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The Irish Rover Barks!

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Student newspaper @irishrovernd calls out @NotreDame administration for undermining Church teaching on LGBTQ issues. #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

“How is it that a Notre Dame undergraduate understands this, but Father John Jenkins, the university’s president, does not.” (Rod Dreher)

This bulletin is devoted to describing just what it is that a Notre Dame undergraduate understands but Father Jenkins does not. The bulletin’s unusual length reflects the importance of the subject. We ask your indulgence.

Dreher was referring to an Irish Rover editorial by its editor-in-chief, Mary Frances Myler, that describes how the Church’s teaching on sex, gender, and marriage has been undermined at Notre Dame. We reproduce that editorial below, but first we describe a recent unsettling event Ms. Myler refers to that we have not covered before. 

Coming Out Day at Baumer Hall

The Notre Dame LGBTQ club, Prism, and Baumer Hall held a “Coming Out Day Celebration” on October 1, National Coming Out Day. The priest rector of Baumer, Rev. Robert Liskowski, C.S.C. presided in a rainbow stole standing in front of a rainbow wall covering.

The scandal of the 2013 Coming Out Day celebration at Notre Dame was described in a Public Discourse article by Michael Bradley, then an undergraduate editor-in-chief of The Irish Rover and now a Law School senior. His analysis is as compelling today as it was then.

The 2013 celebration was the last of these events until now. With the administration’s embrace of Pride Month this past June, Coming Out Day is liable to flourish across the campus next year.

The image of Father Lisowski’s presiding in a rainbow stole put a priestly C.S.C. and semi-liturgical stamp on the affair. In a First Things article, noted theologian Dr. Carl Trueman called Father Liskowski’s stole a “deathwork,” that is, a sacred object subverted to advance a profane purpose.


We now reproduce The Irish Rover editorial and follow with a note about its reception, including its denunciation by the official student newspaper The Observer. 

No Man Can Serve Two Masters

A Foray into The University’s Treatment of LGBT Issues
by Mary Frances Myler

Notre Dame has been swept along by the tides of secularism. Ever-shifting societal mores threaten Notre Dame’s Catholic identity. Increasingly, the university conforms to dominant secular narratives surrounding contentious cultural issues. Particularly on issues of gender and sexuality, the university’s stance regarding Church teachings raises concern.

Perhaps it is assumed that because the debates on these topics have subsided, there is simply nothing left to discuss. Indeed, secular culture assumes the acceptance of same-sex unions as universal. It turns now towards transgenderism, among other issues. Discussions surrounding the nature of marriage as a union between one man and one woman have gone extinct from the public, including at the University of Notre Dame; now, debates rage regarding the definitions of “man” and “woman.”

The university may believe that she navigates the issue well, but she in fact simultaneously professes Catholic teaching and espouses a secular movement in opposition to the Church’s position. The result? Incoherence. While the university’s decisions may be motivated by genuine good will, diligent attention to love of neighbor, and desire to evoke a nuanced understanding, the apparently whole-hearted espousal of the secular LGBT agenda leaves many members of the Notre Dame community confused and concerned.

In 2012, the university published the pastoral plan “Beloved Friends and Allies,”which articulates the framing paradigm for “the support, holistic development and formation of students who identify as GLBTQ [sic], as well as their heterosexual friends and allies.” The pastoral plan repeatedly emphasizes that the university’s “goals and objectives, as well as its programs and initiatives, are consonant with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.” The plan extensively cites the Catechism, as well as USCCB documents regarding ministry to LGBT individuals, affirming the natural law tradition of the Church’s teaching that “sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman.” This document remains an active and relevant part of the university’s engagement with the LGBT community.

But, the university announced its decision to extend employment benefits to legally married same-sex couples in 2014. The university did so without coercion of civil law. University president Fr. John Jenkins praised this decisionas an effort undertaken “to provide support and welcome gay and lesbian members of our community.” He stated, “These efforts must not and will not flag.”

This past June, the university announced its first ever ;celebration of Pride Month. The diversity and inclusion page of the university’s website published an article which draws exclusively upon President Biden’s “Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, 2021,” in an effort to “raise awareness about efforts for equal justice and equal opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community” during the month of June. The article directs curious readers to the website of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT advocacy group lobbying organization within the United States, for information on “what it means to be an ally in the effort to achieve equality for all.” The article does not allude to the Catholic Church or her teachings in any way.

Just this week, on October 11, PrismND (Notre Dame’s official LGBTQ+ undergraduate organization) and Baumer Hall co-hosted a “Coming Out Day Celebration.” Fr. Robert Lisowski, C.S.C., rector of Baumer and recently-ordained priest, attended the event wearing a rainbow stole which matched the pride flag hanging on the wall directly behind him. When asked for comment on his involvement with the event, Fr. Lisowski told the Rover, “My presence at this event was simply to affirm, support, and celebrate the dignity of every human person as a child of God. We prayed in gratitude for the unique gift that every person is [and] for an end to discrimination.”

Other erosive occurrences disclose the university’s adherence to secular standards set by the LGBT movement. The home page of the ND Student Government website displays a picture of the student government executives in front of a pride flag. The College of Arts and Letters now accommodates students’ preferences for the use of singular “they/them” pronouns in news articles. And this fall, Notre Dame Press published the book Gay, Catholic, and American written by Greg Bourke, who was a named plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the decision that legalized same-sex unions nationwide.

Furthermore, no student can escape Welcome Weekend, which emphasizes the necessity of allyship. Student leaders receive instruction to use inclusive language, have “inclusive thoughts,” and wear rainbow pins to demonstrate their commitment as allies. But allies to what? To the recognition that students who experience same-sex attraction are human beings created in the image of God and loved immeasurably by Him? Or to the secular agenda that promotes the normalization of same-sex unions, transgenderism, and other cultural phenomena, institutions, and movements in direct opposition to Church teaching?

The lack of clarity in the university’s approach to LGBT issues is highly problematic. On the one hand, the university professes a Catholic mission and articulates a faith-based vision for the inclusion of the LGBT community in “Beloved Friends and Allies.” On the other hand, the university promotes signs and images laden with secular meaning. The pride flag cannot be separated from the secular LGBT movement and the ends it seeks—ends which are directly contrary to Catholic teaching. How can the university have a holistic and intrinsically Catholic response to the LGBT community if she merely appropriates secular images and slogans? Why does the university look to the world for solutions, rather than turning to the truths of faith?

It should be noted that Notre Dame is not unique in her incoherent response to the challenges raised by the LGBT agenda. The Catholic Church finds herself internally troubled by dissent from her teachings on gender, sexuality, and doctrine. This is not mere individual disagreement, but institutional rebellion. Notably, the German bishops have persisted in their decision to bless same-sex relationships, despite the Vatican’s repeated clarifications on Catholic doctrine.

A March 2021 Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the action of the German bishops succinctly and elegantly expresses the Church’s response to challenges to her teachings on sexuality: “The Church recalls that God Himself never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world, because for Him ‘we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit.’ But he does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him. He in fact ‘takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are.'”

Mary Frances Myler
Mary Frances Myler is The Irish Rover’s Editor-in-Chief and a senior at the University of Notre Dame majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies with minors in Theology and Constitutional Studies.

Properly nuanced, the Church’s teachings on sexuality are simple. In light of Catholic doctrine, Notre Dame should recognize the incoherence of her current position. Her current approach confuses, rather than models, Church teaching. In order to resolve her current incoherence, the university must choose between two conflicting views—one Catholic, the other secular.

The implications of this choice are dramatic; each departure from doctrine erodes the Catholic character of the university. If the university adheres to secular standards on LGBT issues, what else will she be willing to surrender? When truth capitulates to untruth, what shall stand?

The university should cling to the truth, especially when the social cost is high. She may not attract allies, but she will flourish in her witness to Christ’s invitation of authentic love, sacrifice, and transformation.


Reception

In order to keep this bulletin within tolerable limits, we defer to our next bulletin a full consideration of the reaction to Ms. Myler’s editorial, which has been considerable. But so as not to pass the subject entirely, we draw your attention here, first, to some instances of praise, and then to one illustration of the harsh and unfair criticism Ms. Myler has received from fellow students.

Praise for The Myler Editorial

One wishes and prays that our administrative class could think and write with such clarity and courage about Notre Dame’s mission as this remarkable student
Patrick Deneen, Notre Dame Professor
How is it that a Notre Dame undergraduate understands this, but Father John Jenkins, the university’s president, does not? [Note: Dreher’s article reproduces much of the Myler editorial and poses the question with which we opened this bulletin.]
A brave and intelligently argued piece by a faithful Catholic student at Notre Dame.
Sohrab Ahmari, Author and commentator
Notre Dame senior Mary Frances Myler called the Catholic university’s conflicted approach to human sexuality into question, generating conversation on and off campus.
Has the University of Notre Dame surrendered its Catholic identity to the LGBT agenda?
Reprint, LifeSite News

Contra: The Notre Dame Observer

The principal public criticism we have found came in a long anti-Rover screed by the Observer, the official Notre Dame student newspaper. 

The Observer editorial’s defining characteristics are its illiberality and its religious illiteracy. 

Instead of a reasoned rebuttal of the Rover’s editorial, the Observer simply declares that criticism of university LGBTQ actions such as the provision of spousal benefits to same-sex couples “has no place on campus.” 

Take that, professors Gerard Bradley, John Finnis, and Daniel Philpott! (Notre Dame’s spousal benefits extension was “morally indefensible.”)

And take that, freedom of speech and press at the University of Notre Dame! From its student journalists. 

Nor does the Observer let Church teaching get in its way. The Church, while enjoining Catholics to extend “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” to homosexuals, declares that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” which “under no circumstances can be approved.” Same-sex marriage is, accordingly, illicit. (Catechism 2357, 2358) 

That has been the teaching of the Church for two millennia. 

It is the interment of this teaching at Notre Dame that The Irish Rover has bravely called out. 

And it is The Observer’s traducing of The Rover for doing so that is both inexpressibly sad and profoundly disturbing. 

Conclusion

Ms. Myler and The Rover have opened a very important subject for discussion. Whether and how it takes place will tell whether LGBTQ-inspired intimidation trumps free speech in the service of Catholic identity at the University of Notre Dame.  

Postscript

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47 Responses to “The Irish Rover Barks!”

  1. Steve Martinek 71, 74 "We were ND" November 26, 2021 at 6:29 am

    Aye, true that! The quest for discernment and salvation can prove challenging, and even tiresome.For Saint Paul it was also painful, blinding, and humbling. Saint Ignatius and other saints were also wounded and humbled and called to re-think and reject views and values of their prior lives. Saint Augustine needed every fervent mother’s prayer and tear of St. Monica just as she needed the graces of persistence and fortitude in years of frustrating prayer for her wayward son. Truly is it said that “every saint has a past–and every sinner has a future.” Quoting Claudia Jean of West Wing, “the lid is on.” Be well. Steve

  2. Steve, Put a lid on it. It’s so tiresome.

  3. Steve Martinek 71, 74 "We were ND" November 25, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    In Faith, I am Catholic; but in tech I am Amish or Luddite. Still I am certain there is a way to save and readily re-use these thoughts you parrot-prattle so often. It would surely be a waste of effort to key them in over and over and over again–unless (just spitballing here) each keystroke is a separate earnest additional prayer for those for whom you express such genuine, compassionate concern. I wonder if you spare a prayer for intolerant conservatives, as well? If you were to adopt a girl, or perhaps a gender-bender, it might be deliciously ironic to name “her” “Epiphany.” At least that way, one of my prayers for you would have been answered. Smile and breathe…Steve

  4. Steve, Your self-righteous, sanctimonious piety drips off your words like Log Cabin Syrup. We live in entirely different words. Why are you not praying for the masturbating Domers; the divorced, not annulled, remarried and having sex Domers; the unchaste football team;all the gay CSC priests’ and the artificial birth control Catholics. Surely the baby boomers have not perfected the rhythm method. Those prayers ought to keep you busy.

  5. Steve Martinek 71, 74 "We were ND" November 25, 2021 at 8:37 am

    For any and all who would “know” me, who would know my heart and soul–you must know my prayers and the limits of my fears. My morning prayers include The Morning Glory Consecration Prayer to Our Lady (based upon Louis de Montfort); then various Ignatian prayers including the Suscipe and a simplistic form of the Examen and a prayer for Patient Trust by de Chardin, and “Come as You are” by a Carmelite; these are followed by a fervent recitation of the long form of the Exorcism in Satnam et Angelos Aposaticus of Pope Leo XIII. None of my prayers include any condemnation of sodomy or same-sex attraction; yet, they surely do not pray for further normalization, acceptance, or extolling of such deviant desires and behaviors. I am earnestly self-aware of my personal lack of many/most/all phobias–because of trust and confidence conceived in and borne from my Faith in God and Our Lady. I do not fear or dread homosexuality, or global warming, or covid or other plandemics–nor do I fear heresy, apostasy, or ambiguity from any leaders, spiritual or secular. I’ve heard it said of heretics that many are not “bad people”–they are merely, simply, profoundly wrong–wrong in their minds and, tragically, in their hearts. Martin Luther was an historic example, as was Bonhoefer–and Bergoglio is a current notorious and infamous personification (as are men like Jenkins, James Martin, and pro-abort “Catholic” pols). For each and all of them, and those who endorse the rainbow agenda, I pray for intercession, epiphany, exorcism, and discernment, in God’s time and will. Separately, I may be moved by the Holy Spirit to share some of my daily prayers. I am humbled by the Faith-driven articulations by “N.D.” and, counter-intuitively, grateful for the challenging views expressed by CRC-3….and I pray for both. Steve

  6. John P. Herman. Read their comments again. They drip with piety, sanctimony, and self-righteous. God is just fine with LGBT Domers and all the rest, their families, faith, life and love and children. Just who are you to judge?

  7. The piety of N.D. and Steve is evident, and most welcome. Thank you. Haven’t noticed any sanctimony and self-righteousness, though. Nor are they judging. God alone is the judge, as Pope Francis has said. CRC-3, you are in all of our prayers this Thanksgiving. As are The Rover and the Sycamore Trust. May God richly bless each of you.

  8. N.D. and Steve –At the risk of sounding like a Republican no less that Ronald Reagan, there you two go again. The piety and self-righteousness just drip from every word, so does sanctimony.. LGBT people are not disordered or sinful. Neither are their lives and love and families and children. Take a clue from the pope, “Whom am I to judge.”

  9. Steve Martinek 71, 74 "We were ND" November 24, 2021 at 5:11 am

    Those who deny (or revise) history are truly doomed to repeat and re-live it. So it is, I believe, with sin, evil, truth, and love. So also is it with guilt and fear. We are all weak and vulnerable and sinful children of God. We deny reality at our peril, and at our great loss. Profligate or deviant sexual intimacy is not love. Progressive acceptance and consensus regarding evil cannot expiate our nagging guilt, or our fear or dread that our ways may be wrong. We have the grace-gifts of the sacraments to aid and protect and strengthen us on our journey. Confession, repentance, remorse, reparation, reversion, amendment and betterment of our lives and actions this day, this moment, and then worthy receipt of the Holy Eucharist–these are our tools and weapons of salvation–not prattling argument or insults. Perhaps the time is not propitious for us to “reason together;” but, can we not pray together, for and with each other? Just sayin’… and prayin’…Steve

  10. Steve, et al. Do you people ever speak in plain English and not lace all your comments, dripping self-righteous, sanctimonious piety? There must be pious talking points script that you all pull out to write your comments and foist on us your learned dissertations.

    In case you missed it, there is no sin in being LGBT. LGBTs do not suffer from same-sex attraction.as a result of a perfect storm. LGBTs have lives and loves and families and are just as Catholic as you profess to be. How many LGBT people do you know? Do you know their families and children? Spend some time with real life LGBT people before casting all your stones. Or take cue from pope: “Who am I to judge?” He has even come out in favor of civil domestic partnership protections and has essentially blessed the ministry of Jesuit priest James Martin.

    Why do you live in the 1950’s or earlier.

    And I am still waiting for you to call out all the masturbating Domers, the unchastity of the football team and their sexual exploits, those Domers who are divorced, not annulled, remarried and having sex even as university employees, and not artificial contraceptive users. We all know the baby boomers have not perfected the rhythm method.

    Whoever N.D. is she holds a sad sack view of LGBT life. And has an odd way to express her professed love of her daughter. I am sure her daughter feels all the love.

    • While all of us have disordered inclinations of various type and degree, it is a sin to not desire to overcome our disordered inclinations, and become transformed through Salvational Love, God’s Gift Of Grace And Mercy, so that we can develop healthy and Holy relationships and friendships, that are respectful of the inherent equal Dignity, of ourselves and of others, in private, and in public, and thus grounded in authentic Life-affirming and Life-sustaining Love. Any act, including any sexual act that does not respect the inherent Dignity of a beloved son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father, mother, is not and can never be, an act of authentic Love. Love is Ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons existing in a relationship of Love, which is why a man is not Called to Love his wife, in the same manner as he is Called to Love his daughter, or his son, or his mother, or his father, or a friend.

      If the fact that I, as a mother desire that all my children develop healthy and Holy relationships, that are grounded in authentic Love, seems odd to you, then my Hope for you is that soon you will come to know, Love, and serve, The Truth Of Love Himself, and take Him into your heart, The Power And The Glory Of Authentic Life-affirming and Life-sustaining Love. Never underestimate the value of a Loving friendship that serves only for the Good of yourself and those you Love, these are true and Loving friendships, and thus virtuous. Do not be afraid of authentic Love; a true friend is someone who is not afraid to tell you the truth.

  11. Steve Martinek 71, 74 "We were ND" November 23, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    How and when did it happen–that the earnest, humble, heart-felt quest for genuine righteousness and sanctity became something deemed despicable by the intolerant Left? Were all prior Popes and saints and martyrs also to be condemned as self-righteous and sanctimonious? Is that now an apt description of Monica as she prayed for the conversion of her son Augustine from his sinful and profligate ways? Are those now apt descriptors of Jesus when he rescued the adulteress and had the temerity to admonish her to “sin no more?” Or when he chastised Peter as like unto satan for thinking as man rather than as God? Was the pronouncement of the Beatitudes an exercise in self-righteousness? I do not know the one who signed “ND” but I honor her pain and vulnerability in having written. Steve

  12. ND, Please spare me your self-righteous, sanctimonious piety.

  13. CRC-3, As the mother of a daughter who developed a same sex -sexual attraction as the result of a perfect storm, I can assure you, I Love my daughter, as I Love all my children, and it is because I Love her, that I desire that she, like all my children, develop healthy and Holy relationships and friendships that are respectful of herself and others in private as well as in public, and that she, like all my children, does not engage in any act, including any sexual act, that demeans her inherent Dignity as a beloved daughter.

    To promote diverse sexual acts and sexual relationships, would be to discriminate against the Sanctity of the marital act, which is life -affirming and life-sustaining, and can only be consummated between a man and woman, united in Marriage as husband and wife. Tell me then, how can one both have respect for The Sacrament Of Marriage, as God intended, while promoting the equality of sexual acts and sexual relationships? Tell me how the sexualization of friendships and human relations, can serve for The Common Good, when Love is not possessive, nor is it coercive, nor does it serve to manipulate for the sake of self gratification?

    Love is a gift, given freely from the heart, which desires only that which is Good for oneself and one’s beloved.

    “Reflecting on the new permissive attitude of some bishops toward homosexuality, Fr. Murray condemned homosexual acts in blunt terms.
    “A relationship based on sodomy is intrinsically evil,” Murray said. “You don’t sodomize someone and do a good act. That’s an immoral act”, and I would add, an act devoid of Love, regardless of the actors, including if they be a man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife.

    All beloved sons and daughters, possessing equal Dignity, have the inherent Right to be treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public.

    I grieve every day for my daughter, my family, Christ’s Church, our Nation, and the World, as I witness the desire to exchange The Truth Of Love, with a lie.

    “When God Is denied, human Dignity disappears.” – Pope Benedict XVI

    And when human Dignity disappears, anything can become permissible, and be declared “good”, including the destruction of the life of a beloved son or daughter, residing in their mother’s womb.

    Pray that Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart Will Triumph soon

  14. Two points that must be considered when upholding Religious Liberty:
    “[T]he Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state; and that in fulfilling the task committed to her by God of teaching, ruling, and guiding to eternal bliss those who belong to the kingdom of Christ, she cannot be subject to any external power.”
    This is, to put it mildly, a striking proposal”, and I would add, not because we are hypothetically speaking.
    https://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2021/11/christ-the-king-and-quas-primas.html
    And the second point:
    “Lincoln had two ideas of liberty in mind. The first, true liberty, is man’s freedom to choose in accord with the moral law. Lincoln contrasted this true liberty with its corruption, “license”—of a most peculiar sort. In his day the license that some called liberty had come to mean the right “for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor.”
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2021/12/our-divided-house
    No doubt, we are living in a time of great deception, as revealed by the fact that there exists a counterfeit church that claims to belong to The Kingdom Of Christ, while denying The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, and thus the fact that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, (See The Treaty Of Paris, that ended The Revolutionary War In the Name Of The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity) Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, not Caesar, King John, or John Locke, thus, when it comes to Love, to Life, and to Marriage, The Church cannot be “subject to any external power”, forcing those members to render onto Caesar what has always and will always belong to God.

    Nor can members of His One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic Church, be subject to the teachings of a counterfeit church, without denying The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, and separating oneself from Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic Church, because it is “not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion”, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost.

    We can know through both Faith and reason, that the fact that we are witnessing bishop v. Bishop, cardinal v. Cardinal, and pope v. Pope, is evidence enough that we are living in a time of Great Apostasy, due to those who deny The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, and the fact that we, who desire to follow The Christ, must desire to be Temples For The Holy Ghost.

    “If there is a union of a private nature, there is neither a third party, nor is society affected.” Jorge Bergoglio, prior to his election as pope, denying the Sanctity of the marital act within The Sacrament Of Holy Matrimony, while denying that sin done in private is sin, denying The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), and thus denying that we are called to be “Temples For The Holy Ghost”, in Private, and in public, while denying that “It is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion”, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost.

    “People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man.” – Pope Benedict Christmas Address, December 21, 2012

    You can only have a Great Apostasy from The True Church, Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic Church, outside of which, there is no Salvation, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, for it Is “Through Christ, With Christ, And In Christ, In The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, That Holy Mother Church exists.

    “No one can come to My Father except Through Me.” – Jesus The Christ

    If we truly Love our neighbor, we would not deny them The Truth Of Love, For Christ Has Revealed Through His Life, His Passion, And His Death On The Cross, that The Fullness Of Love Is Desiring Salvation For One’s Beloved.

    “Love one another as I Have Loved you.” Jesus The Christ, The Way, The Truth, And The Life (Light) Of Perfect Life-affirming and Life-sustaining Salvational Love.

    https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrExdkKEZ1h0QkAfm2InIlQ;_ylu=c2VjA3NyBHNsawNpbWcEb2lkAzcxYmZkMGIwYzNiMWJiM2JmOTJkZDNiYjc5NWFlMmQwBGdwb3MDNTAEaXQDYmluZw–?back=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dpicture%2Bof%2BMary%2Bholding%2Bthe.crucified%2BChrist%26fr%3Diphone%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D50&w=440&h=500&imgurl=www.piercedhearts.org%2Fz_imagenes%2Fmary%2Four-lady-of-sorrows.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.catholicallyear.com%2F2013%2F09%2Fevery-kid-is-special-three-days-per-year.html&size=150.5KB&p=picture+of+Mary+holding+the.crucified+Christ&oid=71bfd0b0c3b1bb3bf92dd3bb795ae2d0&fr2=&fr=iphone&tt=Catholic+All+Year%3A+Every+Kid+is&b=0&ni=21&no=50&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=rR3D8MvR0oEb&sigb=QQIp8slBhASR&sigi=lpU5rtPD.tua&sigt=fC4UOjH.5kSq&.crumb=ojQg.YrZjgC&fr=iphone

    Believe In The Power And Glory Of True Love

  15. STEVE Martinek '71, '74 earlier times of truer values November 19, 2021 at 11:59 am

    How would an apology to Jenkins be worded? Sorry your Mom baptized you Catholic? Sorry the Truth and dogma of the Catholic Faith have failed to meet your personal standard of “wokeness?” Sorry your patron saint “lost his head” rather than adopt and endorse the secular consensus of his day? Sorry to see a POTUND willfully pursuing the true “Road to Perdition” unless he repents? Okay…”President Jenkins, I am truly sorry.” Steve

  16. James Shapiro '52 November 18, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    All Sycamore Trust Boosters: Read the NY times November 17th editorial which is about a letter from Pope Francis to an L.G.B.T. Catholic correspondent for American Media a Catholic news organization. Pope Francis’ letter clearly supports Fr Jenkins’ opposition. I suggest that a letter of apology to Fr Jenkins from the Sycamore Trust is due.

  17. Christopher Cook November 14, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    “Spot-on” Mary Frances Mylar! God bless you—your heart, spirit and soul shall inspire authentic Catholics to continue this battle against a secular world’s vision that will lead many to the loss of their blessed souls! May God help, through such eloquent and thoughtful writers as you most appreciatively are, those who run from the Catholic Catechism, either out of ignorance or a destructive desire to divide and confuse! You are truly a breath of fresh air, most especially in our Catholic world of today that is often suffocating itself with reckless abandon.

  18. Oh, Steve, Turn Notre Dame into a seminary and get rid of women students and have Trump be the commencement speaker. Expel all the LGBT students and fire LGBT employees and faculty. Meanwhile, continue to give full marital benefits to those divorced, not annulled, still having sex married employees, ignore the non-chastity of the football team, ignore all the masturbating students, fired those who are married and are using artificial birth control. And that would be many, as baby boomers have not mastered the rhythm method. How can you be so clueless?

  19. Steve Martinek 71, 74 "We were ND" November 13, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    Both humor and hyperbole can be masking vehicles for elements of truth and wisdom. I would not fully endorse the proposed preferred student body–but I would say this. I would strongly advocate for the student body and the faculty and the administrations to each and all be comprised of a super-majority of faithful, active, practicing, conventional, conservative Catholics. I believe that would best fulfill our University’s duty of stewardship to the one true Faith. Our educational mission, properly cosidered, is the education and formation of the best and brightest of each new generation of Catholic youth–not the devolution and dilution of moral and family and CAtholic values under cover of progressive, repressive “wokeness.”

  20. James Shapiro '52 November 13, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    Based on the comments and editorials above if you define success for the Sycamore Trust it would be for ND to be an evangelical university with an all white student body [except of course for the football team]. The authoritarian republican government could make catholicisim the state religion, jail trans and gay and deport non-whites. I think we need to step back and discuss how to make ND a sucessful university that is an asset to all of society. BTW for the younger alums the first black student was in our 1952 class and he was a football player.

  21. Thank you for your response Mr. Dempsey.
    I would caution, however, that to ‘leaving this in more competent hands’ is our mistake. Those who follow Humanae Vitae’s teaching are the competent hands. The bishops and the faculties of Catholic universities are the responsible but idle hands. We both cited examples of how CUA and ND sell TOB’s short.
    While MereMarriage: Sexual Difference and Christian Doctrine is a doctoral dissertation, to establish academic integrity, it remains accessible to people with a basic understanding of contemporary social issues and theology. I’m happy to bring it to the attention of the Sycamore Trust audience that has a better than average understanding of both, and a passion for a solution which is already provided by John Paul II in TOB.
    (More at: http://www.MereMarriage.com).

  22. Those in charge of policy at Notre Dame cannot, and will not, confess to their true position on the matters discussed. Confusion necessarily results. That is the plan. To be actually transparent and honest would be far too costly financially, and far too damaging to its religious image. The risk, AT THIS TIME, is still too great. Pretention trusts in incrementalism to determine the “right” time to freely express an honest opinion, and reach a coherent position.

  23. Daniel P. Mitchell November 12, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Gay ( homosexual) people and the position on them of the Roman Catholic Church and Notre Dame are a very difficult problem. The Golden Dome with The virgin Mary atop says this is a Catholic University, period. For generations being a homosexual person was a non acceptable position in American Society thus matched the Roman Catholic position exactly. Now in American society being homosexual is not just ok, it is promoted by the government and the laws of the land and especially by the Democratic party and the media and most of all by the film industry and all of Hollywood. Thus in American society, if you and I do not accept the position of the Democratic Party, Hollywood, and the Homosexual propaganda then we are out of step with the acceptable and politically correct position in American society 2021. Thus in America the Roman Catholic Church is clearly wrong, stupid and should be totally ignored. So where does this leave Notre Dame and the lady on top of the Golden Dome?
    Fr. Jenkins has a no win position to maintain. His Catholic University is in America, governed by American laws which are opposite the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. The reality is the anti God secular leaders have won the battle for the soul of America through the media, and Hollywood controlling the thought process in our media addicted culture. The solution: Pray the Rosary every day for the soul of America in which lies the University of Notre Dame a Catholic University.

  24. (Unsure if my posting of last night got through or if it wasn’t posted for editorial reasons. In any case, I’d like to engage with William Dempsey through a post or privately on a thesis I have labored over for a quarter century. Here with more detail is what I submitted for posting.)
    The root of the Catholic Education problem manifested by Mary Frances Myler’s editorial is that Theology has allowed dissent from Humanae Vitae to fester. John Paul’s Theology of the Body illuminates a new horizon for the theology of marriage that orders and develops Humanae Vitae’s doctrine. My university CUA, and a theology Professor now at ND, deprived me of the opportunity to do doctoral research on TOB as a development of the doctrine of HV. I found another way and published my successful research as: Mere Marriage: Sexual Difference and Christian Doctrine. Mere Marriage receives gratifying acclaim from serious scholars. It shows how TOB opens the narrow gate through which theology must pass to restore integrity to Catholic Higher Education.

    • Thank you for your comment, Dr. Cannon, and for the reference to your book. I might mention that one of the laudatory reviews was written by my good friend, Jim Thunder (ND ’72). And also, to your point about the relevance of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, that ND several years ago scrapped its TOB course, whereupon shortly thereafter the professor that had so ably taught it left for a more welcoming Catholic university. As to your thesis, it strikes me as perfectly sound. Surely the silent interment of Humana Vitae by most clergy and bishops and Catholic schools contributes to the notion that Church teachings in general and specifically on radioactive issues of sex, gender and marriage are up for grabs. It is a good deal worse at ND now that, after its praiseworthy initial resistance to the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, Fr. Jenkins reversed course and arranged for the delivery of free contraceptives to employees and students under ND’s health plan. Accompanied, to be sure, by the warning that they are not to be used! I wish I could engage more intelligently with you on TOB because it strikes me that it is the basis for the affirmative case for the Church’s teaching on these issues to counter the impression that the Church’s posture is just one of dour finger-wagging, but I leave that in your and other more competent hands.

  25. Not the Notre Dame I knew and still love, despite this ridiculous decision.

  26. Steve Martinek 71, 74 "We were ND" November 12, 2021 at 5:35 am

    Our Lady, Bill, & All of Faith and Goodwill: Each morning as I follow Archbishop Vigano’s call to recite and pray the Exorcismus in Satanam of Pope Leo XIII, I commence with this prefatory prayer “Call to the Miracle of Exorcism. In fulfillment of our sacred duty to pray, and fast, and unite ourselves to spiritual immortal combat, we issue this battle call, in humble confidence, to Our Lady, Her Son, and St. Michael the Archangel, and all baptized and faithful Catholics…in the names and powers of our Triune God, we begin in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each and all. We see and know the end-times are fast upon us and satan has become more desperate, diligent, devious, and bold in his eternal quest for souls and to debauch all the nobility of mankind. He is a fearsome and formidable foe. We dare not under-estimate his power or his perfidy–or that of his minions and followers. We cal for the marshaling of the forces of good, and truth, and faith, and God to join together for final battle—NOW! Amen”

  27. LOL Your dreaded “left” had nothing to do with the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. I especially like your viscous attack on Fr. Jenkins. No doubt there is a Christian reason for such an expression of love. I suggest you seek both spiritual and psychiatric help. You are out of control.

  28. Steve Martinek 71, 74 "We were ND" November 11, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    The repressive Left is bent on a scorched earth campaign of deconstruction, and debauchery of all that is noble in mankind. Our beloved alma mater is little more than a cipher, or totem, a “scalp on the war lance” of our self-styled indigenous Aborigine spiritual and intellectual savages. They are effectively pursuing the full cancellation of our values, our history, our legacy and our fondest memories–just as they are effectively targeting our economy, capitalism, national security, and energy independence. It is a pernicious tapestry or mosaic formed from shiny bits of multi-colored cheap glass and weak and frayed threads of clashing and cacophonous colors. Weak and venal men like Jenkins no longer pretend to “hit their knees” in prayer but only to service and placate the deviants. There is no benefit to be derived from engaging or bantering with spiritual visigoths and willful pagans.

  29. You simply cannot see the hypocrisy of the sole focus of being anti-LGBT while ignoring the many more violations of church teaching by your heteros. Why is that.. Thank God, Notre Dame does take its legal cues from your designated top lawyers. The university has to comply with civil law. Your organization drips with contempt for LGBT people. Now go patrol the football team and the remarried, not annulled, having sex married opposite sex couples, let alone the masturbating students. That ought keep you busy enough.

  30. Why would Notre Dame deliberately violate civil law and not provide the benefits? They think nothing of providing benefits to the divorced, not annulled, remarried and having sex opposite-sex couples. Why are you not on a tear about them? Or the non-chastity of the football team? Yours is a very narrow vision and contempt for LGBT people. And in case you do not realize it, LGBT people keep the church running. And there are more than a few gay CSC priests. Wake up.

    • You simply refuse to engage on your assertion that ND was obliged by law to provide spousal benefits to same-sex couples. You continue to assert without providing any basis that ND would “violate civil law” by not doing so despite the declaration by leading ND law professors that it would not have done so. You have had your more than you’re say, but your baseless assertion is mirrored by your charge — I was waiting for it — that we have “contempt for LGBT people.” There is not a whisper in anything we have written in all these years to support that charge, which is the standard attack on anyone who supports the teaching of the Catholic Church. It destroys any basis for civil discourse on the question how a Catholic school can promote a diverse community including LGBTQ representatives characterized by mutual respect without turning fundamental Catholic teaching into the moral equivalent of tapioca pudding. On this, see Father Bill Dailey’s splendid recent letter to the Observer. I now disengage.

    • CRC-3, As the mother of a daughter who developed a same sex -sexual attraction as the result of a perfect storm, I can assure you, I Love my daughter, as I Love all my children, and it is because I Love her, that I do not discriminate against her, I desire that she, like all my children, develop healthy and Holy relationships and friendships that are respectful of herself and others in private as well as in public, and that she, like all my children, does not engage in any act, including any sexual act, that demeans her inherent Dignity as a beloved daughter.

      To promote diverse sexual acts and sexual relationships, would be to discriminate against the Sanctity of the marital act, which is life -affirming and life-sustaining, and can only be consummated between a man and woman, united in Marriage as husband and wife. Tell me then, how can one both have respect for The Sacrament Of Marriage, as God intended, while promoting the equality of sexual acts and sexual relationships? Tell me how the sexualization of friendships and human relations, can serve for The Common Good, when Love is not possessive, nor is it coercive, nor does it serve to manipulate for the sake of self gratification?

      Love is a gift, given freely from the heart, which desires only that which is Good for oneself and one’s beloved.

      “Reflecting on the new permissive attitude of some bishops toward homosexuality, Fr. Murray condemned homosexual acts in blunt terms.
      “A relationship based on sodomy is intrinsically evil,” Murray said. “You don’t sodomize someone and do a good act. That’s an immoral act”, and I would add, an act devoid of Love, regardless of the actors, including if they be a man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife.

      All beloved sons and daughters, possessing equal inherent Dignity, have the inherent Right to be treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public.

      I grieve every day for my daughter, my family, Christ’s Church, our Nation, and the World, as I witness the desire to exchange The Truth Of Love, with a lie.

      “When God Is denied, human Dignity disappears.” – Pope Benedict XVI

      And when human Dignity disappears, anything can become permissible, and be declared “good”, including the destruction of the life of a beloved son or daughter, residing in their mother’s womb.

      Pray that Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart Will Triumph soon

  31. Willliam E. Dotterweich November 11, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    I once again fantasize about what ND would be like today if Father Miscamble had been elected president rather that the incumbent.

    • You obviously cannot support your assertion that “Notre Dame has to provide spousal benefits to same-sex couples because it is the law.” As two of ND’s most prominent law professors declared at the time, ND’s action was “morally indefensible” because it was done “without legal coercion.” (See the article we cited in our bulletin.) We confirmed that legal conclusion independently, though we certainly did not need to do so. ND “followed civil law” only in the sense that it included same-sex marriages within the definition of its spousal benefits plans, but it did so voluntarily. In doing so, it undercut the Church’s condemnation of same-sex marriage. I should perhaps add that the Church teaches also that homosexuals are to be accorded a full measure of respect and dignity, a standard we embrace as an integral part of Church doctrine. But while ND doesn’t skimp on that attitude, it subverts the companion teaching respecting the morality of homosexual sex, gender change, and same-sex marriage. You think that all to the good, but even if that were true, the result would still be that ND thereby I seriously compromises its standing as a Catholic institution. Pretense and false advertising are not virtues.

  32. Notre Dame made the right decision to follow civil law.

  33. Same-sex marriage is the law of the land, in all 50 states, in case you missed the Supreme Court decision.

    • Sarcasm is especially unbecoming when in the service of evasion. I asked what law requires a Catholic university to extend spousal benefits to same-sex married couples. It is no answer to point out that they are legally married.

  34. The most disturbing lesson here is that despite the number of years of depravity jenkins has done nothing. My classmate was bad enough but jenkins is a disgrace to ND, to our faith and to our students and alumni. Who will save us and When will it happen?

  35. You make an old alumnus proud! Keep on doing the work that a compromised priesthood refuses.
    Patrick Hermann ’68

  36. And Notre Dame has to provide spousal benefits to same-sex couples because it is the law.

    • To which law do you refer? It was certainly not required by state or federal law at the time, and ND did not assert that it was in response to the criticism by Professors Bradley, Finnis, and Philpott.

  37. You need to learn how to spell the rainbow rector and priest’s last name correctly. It is Lisowski, not Liskowski. If you sycamores had your way, Notre Dame would be run like a seminary. I applaud Notre Dame’s continual march into the 21st Century and its leaving your ilk behind. Just love it. The Alumni Rainbow Community is here to stay and you can do noting but grouse over it. Get over yoursleves.

    • Well, the short of it is that you scorn fundamental Catholic teaching and are pleased to see Notre Dame following suit whereas we think a university that professes to be Catholic should actually be Catholic. No ambiguity there.

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