Last night as I walked to my car in the twilight, the summer temperatures had dipped down to the low 70s.  It felt good to wear jeans again.  I breathed the cool air in deeply, the beginning of fall almost taunting me.  The smell of a bonfire in a nearby neighborhood reached my nose, capping the illusion perfectly.

Yes, I know fall hasn’t arrived.  But the weather this week has certainly made me question if it might just be coming early.  Fall has always been my favorite season for a number of reasons.  Besides pumpkins, apple cider, cool evenings, and the crunch of leaves, Fall brings me one of my favorite things: college football.

But something was different this year than the past football seasons of my life.  Instead of following all the pre-season chatter, counting the days until kickoff (I remember one year barely containing myself until the first Saturday of September), taunting friends who were now foes, sporting my blue and gold on the Friday before game day…  I completely forgot that Notre Dame kicks off against Nevada today at 3:30 ET.  What was once the center of my Fall was off the radar.  Needless to say, this made me a bit depressed.  What happened?

I tried chalking it up to a handful of reasons:

1) The past few years have hurt.  The sting of sitting in Notre Dame stadium watching Notre Dame lose to Air Force — only a few weeks after I sat there and watched them lose their opening game to Georgia Tech 33-3…  that does something to your spirit.

But this can’t fully explain my lack of excitement this year.   Last year wasn’t as bad as the year before it.  And besides, I’ve never been a fair-weather fan.

2) We’re starting our third year without Brady Quinn and Jeff Samardzija.  There was something about those seasons that really captured hearts.  Okay, I know what you all are thinking… but it was something other than Brady’s good looks.  Maybe it was the success they had, maybe it’s my personal memories of watching the games with my friends, maybe it was just the fact that we liked saying Samardzija.  Whatever it was, those were fun years.  And it’s still weird for me to watch someone else lead the team out of the tunnel.

But we move on, right?  We can’t say I’m not excited about this season because a certain number 10 is now wearing orange and brown.  I’m bigger than that. ; )

3) I’m separated from the buzz.   When I first moved away from Indiana, I thought it would be harder to remain in the Notre Dame football frenzy.  But I soon found myself Notre Dame friends who were just as excitable as I was, and we had a nice routine of watching the games together.  Last year was different, though.  Not only am I not in Indiana, I’m not in college, and I don’t have a core group of college football fanatics around me.  I also tend to work on Saturdays, making watching football games difficult.  I think I watched two games last year.

But I’m not working today.  I could plant myself in front of the TV and watch the band coming running out of the tunnel, the Irish Guard leading the way.  So why am I not pumped?

I just slipped in my Rudy soundtrack, trying to put myself in the right mood.

I know the real reason the fire is gone in my heart, and I’m pretty ticked off about it.

When you cheer for a college team, your passion is about something so much more than a sporting event.  You aren’t just cheering for the football team… you’re cheering for your school.  There’s a passion and a pride when you see those players on the field– they represent something much more than themselves.  If it’s your alma mater, they represent everything your school gave you in your time there– the friendships, the pursuit of wisdom, the life experiences, the joys and sorrows.

But Notre Dame is bigger than that, and their fan base far surpasses alumni.   The “subway alumni” are spread across the country — although the term was first coined to describe Notre Dame fans from NY who followed Notre Dame football as avidly as alumni.  Why do so many cheer for Notre Dame as if they had gone to the school there?  Why is there this passion for an institution that some have never even visited?

Often, it’s because the school gave those people– or their great-grandfathers– something.  At a time when immigrants were trying to hold on to their Catholic heritage amidst ridicule and persecution, they could look to that school in the Midwest with affinity.  They could listen to the radio and hear about the football team from that little Catholic school trounch another football powerhouse.

When the factory worker brought a paltry wage home to his wife and seven kids, when he struggled to keep the family united and their spirits up, when he knelt down in that pew and murmured his Ave Marias, when he continued his daily battles in this land of opportunity… he felt apart of that Catholic football team.  They were, just like him, the Fighting Irish.

Father Carey, C.S.C, explains the moniker:

Notre Dame began athletic relations chiefly with local colleges founded by various denominations. Press reports would refer to the schools as the “Baptists” or the “Methodists,” and the like. For Notre Dame it was the “Catholics,” or the “Irish.” But the players were never all of Irish ancestry; nor were they all Catholics.

The usage was not original, but a continuing custom from earlier Colonial times. The bulk of the first Catholic immigrants were Irish — so that Catholics and Irish were identical in the public mind. It is sad to recall now, but few of the original states were without laws against them. Advertisements for ‘help wanted’ commonly carried the restriction: “No Catholics. No Irish.” The Puritans were the first to cry: “Stop the Irish!”

When the religious origin of other colleges lost its significance, the emphasis shifted to conventional names, and to their school colors. But history is recorded remembrance in our blessed heritage here at Notre Dame. Fighting Irish!  It’s more than a name; more than a people. It is the Faith!

In narrow, little New England, it began as a slur — a term of opprobrium. But we took it up and made of it a badge of honor — a symbol of fidelity and courage to everyone who suffers from discrimination; to everyone who has an uphill fight for the elemental decencies, and the basic Christian principles woven into the texture of our nation. Preserving this tradition, and this meaning of Irish at Notre Dame does honor to everyone of us. It explains why Lewinski belongs here; why Alessandrini is the Irish leader; why Schmaltz belongs here; why Bertrand, and Moreau, Van Dyke, and Larson feel at home here as much as do Leahy and O’Brien.

emphasis mine; from http://www.nd.edu/~wcawley/corson/whyfightingirish.htm

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why it’s harder for me to get excited about a football game.  Because Fighting Irish used to be a “badge of honor.”  Notre Dame was different from other schools, and that’s why we loved her.  She stood for something — or Someone– that a state school never could.  Even in her football games.

Even when were losing, I got excited for the games because we were entering the fray and not going down without a fight.  Remember this post?  Loyalty?  Sure… but now?  Loyalty to what?  To whom?

It’ll all seem pretty hollow this year.  I used to refer to the team as “us.”  When Notre Dame won, it was a personal victory.  It was the Catholic school, standing strong against the state institutions.  It was us against them.

While I’ll still turn on the game, and I’ll still root for the blue and gold, it won’t be the same.  The blue and gold doesn’t shine quite so brightly when the school forgets to whom the Blue and Gold belong.

Notre Dame, Our Mother
Tender, strong and true.
Proudly in the heavens
Gleams thy gold and blue.
Glory’s mantle cloaks thee,
Golden is thy fame.
And our hearts forever,
Praise thee, Notre Dame.
And our hearts forever,
LOVE THEE NOTRE DAME!!

It’s not something I’m happy about.  The tragedy of the mess in May is that a place which has stood for so much more than itself turned its back on it all — its heritage, its identity.

That commencement invitation was a slap in the face of every Catholic who has fought for their family, their country, and their Faith.  That day in May, the Fighting Irish ceased to fight– ceased to fight for the Truth when it needed defending the most.

Father Jenkins and President Obama, and everyone else who let that madness go on… they’ve stolen my fire, my passion, my football team.  The football team that runs out of the tunnel will still stand for more than itself — it will still stand for the University of Notre Dame… but for what does the University stand?

After reading an article, “The Battle to Control Catholic Commencements” (and many others), there are so many things I want to say about the ND-Obama situation.  It’s almost comedic that I actually said in March that I would refrain from writing about the whole thing.  I didn’t want to inflict my venting on the populous, so I decided to remain mum on the subject.  Then slowly it came out… and while I tried to stall it for awhile, or at least slow it down, it now comes out of my fingers without much prodding.   It’s therapeutic, at least.

My (latest) primary point (so if you don’t feel like reading the rest of this post, just stick with me here and then go on to the next blog you read) is that the triumph of all of this mess is the mere fact that people are talking about it.   Discussions are happening about ND and other Catholic schools by major news outlets that would have ignored it all in the past.  It’s becoming watercooler talk in places where in the past it would only be discussed by a handful of members of that “right wing conspiracy.”  In the past, other commencements (Xavier in LA, for instance) would have gone unnoticed (case in point: their 2006 commencement.  With Barack Obama).  But now everything is coming to the forefront.  The lines have been drawn and people are having to choose sides.

When people say, “Notre Dame is lost,” I clutch onto that sliver of hope — that we’re having this discussion.  Yes, maybe things look pretty bleak.  And maybe it’ll be lost in the next few years.  But while it’s slipped down the slippery slope for the last 20 years and it’s still sliding– at least it’s still sliding.  And when something is still moving, we can push it up again.  How about the fact that Joe Biden was given an award at Georgetown last week by the legal defense of the National Organization for Women?  Does that alarm anyone?  It should… the fact that it doesn’t or that you probably didn’t hear about it?  That alarms me.

One more point, before I leave to go read other articles that would cause me a few popped blood vessels in my head if I hadn’t already read the irrational drivel in countless other articles this past month.  One doesn’t have to be Catholic to be defiant to the Church’s teachings on moral law. (If you haven’t heard, that’s one of the holey shields being waved around to defend a school that obviously doesn’t listen when the bishops say: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” But wait, he’s not Catholic!  So he can’t act in defiance of fundamental moral principles!! …. really?) 

We’re not angry with Obama because he ate meat last Friday or didn’t fast on Ash Wednesday.  We’re upset that he condones — nay, avidly supports — the destruction of innocent human life.  He’s not just defiant to the teachings of the Catholic Church, he’s defying the principles of natural law.

And by the way, Inside Higher Ed, whomever you are… it can only be called a “battle to control Catholic commencements” because there are some people out there who want to control the Church, tell Her when She’s wanted, tell Her when She can speak, and use Her whenever it’s convenient.  So just make sure you take note of who is trying to control whom. 

I had a blog post in the hopper after reading a particularly frustrating commentary about the ND-Obama debacle. While I’m still trying to figure out whether or not to post it, I give you this article (below) for your reading enjoyment.

Elizabeth Lev is a writer and art historian living in Rome. After hearing her speak about the Catholicism of Renaissance and Baroque artists like DaVinci, Caravaggio, and Bernini, I was an immediate fan. She also writes regularly for Zenit.  I’ll let the article speak for itself.

Glendon’s Critics are Wrong on Notre Dame Medal  from PoliticsDaily.com:

I read with some perplexity this PoliticsDaily.com blog post on Professor Glendon’s decision to refuse the Laetare award, as it seemed to present a very superficial reading of the situation.

The Laetare Medal is the highest honor conferred on Catholics in the United States. For a Catholic, it has greater prestige than a Nobel Prize for a scientist or an Academy Award for an actor, as the award is given for career-long achievement, for “staying the course” in the words of St. Paul. It doesn’t just showcase a single discovery or film role.

To renounce it, therefore, is not the lightest of matters. Professor Glendon has spent a month thinking, consulting, and given her deep faith, praying about this decision. (This, for those of you who don’t know, means asking God to help one put aside one’s own personal concerns and act in the way that will produce the greatest good). (Kaitlynn) Riely’s dismissive “thanks, no thanks” rendering of her decision, while pithy, is reductive.

Professor Glendon was to have been honored for not only for her scholarship, but for her second career, her pro-bono work — ranging from the civil rights movement of the 1960s to the great civil rights issues of the present day — namely, the defense of human life from conception to natural death. Her concerns range from the aging and dying population to the unborn to the well-being and dignity of every life, regardless of race, religion, or economic status. Her outstanding work in this field has earned her the respect of the most brilliant minds of the international community, regardless of whether they agree with her position. So again, to see her merely as “strongly anti-abortion” instead of as a tireless defender of the dignity of life, is to reveal not only a lack of understanding of the subject’s work, but also the writer’s real interest in this question.

Furthermore, during his first 100 days in office, President Obama has worked tirelessly to undermine Professor Glendon’s lifetime of work; he is funding abortion out of the bailout package and planning to suppress the protection of conscience for health care workers.

Your notion that her “training in diplomacy” might somehow ease this situation does not take into account that she has a five-minute acceptance speech and he will have a lengthy commencement speech. There is no “engaging” here. Diplomacy generally teaches that if you have a rapier and your opponent has a missile launcher, try not to engage.

That Professor Glendon “did not like that Notre Dame was claiming her speech would serve to balance the event” is again facile and simplistic. What is there to like in being the deflector screen for inviting a profoundly divisive figure to give the commencement speech? What is likeable about a Catholic University named for the most important woman in Christianity exploiting a woman who has already dedicated her life to protecting the Church’s teaching by turning her into a warm-up act for a grotesque twist on a reality show?

Finally, after 50 Catholic bishops condemned the university for its direct defiance in honoring a man in open conflict with the Church’s teaching, it is right that Professor Glendon let her silence speak louder than her five-minute allotment of words would have.

Readers might be wondering how I know all this. Well, for one I am her daughter, but more to the point, I read her letter with the careful consideration it deserves.

Mary Ann Glendon has been a role model of mine for some time now– it was such a thrill to see her regularly in Rome last spring.  She was always a heroine, always a voice for the Truth in this world– but this morning she stepped out once again, reminding us what it means to take a stand.

Just days before St Catherine of Siena’s feast day, Glendon gives us yet another model of strong womanhood.

The Bravery of Glendon

While some leading Catholic universities in America are so anxious to curry favor with the secular culture that they are willing to compromise their very identity, one woman stands unafraid…

By Andrew Rabel
MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2009 — Dear friends,

I am here late in the evening in the office of Inside the Vatican in Rome, and I have just learnt this fabulous news— that the former US Ambassador to the Holy See, the Catholic professor of law at Harvard, Mary Ann Glendon, has declined Notre Dame University’s invitation to attend its commencement in May and receive an award.

Let me tell you, I am no gymnast, but I have been doing cartwheels over the wooden floor.
But to be serious, this is one of the most extraordinary actions taken by a Catholic for a long time, due to the outrage she and many of us fellow Catholics feel at the decision to invite President Barack Obama to Notre Dame University to give the commencement address there next month, despite the fact that he is the most pro-abortion president the US has ever had.

I have just been on the phone to Mary Ann’s daughter, Elizabeth Lev, who works as an art historian and occasional columnist here in the Eternal City, and she is as delighted as I am.

Mary Ann was being used by the likes of Fr Jenkins (Notre Dame’s president) and company, to give the event some respectability.

After a succession of less than traditional Catholic American women in recent years, like Geraldine Ferraro, Nancy Pelosi, and Kathleen Sebelius, here is one American woman who shines with her love for Jesus Christ and His Church and who abhors this terrible destruction of lives in the womb.

Hopefully the spirit of St Thomas More will come back to more Catholics in public lif e, at this time.

Mary Ann, we are so proud of you. It can’t be a coincidence that you have the names of the mother and grandmother of Our Lord in your name. God bless.

=================

Here is the complete text of Mary Ann Glendon’s historic letter. —The Editor

April 27, 2009
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President
University of Notre Dame

Dear Father Jenkins,

When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference=2 0of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their fami lies. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Yours Very Truly,

Mary Ann Glendon

Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 2007 to 2009.

I hope everyone had a fruitful Holy Week!  Everyone better be properly celebrating Easter now– remember, just as we listen to the Church when She tells us to fast for 40 days, we better listen to Her when She tells us to feast for 50…

A friend sent me this letter from the ND student newspaper last week.  I think this is the most powerful letter to come out about the ND-Obama situation yet, mostly because of the authors of the article.

These are men in the thick of the battle.  Not only does it take more courage for them to speak; a warrior’s word is more compelling and hopefully more effectual.  Any bystander can pen a piece from the safety of their Ikea couch, 439 miles from campus.  

I think it behooves us to listen to these men.  There are many willing to share their opinion on the situation up there; some are acting on their words and perhaps hurting the fight more than helping.  Please, please, please– let us listen to the students and follow their lead.

When fires break out, some people immediately rush to the scene, regardless of any previous connection to the location of the fire.  Some people rush to gawk, others may rush because they honestly want to help.  But what they don’t realize is that they aren’t a bit of help.  They may make a lot of noise and draw attention to the fire, but with no knowledge of the location of the fire, they just hinder those working.  While they may have good intentions, they hurt the cause.

There are some who have reacted to the ND-Obama situation in the same way.  Yes, this is a fight that needs to be fought and deserves to have ink spilled and blotted and respilled by leaders and observers.  But we don’t need radical activists to surge to the fray just because this is the new location of the fight.  They may have good intentions, yes, but they don’t help things.  This isn’t something that has happened overnight at the University.  Yes, we need to pray.  Yes, this is a turning point.  But when you come from left-field to blitz, you don’t help the army.

Yes, keep praying.  But don’t move your family to South Bend so that you can hold up large posters of aborted babies at the edge of campus.  

Anyway, I’ll step off the stage and stop my rant so that this letter can speak.  Pray for these priests!!

 

Work to maintain Catholic traditions

Letter to the Editor
Issue date: 4/8/09

We write as priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross and as proud graduates of the University of Notre Dame to voice our objection to the University’s decision to honor President Barack Obama by inviting him to deliver this year’s Commencement address and by conferring on him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

We wish to associate ourselves with and encourage those courageous students and treasured alumni who, while deeply loving Notre Dame, vigorously oppose this sad and regrettable decision of the University administration.

It is our deep conviction that Notre Dame should lead by word and deed in upholding the Church’s fundamental teaching that human life must be respected and protected from the moment of conception. In so doing the University must take seriously the 2004 instruction of the U.S. Catholic Bishops that “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors, or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

We especially regret the fissure that the invitation to President Obama has opened between Notre Dame and its local ordinary and many of his fellow bishops. We express our deep gratitude to Bishop John D’Arcy for his leadership and moral clarity. We ask that the University give renewed consideration to Bishop D’Arcy’s thoughtful counsel which always has Notre Dame’s best interests at heart. 

The University pursues a dangerous course when it allows itself to decide for and by itself what part of being a Catholic institution it will choose to embrace. Although undoubtedly unintended, the University administration’s decision portends a distancing of Notre Dame from the Church which is its lifeblood and the source of its identity and real strength. Such a distancing puts at risk the true soul of Notre Dame.

We regret that our position on this issue puts us at odds with our brother priest in Holy Cross, Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C. Yet, in this instance, for the good of Notre Dame and the Congregation of Holy Cross, we cannot remain silent. Notre Dame’s decision has caused moral confusion and given many reason to believe that the University’s stance against the terrible evil of abortion is weak and easily trumped by other considerations.

We prayerfully request that Fr. Jenkins and the Fellows of the University, who are entrusted with responsibility for maintaining its essential character as a Catholic institution of higher learning, revisit this matter immediately. Failure to do so will damage the integrity of the institution and detract from all the good work that occurs at Notre Dame and from the impressive labors of its many faithful students and professors.

We offer these views as we enter Holy Week, recalling the triumph of Christ’s holy cross. As “men with hope to bring” we are confident that Notre Dame may yet give true honor to its patroness, and witness to Her Son, through its commitment to the sanctity of life.

Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C.

Stephen M. Koeth, C.S.C.

Gregory P. Haake, C.S.C.

Daniel J. Parrish, C.S.C.

Michael B. Wurtz, C.S.C.

Mark R. Ghyselink, C.S.C.

Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C.

John A. Herman, C.S.C.

Ronald J. Wasowski, C.S.C.

Vincent A. Kuna, C.S.C.

Holy Cross Priests

This blog could be filled with quotes from various Church leaders or intellectuals regarding the Obama-Notre Dame situation.  But I’m choosing to refrain.

Except for this exerpt from Cardinal George.  I chose to share Cardinal George’s sentiments for a few reasons:

1) He’s President of the USCCB.  He’s not just sharing his personal views on the matter (everyone has those); rather, he’s speaking from a position of authority. 

2) It was spoken at a conference in Chicago rather than written, so it may not make it around the internet as fast as some of the other letters written by various bishops.  

3) He’s practical.  He doesn’t see the invitation being rescinded, but rather asks- “what now?”

without further ado… (from the pen of a former classmate of mine, Kathleen Gilbert)

NOTRE DAME, Indiana, March 31, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking as the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this weekend Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said that the University of Notre Dame’s decision to host and honor President Obama at their commencement ceremony this year was an “extreme embarrassment” to Catholics.  

“Whatever else is clear, it is clear that Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation,” George told the crowd at a conference Saturday on the Vatican document Dignitas Personae. The conference was hosted by the Chicago archdiocese’s Respect Life office and Office for Evangelization at the Marriott O’Hare hotel. 

In a video obtained by LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) today, Cardinal George prefaced his remarks by noting that as USCCBpresident he does not have jurisdiction or authority over other bishops, but nonetheless has “some moral authority, without any kind of jurisdiction or any sort of real authority.”

As president of the U.S. bishops’ conference I have to precisely speak for the bishops and not in my own name, as I could as Archbishop of Chicago,” he added. 

George said he had spoken with the administrative committee of the bishops’ conference and corresponded with University president Fr. John Jenkins several times on the issue.

“That conversation will continue …. whether or not it will have some kind of consequence that will bring, I think, the University of Notre Dame to its [the USCCB’s] understanding of what it means to be Catholic,” said the Cardinal.  “That is, when you’re Catholic, everything you do changes the life of everybody else who calls himself a personal Catholic – it’s a network of relationships

“So quite apart from the president’s own positions, which are well known, the problem is in that you have a Catholic university – the flagship Catholic university – do something that brought extreme embarrassment to many, many people who are Catholic,” said the cardinal.

“So whatever else is clear, it is clear that Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation, and didn’t anticipate the kind of uproar that would be consequent to the decision, at least not to the extent that it has happened,” said George. 

The Cardinal urged concerned Catholics “to do what you are supposed to be doing: to call, to email, to write letters, to express what’s in your heart about this: the embarrassment, the difficulties.” 

However, Cardinal George emphasized that the U.S. presidency “is an office that deserves some respect, no matter who is holding it,” and said that Notre Dame would not disinvite the president, since “you just don’t do that (disinvite the president of the United States).” According to the cardinal requests to revoke the invitation would fall on deaf ears, but he also observed that there is legitimate potential to organize some form of protest at the ceremony.

“You have to sit back and get past the immediate moral outrage and say, ‘Now what’s the best thing to do in these circumstances?’” said the Cardinal.  

I can assure you the bishops are doing that.”