Don't waste the Notre Dame "crisis" – UPDATED

Every time I turn around I have another press release or story in my email about another bishop boycotting another commencement ceremony at a Catholic college, because one of the speakers is pro-abortion.

This seems wrong to me. It seems unpastoral – unshephard-like – to either “not show up” or simply hand down the authoritative teaching on the sanctity of life (a teaching with which I whole-heartedly agree) rather than taking the moment not just to “re-iterate” but to find new language, a new tone, to once again make the strong, correct and convincing case for life. A case which can be made, should be made.

We are in a generation where people are less inclined to say, “oh, my church says this, so I will obey.” People need to feel they have come to their conclusions after using the bean, and it is the job of the bishops (and the faithful) to make the argument so sensible, so reasonable, that it cannot be ignored.

I believe the Notre Dame/Barack Obama dustup can be a teachable moment. I think the Catholic Bishops should be taking a page from Obama’s own book, and not allowing this “crisis” to go to waste by simply doing what they have always done – instead of gladly doing battle with renewed voices ready to teach with love, rather than a hammer. The fight for life is urgent, but the movement needs better weaponry than yelling, wagging fingers and stomping off. Those have not been been all that convincing, the last few years; that activity is not turning hearts.

And I say all of that and more in my latest piece at Pajamas Media. For better or worse. Hope you’ll go read it.

I expect a lot of hot responses.

Deacon Greg has more on student-reactions at Notre Dame

He also has a quote from Newt Gingrich on his recent acceptance into the church, which he is keeping (quite rightly, I think) close to the vest and to the heart.

UPDATE: One of the commenters over at Pajamas Media suggested that the best response to Obama’s appearance at Notre dame would be a Eucharistic Procession, before the Commencement address. I think that is so spot on, so brilliant! I wish I’d thought of it. Now THAT is worth a letter-writing campaign. Come on, Bishops – gather together, invite all to come, and have a Eucharistic procession on the campus.

The invaluable New Advent linked. Thanks!

‘The Devil’s Own’ at Notre Dame

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