NOTRE DAME, IN – Notre Dame’s prospective honoring of President Obama unleashes a storm of protest.
So far thirty-four bishops, including two Cardinals, have joined Bishop D’Arcy in condemning this action. The fissure between University and Church disclosed last year when fifty bishops moved their conference from Notre Dame because of the Vagina Monologues has widened greatly. And the disillusionment, sadness, and anger reflected in the countless messages from alumni, parents, family, and friends of the University that we have received are further testimony to the severe damage that this improvident act has inflicted.
We defer consideration of all of this to a later bulletin in order to describe actions that can be taken in response to this move by the University.
The student committees are planning events of prayer and protest probably beginning the evening of May 16th and in any event continuing on graduation day, May 17th. We are informed Bishop D’Arcy likely will participate. Non- students will be welcome. We hope many will attend. We will furnish details as soon as we have them, but the best way for keeping abreast is to sign up for bulletins from the ad hoc student organization ND Response.
Alumni Weekend Panel & Sycamore Breakfast.
To assist you in planning, we note that, for the fourth year, there will be a panel discussion on the Catholic identity of Notre Dame sponsored by the Class of 1952 on either Friday or Saturday of Alumni Weekend, June 4-6 and a Sycamore breakfast at the Morris Inn on Saturday. Bill Dempsey will again moderate. The panel members will be Dr. Ralph McInerny, Dr. Walter Nicgorski, Arina Grossu (’05), and Jonathon Buttaci (’09). It would be helpful if those who think they might attend would let us know as soon as may be convenient. We will provide more information shortly.
Sign our petition if you haven’t and disseminate it broadly. The forwarding link is at the top right of the petition, (Our home page also contains a link to the petition, www.sycamoretrust.org.) The Cardinal Newman Societyalso sponsors a petition that has attracted over 300,000 signatories.
Contact your bishop. We list at the end of this bulletin the bishops who have already spoken out. If yours has, thank him. If not, urge him to speak. Protesting bishops have declared Notre Dame’s action to be in conflict with the 2004 USCCB warning that Catholic universities “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”
Send copies of your messages to firstname.lastname@example.org. We intend to assemble representative protests for submission to the Fellows and the Board.
Submit an announcement to your church bulletin. Some parish bulletins have provided information and contacts. We urge you to submit a posting for yours. A generic sample:
Notre Dame and President Obama. For those interested in the controversy over the University of Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama to receive an honorary degree and to be the Commencement Speaker, information and a petition are provided by an organization of Notre Dame alumni, The Sycamore Trust, www.sycamoretrust.org. Because of the President’s strong pro-abortion position, many bishops and others have protested Notre Dame’s honoring him.
If your bishop has spoken out, ask your pastor to publicize the action. He might endorse and can in any case include some words from the bishop’s statement.Bishop _____ has protested Notre Dame’s action in proposing to confer an honorary degree upon President Obama and to have him as the Commencement speaker. The President’s strong pro-abortion position and recent actions are well known. Our bishop has declared _____. An organization of Notre Dame alumni provides information and a petition at www.sycamoretrust.org.)
Write letters to your diocesan paper and urge full news coverage with inclusion of the views of ND alumni through Sycamore. (Contact: Bill Dempsey, 703-536-4666, email@example.com
Support the students. Some of the students’ activities require funding. Contributions cannot be made to them directly, but the Fund provides support. Those who wish to indicate their desire to help the students can do so through the Fund. Simply follow the instructions for contributions to the Fund with an additional sentence:I designate this contribution for the use of The Notre Dame Fund for the Protection of Human Life. It is my desire that this contribution be used first to support the student-led ND Response protesting the University’s invitation to President Obama, and then to support the Fund generally.
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Sycamore Trust provides a source of information, a means of communication, and a collective voice to Notre Dame alumni and others in the Notre Dame family who are concerned about preserving the Catholic identity of the University.