Sunday, June 3, 2012

Notre Dame Fails

Last week a lot of Catholics started celebrating the lawsuit brought by Notre Dame against the HHS contraceptive mandate.  As is my wont I will explain why you should all stop being so happy.  It is nice that Notre Dame is suing the government but I suspect that the intentions of its leadership are rather self-serving.

Fr. Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, has this to say: (H/T TAC)
Let me say very clearly what this lawsuit is not about:  it is not about preventing women from having access to contraception, nor even about preventing the Government from providing such services.  Many of our faculty, staff and students—both Catholic and non-Catholic—have made conscientious decisions to use contraceptives.  As we assert the right to follow our conscience, we respect their right to follow theirs.
Fr. Jenkin's statements about faculty, staff, and student use of contraceptives is just nauseating.  A decision based on a poorly formed conscience is not the same as a "conscientious decision."  The decision to take contraceptives is a selfish one, and is especially morally dangerous for Catholics.  Fr. Jenkins need not have condemned contraception in his statement on the lawsuit, but nor should he have offered cover to those who contracept.  His excuses for contraception look like a lame attempt at ingratiating himself with president Sauron. 

The fact that Fr. Jenkins is so comfortable with contraception leads me to believe that the administration of Notre Dame is only suing the government out of necessity.  The school cannot obey the mandate without getting its Catholic credentials yanked, but it can't afford to pay the fines for not sacrificing to Caesar.  A constitutional challenge to the HHS mandate is simply the choice of greatest utility.


  1. I am sure your analysis of Fr Jenkins's position makes sense.

    God bless!

  2. Couldn't agree more. It is trying to save face with those upset with their less then stellar faithfulness to Catholicism while keeping those in the Obaba camp (esp the faculty) happy.
    PS Like the Sauran reference as well.

  3. I certainly found campus ministry at Harvard to be ideologically biased and theologically unsound back in 2000-04, and now, due to some further misguided choices from which I have learned much, find myself only finishing medical school at this late date with several students who went to Notre Dame from 2005-09 - yes, from the infamous Saruman[not quite Sauron]/Vader[not quite Palpatine]/Caesar[sees himself as Julius, certainly!] commencement class.

    I surmise that, although I could have done far better spiritually at Benedictine or Franciscan (which were not advertised much, unfortunately, in my native New York), I certainly did no worse than my aforementioned classmates, and very likely better than my schoolmate from Georgetown, who only missed the recent commencement speech from... let's say, Tarkin... by one year.

    Thus, although I am certainly no expert in Canon Law, I conclude it may soon be time for Pope Benedict XVI to officially declare Notre Dame (and Georgetown, while he's at it) a secular university. As your analysis implies, this may be their last-ditch attempt to head him off at the pass.