Mayor Pete, Notre Dame, and the Church

Appointing pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage, anti-religious liberty #Buttiieg to the @NotreDame faculty scandalizes and entangles the school in partisan politics. #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

Mayor Pete, Notre Dame, and the Church

In late June, Notre Dame announced that Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend and erstwhile Democratic presidential candidate, would join the faculty as a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study. 

With the permission of First Things in which it first appeared, we reprint below a standout article on this appointment by Rev. Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C. 

A professor of history at Notre Dame, Father Miscamble is an award-winning author, a former chairman of the history department and rector of Moreau Seminary, and one of the school’s most popular teachers. His latest bookAmerican Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame’s Father Ted Hesburgh, is essential reading for anyone interested in Notre Dame. 

We open with a few words of our own.

A Triple-barreled Scandal

Notre Dame’s appointment of Buttigieg is a triple-barreled scandal.

He is a full-throated supporter of abortion in its most extreme form. He and his husband are a national symbol of same-sex marriage. And he is a foe of religious liberty, accusing those who, like Notre Dame, resist out of religious conviction providing free abortifacients to their employees of “invoking religion as an excuse for discrimination.”

A practicing Episcopalian, Buttigieg preaches the compatibility of Christianity with both abortion and gay marriage. This is scandal in the Catholic Church’s formal understanding of that term and makes him a principal adversary of the Catholic Church on two of the nation’s most highly charged moral and political issues.

In these circumstances, it is painful to see the University’s announcement adopt the Institute Director’s declaration that she is “thrilled to welcome Pete to Notre Dame.” This eagerness to embrace and support a person who stands in public and direct opposition to the Church’s solemn teaching on marriage and the inherent dignity of human life from conception to death is scandalous and lamentable.

There is more. 

Notre Dame is a Catholic educational tax-exempt organization barred from political activity, and, even more significantly, Father Jenkins is a non-partisan Director of the Commission on Presidential Debates. Surely Father Jenkins should make every effort to appear scrupulously neutral during this election cycle as the Commission makes politically charged decisions, e.g., its recent denial of a Republican request for an additional debate.

But here is Notre Dame under Father Jenkins  providing a temporary parking place, Notre Dame credentials, and a launching pad for an ambitious Democratic politician who has already begun campaigning for Joe Biden — a man who, as leading pro-life Democrats say, would be “the most pro-abortion president in history” — and his running mate, who would match that unenviable description as vice president and whose record on the Senate Judiciary Committee has shown  “reprehensible anti-Catholic bigotry,” in the words of National Review writer (and Sycamore Trust board member) Alexandra DeSanctis.

One need only consult Buttigeig’s prime time speech during last week’s Democratic convention to see some of what we may expect from this Notre Dame Fellow – celebration of same-sex marriage at the forefront and swipes at people of faith who oppose it.

We will shortly present an open letter to Father Jenkins for our readers to consider joining. But now to Father Miscamble.

Mayor Pete at Notre Dame

by Wilson D. Miscamble

In late June the University of Notre Dame announced that Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend and sometime 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, had been named a 2020-21 faculty fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS). Meghan Sullivan, a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame and director of the NDIAS, celebrated the appointment: Buttigieg, she said, was a “perfect fit” for the institute’s faculty cohort this year, which will focus on the “nature of trust.” Buttigieg expressed his delight at the chance to examine “one of the most salient issues of our time.” Fortuitously, Buttigieg has whipped off a book on the subject in the four months since his withdrawal from the Democratic race. Trust: America’s Best Chance is scheduled for release on October 6. It promises to consider “the foundational role trust plays in our democracy, and what it will take to build the trust we’ll need to recover and advance the country.” Trust should draw some favorable media attention to Buttigieg in the closing month of the presidential campaign, during which he is sure to present Joe Biden as eminently “trustworthy.” Biden, if elected, will possibly reward Buttigieg with a cabinet appointment—Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, most likely.

The Notre Dame appointment makes good sense for Buttigieg. NDIAS, as a locale for an ambitious political figure awaiting his next appointment, is hardly Harvard’s Kennedy School. Nevertheless, the fellowship gives Buttigieg a respectable holding place while he marks time before his expected move to Washington next January. His participation in the NDIAS seminar on “trust” might even cast some sheen of gravitas on his arguments on the subject. Even better, an appointment at the nation’s best-known Catholic university affords Buttigieg the opportunity to promote both directly and indirectly the issues and positions he outlined during his presidential campaign and to gain some kind of implicit imprimatur for them. 

Buttigieg ran for president on his record as a progressive young technocratic mayor of South Bend—a kind of Midwestern Emmanuel Macron—who pledged to reignite “democracy” in the country. But his proposals to abolish the electoral college and to enlarge the Supreme Court hardly gripped his party’s base. Though talented and quite accomplished for his age, these and other positions might have sent him packing from the campaign trail early on if he had been a heterosexual male with a wife and children—like, say, that other wunderkind of the early primary season, Beto O’Rourke. But Buttigieg gained electoral traction from his public image as a gay man and military veteran who had married his “husband,” Chasten Glezman, in an Episcopal Church ceremony in June 2018. After his surprising success in the Iowa caucuses, some in the effusive media even deemed him a kind of gay Obama. 

While Buttigieg grasped the advantages of serving as a public advertisement for the normalization of same-sex marriage and of advocating for a fulsome LBGTQ agenda, he also appreciated the need to demonstrate his bona fides (if that be the term) on the litmus test issue for every Democrat candidate: unrestricted abortion. This is the issue on which Biden quickly folded under pressure early in the campaign, and so retreated from his long-standing opposition to the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Today’s Democrats cannot tolerate such opposition; they hold that abortion must be promoted as a public good and funded by the American taxpayer. 

While still mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg skillfully and cynically signaled his support for the pro-abortion movement. He vetoed the South Bend Common Council’s favorable vote on a re-zoning request that would have permitted the highly regarded Women’s Care Center (WCC) to open a crisis pregnancy office next to an abortion facility operating on the west side of the city (near minority neighborhoods, one might add). Buttigieg, the future lecturer on “trust” at Notre Dame, strained credibility by claiming that he acted out of concern for “the neighborhood” when he denied the community the loving support that the WCC has provided for decades. Notre Dame president Father John Jenkins, who had worked amicably with Buttigieg on town-and-gown issues, criticized the veto and charged that “far from enhancing the harmony of the neighborhood, it [Buttigieg’s veto] divides our community and diminishes opportunities for vulnerable women.” 

Most of this year’s Democratic candidates campaigned hard to establish their pro-abortion credentials, but Buttigieg seemed especially eager to please the Planned Parenthood crowd. In a notable exchange with Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life, he made clear that he didn’t see much place for pro-life Democrats in the party. Most egregiously, Buttigieg also engaged in some discussion that revealed his support for late-term, partial-birth abortions. He even attempted to furnish his views with a religious gloss by suggesting that “there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath.” 

Buttigieg’s extreme pro-abortion views directly oppose fundamental Catholic teaching prohibiting the destruction of human life in the womb. But Meghan Sullivan seems untroubled by this disparity. The present NDIAS director is a capable analytic philosopher and a popular teacher who has fashioned a much-hyped course on “God and the Good Life,” which claims to allow students to wrestle with key questions concerning “happiness, morality and meaning.” She is also an old friend of Buttigieg’s—they were in the same Rhodes Scholarship cohort. She often had him guest lecture in her classes during his mayoral days, and now wants to provide a good place for her pal from their Oxford sojourn. One must assume that her friendship for and desire to assist Buttigieg trumps any concerns about his views on abortion. My own questions as to whether a candidate who held positions contravening the Church’s teaching against racism would warrant an appointment at NDIAS have been met with silence. And Sullivan seems hesitant to examine the implications of Buttigieg’s fellowship for Notre Dame’s mission as a Catholic university.

One might expect that the aforementioned Father Jenkins would be more willing to do so, especially in light of his direct knowledge of Buttigieg’s betrayal of supporters of the Women’s Care Center. Sadly, no. While Father Jenkins concedes that Buttigieg disagrees with Catholic teaching on “some issues,” he asserts that the former mayor might make a contribution to NDIAS deliberations on the nature of trust. Rather than address the issue directly, Father Jenkins prefers to deflect by presenting the Buttigieg appointment as consonant with the recent teaching appointments at Notre Dame of former Senator Joe Donnelly (a Democrat) and former Speaker Paul Ryan (a Republican). Yet there are marked differences: Both Donnelly and Ryan were moving beyond direct involvement in partisan politics and neither injected himself into any current campaign. Most important, though they were of different parties, neither stood so radically in opposition to Catholic moral teaching as does Buttigieg.

Of course, those familiar with Notre Dame know well that the Buttigieg appointment is more of a piece with Jenkins’s honoring of Barack Obama in 2009 and his awarding of the Laetare Medal (recognizing a distinguished Catholic!) to Joe Biden in 2016. It reflects a failure to stand strong for Catholic teaching on marriage and on respect for life and it reveals yet again the university’s willingness to appease the dominant cultural forces of the day. It continues the practice of “kneeling before the world” that characterizes so much of Notre Dame’s cloying effort to win approval within the elite circles of American higher education. 

The Buttigieg appointment illustrates that the university’s leadership has embraced a defective understanding of Notre Dame’s Catholic mission. Anyone can see that the Church suffers from significant challenges in restoring trust after the failure to address the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and a properly constructed course on “trust,” taught by someone with convictions in line with the Catholic faith, could do much good. But that is not what Our Lady’s university has chosen to do.

The Buttigieg case may seem relatively small fry. In these troubled coronavirus times, when there is anxiety over the return to on-campus classes, restrictions on gatherings at the university, and much else, Mr. Buttigieg’s presence is likely to be modest. Even so, his appointment undercuts efforts to provide an integrated intellectual, spiritual, and moral formation for our students. It does nothing to convey where students and scholars at a Catholic university should ultimately put their trust. It is no wonder that there are “troubled hearts” at Notre Dame these days.

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65 Responses to “Mayor Pete, Notre Dame, and the Church”

  1. Michael Gallivan ‘67 September 23, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Listen to yourselves. You all are pious, God fearing Christians who ascribe to honest interaction with your fellow human beings, people of a moral temperament that dictates honesty, chastity, devotion to your marriage vows, devotion to the support of your family, responsible citizenship, love of neighbor, fairness in all your interactions, responsibility for your actions, all resulting in love of neighbor, love of family, pride in honest accomplishment and clear conscience at the end of each day.
    Now, see if you can check off any of the above as they relate to Donald Trump. Please, measure each of these indicators against which we all measure ourselves. Pretty sad measurement on the thermometer of humanity for our sitting President.
    This is all Pete Buttigieg was trying to point our during his presidential campaign. Pete is an honest man, a very bright man who will contribute to the thinking process of the students lucky enough to be challenged by a myriad of ideas.
    Meantime, with an open mind, please go back to this check list. Measure Donald Trump and yourself against it, and see if, really, there is any comparison. Then really, let the measure channel your vote.

  2. Amen! Mark Sellner, Alumni Dad

    I vote For Trump based on his policies which allow me to practice my faith, speak what I believe in the public square and defend human life from the evil of abortion.

  3. Steve Martinek ND (PL) '71, '74 September 23, 2020 at 6:27 am

    Michael Gallvan: “Not so much, no.” Each and every word you proclaim in condemnation of President Trump, would much better be directed at Harris/Biden, the Clintons, Obama, evil foolish and weak men like Nadler, Schiff, and Shumer, as well as “women of the quiver”like Pelosi. Trump and Pence are men of conviction and integrity ordained and sent by God, and Our Lady, as champions to our Republic in times of dire peril and great need. Sorry that you are one who will not see. Steve

  4. Mark Sellner alumni dad September 23, 2020 at 6:10 am

    Michael D Gallivan ’67: A true Catholic cannot vote for Democrats with their platform. As long as you’re quoting Jesus, “Get behind me, Satan.”

    • Paul Vincent Coleman September 23, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      So TRUE so well said,my exact thought. The one hope for NOTRE Dame is the Mother of the one who spoke these words.

  5. Michael D Gallivan '67 September 22, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    All of you seem to be the same collection of blind-siders who are supporting Donald Trump for re-election. Our nation is a complex mix of huge policy questions, yet you can debate only a single focus. You are blind to the personal, business and human immorality of Trump, blind to his all-me approach to government, blind to his continuous lies excused for what you call “straight talk”, blind to his rejection of our friends across the world and his embarrassing romance of the tyrants he admires as “strong leaders”, blind to his forsaking the safety and lives of our fellow Americans in the name of “keeping calm” and rejecting unbelievable danger because of its threat to his reelection. You conduct your lives claiming righteousness and ignore the single most immoral, destructive, racist, provenly unqualified, arrogant, lying bully ever allowed to hold the most important office in the world. Can you not feel your own hypocrisy? Think only of the words of Jesus. None approach the person who occupies the White House. And your continued blindness enables the destruction of civility in American, in the world. Where is your shame?

  6. As much of the United States mourns the loss of 3000+ innocent lives on 9/11, yet again, Notre Dame University bows to political correctness with their “Islamaphobia” discussion.

    While today’s Gospel reminds us that each of us is a sinner & that we’re called to focus on ourselves first before calling out our neighbors’ sins. At the same time that the Catholic Church teaches forgiveness & mercy, the Catholic faith also believes in justice & restitution.

    Jesus knew each of us is a sinner. Yet, he loved us too much to leave us there.

    I hope in the “Islamaphobia” discussion, someone may have the courage to Speak Up about what Jesus taught about the greatest commandment. Love God & one’s neighbor as oneself. If that had occurred on 9/11/2001, would the 3000+ people still be alive today?

  7. Steve Martinek '71, '74 (earlier times and values) September 11, 2020 at 5:39 am

    Profound comments from Deahl on the “Circle of Life” and the cosmic “Circle of Lies.” Truly, such “Black Lies Matter!”

  8. JMJ
    Old School NB

    Joseph Buttigieg’s life work was to translate and teach the Neo Marxism of Antonio Gramsci at University of Notre Dame. Pete his “red diaper” son (a Prince) will teach “trust” 2020-2021 at University of Notre Dame.

    [ Gramsci wrote in 1916.
    “Socialism is the religion which must kill Christianity. It has..substituted for the God of the Catholics.”trust” in man… What this “trust” really means is ” an immense allocation of power to those appointed to ‘administer’ things. ..
    as it (Socialist/ Neo Marxism) grows, the modern “Prince” upsets the entire system of intellectual and moral relations…” ] (1)

    “Entryism” at University of Notre Dame continues without missing a step in the process as described by Gramsci. It is the victorious Neo Marxist “walk through the institutions”. It is clearly historically triumphant as seen by the senior Buttigieg’s work and in the present year it continues triumphant by the son (a Prince) Pete again at University of Notre Dame.

    (1)themelios Vol 44 Issue3
    “Cultural Marxism: Imaginary Conspiracy or Revolutionary Reality” Robert S. Smith

    Comment by UM1973 / Father ND&Navy1942 / Son ND 2012
    Motto: Know your enemy.
    Ora et Labora
    What we can do?
    Wear the St Benedict medal and the scapular of Our Lady and say the Rosary each day.

  9. Gramsci Trust

  10. John Sikorski, ‘07, ‘09, ‘19 August 31, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    A wonderful article. God bless all of the readers here. As a triple Domer, and now a theologian on faculty at Mendoza, I agree with Fr. Miscamble. At the same time, please don’t forget about us who are within the ranks of the university’s faculty trying to do our best to offer a stellar education while bringing souls to Christ and His Church. Pray for ND, all our faculty, and students (and especially the he administration!!)

    • What can be added? We have seen this scandalous behavior repeated by Fr. Jenkins for a long time now. We can only thank those like Fr. Miscamble and Lou Holtz who publicly point out the demise of Notre Dame’s Catholicism.

  11. As a professor myself, I’m not surprised at all because Notre Dame has made unjustified and suspicious hires in the past.

    The most mind-numbing one is that of Candida Moss (yes, that’s her real name), a very young Brit who teaches theology. Nobody has ever been hired at Notre Dame as a full professor and given tenure as quickly as she was, not even close. Proper procedure was not followed and there was no explanation for it.

    Moss’s Yale doctoral dissertation on martyrdom, which attacks the very foundations of early Christianity as having been falsified from the start, is the biggest pile of unfounded rubbish that I have ever read in my life. My own area of expertise overlaps with hers, so I dare to assert the authority to make this statement. How could anyone ever manage to defend it and receive a doctorate from any third-rate school, let alone Yale?

    It may not be obvious to the public at large, but there is a cabal that is firmly in control of the top-tier universities, at least in the US and UK, and probably elsewhere as well. Seldom, however, is their hiring of fellow-travelers so evident as at Notre Dame. For heaven’s sake keep your children and your money away from that place.

    (In case you’re wondering: no, I have never applied for a teaching position there and been rejected, this is not sour grapes on my part)

  12. Steve Martinek '71, '74 (earlier times and values) August 29, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I would proudly join Coach Lou, under the bus. I would never ride the “jerky Jenky jitney” and certainly never with Petey. For many “loyal sons” Truth and tradition now only survive in our hearts and memories–not on-campus. Still, we elder dying band of brothers…”We are ND!” (The ND that once was, for a century and a half.) Perhaps the near horizon will see Our Lady ‘s statues cancelled from the Dome and Grotto, and Sacred Heart banished from campus, and the library mural covered in fabric, plastic, paint or bricks–and the Leprechaun executed by the PC gestapo–and the word “Catholic” deleted from the name. Perhaps the University will be re-named in honor of a modern “catholic” politician like Peelousy University. Then future generations can cheer for “PU!”

  13. richard p griffin August 29, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Father Jenkins threw Lou Holtz under the bus while Mayor Pete rides in the front seat. Disgusting!

    Rich Griffin’60

  14. Lou Holtz said many democrats are Catholic in name only. Sadly so too is now Notre Dame having been transformed by Jenkins and the board. Money and popularity is now their god!

  15. As long as alumni remain silent and even more so, continue to support the school financially including by supporting the nd football program nothing will change. In doing so they are enabling Jenkins hypocrisy. When will the silent nd majority stand up and demand a change in leadership. It is almost too late!!!!! Thank goodness for Father Bill!

  16. Dennis Malinowski '70 August 28, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Lou Holtz’ interview on Fox News with Bill Hemmer on 8/28/20, shows more courage and support of Catholic faith and doctrine than has ever demonstrated by Fr. Jenkins. And now Fr. Jenkins responds to Lou’s comments questioning his sincerity. Wow!

  17. It’s ironic that Buttigieg’s appointment is supposed to focus on “trust” when the Notre Dame hierarchy has acted anything but trustworthy. Just another sad example of the administration’s sellout of our Catholic Faith.

    • John T. Riely, ND 1981 August 28, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      Richly ironic as you can bet Buttegieg will breach that’ trust’ to his students, his department, his boss, and the university the minute Biden hits 270 electoral votes and he will not finish the semester or the year. Off to Dupont Circle if you know what I mean for the cabinet post promised in exchange for his endorsement which put Bernie out of business.

  18. Steve Martinek '71, '74 (earlier times and values) August 28, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Indiscriminate acceptance, tolerance, and “extollation” of evil and deviance is not virtue and does not advance the quest for Truth. One ought never to compromise with evil–for any compromise is capitulation. Abortion is the brutal and violent termination of an innocent life which violates the sanctity and the safety of the mother’s womb–the locus of co-creation of a human. Sodomy and gender re-assignment modalities (hormonal or surgical) are extreme, undeniable examples of deviance against nature. With each passing year and issue, Jenkins reminds me of the tragic character of July Johnson in “Lonesome Dove” and his classic line to Clara “It has been so long since I done anything right.”

  19. Fr. Jenkins distances the University from Lou Holtz, who unabashedly spoke for the Culture of Life, but hires Mr. Buttigieg, who supports abortion until birth.
    That should tell you all you need to know about where Fr. Jenkins stands on the Catholic and scientific teachings about life.

  20. Jenkins attacking Christ’s Church nothing new here. Jenkins is to NOTRE DAME what Biden is to AMERICA both great institutions will survive small minds.

  21. I read Miscamble’s book wherein he claims such to be a biography of Fr. Hesburgh.
    I found the text to be a compellation of old catholic diocesan Gossip as rendered by those who paid for their catholic titles for Orders of Chivalry.
    “Burtchaells Sin”. Would the Australian care to define such for the RECORD?

    • Mark Sellner alumni dad August 27, 2020 at 7:13 pm

      If you disliked Fr Miscamble’s excellent read, you should gag on the self-serving God Country and Notre Dame.

  22. Mark Sellner alumni dad August 27, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Told you so: “ Notre Dame distances itself from ex-football coach Lou Holtz after his comments in RNC speech”

    • John T Riely, ND 1981 August 27, 2020 at 8:55 pm

      Jenkins has proven himself a useful idiot for the hard left time and time again. Biden’s erstwhile VP, Kamala Harris, has repeatedly stated that K of C members should not be qualified for the federal judiciary. The bigotry in her heart has been repeatedly demonstrated and brought to the public square and in her public on the record votes, but Jenkins is consistently silent as to this bigotry and religious intolerance. But when Lou Holtz opines as to what is apparent to all (perhaps excepting the dim witted abortion Johnny) he feels the need to distance himself. I think Lou Holtz is probably too much of a gentleman and his love of ND too profound but I suspect he would say Jenkins lacks each of the attributes he so valued in his players.

  23. Dr. Carolyn O'Rourke August 27, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    , I fins this to be totally appalling; scandalous.

  24. Charles Vandegrift '56 August 27, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Totally disgusting. One more arrow in the heart of the Catholicity of our once great Catholic University. It should now be known only as a “Semi-Catholic University”.

    Father Jenkins should be removed, or allowed to step down (in shame}. But of course he won’t because he has no shame.

  25. Totally disgusting. One more arrow in the heart of the “Catholicity” of this once great Catholic University. At most it should now be called only a “Semi-Catholic University”.

    Father Jenkins should be removed, or be allowed to step down (in shame}. But of course he won’t because he has no shame.

  26. Sycamore needs to run a fundraiser to run a full page add in the Wall Street Journal questioning Jenkins leadership. Face it: he does not care about you; he does not care about monetary threats; so what is left? His reputation.

  27. Joseph M Casey '79 August 27, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    The last sentence of the University’s Mission Statement…

    “In all dimensions of the University, Notre Dame pursues its objectives through the formation of an authentic human community graced by the Spirit of Christ.”

    (This is where Jesus spits out his coffee…)

    Perhaps now would be a good time for the the 49 voting Ivy League wannabes of the two-tiered Fellows and Trustees club to skip over to Teddy’s library and dust off a microfiche copy of the Mission Statement. And give it a quick glance. Before Mayor Petey has a chance to unpack too many of his “Sodomize Like A Champion Today” posters.

    Joe Casey ’79

  28. John Kelleher MD ’67

    Fr Jenkins non-partisan…..right! Let’s see, Obama is the new president and is welcomed with open arms to address the commencement, yes, the pro-abortion pro choice champion. Eight years later Jenkins et al in the administration reject the new pro-life president, Donald Trump, to speak at the same event citing security issues. Really? Notre Dame is seriously becoming just like most of the other “elite” universities, more liberal, secular and even socialist. It is certainly not the university of our fathers or grandfathers. RIP ND

  29. How did “trust” (Jesus and Mary) get lost in President Jenkins’s promise to be a good shepard? Parents expect Catholic schools to teach God’s truths. They entrust their children to Notre Dame. Unfortunately that “spirit” of trust has been corrupted and distorted. The devil has entered the scene and is wagging his tail. Beware of false prophets!

  30. John Jenkins has betrayed Notre Dame and the Catholic faith. He has made it possible for Buttigieg to lead ND students away from at least two of the key teachings of the Church; Buttigieg flaunts his homosexual lifestyle and Jenkins implicit support will scandalize and confuse students. Jenkins should resign and the bishop should revoke his permission for him to function as a priest in the diocese. Jenkins has forfeited his credibility as a supposedly “Catholic” priest. Unfortunately, he has also compromised the credibility of ND as a Catholic institution.

  31. john j hoey bsme1961 August 27, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    if the current board of trustees has the tradition of ND in their hearts they should comment on the appointment and if they approved the appointment then we should all be aware of it.

  32. Mark Sellner alumni dad. August 27, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    fr Jenkins nonpartisan? Wouldn’t host a Presidential debate with President Trump on campus due to coronavirus concerns, but football is full steam ahead. What a hypocrite and heretic.

  33. Fr jenkins needs to retire now!!!! Pete NO!!!!! Ronald Herman MD ND’57

    • In 1969 the Land O Lakes experiment in trying to establish ND as an upper tier, liberal University began. It began by cutting the cord with the Catholic Church. Unencumbered by fealty to the Church, it followed wherever the Democratic party lead it. This “political” compass showed the way to acceptance by the sector of the “academy” that the various presidents of ND have openly craved for the last 51 years.

      These poor dopes still don’t get it — ND is a good 2nd tier school. It will not be a 1st tier school until it quits following, and starts leading. It can’t “lead” in liberal policies/discussions/politics because those ideas have been offered in so many ways over the centuries that is hard to come up with a new rationale for liberal/socialist/communist practices which at their core are hurtful, not helpful. Pope John Paul II warned us about the left and the tragic results of their ways.

      The established elites don’t want any more players in their league–Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and Berkeley (as a junior member) are the self-proclaimed bastions of liberal thought and they have convinced unthinking followers that “liberal thinking” is the highest form of thinking.

      Notre Dame has been great and could be great again if it would return its focus back to the basics–some math, some science, some literature, some theology, some philosophy, maybe a little engineering, some business. With a rigorous regimen of focused academics and an appreciation for the skills developed in writing compelling arguments, organizing class projects, delivering results on time and the various skills that employers are looking for, ND can be the leader in graduating students that are ready to take on grownup responsibilities. That is what ALL segments of American life are looking for from new grads.

      This realization that the “product” being sold to student’s parents for a lofty sum, needs to offer a significant payback. Purdue has a program that helps undergrads focus on not only what they are learning and discussing but how to organize answers to tough questions and implement solutions. A similar program is being developed by Mary Anne Lewis Cusato (ND class of 2003, Yale PhD class of 2012) at Ohio Wesleyan. If they can do it, ND can lead the country in focused, CHRISTian, results that show who you can trust–not just talk about “trust”, but deliver graduates that personify trust.

      Mike Lewis, class of ’69

  34. David J O'Brien '60 August 27, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Does anyone in this group even consider in quiet moments the possibility that they might bear some responsibility for the problems they see with the appointment of Mayor Pete. Indeed the combination of repeal Hyde and “codify” Roe (meaning it seems removal of all limits or reviews of abortion at any stage) in the Democratic Party might have come about at least in some part by the extremism of pro-life forces who condemn birth control and gay marriage, savagely destroyed the careers of pro-life Democrats who supported the Affordable Care Act, and rarely if ever translate into public life the loving support offered by people of faith to women with troubled pregnancies. Your disgraceful assault on President Obama, and of course that meant on those of us who supported him, was my breaking point and after that i could not be surprised by your irresponsible attacks on Notre Dame’s leaders, You accuse us of alliance with pro-choice fellow citizens, and you are right—–take a good look at the alliances you have formed, and the damage that this kind of discourse, and that of your most zealous opponents has done to our country, our local communities and to our beloved University.

    • David, what you describe as “extremism of pro-life forces who condemn birth control and gay marriage” are Catholic Church positions. In an “an alliance with pro-choice” I assume means you a supporter (true?); another break with Church teaching. As a Catholic christian who loves and respects the dignity of all my fellow men, I don’t judge but I do wonder what you are doing on a pro-Catholic, conservative, pro Notre Dame site. The alumni here love Notre Dame and are working to make sure it keeps its Catholic character.

      Before blaming others as you do in your missive, I urge you to “first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye;” your positions and support of positions viewed as immoral by the church) damage both the lives and the souls of many. It truly boggles my mind why an 82 year old who disagrees with church teaching would spend his time on this particular site.

      Go Irish!

    • David O’Brien, it was not pro-lifers who proclaimed “there is no room in our party for pro-lifers”, nor for that matter, New York.

  35. Agostino G. Sciacqua 1957 August 27, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Many years ago Fr Jenkins attended a ND Club dinner in Naples Florida. This was prior to his becoming the President of ND.and I asked him if he would become a good shepard in carrying out his new duties at University. He answered with a yes. Since then he has completely deceived us. After his invitation of Obama and Biden I was very disappointed and wrote to him that he should step down from his Presidency. And now once again with this appointment of Mr Buttigieg I ask that he step aside and let ND appoint a person with good Catholic background and leadership. Fr Jenkins is definitely not preserving the Catholic identity of the University that I and many others knew.

  36. Sycamore should run a fundraiser to place an ad in the Wall Street Journal condemning Jenkins leadership.

    • John T Riely, ND 1981 August 27, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      and the Tribunes (S. Bend and Chicago)
      Omaha Herald ( I think)
      Let the world know of abortion johnny. He has been given too many passes for his vileness.
      If there are 20000 members to this website I bet this could be done in display ad fashion for $4 per person.
      No need for a bake sale.
      Some hypocrisy in using NYT and WaPo but I suspect they would reject any ads which would cast a darkness
      of the patron saint of sodomy.
      Casting aspersions on sodomy, abortion and climate change, the three sacraments of the left would be off limits.

  37. Willliam Dotterweich August 27, 2020 at 9:34 am


  38. The president of Notre Dame and his friends as well as the Pope and his friends need to be sent a message and as many times as possible and as many ways as possible and that message is we are NOT going to shut up and not going to go away as we love our church and we are dedicated to truth and uniting everyone to Christ, the true Jesus Christ and all his teachings and love. How can one not say that these efforts by such people are not corruption as they are NOT in accord with Christ and are in truth anti-Christ which is evil and evil comes primarily thru lies, fear and temptation and we see in in action today within the church, to deny it is to deny an obvious truth. Pray for the president of Notre Dame and Pope Francis. Do they even care that they are putting even one soul at risk but how they are acting??? Notre Dame was so critical for me as a young boy as the spirit of God flowed thru the university to me even though I never physically visited the university until very late in my life. I am getting a different message today and it not consistent with Jesus Christ. Something is not right at ND today and something is not right in the church, especially with Pope Francis and his friends and it seems to be primarily a lack of illumination of the truth of Jesus Christ. God help us. Our universities are not only failing our young people today, they are turning them against others and into self serving. Are going to have the church of self or the church of Jesus Christ? What is the TRUTH?

  39. Sharon J Johnson August 27, 2020 at 8:51 am

    I’ve said for years that Catholic should be removed from the description of Notre Dame.

  40. I sent an email to the president of Norte Dame a month ago on this same topic and never got a response.

  41. Sad to see our Catholic church move in this direction as it is moving into defining the church and that means it members into the image and likeness of humans (you chose which one and the core principle is the SELF) rather than Jesus Christ. it becomes more and more obvious every day what Pope Francis and his friends are intent on doing and that is changing the church into the likeness of man rather than in likeness of Jesus Christ. They are very deceptive about it and if not then why don’t they let the light of truth fall on ALL the activities of the church, especially what is going on an ahas gone on in Rome. People better wake up and have the courage to ask question, questions which seek understanding. Why are such questions being ignored? Why is truth being denied to faithful Catholics? The church of Pope Francis is all about people pleasing rather than God pleasing, at least that is what their behaviors are conveying to millions of people, do they even care???? Something is wrong when questions that seek understanding are ignored. When did Jesus ignore such questions?

  42. Aug 2020 – Thank you for your continued work to keep us informed, and keep the light on the missteps and outright failures of the ‘administration’ (today there is no real leadership) currently in place at Notre Dame.

    Like so many others, I have witnessed with sadness the painful yet undeterred decline of ND’s actions related to its stated values. There exists a willful and deliberate push to mediocrity and conformity by key administrators at all levels. The ‘follow my example’ puppet-in-charge is the Rev. Jenkins. He fell in love (figuratively) with Mr. Obama and he still carries that torch. Regrettably, but candidly, I have come to trust absolutely nothing that Jenkins says or does, and the political double-talk that comes from calls or letters to his office is infuriating. Fr. Jenkins, YOU and your actions have said much about trust … or, in this case the total lack thereof.

    Alas, the favors to Mr. Buttigieg are yet another ‘no surprise here.’ If we judge by his actions we must conclude that Jenkins is a staunch supporter of two ‘highest values’ …1) become ‘just another prominent and rich research-focused academy of out-of-touch intellectuals’ and 2) ‘all things without question that complete the Democrat party platform.’ When I look at those two fundamental and overarching visions, I have little trouble predicting Jenkins’ and ND’s next move and acquiescence.

    My greatest sorrow – and I mean this – is that ND is now ‘Catholic’ only in the sense of a branding device. I truly believe Jenkins, use the term ‘Catholic’ much like enterprises use letterhead or a website logo … when it needs to change style or color to get more momentary attention it gets ‘updated.’
    As with others who have commented, I appreciate the Mrs. Holloway story very much. Oh that we could have a ‘Rev. Holloway’ in the president’s office! On one point I must take exception: the Rev. Jenkins is no dictator. Unfortunately, I have come to realize that he has morphed from a pathetic Harold Macmillan believing all of Mr. Obama’s glib lies to a Vidkun Quisling who willingly handed/hands ND over to the anti-Christian and anti-Catholic secularists.

    In closing, thank you for Sycamore for all that you do, and please do continue the good work to Keep the Faith in multiple facets of the phrase. Thank you also for giving us this opportunity to express our views. Rather than simply rant and push ‘send,’ I continue to pray to Our Lady and others for dear old Notre Dame, for those to whom the University is entrusted, and to those who are involved with Sycamore Trust. I also direct my financial support to those who support the genuine values of our Faith and for ND (and away from those who do not).

    Thank you Sycamore, and to my fellow readers/commentators. Persevere and Godspeed.
    WJ, Class of ‘70

  43. Ironically, Father Jenkins, my trust in Notre Dame has vanished.

  44. Notre Dame once again betrays the Faith in her hubristic thirst for peer adulation. Gear job, Father Jenkins.

  45. Amy Leroux Craft August 27, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Thank you, Fr. Miscamble, for your courage to speak up.

  46. Mary Ann Falkenberg August 27, 2020 at 6:56 am

    Unbelievable. I truly cannot believe that Fr Jenkins gets ANY support – no wonder Nancy Pelosi and Joseph Biden consider themselves CATHOLIC We were told a century ago that Communism would take over our beautiful country! Very sad.

  47. Mayor Pete the poster child…
    When I was a HS sophomore – decades ago! – my World History teacher was Mrs. Holloway, but we all called her Granny Holloway. She was a slight woman, scarcely 5 feet tall, seemingly fragile, but full of vim and vinegar….you know the type. She could speak for hours about the Fall of the Roman Empire, the Inquisition, the Industrial Revolution, and the World Wars. She never sat while she lectured, never stood at a lectern, but moved around the room making eye contact with all of her students. She was demanding too, and I can’t remember how many papers were sent back to me because she would note “you can do better than this, Miss Schaal.”
    One day during class, an office aid interrupted her lecture to hand her a note. She read it silently, apologized, and said she needed to leave the room. We knew it had to be important because Granny Holloway stopped lectures for no one.
    We sat in the room talking to one another when the door opened, and in walked Mrs. Abels, another teacher in our HS. She explained to us that Granny had been faced with an emergency, a serious one, and it was questionable if she would even be returning to finish out the semester. We were stunned. Would we get a chance to tell her goodbye? Would we get updates, so we would know she was ok? Mrs. Abels assured us that we need not worry, that Granny was safe but needed time away, and that the best thing we could do for her, and the best way we could show our devotion to her, was to be cooperative with her replacement. Mrs. Abels confirmed that she had been asked and had agreed to step in as Granny’s replacement.
    Cheer up, she told us, this could be a good thing. Other teachers still believed in endless homework and projects with deadlines and hard work. She would not bring that into our class. She believed in clean slates. If there were grades that we did not like, she could give us a chance to bring them up. She asked us what suggestions we had to make the semester a better learning experience. Someone mentioned that the lectures were boring and we wanted more films. Done, she said. Someone else mentioned that a free day now and then would help us if we needed to catch up on work in other classes. She didn’t see a problem with that. She asked us how we felt about an end-of-semester party. Um, yeah, sounded very good to us. And on and on. Mrs. Abels listened intently and agreed to all of our suggestions, continually emphasizing that her concern was that we have a good learning experience and enjoy the semester. She also reminded us that we were lucky to not be sent out to other classes where we would be working to catch up and that of course this was all for Granny.
    Near the end of the period, shortly before the bell rang, the door opened and Granny sauntered in with her usual Granny Holloway attitude. “How did they do?,” she asked. “Marvelous,” said Mrs. Abels. “They were completely in my hands.”
    Granny then faced us and said “And that, my students, is how a dictator takes over a nation. Not with guns or tanks or laws or mandates. They do it using a poster child and promises and gifts and protection from an enemy.”

    • I am awed. Praise be to God that He placed teaching vocations on the hearts of Mrs. Holloway’s and that Mrs. Holloways have had the courage to respond to the vocational calling He gave them. Thank you for sharing this inspirational story.

  48. Michael Abbatemarco August 26, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Michael Abbatemarco 8-26-20
    Alumni Parent

    Just more evidence of Jenkins and his cohorts who have infiltrated our Catholic institutions to disrespect
    our basic Catholic teachings.
    To employ people with such pro abortion views such as Buttigieg is a disgrace.
    It is a slap in the face to us Catholics who are trying to stay true to our faith, and keep the 10 commandments focused in our lives.

    Jenkins thou shall not Kill!!
    You are a terrible example to these young students whose parents expect a true Catholic based education. Would Jesus shepherd his flock according to your actions?

    You will be eternally responsible!

  49. Steve Martinek '71, '74 (earlier times and values) August 26, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    My comments typically strive to be cogent, and tend to be wordy. This topic is simply too tragic for any comment. My facility with words fails me. Suffice, for the moment, my view that President John Jenkins has invoked and deployed the “cancel culture” against Our Lady on the Dome, Notre Dame, and, had he any personal, intellectual, and logical integrity, he would commission NLM and Antifa to climb the Dome and take down the statue his campus no longer honors. My heart truly aches and breaks as our beloved Alma Mater stumbles and lurches down this path to perdition. Steve ’71, ’74 (simpler times, truer values)

  50. Please publicize the letter to Fr. Jenkins. I will sign it.

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