The above blog title and phrase, "Strong of heart and true to her name..." is taken from the lyrics of the University of Notre Dame fight song. Sadly, the University of Notre Dame's leadership has displayed it is no longer strong of heart nor true to her name, honoring Our Lady.
Papal Historian George Weigel gets directly to the heart of the matter in the University of Notre Dame's scandal in inviting Barack Obama to give the commencement speech in May, and bestow upon him honors:
"When a university invites a prominent personality to deliver a commencement address and accept an honorary degree, a statement is being made to graduates, students, faculty, parents, alumni and donors: "This is someone whose work is worth emulating." The invitation, in other words, is not to a debate, or to the opening of some sort of ongoing conversation. The invitation and the award of an honorary degree are a university's stamp of approval on someone's life and accomplishment.
Which is precisely why the University of Notre Dame, which claims to be America's premier Catholic institution of higher learning, made an egregious error in inviting President Barack Obama to address its May commencement and accept an honorary doctorate of laws degree.
Since Inauguration Day, Obama has made several judgment calls that render Notre Dame's invitation little short of incomprehensible. The president has put the taxpayers of the United States back into the business of paying for abortions abroad. He has expanded federal funding for embryo-destructive stem-cell research and defended that position in a speech that was a parody of intellectually serious moral reasoning. The Obama administration threatens to reverse federal regulations that protect the conscience rights of Catholic and other pro-life health-care professionals. And the administration has not lifted a finger to keep its congressional and teachers' union allies from snatching tuition vouchers out of the hands of poor inner-city children who want to attend Catholic schools in the nation's capital.
How any of this, much less the sum total of it, constitutes a set of decisions Notre Dame believes worth emulating is not, to put it gently, easy to understand."
Take a moment and respectfully tell the President of Notre Dame, Fr. Jenkins, what you think about his decision to honor Barack Obama at a flagship Catholic institution.
Or write Fr. Jenkins' e-mail account at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him of your disappointment.
The Cardinal Newman Society is sponsoring a web page, Notre Dame Scandal.com, that has compiled signatures in the hopes of rescinding President Obama's invitation. They are up to more than 232,000 signatures. This is a good web site to monitor this story.
"It is clear that Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation... the flagship Catholic university [has] brought extreme embarrassment to many, many people who are Catholic.” - Cardinal Francis George - Chicago
"I am appalled, disappointed and scandalized! Notre Dame University has certainly turned against the Catholic Church... It is a travesty that the University of Notre Dame, considered by many to be a Catholic University, should give its public support to such an anti-Catholic politician. I hope that you are able to reconsider this decision. If not, please do not expect me to support your University in the future.” - Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran of Oklahoma City
"The numerous, repeated and extensive anti-life positions taken by President Obama merit his recognition as an unequalled, prominent proponent of the culture of death in our nation. Given her Catholic identity, the University of Notre Dame’s receiving the President as the 2009 commencement speaker and her bestowing on him an honorary doctorate are truly shameful, a scandal to the Church and a major blow to hundreds of thousands who have sacrificed to bring forth a culture of life in our midst." - Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton