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Friday, August 05, 2016

Formerly Catholic University Honors formerly Catholic Politician

 From First Things:

Tim Kaine is a Harvard Law graduate, but he and other pro-choice Catholic politicians owe much to Notre Dame. As Matthew Franck has observed in First Things, Mario Cuomo’s 1984 “personally opposed but won’t impose” speech at the university was a “watershed moment” for pro-choice apologists. Notre Dame’s gift to Cuomo of a high-visibility platform and an enthusiastic audience seemed to stamp “nihil obstat” on his argument. (Despite, as Dr. Franck explained, the “crashing ineptitude” of Cuomo’s rationale.) 

Then a couple of months ago, just in time for Senator Kaine’s campaign on a ticket with the most radical pro-abortion platform in history, Notre Dame gave a boost to the Cuomo model of dissenting-but-faithful Catholic politician. At its Commencement, the University awarded the Laetare Medal, which it describes as “The Most Prestigious Award Given to American Catholics,” to Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker John Boehner. The award is given for “outstanding service to Church and society.” 

Like Senator Kaine, Biden is resolutely pro-choice; and like Kaine, Biden supports same-sex marriage. Biden endorses the Obamacare contraception mandate’s incursion on religious liberty, and Kaine has just co-sponsored a bill aimed at crushing with heavy fines the consciences of pharmacists who don’t want to sell contraceptives.
Notre Dame honored Biden despite the strong opposition of its bishop, the Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades. The award, Bishop Rhoades said, would scandalize the faithful—a blindingly obvious and important concern at a school charged with the moral formation of young Catholics. If Notre Dame thinks that a person with Biden’s extensive record of major dissent deserves this extraordinary tribute, then cafeteria Catholicism ought to do for everyone else.
Further, Bishop Rhoades deplored this breach in the relationship that should obtain between a Catholic university and its bishop. He could have noted that this was a third strike for Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.