How Obama Repaid Notre Dame

January 31, 2012 at 1:37pm

Back in May 2009, during the controversy over Notre Dame’s decision to have President Obama as their commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, I gave a short statement to the Boston Herald: “My favorite grandpa, Clem James Sheeran, was Catholic. Irish to the core, his favorite place (other than church) was Notre Dame. I can’t imagine what he would think as the university recognizes someone who contradicts the core values of the Catholic faith by promoting an anti-life agenda.”

 

In his latest Washington Post column, Michael Gerson writes about the Obama administration’s war on Catholic institutions with President Obama's decision to strip conscience protections from Catholic universities, hospitals and charities.

 

As Gershon points out, the timing of Obama's most recent slap won't go unnoticed by the faithful: "In politics, the timing is often the message. On Jan. 20 — three days before the annual March for Life — the Obama administration announced its final decision that Catholic universities, hospitals and charities will be compelled to pay for health insurance that covers sterilization, contraceptives and abortifacients. Preparing for the march, Catholic students gathered for Mass at Verizon Center. The faithful held vigil at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Knights of Columbus and bishops arrived to trudge in the cold along the Mall. All came to Washington in time for their mocking.”

 

And in this we see how the faithful at Notre Dame got snookered and how Obama has shamefully repaid their faith in him:

 

Both radicalism and maliciousness are at work in Obama’s decision — an edict delivered with a sneer... 

 

The implications of Obama’s choice will take years to sort through. The immediate impact can be measured on three men:

 

Consider Catholicism’s most prominent academic leader, the Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame. Jenkins took a serious risk in sponsoring Obama’s 2009 honorary degree and commencement address — which promised a “sensible” approach to the conscience clause. Jenkins now complains, “This is not the kind of ‘sensible’ approach the president had in mind when he spoke here.” Obama has made Jenkins — and other progressive Catholic allies — look easily duped.

 

- Sarah Palin