A bishop's fidelity in the furor

Image: ABC News

I've posted several times on the issue of (my alma mater) Notre Dame's decision to honor Barack Obama and invite him to be the principal speaker at this year's commencement. Bishop John D'Arcy, whose diocese is home to the Fighting Irish, stated several weeks ago that he would not go to the graduation which would have been his 25th as bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

In the meantime, the uproar has been loud in Catholic circles and many protests are planned. CNS reports that D'Arcy issued another statement on Good Friday:
"I urge all Catholics and others of good will to stay away from unseemly and unhelpful demonstrations against our nation's president or Notre Dame or (Holy Cross) Father John I. Jenkins," president of the university, he said in the April 10 statement. "The Notre Dame community is well-equipped to supervise and support discussions and prayer within their own campus."

"I had a positive meeting this week with Father Jenkins, and I expect further dialogue will continue," Bishop D'Arcy continued.

"These are days of prayer and hope when we should turn to the risen Christ for light and wisdom," he said. "Let us all work toward a peaceful graduation experience for the class of 2009 at our beloved Notre Dame."

(see CNS for the complete report)
The Anchoress (Elizabeth Scalia) has a piece at PajamasMedia titled, "See How These Christians Shove One Another":
At Easter we reacquaint ourselves with wonder, humility, and supernaturalism; perhaps some political introspection would serve us well, too. Have we Christians, meaning well, made idols of our ideologies and put our heads above God’s? Are we so engaged in “process” that — by our manner and actions — we repel rather than attract those who, but for us, might be Christ’s?
It's a good companion to the D'Arcy statement and has implications for people of faith regarding any number of issues in the news today.

There's a wisdom in Bishop D'Arcy's words and actions that deserves our attention.



  1. Thank you for posting this. I know that you and I see this through different eyes, but I have such respect for you roles as both priest and ND alum, both of which cause me to pause and rethink this situation.

    What I am most glad of to read about here is the very wisdom in D'arcy's words and wisdom is a better teacher than fury. I also like what Elizabeth Scalia says.

    Hearts and minds are changed in different ways and that is how I have always ultimately approached this. I also hold a deep belief in the strong but often slow and strange ways of grace which has changed my own heart, most profoundly and most deeply.

    It is only through a Catholic lens that I could have come to see a new, albeit a sometimes less than conventional Catholic lens.

    If nothing else - and isn't God always filled with surprises and invitations - this ND/Obama issue has caused many of us to undertake a journey of understanding at a most interesting time in the liturgical year... and in history.


  2. Seems like we're always ready to participate in a good "throw-down" and much less willing for a good Listen. Or a search for commonalities. As if the only thing that marks us as individuals is our differences. Not a very catholic trait(note small c) and ultimately not really of much help.


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