Sunday, May 17, 2009

How Notre Dame Drifted Away from the Catholic Church

By Paul Shlichta

Today, to the disgust and apparent surprise of many Catholic bishops and laity, the University of Notre Dame, once the pride of Catholic intellectual life in America, will behave in a very un-Catholic way by honoring, as commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, POTUS Barack Obama, one of America's most extreme advocates of abortion.

This surprise is hard to understand. The old Latin proverb nemo repente turpissimus can be translated as "nobody becomes very evil overnight." Even Judas served a lengthy apprenticeship as an embezzler before moving on to greater betrayals. In a similar manner, I contend that the invitation to Obama was merely a milestone of a drift away from the Catholic Church that Notre Dame started decades ago.

How it Happened

One might imagine such a process taking place by external erosion, by a determinedly Catholic faculty being gradually forced to yield to the secular pressures of a materialistic world. On the contrary, I suspect that Notre Dame's decline and fall were caused by internal decay, rather like what Fr. Daniel A. Lord (a famous Catholic pamphleteer of the last century) called "spiritual termites". There is even evidence that the source of this decay was Notre Dame's own Department of Theology.

The process started a century ago, when the Catholic Church was attacked by a group of internal heresies that Pope Pius X collectively defined as "modernism"....


Simultaneously, liberal seminary officials began discouraging "rigid" conservative aspirants to the priesthood and favoring more "flexible" liberally minded candidates. This weeding out process, described in detail in Michael Rose's Goodbye Good Men produced an overall shortage of priests and tended to bias the crop of future priests toward liberalism [3]. Thus, in imitation of the replication mechanism of viruses, liberal theologians used traditional Catholic institutions to reproduce their own kind and disseminate them throughout the Church...


Ryan Biddulph said...

I am pro-life but believe that he had the right to speak at the school.

There is no different set of rules for the president than there is for the common citizen in this regard. Many people who support abortion have stepped foot on campus and you can be sure that they've had debates in the classroom. It is a college university after all.


Unknown said...

The Church ex-communicated a 9 year old for getting an abortion, but kept the father who raped her. The Church has gone to extremes on blastocysts and only needs to put abortion into the same context as other "sins". It's ludicrous that they single out one thing and really only use it as propaganda against Democrats because you never hear them attacking pro-life Catholic Republicans like Christy Todd-Whitman or Susan Collins. It's time to come together around issues we can solve and agree to disagree on religious matters.
Full Text: