Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Personal Aside: An Appeal to Bishops—Consider the Nuclear Option for CINOs.


What can authenticist Catholics do about Notre Dame which has invited Barack Obama to be its 2009 commencement speaker—an invitation Obama has accepted?

Catholics can…(a) write the president, Rev. John Jenkins, CSC but will get a very nice letter back. They can (b) write the president of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George and they will get a very short, crisp letter back saying he does not have jurisdiction over Notre Dame, thank you and please pray for me as I pray for you as we pray for all etc.,etc., etc.

They can (c) write the bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Bishop John Michael D’Arcy and ask him to pressure Notre Dame to change its mind. They will get a pro-forma letter back.

They can (d) make a list of the trustees of the university and write them, try to pressure them. Not very effective.

Finally, by organizing a group of alumni they can write to and visit the bishop, Bishop D’Arcy and urge him to employ the “nuclear option.” The nuclear option belongs to every Ordinary—the power to remove the Catholic identification from the offending school. A negotiation can begin where the Ordinary says that unless the university behaves like a Catholic institution, it should not misrepresent itself as one.

There is no doubt that for an Ordinary to do this is to go to war with the virulent secular “mainstream” media which will label him as a Torquemada (after Tomas de Torquemada [1420-98] who by dint of ancient myth is listed as being the arch-enemy of the free, speculative intellect and occupies the same level in secular media Hell as ugh! pro-lifers and ultimately Dick Cheney. Grossly untrue but given how much mythologizing the media do with Obama, how can you rectify 600 plus years? To media which oversimplify everything, a Catholic university doesn’t orchestrate fervently anti-Catholic, anti-life crusades, it is interfering with “academic freedom.” Not withstanding that the entire university system of the West was organized under Catholic, monastic auspices since the University of Paris and Oxford. Who cares? What is history to a liberal?

Assuredly, for an Ordinary to even raise the possibility of stripping Catholic identity will strike a match that could launch a revolution to reclaiming Catholic universities. And face it, it’s better for them and for the Church if they lose the ID since they won’t be falsely advertising their wares and we won’t have to endure the embarrassment of belonging to a Church that stands for one thing and seeing a so-called “Catholic university” like DePaul and Loyola doing another…such as the active promotion of Queer Studies: 101 aka how to become a gay.

You can write letters of protest until you’re blue in the face to presidents of universities and nothing will happen. For one thing, university presidents are prisoners of the system…they’re fund-raisers named for malleability a and diplomacy to get along with faculty, trustees, big givers. Universities are run largely by all-powerful faculties, meaning they’re on auto-pilot…all powerful trustees composed of fat cat Babbitts and callous pols. The name of the game is big bucks but that only comes from “prestige.” Line up a famous professor by paying him big bucks and your college has “prestige.” Line up a president to speak at your commencement and your college has “prestige”…and then crass graduating students can say “my college has the president of the United States as commencement speaker and yours doesn’t—nyaa, nyaa!”

But if there is a concerted program to find ONE bishop…ONE bishop…who will consider the nuclear option against an offending CINO Catholic-in-name-only university…a revolution can be engendered that will turn the thing around. It may or may not in the one in Fort Wayne-South Bend. I can tell you one thing: don’t waste your time in this town until a few years down the pike when there’s a change.

Obviously a net gain will be won if only one behemoth “CINO” factory that call themselves “Catholic”—Catholics-in-name-only…or CINOs…loses its Catholic designation. Better for the Church, better for us. Better for America.


  1. What "prestige"? Notre Dame accrues nothing from this abasement. The best thing that could happen would be the end of the football chant, "WE R ND" which is no longer intellectually tenable. It was a pretty dumb cheer anyway....addressed to numbskulls who must have just been flipping channels.

  2. Catholics are called to proportionate response. The Interdict of two weeks or two months would make things perfectly clear to all concerned. I'd also compel them to strip all of their altars at Notre Dame, Indiana, a place which has it's own post office-convenient for the imposition of Interdicts without disturbing the real world.