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Notre Dame Staff Demand Bishop Jenky Resign from Board

4-24-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 22 Comments

A letter signed by 49 professors and staff sent to University of Notre Dame President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, and Board Chairman, Richard C. Notabaert, demands Bishop Daniel Jenky resign from the Board of Fellows. Bishop Jenky of Peoria, IL made national news when he compared Obama’s violation of religious liberty to Hitler and Stalin.  The signers also demand the university issue a statement “distancing itself” from the bishop’s “incendiary statement.”

Here is what Bishop Jenky said:

“Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama — with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda — now seems intent on following a similar path.”

For underscoring the “similar path” being followed by Obama with his multiple violations of religious liberty (see the list published by the U.S. bishops here), Bishop Jenky is reaping the scorn of the leftwing, especially from Catholics who want to limit the damage done to Obama by his HHS mandate.

Those who signed the letter include faculty and staff from the departments of philosophy (2 signers), theology, English (eight), sociology (four), psychology, economics, mathematics, art, management, Romance languages, political science, anthropology (two), history, Irish Studies, Africana Studies, Liberal Studies, as well as the Center for Social Concerns, the Institute for Latino Studies, and three members of the library staff.

The letter signers argue Bishop Jenky should be removed:

“his comments demonstrate ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide, and absence of judgment. We accept that Bishop Jenky’s comments are protected by the First Amendment, but we find it profoundly offensive that a member of our beloved university’s highest authority, the Board of Fellows, should compare the President’s actions with those whose genocidal policies murdered tens of millions of people, including the specific targeting of Catholics, Jews, and other minorities for their faith.”

There is no comment in the letter to Father Jenkins and Mr. Notabaert of the profound offense done to millions of Catholics by President Obama’s targeting of Catholic institutions with his HHS mandate requiring insurance coverage be offered for contraception and sterilization.

The signers very kindly invoke Bishop Jenky’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech without noting the irony that he spoke in defense of the same amendment’s right to the “free exercise” of religion.

A further irony, again unnoticed by the signers, is that it was at Obama’s 2009 Notre Dame commencement speech that the President specifically promised to protect and “honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,” to seek “common ground” with Catholics, and “draft a sensible conscience clause” in the health care legislation. [you can watch the excerpts included here in Catholic Advocate’s video ‘Common Ground‘]

By omitting any mention, much less criticism, of the acts by Obama that elicited Bishop Jenky’s comparison, these forty-nine signers declare their lack of concern for what the U.S. bishops made clear about the HHS mandate in “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty“:

“In an unprecedented way, the federal government will both force religious institutions to facilitate and fund a product contrary to their moral teaching and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit protection of their religious liberty.”

Bishop Jenky spoke rightly against the direction where the denial of religious liberty can lead. Those Notre Dame staff who signed the letter did nothing else but call for a surrender of the Catholic Church to unconstitutional demands from the White House.

By Deal W. Hudson, chairman of Catholic Advocate

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22 Responses to Notre Dame Staff Demand Bishop Jenky Resign from Board

  1. Deb says:

    You speak the truth Bishop Jenky. Do not apologize; do not back down.

  2. Renee Perry says:

    I thought Notre Dame allowed free speech on their campus for those of various views? Didn’t they recently receive money to open up a department of Muslim studies or something to that effect? Seems that this Reverend spoke to the truth and no one wants to hear it! They bowed to Obama when he spoke their and should be ashamed of themselves for covering up all traces of Jesus and religious icons as a prerequisite for his visit there! Our Catholic Universities seem to have a very Liberal-Leftist leaning today! They had better wake up and not let anyone, President or not, redefine what a Catholic is as we loose our identity with the divisive policies of this administration! When the president told then Bishop Dolan that he needs to be enlightened like many of his flock, that was the last straw for me from this arrogant president! Shameful!

  3. Dave says:

    You call your school “Notre Dame,” named for “Our Lady,” the Mother of Jesus. She never attempted to silence her Son, even when He said things that some did not like to hear. Why do you try to silence the free speech of an American citizen and the teaching of a Catholic bishop?

  4. Dan says:

    I am glad to see my Catholic fellow Christians are finally awakening to see what their support for Liberal causes in this country are doing to this country and the trampling of the Constitution of this country. Looks to me like a very tiny number of the staff are “demanding” the resignation. Perhaps Bishop Jenky should just sit down and enjoy a good steak with baked potato and a coldbeer and let them rant on.

  5. Well, at least Fr. Jenkins now has a list of whom to “extract” from the faculty of Notre Dame! If only he had the gumption!

  6. Wendy says:

    Excuse me. I thought Notre Dame was an officially Catholic university. If that is the case, what are these professors thinking of?
    The HHS mandate is clearly an attack on conscience and, therefore, on the practice of religion, be it Catholic or otherwise, to say nothing of the attack on the First Amendment, as indicated in this post.
    Maybe these professors should remember that being a witness of faith sometimes requires the shedding of blood, or at least a little bit of “feeling uncomfortable” …
    All the best,

  7. Raul says:

    If I’m understanding this correctly, the Bishop is justly defending the Church’s position on the state, and equivocating the president of the US to others in similar positions and situations for the sake of context, and these other people, to remain in a positive media light are rejecting this because it may make them seem unpopular?
    Am I getting this right or did I miss something?

  8. The Bishop is right on, the ND Staff that signed the letter should be pointed to the exit of the University. I always thought that the University of Notre Dame was a Catholic institution? maybe I was wrong?

  9. Bobbi says:

    What a shame! Religious freedom is being attacked, and the school is standing up for the Administration – do they not know the Administration is the ones doing this? I believe they were the ones who invited Obama to speak at Notre Dame – evidentially they don’t know he is pro-choice.

  10. Teresa Galvlan says:

    Ridiculous! Intelligent people seems to breed ignorance. Is this a conspiracy against the Catholic Church? Anti-Christ in the University teaching our children. How awful.

  11. Fred says:

    This is great!
    Now we know what faculty and staff SHOULD BE FIRED! All 49 of them!

    Clean house, no room for heretics.

  12. Fred says:

    Please, Please, Please, fire those 49 professors and staff.

  13. Fred says:

    Some Catholics care more about what other men think of them.
    Some Catholics care more about what God thinks of them.
    Bishop Jenky is a good shepherd; he cares not for the former but the latter.

    Is the smoke clearing? The smoke that has entered the Church?
    I hope so, there may be a resurgence on the horizon.

  14. Alice says:

    Bishop Jenky is right on in his remarks and I support him all the way!

  15. James says:

    Notre Dame needs people like Bishop Jenky.
    The country needs people like Bishop Jenky.

    Three years ago 350,000 signitures were not enough to keep a pro-abortionist from speaking here and getting a degree.

  16. Stephanie Toland says:

    I am so disappinted that Father Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, has hired so many professors that would attack this statement. As Catholic professors at one of the premier Catholic Universities they seem very liberal. Free speech is on thing but attacks like this are unbeleivable and Father Jenkins should be ashamed due to the fact that there were so many unhappy Catholics over President Obama’s speech at Notre DAme where he stated that the Conscience Clause was safe. Really? Look at the fact the Church is having to fight now to save the Conscience Clause.

  17. Steve Monetti says:

    Fire all professors that place the secular administration over one of the Church’s bishops. They have no right to teach at a “Catholic” college. Retract any connection of Notre Dame with the Church!!!
    Praise be to God that one of our Bishops has finally spoken out with courage. This is the result of the century long relationship between the Democrat party and Catholics. Catholics helped to elect the most pro-abortion president in US history-shame on them all. The Democrat party is the party of license, aberrative lifestyle, and infanticide. All in the name of the Robin Hood fable-“social justice” which when incorporated by the government becomes a secular “religion” based on immorality-stealing. God says “Thou shalt not steal or covet.”

  18. Rocco says:

    Free speech, goodbye. My children will never go to ND. Shameful. I stand with the Catholics.

  19. Michael June says:

    I am proud to stand up for a Bishop who isn’t afraid to speak the truth.Last I knew Notre Dame means Our Lady in french.What must she think of these people on the Notre Dame staff who find problems with the Catholic Faith!You rock Bishop!

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