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The “First Anti-Catholic ‘Catholic’ President” and Notre Dame

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Will Joe Biden, the most pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty president in history, be @NotreDame's next Commencement speaker? #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

The transmogrification of Joe Biden from a defender of Catholic Church teachings to our “first anti-Catholic ‘Catholic’ president,” in the words of Catholic author and commentator Dr. Robert Royal, spells big trouble for the Church, persons of conscience, and the innocent unborn and their defenders.

In this Bulletin, we trace Biden’s metamorphosis, describe how his policies will affect Notre Dame, and conclude with Notre Dame’s reaction to date.

Throughout, remember that in 2016 Father Jenkins awarded Biden the Laetare Medal, an award given to a person whose “genius has illustrated the ideals of the Church.”

As you will see, this bulletin is unusually long. That is because Biden’s destructive program is extraordinarily sweeping. We hope what we say will be worth a few more minutes of your time.

Biden v. Biden – Abortion

Politico’s account of Biden’s radical change of position on abortion opens with this overview:

Biden over 36 years in Congress staked out a reputation as one of the Democratic Party’s most conservative voices on abortion, frequently citing his Catholic faith.

More specifically,

  • “Biden said he believed that ‘abortion is wrong from the moment of conception.’”
  • “He also said he did not believe that ‘a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.'”
  • “Biden voted for the adoption of the Hyde Amendment [prohibiting the use of federal money for abortions] and later opposed efforts to make exemptions…for women who were victims of rape or incest.”

The Hyde Amendment – Biden’s About-Face

When Biden’s reaffirmation of support for the Hyde amendment during his campaign for the Democratic nomination “triggered a tempest involving lawmakers, other 2020 candidates and major progressive groups,” he promptly folded. He no longer supports the country’s most important pro-life public policy.

According to a 2016 report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, affiliated with the Susan B. Anthony Fund and headed by Charles Donovan (ND ’74), Sycamore Trust’s vice president:

Since 1976, the best research indicates that the Hyde Amendment has saved over two million unborn children.

Biden’s past support of Hyde reflected that of his Party. As Donovan wrote in America Magazine:

The Hyde Amendment…was born in bipartisan consensus in 1976, earning practically equal numbers of votes from Democrats and Republicans. Since then, the Hyde Amendment has been attached to federal spending bills almost every year. The presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama came and went without major attempts by any of them to “repeal Hyde.”

Now Biden again follows his party in his newly minted opposition to Hyde. For the leftward swing of the Party on Hyde and Biden’s corresponding lurch, see the National Review account by staff writer and Sycamore board member Alexandra DeSanctis (ND ’16) here.

Biden v. Biden – Roe v. Wade

Here’s Biden in 1974 on Roe v. Wade:

I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.

Accordingly, he backed legislation that would have allowed states to overturn Roe and opposed late term and partial birth abortion.

But in a statement two days after his inauguration, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the day designated by President Trump National Sanctity of Life Day, he morphed from opponent to proponent. He declared:

In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.

Archbishop Joseph Nauman, the USCCB’s pro-life committee chair, reacted strongly. Noting pointedly, “Public officials are responsible for not only their personal beliefs, but also the effects of their public actions,” he declared:

It is deeply disturbing and tragic that any president would praise and commit to codifying a Supreme Court ruling that denies unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life.

Mexico City Policy — Black Lives Matter!

In a statement a few days later, again exquisitely timed for release on the eve of the March for Life, Biden doubled down on his pro-abortion policy by rescinding the Mexico City Policy.

This policy, established by President Reagan and subsequently revoked and reestablished by Democratic and Republican presidents respectively, barred United States financial support of international organizations providing or promoting abortion.

Mary Fio Rito, a Fellow of Notre Dame’s de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, described the lamentable consequences:

[M]assive amounts of federal funding once again will flow indiscriminately to foreign-aid groups such as Planned Parenthood International and similar organizations whose chief aim is to profit from an increased number of abortions around the globe, including in countries that reject abortion in law.

Little wonder Nigeriam Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama acidly observed,

It is intriguing that one of Biden’s first official acts is to promote the destruction of human lives domestically and in developing nations.

For a searing indictment of Biden’s action by Africans from various nations, see A Message for President Biden: The Unified Voices of Africa. (“This means the elimination of my people.” “This means the death and killing of the most innocent of the African unborn babies.”)

Black lives matter!

The Obamacare Abortifacient / Contraceptive Mandate

Biden has pledged to abolish the exemption that Trump provided for religious schools and organizations from the Obamacare requirement that employers furnish free abortifacients and contraceptives to employees.

This will wipe out Notre Dame’s regulatory defense in the lawsuit by Notre Dame students seeking free abortifacients from the University.

More generally, this action will reignite the tortuous litigation involving scores of religious organizations that had reached Dickensian Jarndyce v. Jarndyce proportions before Trumps’ action. It will again put in jeopardy the Little Sisters of the Poor (Joe Biden v. The Nuns), for goodness sakes!

Title X Funding of Planned Parenthood

Biden has set in motion the procedure to repeal Trump’s order “stripping tens of millions of dollars from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.”

The Geneva Declaration

Finally, Biden has withdrawn from the international anti-abortion “Geneva Consensus Declaration,” which declares that “there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion.”

Sex, Marriage, and Religious Liberty – Biden v. Biden

Biden’s repudiation of his past pro-life stance is mirrored by his turnabout on LGBT and religious liberty issues.

As the New York Times has noted, Senator Biden “voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages” and “voted to cut off federal funds to schools that teach the acceptance of homosexuality.”

That was then. This is now:

Having publicly jettisoned his opposition to same-sex marriage by officiating at such a marriage while Vice President, a mere day into his presidency Biden directed that all federal regulations and policies prohibiting sex discrimination be construed to apply to homosexuals and transsexuals.

For authority, he cited the Supreme Court decision construing the Title VII employment discrimination prohibition to apply to LGBT and transgender employees even though the Supreme Court explicitly cautioned against such an extension of its decision.

The drastic consequences will be bitterly divisive and, absent judicial intervention, will be destructive of religious liberty in schools at all levels, including Notre Dame, and in countless other areas because of the ubiquity of federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations.

Here are two examples:

  • Notre Dame and schools at all levels will be obliged to permit transsexual “women” who are male physically and in sexual appetite to shower with women and girls, share their locker and rest rooms, and room with them in women’s dormitories. 
  • In sports, “men or boys who ‘identify’ as women [will] gain the upper hand.” In track, “women’s running, from the 100m to the marathon, will easily be dominated by men who identify as female [and] contact sports such as women’s rugby will become very dangerous.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan and four other bishops denounced this Biden action for the USCCB. This order, they said,

threatens to infringe the rights of people who recognize the truth of sexual difference or who uphold the institution of lifelong marriage between one man and one woman. This may manifest in mandates that, for example, erode health care conscience rights or needed and time-honored sex-specific spaces and activities.

The “Equality Act”

We have saved what may be the worst for last — Biden’s promise to make enactment of the Equality Act “a top legislative priority.”

This bill, which has strong Democratic support, would add “sex” to all federal anti-discrimination laws and specify that “sex” includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

We cannot here adequately describe the breathtaking reach of this bill, which would trench upon the religious liberty of countless people in their private lives, employment, businesses, and social and religious activities.

And it would do so in an especially deadly way, because for the first time in any federal legislation it would be exempt from the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act – a move that the USCCB says 

demonstrates the Equality Act’s radical denial of tolerance to people of faith who do not agree to the government’s view of sexuality as established by the Act.

For specific applications of the bill, see the comprehensive analysis by the USCCB here. By way of example, consider abortion. A detailed report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute concluded:

[T]his bill attacks the lives of countless unborn children, endangers Catholic and other pro-life health care providers, provides a basis for challenging all state and federal limits on public funding of abortion, and treats religious believers as second-class citizens who must violate their fundamental moral convictions to serve the goals of the pro-abortion movement.

Consider also the Heritage Foundation’s account of how in other areas the law “would be harmful to religious liberty and to the rights of women, parents, and children.” For example:

  • Faith based adoption agencies would have to place children in transgender and same-sex homes.
  • Homeless shelters and prisons would have to house transgendered males with women.
  • Religious hospitals would have to permit sex-change and hormone surgery.

Notre Dame and Biden – The next Commencement Speaker?

While, as we have noted, USCCB episcopal leaders denounced Biden’s pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty actions, Father Jenkins remained silent. Instead, he issued statements praising Biden’s actions on immigration, DACA, and the Paris Climate Agreement, and he hailed the Mass attended by Biden on Inauguration Day as an “auspicious beginning.”

In contrast, the congratulatory Inauguration Day message by USCCB president Archbishop José H. Gomez included a stern admonition about abortion and religious liberty. The passage, which we reproduce in full in a Postscript below, centered on this warning:

I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.

But Father Jenkins has not been entirely silent. He granted an interview in which he pummeled Trump (“almost a caricature”), praised Biden, and hinted that he would likely invite him to be commencement speaker.

While Jenkins acknowledged concern over Biden’s reversal respecting the Hyde Amendment and religious liberty and said “No decision has been made” as to commencement, he underscored Notre Dame’s “long tradition [sic, neither Clinton nor Trump] of welcoming U.S. presidents” and said:

I believe that we can and should welcome elected leaders to our campus, respect what is honorable in their lives and work while we acknowledge where we disagree.

It is hard to believe inviting Biden is under serious consideration. Rather, Jenkins should be thinking about taking back the Laetare Medal.

Honoring Biden would be far more blameworthy than honoring Obama, bad as that was.  Biden’s pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty program is much more sweeping than Obama’s.

And Biden repeatedly professes to be a Catholic. And not only a Catholic, but one who believes that abortion is wrong because it destroys human lives.

If believing that abortion is evil while at the same time promoting and enabling it seems intellectually incoherent and morally bankrupt, that’s because it is.

So, too, would be Notre Dame’s honoring such a Catholic – an act that would be a grave disservice to Notre Dame, to the Church, and, rightly understood, to Biden himself.

Conclusion

Biden’s plan to maximize abortions and to coerce Catholics and others of different faith traditions to violate their religious convictions is unparalleled in its breadth and depth. The Church will be challenged to act as the Church Militant rather than the Church Supine, and a corresponding challenge will be put to Notre Dame.

Postscript

Excerpt from USCCB President Archbishop Jose’ Gomes/s Statement on the Inauguration of Joseph Biden as President of the United States:

“[A] pastors, the nation’s bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel’s truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture.

“So, I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.

“Our commitments on issues of human sexuality and the family, as with our commitments in every other area — such as abolishing the death penalty or seeking a health care system and economy that truly serves the human person — are guided by Christ’s great commandment to love and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable.

“For the nation’s bishops, the continued injustice of abortion remains the “preeminent priority.” Preeminent does not mean “only.” We have deep concerns about many threats to human life and dignity in our society. But as Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion.

“Abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family. It is not only a private matter, it raises troubling and fundamental questions of fraternity, solidarity, and inclusion in the human community. It is also a matter of social justice. We cannot ignore the reality that abortion rates are much higher among the poor and minorities, and that the procedure is regularly used to eliminate children who would be born with disabilities.

“Rather than impose further expansions of abortion and contraception, as he has promised, I am hopeful that the new President and his administration will work with the Church and others of good will. My hope is that we can begin a dialogue to address the complicated cultural and economic factors that are driving abortion and discouraging families.

“My hope, too, is that we can work together to finally put in place a coherent family policy in this country, one that acknowledges the crucial importance of strong marriages and parenting to the well-being of children and the stability of communities. If the President, with full respect for the Church’s religious freedom, were to engage in this conversation, it would go a long way toward restoring the civil balance and healing our country’s needs.”

29 Responses to “The “First Anti-Catholic ‘Catholic’ President” and Notre Dame”

  1. I like the fact Sycamore is attracting counterpointers to this thread. May be trolls. But that means traction. Keep it up. My final point is when Jenkins announces Biden as commencement speaker (delayed or otherwise) that is it for me and Notre Dame. My Will will then entirely disown UND. The scum (and they are just that) who run the university in the bilges are not transparent and, frankly, are not my kind of people to deserve my well earned fortune.

  2. Thomas Drake '74 February 20, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Pray for Father Jenkins. It is beyond sad that he cannot see the foolishness of his decisions and public comments (inviting Obama in 2009; unjustified tuition increases beyond the rate of inflation; the Columbus murals; Lou Holtz and abortion; and now this), and how they have all damaged our beloved University.

    • Three months ago, the first Notre Dame graduate and the first Notre Dame professor to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney-Barrett, was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Donald J, Trump. One of Justice Barrett’s professors said she was the brightest student he ever had. Amy Coney-Barrett is the modern vision of a successful woman- very intelligent, successful career, mother, adoptive mother of two African-American children, happily married. She can do everything well and maintain the proper balance between responsibilities. She’s Roman Catholic.

      Today, Sycamore Trust is trying to persuade little Johnny Jenkins not to invite Joseph Robinette Biden to be the 2021 Notre Dame graduation speaker. You know, Joe Biden, the guy that plagiarized a law review article while a law student at Syracuse and then plagiarized a speech by Neil Kinnock while running for President in 1988; Joe Biden, the guy who, according to Wikipedia, made several false or exaggerated claims about his early life while running for president in 1988: that he had earned three degrees in college, that he had attended law school on a full scholarship, that he had graduated in the top half of his class, and that he had marched in the civil rights movement; Joe Biden, the guy who married into the Hunter family, who were reluctant to have their daughter marry a Catholic; the senator who opposed using busing to integrate schools in the US; the senator who attacked Roman Catholic African-American Supreme Court Candidate Clarence Thomas, and betrayed liberals who thought he mishandled Anita Hill’s participation n the conformation hearing and did not support Hill. According to Wikipedia sources, “Biden has been accused several times of inappropriate non-sexual contact, such as embracing, kissing, and other forms of physical contact.[355][356] He has described himself as a “tactile politician” and admitted this behavior has caused trouble for him in the past. n March 2019, former Nevada assemblywoman Lucy Flores alleged that Biden had touched her without her consent at a 2014 campaign rally in Las Vegas. In an op-ed, Flores wrote that Biden had walked up behind her, put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair, and kissed the back of her head, adding that the way he touched her was “an intimate way reserved for close friends, family, or romantic partners—and I felt powerless to do anything about it.”[364] Wikipedia also states, “In early April 2019, three women told The Washington Post Biden had touched them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable.[369] Also in April 2019, former Biden staffer Tara Reade said she had felt uncomfortable on several occasions when Biden touched her on her shoulder and neck during her employment in his Senate office in 1993.[370]
      In March 2020, Reade accused him of a 1993 sexual assault.[371] Biden and his campaign vehemently denied the allegation.[372][373]. During the 2000s, Biden sponsored bankruptcy legislation sought by credit card issuers.[15] Yeah, I know Wikipedia isn’t considered the best academic authority.

      Father Johnny, we have a choice between arguably Notre Dame’s most successful graduate and employee ever (Coney-Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court, Hesburgh was mentioned in passing as a VP candidate), Coney-Barrett, a pro-life female Catholic or plagirizin’ Joe Biden, the misogynist who corners and touches women and has an iffy record of supporting minorities. Joe Biden, the guy who supports Planned Parenthood, an organization that sells baby parts after abortions and was started by a racist eugenics supporter, Margaret Sanger.

      Boy, Father Johnny, this is the toughest decision for a Catholic priest yet, after deciding whether to allow pornography on Notre Dame’s internet provider and whether to add abortion coverage on health insurance for Notre Dame employees, when the president exempted Notre Dame from such requirements. The most successful Notre Dame graduate ever, but a Catholic woman who adopted two African-American children and is pro-life, which won’t go over well with some circles in the ACC and at NBC, or plagiarizing Joe Biden, the misogynist, pro-abortion “Catholic” who is shaky on racial understanding.

      Boy, Father Johnny, why pay $75,000 a year to go to Notre Dame, if a plagiarizing, pro-abortion hack politician from Syracuse will be more welcome on campus than our most successful graduate ever???? Are you a misogynist, weak on race relations, and a supporter of abortion and eugenics? Who’s running ND Johnny, you or some ignorant associate sociology professor? Is this where the Holy Cross Order of priests is in the 2020s?

  3. James Shapiro 52 February 15, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Those who are unhappy with President Biden can take solace in his replacing the first anti-democracy President whose actions are directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of real people.

    • You might be having a Biden moment. Biden didn’t replace Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, who sent thousands of COVID patients to live in nursing homes with old people who were particularly vulnerable to the disease and died; who never sent anyone to the Navy hospital ship docked in New York harbor to treat COVID patients; who left hundreds of respirators in warehouses in NYC that were sent from Washington; who said inmates in NY prisons were making hand sanitizer, until it was revealed the inmates were not making sanitizer, they were only relabeling hand sanitizer with a NY state stickers with Cuomo’s name on it; and who now is revealed for trying to minimize and cover up the number of deaths directly resulting from his policy of forcing nursing homes to take COVID patients. It’s an easy mistake to make. Biden kept saying he was running for Senate during the presidential campaign, and Cuomo got an Emmy award for his acting performance as a concerned governor from Hollywood and the liberal media. BTW, all those babies’ bodies in the crazy abortion doctor’s house in South Bend, they were REAL PEOPLE too, made in the image of God, intended by God to be created and live, until a person without God killed them in a country too apathetic to stop the slaughter of people hidden from view. Governor Cuomo was governor in the first state to pass a law to legalize abortion of babies up to the time of birth, a large percentage of whom are African American. What do you think God thinks of a country that acts like that and tries to spread its madness around the world? What do you think God thinks of a university that honors a “president” who abandons the Catholic faith and the Commandment, “Thou Shall Not Kill”? God Bless you Mr. Shapiro and please pray for the US and Notre Dame in these divided times. Think of Sister Lucia’s warnings about how there was a big battle coming over “the family” after her visions in Fatima, Portugal one hundred years ago.

    • you are lying, sir

      • Hey Pat- I understand you disagree with me politically, but show me your support for anything that I wrote was untrue. You tell me which point you think is untrue, and show me an article supporting your position and I’ll be happy to send you an article showing I am right. No taking the easy, lazy route and saying everything was wrong or not citing me an article that I was wrong. I understand being loyal to a political party, like a sports team, the problem is when your party acts unethically in politics, we all need to hold them accountable, even, and particularly, party loyalists, to have a CLEAN party, not a bum party. The Democrat party of today is not the idealistic party of JFK and RFK in the 1960s, it is the double-standard, anti-religious, anti-blue collar, anti-free speech, breaking-the-law-left-and-right party of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama and Joe Biden and I strongly recommend you read the 2018 book Secret Empires, by Peter Schweizer, published by Harper Collins. Had you guys held Clinton accountable in the 1990’s, instead of looking the other way, your party might be healthier today and outsiders might be less skeptical of it today. You wouldn’t let your child run around lying and stealing, would you? Didn’t it tell you something when the Chief Justice quietly declined to preside over that impeachment trial last week, and the impeachment in the House was voted on without evidence in one day? Didn’t it tell you something when ALL the people who died in the January 6 riot at the Capitol were all pro-Trump, including the Capitol police officer who died, and now the story has changed on how he died, hours later at home? All Sycamore Trust is doing with this column is trying to hold Biden accountable and not award him, after he claims to be Catholic, but is actively and aggressively pushing the pro-abortion agenda that kills innocent human babies, often by dismemberment. It’s an unpleasant question, perhaps not asked often enough, but do you agree with dismembering and vacuuming unborn babies or am i allegedly lying again? Should Notre Dame be awarding someone who promotes this activity? I ask you to think Pat.

  4. >>>the Laetare Medal, an award given to a person whose “genius has illustrated the ideals of the Church.”

    “Genius” should never be in the same sentence as “Joe Biden.” Bottom 10% of his class at a middling law school and a plagiarist.

    He never should’ve received that award.

  5. Story from today’s Washington Times:

    By Bill Gertz – The Washington Times – Thursday, February 11, 2021
    The Department of Homeland Security has dropped plans for a federal rule that would have required American schools and universities to disclose agreements with Chinese government-funded Confucius Institutes on their campuses.

    A Federal Register notice said the rule, first proposed Dec. 31 at the end of the Trump administration, was withdrawn Jan. 26 without comment.

    Confucius Institutes and Confucius Schools operate as education centers that ostensibly teach Chinese culture and language. Federal authorities, however, say the institutes are stalking horses for covert Chinese government influence efforts.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said the institutes engage in covert influence operations designed to sway American public opinion and teach half-truths about China. Under pressure from the Trump administration, scores of the institutes were closed.

    “For years, I have raised the alarm about the threat posed by Chinese government-run Confucius Institutes, and the FBI has warned that the Communist Party uses these entities to infiltrate American schools,” Mr. Rubio told Inside the Ring. “President Trump and his administration took a positive step in mandating schools and universities disclose their partnerships with these agents of Chinese government influence. That President Biden would undo this important action is deeply disturbing.”

    White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain ordered a freeze of all regulatory processes that day, automatically resulting in the withdrawal of rule targeting the Confucius Institutes.

    “The Biden administration will treat Confucius Institutes as part of our overall approach of how best to respond to China’s use of information operations and other coercive and corrupting efforts to undermine and interfere in democracies,” the official said.

    The proposed rule was recommended in a 2019 report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in a staff report. The report said the institutes were paying universities and schools hundreds of thousands of dollars to serve as hosts.

    FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said in 2018 that the bureau was monitoring the Confucius Institutes over concerns that they were being used for propaganda and espionage. Some FBI investigations were linked to the institutes, he said.

    “We do share concerns about the Confucius Institutes,” he told a Senate hearing. “We’ve been watching that development for a while. It’s just one of many tools that they take advantage of.”

    A Chinese government official, Liu Zhongshan, was arrested in October 2019 on federal visa fraud charges related to the recruitment of American technology experts.

    The Justice Department criminal complaint in the case revealed that Mr. Liu used a Confucius Institute at a U.S. university as part of the recruitment scheme. It was the first time a federal criminal case was linked to one of the Chinese institutes.

    The State Department last year designated the headquarters of the Confucius Institutes in Washington as a foreign mission, a label that recognizes the institutes as entities of the Chinese government. That designation remains in place.

    In December, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke out against the institutes and urged universities to shutter the centers.

    The more than 100 Confucius Institutes on U.S. campuses contributed to the current “left-leaning” campuses that Mr. Pompeo said “are rife with anti-Americanism and present easy targets for their anti-American messaging.”

    The State Department “has made very clear these Confucius Institutes are literally up to no good,” said Mr. Pompeo, noting that many have been recognized as problems and closed.

    China’s government has funded American universities to the tune of $1.3 billion since 2013, Mr. Pompeo said.

    In July, then-Attorney General William P. Barr also criticized the activities of Confucius Institutes, noting that they “have been accused of pressuring host universities to silence discussion or cancel events on topics considered controversial by Beijing.”

    “Universities must stand up for each other; refuse to let the [Chinese Communist Party] dictate research efforts or suppress diverse voices; support colleagues and students who wish to speak their minds; and consider whether any sacrifice of academic integrity or freedom is worth the price of appeasing the CCP’s demands,” Mr. Barr said.

    From the Justice Department last January:
    Tuesday, January 28, 2020
    Harvard University Professor and Two Chinese Nationals Charged in Three Separate China Related Cases
    The Department of Justice announced today that the Chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department and two Chinese nationals have been charged in connection with aiding the People’s Republic of China.

    Dr. Charles Lieber, 60, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, was arrested this morning and charged by criminal complaint with one count of making a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement. Lieber will appear this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts.

    Yanqing Ye, 29, a Chinese national, was charged in an indictment today with one count each of visa fraud, making false statements, acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy. Ye is currently in China.

    Zaosong Zheng, 30, a Chinese national, was arrested on Dec. 10, 2019, at Boston’s Logan International Airport and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research to China. On Jan. 21, 2020, Zheng was indicted on one count of smuggling goods from the United States and one count of making false, fictitious or fraudulent statements. He has been detained since Dec. 30, 2019.

    Dr. Charles Lieber

    According to court documents, since 2008, Dr. Lieber who has served as the Principal Investigator of the Lieber Research Group at Harvard University, which specialized in the area of nanoscience, has received more than $15,000,000 in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD). These grants require the disclosure of significant foreign financial conflicts of interest, including financial support from foreign governments or foreign entities. Unbeknownst to Harvard University beginning in 2011, Lieber became a “Strategic Scientist” at Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China and was a contractual participant in China’s Thousand Talents Plan from in or about 2012 to 2017. China’s Thousand Talents Plan is one of the most prominent Chinese Talent recruit plans that are designed to attract, recruit, and cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China’s scientific development, economic prosperity and national security. These talent programs seek to lure Chinese overseas talent and foreign experts to bring their knowledge and experience to China and reward individuals for stealing proprietary information. Under the terms of Lieber’s three-year Thousand Talents contract, WUT paid Lieber $50,000 USD per month, living expenses of up to 1,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately $158,000 USD at the time) and awarded him more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at WUT. In return, Lieber was obligated to work for WUT “not less than nine months a year” by “declaring international cooperation projects, cultivating young teachers and Ph.D. students, organizing international conference[s], applying for patents and publishing articles in the name of” WUT.

    The complaint alleges that in 2018 and 2019, Lieber lied about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Plan and affiliation with WUT. On or about, April 24, 2018, during an interview with investigators, Lieber stated that he was never asked to participate in the Thousand Talents Program, but he “wasn’t sure” how China categorized him. In November 2018, NIH inquired of Harvard whether Lieber had failed to disclose his then-suspected relationship with WUT and China’s Thousand Talents Plan. Lieber caused Harvard to falsely tell NIH that Lieber “had no formal association with WUT” after 2012, that “WUT continued to falsely exaggerate” his involvement with WUT in subsequent years, and that Lieber “is not and has never been a participant in” China’s Thousand Talents Plan.

    Notre Dame is always hungry for money. Please be careful who you play ball with.

  6. Pierre Miller '83 February 11, 2021 at 9:16 am

    John McNamara, thank you for the time you spent to share your words and the truth in them.

    • Thank you, though I am sorry to see where Notre Dame and the U.S. are headed at the current fork in the road, which was described by J. Seifert so well in his last sentence in his comment. Let’s pray for more Donald Trumps, Ted Cruzs, Josh Hawleys, and hopefully Amy Coney Barretts ( not to mention the Little Sisters of the Poor, who fought so hard against Obamacare abortion mandates in the Supreme Court, and Sister Dierdre Byrne, the Army colonel and nun, who spoke at the Republican Convention about the right to life), and more integrity, courage and standing for what’s clearly right, instead of selling out the Church and our country for profit or praise, as Father Krill writes. What’s best for Notre Dame and what’s best for America is not Joe Biden, (and probably not John Jenkins, or John Roberts for that matter) but principled leaders who stand for the right to life and the rights described, and hopefully protected, in the U.S. Constitution and to some extent, the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Not someone marching in the March for Life and then voluntarily adding abortion coverage to their health insurance policy when they get back from DC. Sr. Byrne, Justice Barrett and Senators Cruz and Hawley would make an amazing list of Catholic graduation speakers and role models over the next four years. Remember Fr. Jenkins, even Bill Clinton fell asleep during Biden’s inaugural speech.

      • I agree with the above list of commencement speakers.

        Father Jenkins indicated the purpose of potentially inviting Biden to be the commencement speaker was to honor the tradition of inviting US Presidents. (Did Trump get that invite?)

        Father Jenkins noted that another purpose of potentially inviting Biden to speak was to acknowledge areas of agreement/disagreement. However noble that might be, how does that conversation take place?

        In inviting former President Obama to speak, the rationale was to begin a dialogue. Did a dialogue occur? What was contributed to the common good as a result, particularly what value for the Notre Dame University students/faculty/community at large?

        If the purpose is to begin a dialogue, why would the President of Notre Dame University be any less willing to pursue dialogue with the students/alumni of Notre Dame University, including Sycamore Trust?

  7. The main and intractable problem with the right to choose is that there is no logical limit. The core of Harry Blackmun’s chaotic opinion in Roe v. Wade is that abortion is OK, nothing more, resulting in an unending legal scrum since. The theological foundation of the Church is principled faith with the spiritual and physical dignity of the individual person being essential to that faith. We have exhaustively argued the ensoulment attributes of a zygote versus full-term child and resolved this difficult issue with a bias favoring early and separate humanness. In the absence of a directly related principle, such as life is inherently valuable, the right to choose logically includes a full-term pregnancy plus one day because the original Roe decision was never anchored to a principle, that is, a fundamental truth. As Catholics, we yearn for faith and secular leaders who, by example and courage, bend the arc of our future toward life and justice and not toward a ghastly, unprincipled wasteland.

    • I agree with J. Siefert. The “right to choose” is false on its face. Where’s the right to choose life? The only “choice” allowed in that thinking is abortion.
      A wasteland certainly. What greater waste can there be than the waste of a human life?
      The body of knowledge, Lean, focuses on reduction of waste. The 8th waste in Lean is the waste of human potential.
      For those that truly want a peaceful world, would such a world be created if everyone upheld the sanctity of human life & the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death?
      When the answers escape us, turning to the Catholic Church teaching can point us in the right direction.

  8. None of us, except, perhaps, the intelligentsia at ND, needs to be reminded of Acton’s dictum that ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ It is, in fact, the cleric’s aphrodisiac.

    I was a good friend and fellow seminarian with John Jenkins back in the late ’70’s. I believe John is a contemplative and philosopher at heart, and I have often imagined what an agony it must have been for him to submit his natural bent to the political machinations of the likes of Frs. Warner and Scully, allowing himself be re-invented as the fresh face of Notre Dame. God alone knows the inner recesses of Fr. Jenkins’ heart. It seems unarguable to me, however, that our beloved ND has long ago gone the way of all the world – thoroughly corrupted by its pursuit of power, money, and prestige.

    How well I remember, in 1964, first watching A MAN FOR ALL SEASON. I was especially struck by the scene, at Thomas More’s trial, when More says to Richard Rich: ‘Richard, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his soul in the process? … But, Richard, for Wales???’ Could we not also ask Fr. Jenkins: ‘But for Notre Dame?’

    Random, relevant question: Is there one student in 100 at the University who could tell you what the name Notre Dame means? Is there one player on the football team who could tell you to whom the alma mater, sung in the end zone at the end of every game, is dedicated?

    Even as he was vilified by the ND establishment during my time at ND (1967-71), Prof. Gerhard Niemeyer convinced me that the secular messianism of Marx, preceded by the atheistic utopianism of the French philosophes, could eventually do in both American and Notre Dame, unless a profound grasp of Christian eschatology was not grasped and courageously promoted as the alternative path to the Road to Serfdom traveled by totalitarian liberalism. Sadly, I believe Prof. Niemeyer’s prophecy is now being fulfilled, both in American and at Notre Dame.

    The good news is that ‘the Light has appeared in the darkness but the darkness cannot overcome it’ (Jn. 1:5) It is also true that ‘he came to his own and his own received him not. But to all who did receive him, he gave the power to become children of God’ (Jn. 1:11-12). Let us vow, as Rod Dreher says so well (quoting Solzhenitsyn), to LIVE NOT BY LIES. As Mother Theresa reminds us, we are called to be faithful, not successful. Listen to the saints, not to the establishment shills.

    Blessings in the Trinity!

    Fr. Phil Krill, ’71
    St. Louis, MO

  9. Paul Vincent Coleman February 10, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    I think Michael the Archangel has a full time job driving the influence of Satan out of Notre Dame leadership.

  10. We as Notre Dame graduates and as practicing Catholics have the obligation to insist that the University promote and strictly follow all the tradition and teaching of the Catholic Church. If this means kindly informing the world that a certain political party and a certain President with their behavior and philosophy are directly opposed to the Catholic Church and thus to Notre Dame. Being an American one has free choice, but not random free choice, one must obey the law. When that law is directly opposite the teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church every Catholic must do everything in his legal power to oppose it and change it.

  11. Willliam E. Dotterweich February 10, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    And the beat goes on…………………

  12. Well written, however one has to understand that Joe Biden and John Jenkins are essentially the same man, with Biden being a decade older version of Jenkins. Jenkins, in a self-loving way, will CERTAINLY invite Biden to speak, to curry favor with liberals in academia at other ACC schools, just like Biden speaks whatever needs to be said to be popular with political liberals, and there is no difference between academic liberals and political liberals, witness the protests at Notre Dame over Amy Coney Barrett.
    Biden and Jenkins are both children of the hippy, baby-boom generation, and with all due apologies to Viet Nam vets and many people of good character, a generation that produced more than its fair share of selfish, two-faced, self loving, greedy people of fame that exceeded all limits and standards to gorge themselves on greed, power, and self love as demonstrated by Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Jeff Bezos, Hillary Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and Kermit Gosnell. Whether they sell out their country to seek huge corporate profits in China; trample the Constitution because “the law is for other people and I can buy and bribe myself out of trouble” and render opponents jobless and voiceless; slaughtering innocent unborn children; saying or doing whatever is necessary to be popular with their peers or the press, at the sacrifice of their souls; or gorging themselves on sex.

    Biden sniffs women’s hair, gets inappropriately close to women, reportedly assaulted one of his staffers and Jenkins, a Catholic priest doesn’t have the courage do something so easy as to block porn from the internet service at a Catholic university. Why Father Jenkins? “What is in the best interest of Notre Dame”, as Chuck Lennon used to ask, in allowing porn on the internet service at Notre Dame? Is there something you can’t tell us?

    Biden claims to be the nation’s first Catholic president in fifty years and goes to Mass and receives communion after signing executive orders lifting bans on abortion and agreeing to spend billions of dollars of dollars funding abortion in the US and around the world, slaughtering millions of unborn children in an effort to satisfy the population control and eugenics beliefs of his largest donors (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Communist China). Jenkins, a Catholic priest, wants to incorporate abortion and contraception into Notre Dame’s employee health insurance policies, before conceding some ground, and says nothing and does nothing when a couple thousand dead baby bodies are found stored in the home of an abortion doctor a mile or two south of campus and are eventually buried in a mass grave. How many of those children were children of Notre Dame, literally and figuratively? No Mass for those children, no grave for those children on Notre Dame property, no public statement I have heard about the incident from Fr. Jenkins, following the gruesome handling of these murdered innocents. Talk about not conceding any ground. You can bet Jenkins will be there to hand Biden Communion any time he asks, including before this year’s graduation ceremony. Jenkins will also be there to criticize Lou Holtz and Donald J. Trump (the nations true, but unofficial, second Catholic president) for their pro-life statements and activities.

    Biden, through his son Hunter, accepts millions of dollars from Communist China, a huge proponent of population control, mandatory abortions, genocide of hostile groups of people, and corrupting the Catholic Church from the inside, through an agreement negotiated by Cardinal McCarrick on behalf of Pope Francis allowing the Chinese Communist Party to have control over who is named to be bishops and Cardinals in China. In an “Inside Indiana Business” article written by Alex Brown, “Confucius Institutes are located at dozens of universities throughout the country. Several Indiana schools have hosted Confucius Institutes in the past but many no longer have information available, including the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University and the University of Southern Indiana.” “Confucius Institutes have been criticized for their alleged efforts to spread propaganda through their programming. Indiana Congressman Jim Banks (R-3) released a statement Friday praising IUPUI’s move, saying, “The Chinese Communist Party in Beijing knows that U.S. universities are home to important research, some of which involves sensitive national security information funded by U.S. federal departments. By using businesses and cultural exchanges as fronts, the Chinese government infiltrates these institutions and steal our nation’s intellectual property and secrets. Thanks to the necessary steps by IUPUI and MIT, more schools are waking up to this reality, and I suspect many more will follow their lead.” Notre Dame has also worked with and probably accepted funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, large wealthy supporters of abortion.

    Then there is the dirty truth about Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, who thought that the US needed to find a way to eliminate all the poor people living in tenements and slums in America’s larger cities, like NYC, by birth control and abortion. She spoke to the Klan on the subject, as a way to reduce the African American population, and was a proponent of Eugenics- barring the reproduction of peoples deemed undesirable by self-identified elites, an American policy eventually adopted by the Nazis. Nearly a third of African American pregnancies end in abortion and would it be a surprise to find what neighborhoods are usually targeted to have a Planned Parenthood facility? Biden never comes out and talks about racist eugenics and neither does Jenkins, but while Biden executes those executive orders funding world-wide abortion, particularly in the third world, Jenkins honors Biden and Obama, two of America’s most powerful pro-abortion political office holders, and has or will have both as graduation speakers. Jenkins could have Amy Coney Barrett, a pro-life, pro-adoption, mother of two African-American children, but those tolerant and enlightened guys and gals at NBC, Harvard, UVA, UNC, Duke, Syracuse and Wake Forest may not invite Jenkins to any receptions for a year or two.

  13. Michael Strathman - parent 3 Domers February 10, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Biden sure is no prize as a Catholic. His actions as president so far are terrible for our country and our church. I pray the University does not honor him in any way.

  14. Paul Joseph Devitt February 10, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    This would be tragic but not a surprise. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that Fr. Jenkins would be following the cowardice and betrayal we see throughout the hierarchy of the Church today. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

  15. Perhaps our best hope is that, due to Covid, there won’t be a commencement ceremony to which he will be invited.

    • Fr. Jenkins has announced that, while Alumni Reunion weekend has been cancelled, there will be a regularly scheduled commencement for the class of 2021, with a delayed commencement for the class of 2020 later in the summer. But since attendance will be limited in some fashion, it will be a more subdued affair and perhaps regarded as a less desirable forum for the president.

  16. One last question, can a person be a strong pro-life Catholic and a Democrat?

  17. Notre Dame is ceasing to be a Catholic University

  18. richard P griffin February 10, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    I was on campus in protest when President Obama was Commencement speaker. The protest obviously did not have any positive impact on Father Jenkins but I will be there again in protest if President Biden is Commencement speaker. Very sad that a person who professes to be a Catholic is the most pro-abortion President in the history of the United States.

    Rich Griffin’60

  19. Dr. Carolyn O'Rourke. Ed.D. February 10, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    I find this to be absolutely appalling…

  20. Eugene Dixon '69 MBA February 10, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    The actions of both Biden and Jenkins are in concert. They are both politicians without substantive integrity or deep convictions. They blow with societal winds and offer nothing but confusion to young minds. Notre Dame, being adept at marketing and cherishing limelight, will invite Biden to speak again at the first opportunity.

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