Friday, May 22, 2009

Notre Dame and President Obama

Notre Dame and President Obama
In pursuit of the truth – – Friday, May 22, 2009

The following are excerpts from Significant Reports on the Obama Speech at Notre Dame by Steve Jalsevac, May 19, 2009 ( – You decide.

Obama’s Notre Dame Speech Tried to Redefine U.S. Catholicism - George Weigel

George Weigel charged that Obama has inserted himself into intra-Catholic disputes by trying to define who a “real Catholic” is. He warned the president risks assuming the headship of the dissident wing of U.S. Catholicism, pitting Catholic intellectuals and institutions against their bishops.

Weigel writing in a Monday essay for National Review Online, said it was “surprising” and “disturbing” that President Obama decided to “insert himself” into “the ongoing debate over the boundaries of Catholic identity and the applicability of settled Catholic convention in the public square.”

Weigel compared the effort to the historical phenomenon of “Gallicanism,” the French bishops past efforts to establish a church generally independent of papal authority.

“This is a very serious business with the president of the United States putting himself in charge of the Gallican wing of the Catholic Church in the United States – the difference being that this new Gallicanism isn’t local bishops vs. Rome but intellectuals and their institutions and magazines vs. local bishops and Rome,” Weigel told CNA.

Weigel said the “politically savy” White House and its allies among Catholic progressive intellectuals may have intended to secure Obama’s political advantage among Catholic voters with his appearance at Notre Dame.

The Catholic commentator also argued that the president indirectly presented himself as a more significant authority than the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who had “explicitly and unambiguously” instructed Catholic institutions not to honor pro-abortions rights politicians.

President Obama put forward the late Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Bernardin as the model for being “congenial and gentle” and for “always trying to bring people together.” Weigel said Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” approach to public policy ended up helping Catholic politicians and laymen dodge moral objections to their support for a permissive abortion regime.

According to Weigel, the U.S. bishops abandoned the “seamless garment” metaphor” in 1998 to better emphasize the foundational nature of the life issues. He also suggested that President Obama’s praise for Cardinal Bernardin was an implicit criticism of contemporary bishops who are pro-life, like present Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Francis George.

Catholics in Congress: The Ongoing Scandal by Deal W, Hudson

The scandal of President Barack Obama receiving an honorary degree at Notre Dame yesterday pales in comparison with the ongoing scandal of Catholics in Congress. Of the 161 Catholics presently serving, only 26 have 100 percent pro-life voting records, while 28 have a zero percent rating. 65 have less than 20 per cent pro-life rating and 75 have accepted donations from pro-abortion lobbies.
George H. Kubeck

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