this program for providing abortifacients to Wheaton employees. The court simply ruled that Wheaton had to do so anyway.

Notre Dame’s claim in its suit against the mandate is the same as Wheaton’s. Notre Dame has pleaded to the court that it “be permitted to act according to its faith and in ways that articulate the moral standards to which it adheres (Complaint par. 2).” As in the Wheaton case, Judge Williams would presumably reject that plea.

In considering the actions of Notre Dame trustees, it is helpful to recall their fiduciary duty under its statutes to maintain “in perpetuity” Notre Dame’s “Catholic character.”

The Ginsburg Event

Justice Ginsburg appeared before an audience of some 7,500 in the Purcell Pavilion on September 12.  She was scheduled to appear before a law school audience earlier in the afternoon. Such an appearance, in an academic setting and with an audience of law students and professionals, is  unexceptionable.  It is a university acting as a university.

But the featured performance was a different matter. It was altogether congratulatory and celebratory — praise and admiration for Justice Ginsburg and no doubt elation that once again a prominent public figure had visited Notre Dame.

The appearance was a disappointment to anyone who came expecting to hear a substantive address or a rekindling of the political fireworks Justice Ginsburg set off by calling Donald Trump a “faker” and lamenting  the fate of the country and the Court under a Trump presidency.

Father Jenkins opened with a laudatory introduction. Then, under comradely questioning by Judge Williams that at one point broke into a musical tribute in song — “Justice Ruth, she speaks the truth!” —  Justice Ginsburg related her life story — that of a determined feminist who endured discrimination time after time and finally reached the pinnacle of the legal establishment.

There were, to be sure, some footnotes, e.g., her preference for the active Nancy Drew to the passive Jane (of Jim and Jane); her mother-in-law’s wedding gift of earplugs, which she found use for on the Court; why she prefers to be called “Notorious R.G.B.” rather than “Queen Ruth”; and her standard jest about how there will be enough women on the Court when there are nine. The brief, obviously pre-arranged, question period produced nothing substantial.

In short, the event was by design a light and unalloyed salute to Justice Ginsburg as a professional woman of high achievement whom Notre Dame women especially should admire.

Now consider Justice Ginsburg’s record and then judge whether this did not give scandal.


Justice Ginsburg, a vigorous pro-abortion advocate, has consistently voted against any attempt to limit abortions, from late-term abortions to state health-related regulations. Her position is simple and radical:

The basic thing is that government has no business making that choice for a women.

Her statements include this jaw-dropping apparent throwback to a eugenics of an earlier day:

I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

No wonder pro-life publications condemned the appearance and counted it among the indications of the weakening of Notre Dame’s Catholic character. See LifeSiteNews:

Issues with Notre Dame’s Catholic identity have abounded for decades, but more recently with … Notre Dame’s choice to honor pro-abortion and homosexual “marriage” Vice President Joe Biden ….”

And LifeNews:

Ginsburg’s actions and statements directly conflict with Catholic religious teachings, but Notre Dame has a reputation for going against its own religious mission.

Same-Sex Marriage

Justice Ginsburg’s vote in favor of same-sex marriage was telegraphed by her controversial officiating at such a marriage in advance of the Supreme Court litigation, an action she reportedly took to “send a message.”

Religious Liberty

Justice Ginsburg dissented from the Court’s decision upholding the religious liberty right of a store owner to refuse to pay for his employees’ chemically-induced abortions. In her alternative universe, a storeowner who declines to fund his employee’s abortions is “foisting his beliefs” on them.

Plainly, she would not entertain Notre Dame’s religious liberty claim in its similar lawsuit should it come before the Court.


This event was designed to, and did, present Justice Ginsburg as a woman to be admired and emulated. Students got the point:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is my hero. She is everything I want to be when I grow up.

She’s an inspiring human that makes policy accessible.

For her to accept our invitation here is very impressive.

The sponsorship by the Office of the President, the administration’s repeated reminders to students, Father Jenkins’s laudatory introduction, Judge Williams’s cheerleading, the large and welcoming audience, all conspired to show that Notre Dame was untroubled by Justice Ginsburg’s promotion of abortion and same-sex marriage and hostility toward religious liberty.

This is the stuff of scandal.

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“The Potato: Notre Dame’s Underground News.” We have stumbled upon another organization that reports what official university publications don’t: The Potato. Consult it if, like us, you can’t figure out why Father Jenkins awarded the Laetare Medal to Vice President Biden, or if you’d like to read items like: “Heartwarming: 10 ND Football Players Who Have Never Been Arrested” or “Corey Robinson Runs for Student Body President, Enters Priesthood, Cures Cancer.”

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17 Responses to ““Justice Ruth, She Speaks the Truth!”???”

  1. I am very glad and appreciative that there are Catholic graduates of Notre Dame providing this information to us alums and trying so hard to stand up for our Catholic beliefs. Each of us needs to pray for the Church, the Pope, the Holy Cross Order, the University and Fr, Jenkins, who, sadly, appears to irreparably lost his way in the dazzle of fame, money and power. The alum who wrote about going outside the University is absolutely correct. The Sycamore Trust ought to contact the Cardinal in Chicago and the Cardinal in Washington D.C. regarding sanctions against the Holy Cross Order, unless the Order reigns in, or removes, Fr. Jenkins. The Cardinals of Chicago and Washington also ought to take disciplinary action against Fr. Jenkins, a priest who is welcoming anti Catholic, anti-Life material to be presented to students by anti-Life leaders, rather than challenging and debating and condemning these politicians’ ideas. Why was there never such a celebration for Nino Scalia? Why doesn’t Notre Dame produce pro-life women judges? No one other than the Sycamore Trust appears to be actively acting/fighting for Catholicism. Catholics may not be interested in a culture war, but warrior activist liberals are interested in a war with Notre Dame, but to have a war there must be action and fight, and for the most part, there is no fight at Notre Dame by Catholic Alums other than Sycamore and little fight among the national Catholic hierarchy, which must step up and learn ways to fight for and defend Catholicism, starting with demotion or removal of those in the clergy who betray the Faith, based on their pride in being powerful and surrounded by money. Humility is a strong tool.. I am unaware of any other way to mobilize action and change and it would send a strong message at ND and many other Catholic universities. It happened with a professor at Catholic University of America in the mid 1980’s, so there is precedent..

  2. I blame the Catholic hierarchy for allowing this to happen
    A public admonition & excommunicationis in order for all self proclaimed political & religious leaders who deny their Catholic moral teachings & give scandal to all

  3. Follow the money…Liberal network NBC and the new 10-year football contract have Jenkins on a short leash. Their insidious anti-Catholic drip has been seducing ND presidents since 1991. Malloy wasn’t immune. Terms of the current contract are kept hidden from the public and from scrutiny. ND says TV dollars have gone to financial aid for low-income students and toward professor salaries. Not hard to imagine liberal qualifications for the money. As long as presidents continue to pimp student athletes for liberal network TV money, ND will continue to wither.

    Criticism of Jenkins must become public. From Fox, ABC, CNN, conservative or liberal — it doesn’t matter. To be attacked from outside may stir action inside (alumni). Intra-community criticism of Jenkins is ignored. jc

  4. It is a shame for anyone who claims to be a member of the Mystical Body of Crhist to do things that are totally Against the Teachings of that Same Mystical Body! The Mystical Body is the Resurrected Body of Christ! It is the Presence of God! “God is light, in him there is no darkness, none at all.” How could Jesus to accept things that is Anti God while He is God Incarnate on earth for our Salvation? No one who has any FORM of Darkness is qualified to be A Member of that Body! Imaging how quickly Jesus will reject that soul which is covered with Mortal Sins and is promoting them to the Young, the Innocent and the Confused? All those who are Worshippers of themselves, their intellectual Pride, their False understanding of His Word, their miss using of His Word… they are the Crown of Thrones that Jesus Wore! Repent and be SAVED! The Fires of Hell is Solid Cold Ice and the place is darker than SOLOD Black! God alone gives Heat and Light!

  5. Very clearly Fr. Jenkins affirms his belief that Notre Dame and other Catholic/Christian colleges have no business arguing with the secular demands of US politicians who want to establish anti-Catholic public policy at these schools in order to rid themselves of Catholic teaching that interferes with their power to control us. We need to rid ourselves of him and his lack of courage to speak up for Catholic Teachings if we want to preserve Notre Dame as a place for Catholic Orthodoxy. I doubt socalled Catholics like Jenkins will come around and hence we have lost our University. Alfred Gade ’60

  6. Lets begin with Fr Jenkins by “pulling his (Father) titled as a Catholic priest and “any other Priest” that goes down this liberal (non-Catholic) “pro-abortion and gay marriage road of a “culture of death”! As a former Protestant for over 35 years and now a convert to the TRUTH of Jesus Christ and HIS TRUE Catholic Christian faith, I suggest that the Catholic Church, inform Fr Jenkins that his liberal anti-catholic “heretical teachings” are (no longer) necessary and that he should “go down the street” to the near Protestant contradicting, inconsistent and divided denomination and their liberal agenda church will welcome him with open arms by going down the same immoral, culture of death and corrupt road as Fr. Jenkins has chosen! …………. Fr Jenkins, (just like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi) are Catholic (in name only) which means NONE of them are Catholic!!!!!

  7. Msgr Thomas Dzielak, Maple Park, Illinois September 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Although I only went to Notre Dame for five summers to obtain a Masters degree, I am more and more saddened by the university as it continues to hold up for admiration people, including Catholics, who have sold out to the culture on issues which the Church has clearly indicated are immoral. I find it more and more difficult to recognize Notre Dame as a Catholic university except in name only … and I cannot but mourn.

  8. Fr. Jenkins, what is it about “Thou shall not kill” that you don’t understand?

    • The problem with the mystery passage is that it denies that God Is The Author Of Love, of Life, and of Marriage:

      Mystery of life passage
      “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”

      One cannot deny that God Is The Author of Love and/or Life and/or Marriage, without denying the essence of The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity.

  9. “Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: [5] For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.

    [6] Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”

    Mystery of life passage
    “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”

    “Page 117, of the pope’s book, On Heaven and Earth, in regards to same-sex unions
    “If there is a union of a PRIVATE NATURE, THERE IS NEITHER A THIRD PARTY NOR IS SOCIETY AFFECTED. Now, if this union is given the category of marriage and they are given adoption rights, there could be children affected. Every person needs a male father and female mother that can help them shape their identity.” – Jorge Mario Bergoglio
    Approval of same-sex sexual unions is approval of same-sex sexual acts.

    “Pope Francis should speak personally to Fr. Jenkins and tell him to either follow Catholic doctrine or resign.”

    Page 117 of the pope’s book certainly gives us no hope as his statement on page 117 is consistent with the mystery of life statement which is inconsistent with Christ.

  10. Tim McKeogh '80, '81 MA September 18, 2016 at 7:55 am

    “I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” -Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Does a Jewish woman old enough to know of Nazi atrocities not realize what she said here?

    So many, it appears, seem to praise only the secular success of a woman (like H as well) without calling into mind her moral stances. Include Fr. Jenkins, our Administration and (some) Faculty in this group.

    I graduated from a University I no longer understand.

  11. It’s clear that Fr. Jenkins wasn’t listening when Cardinal Chaput spoke at the DeTocqueville Conference. Maybe that’s his problem. He can’t hear.

  12. Fr. Jenkins’ progressive leadership has been a disaster. ‘What would you fight for?’ How about ‘what do you stand for?’ Progressives have taken control of secular institutions and formerly religious ones–like Notre Dame. It is truly sad.

  13. As a Catholic committed to loving my neighbor, but particularly my enemy, I reluctantly thank Fr. Jenkins for being in my life for his challenge to that latter, tougher love. Something deep is going on inside that man to account for his continuing radical, aggressive departures from Catholic teaching, and I pray fervently for a change of heart, and also for those close to him that they may also pray for him and help facilitate such change.

  14. Calvin Bell, M.D. September 18, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Judge Ginsburg, VP Biden, Judge Williiams and Father Jenkins: the scandalizing of hundreds, yea thousands of ND young minds will have effect down the line. Notre Dame’s administration in all of its arrogance is destroying Our Lady’s University. The arrogance of liberal humanism leads to death. Not only for unborn children, but for the death of conscience for thousands of ND students. Ultimately to the death of Notre Dame. There is a difference in freedom of thought, and the implication that all thought is ok. Father Jenkins, your job as priest, prophet and king is to clarify for the faithful the variance from Christ’s teaching here. Not to do so will lead to the ultimate demise of Notre Dame.

  15. Pope Francis should speak personally to Fr. Jenkins and tell him to either follow Catholic doctrine or resign.
    All Catholics should demand that academic freedom on the Notre Dame Catholic campus does not include anti-Catholic studies, courses, clubs, activities, signs or objects, speakers, professors, students or any other people. The Sycamore Trust should be entrusted with the writing and enforcement of the “Notre Dame Anti-Catholic Policy” to prevent such scandalous anti-Catholic behavior in the future.

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