Monday, May 18, 2009

Obama and ND- a last gasp

It is odd that President Obama invoked the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in his ND address yesterday. For those of you who remember this great man, the last few chapters of whose autobiography I cried my way through while on retreat several years ago, he was the force behind the seamless garment of life view and the initiator of the Common Ground Initiative. Both of these endeavors are very worthwhile, though the latter has kind of run out of steam.

What is odd about the president invoking Bernardin is that when it comes to the seamless garment of life, he is content to rip it apart, being pro-choice on abortion, in favor embryonic stem cell research, and for the death penalty. Of course, he is in a position to tip the scales, as it were, by naming a Supreme Court justice, but I am not holding my breath. As for Fr. Jenkins invoking the mystical Body of Christ and asserting ND's place in it, it is one thing to say it and quite another to live it and to recognize that it is a hierarchical body, one in which ND is not an ecclesial island nor a law unto itself. This whole affair, started by ND's flawed process, is a wound inflicted on our communio. Many responses and protests, especially those that ignored the direction of the local ordinary, Bishop D'Arcy, had the effect of pouring salt into the fresh cut.

The best comment on this whole affair was reported by Rocco over at Whispers and was uttered by St. Louis' archbishop-elect, Robert Carlson, who, according to Palmo, said that "'whatever process [Notre Dame] used' in selecting Obama 'was flawed,' and that 'when this is finally over, that we're going to have to sit down and have a heart-to-heart discussion about what is its future' as a Catholic institution." This seems to me a constructive attitude. In my opinion, there is a lot to be learned here about just what it means to be Christ's mystical body and to belong to it.

Veni Sancti Spiritus, veni per Mariam.

1 comment: