Some were disappointed that the American Catholic bishops did not, at their June meeting, issue a reprimand to the University of Notre Dame for its having invited Barack Obama to receive an honorary degree and serve as principal speaker at its 2009 commencement. Today the USCCB issued the following:
During their spring General Assembly, June 17-19, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed their solidarity for Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., in particular for his care and concern for the University of Notre Dame, which resides in his diocese.
The bishops made this show of support during executive session, but released the following statement:
The bishops of the United States express our appreciation and support for our brother bishop, the Most Reverend John D'Arcy. We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd.
As did D'Arcy himself through this whole affair, the US bishops set just the right tone here for addressing a difficult and complex matter.