"Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame! Wake up the echoes cheering her name. Send a volley cheer on high; shake down the thunder from the sky. What though the odds be great or small, old Notre Dame will win over all, while her loyal sons go marching onward to victory" (Notre Dame Fight Song)
I used to sing these words with tremendous zeal while a student at Notre Dame (ND) in the ’80s and especially as a member of the ND Glee Club for a year. How proud we were to belt out this most famous of college fight songs and rally the troops for battle on the gridiron — and elsewhere! ND alumni do not need to be reminded how deeply embedded in our hearts this tune and these words are; we only need to be assured that they still mean what they indicate: namely, that Notre Dame’s loyal sons are still "marching onward to victory" (of Catholic orthodoxy, that is.)
The decision of Notre Dame President, Fr. John Jenkins, to invite our nation’s abortion-promoter-in-chief to speak at the May 17th commencement is such an egregious violation of our loyalty to our alma mater that it’s hard to see how these words actually to Notre Dame apply any more. Who wants to "wake up the echoes cheering her name" now? Fr. Jenkins has just shaken down a sort of spiritual thunder on what used to be the country’s premier Catholic university, and woe to him and the rest of the ND leadership for their decision to put Notre Dame definitively outside the scope of Catholic orthodoxy. It’s worse than that, of course, because Fr. Jenkins and his team have reaffirmed time and again, in the face of massive protests, their commitment to having President Obama speak at graduation and to receiving an honorary doctorate. It just doesn’t get more tragic than that.
Let’s be honest: all the hand wringing and justification for Fr. Jenkins’ decision is just fluff. Despite the unprecedented tour de force of close to fifty US bishops objecting to this travesty, Fr. Jenkins’s claim that his decision is "consistent" with the bishops’ 2004 directive on speakers at Catholic colleges — simply because Barack Obama is not a Catholic — is, well, absurd on its face. No person in his right mind buys it.
And that’s the point — Notre Dame leadership is not "in its right mind" any more. The ones who made or endorsed this decision are not thinking with the mind of the Church let alone the Mind of Christ. This doesn’t just apply to Fr. Jenkins either. It also applies to his superior, Fr. Hugh Cleary, who has an obligation to demand Jenkins’ immediate resignation from his post to end this scandal but who chose instead to make a sappy, glowing, politically-correct statement which dares call this hurtful fiasco a "teachable moment."
No, Father Cleary — a "teachable moment" would be your removing Fr. Jenkins from office to show the world that the Church really means what she says in calling abortion an "abominable crime" (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes , 51).
As far as I am concerned, a thunder of judgment has just been shaken down on Notre Dame, its Board of Directors and any faculty, students or alumni who endorse the decision to bring Barack Obama to Notre Dame’s campus to sully Our Lady’s good name and our deepest loyalties.