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Is ND still Catholic?

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Replies to: Is ND still Catholic?

  • claremarieclaremarie Registered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    These are very interesting times at Notre Dame. The mainstream media coverage of the Obama debacle didn't do justice to the controversy -- for example, there was virtually no coverage of the outdoor Mass celebrated on campus several hours before the graduation ceremony, which attracted more than 1500 people. But notwithstanding the Obama distraction, Fr. Jenkins is very serious about retaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of the University (without the support of the Faculty Senate, which opposes his efforts to increase the hiring of Catholic faculty). There are some superb young priests among the CSC, including the priest who celebrated the outdoor Mass on the day of graduation. In some cases, the students are leading the way in restoring more "traditional" Catholic devotions, such as Eucharistic adoration at the Basilica every Friday afternoon during the academic year. In contrast to places such as Georgetown, campus masses (and there are more than 150 every week) are well-attended, and there are lines outside the confessional every day during the regularly scheduled confession times. If anything, the Obama decision has served to inspire many in the ND community to intensify their devotion and commitment to the university's Catholic identity.
    Which is not to say that non-Catholic students will feel shunned and out of place, but anyone who spends even a brief period of time on campus understands that Notre Dame is "still Catholic."
  • notre dame ALnotre dame AL Registered User Posts: 1,674 Senior Member
    Oh, we still understand that ND is still Catholic... that has been very evident for the past three years that our student has been in attendance. I do think that the appearance of Obama has helped many to re-examine their beliefs and not just from a religious standpoint. We have never felt that ND's Catholic identity has been slipping, but maybe we just don't know any better given that we are non-Catholic. And, we understood this before anyone signed on the dotted line! There is however, a fine line to walk when it comes to exclusiveness. Fortunately, for our student, I don't think that issue has ever been an issue--we all appreciate the excellent academics, spirituality and general sense of community that ND has offered these last few years. No regrets from day 1!
  • TalkingInCodeTalkingInCode Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    It was interesting to see how most of the criticism came either from alums who had graduated a very long time ago or from people with absolutely no association to the University (Randall Terry, anyone?). I think that anyone who maintains a close relationship with ND understands that the day-in and day-out Catholic character of the university can hardly be called into question based solely upon the proceedings of one commencement ceremony. I was almost embarrassed for the alums who wrote in to the Observer; clearly they didn't understand how deeply the Catholic character and mission has become intertwined with our activities and pursuits as a student body. You would be hard-pressed to find a group of students more passionate about serving their fellow man and woman. It's tremendously unfair to judge the university's Catholic character based on the beliefs and ideals of somebody not associated with the school while completely ignoring those of the most important, ACTUAL members of the university: its students. We were the ones there on campus for four years. Obama was there for a day. If inviting and honoring Obama was a mistake, then it was a mistake that will be drowned out by the constant stream of amazing, Catholic-minded things our student body does. I think the alums who made statements about never donating again and being ashamed of their ND degrees had entirely forgotten their time at ND and what truly made it so great. If they had remembered, I think they would have realized that there's a certain indelible Catholic spirit to the place that really can't be tarnished by any one event, speaker, or honorary degree.

    Another thing that horrified me was that everyone was so fixated on Obama and how he allegedly destroyed our Catholic character that they COMPLETELY ignored how our valedictorian Brennan Bollman gave the best speech of the day. It was a far cry better than Obama's. And guess what? It TRULY was a prime example of how we students have not forgotten our school's mission. Forget Obama. Listen to what the students have to say if you want to know what our school is like these days.
  • sg12sg12 Registered User Posts: 677 Member
    As a Catholic, I too feel strongly that everyone WAY overreacted to Obama. For the most part, he is a president that I as a Catholic feel proud to support, though his and my beliefs on certain key issues differ, by no means should it be considered "un-Catholic" to allow him to speak at the school.
  • collegebound1414collegebound1414 Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    well you must not be a catholic then. with nd being a catholic institution and having strict beliefs about certain topics, Obama's beliefs go against every belief the catholic church follows
  • TalkingInCodeTalkingInCode Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Hey collegebound, now you're just talking in hyperbole. If you want to be on a who's Catholic and who's not witch hunt, you won't find that at ND. This is not the way the students behave. If you frame a person based on your conception of whether they are Catholic or not before you engage them in discussion, you force yourself to caricature them and form abstractions about them from the get-go. That's exactly what you just did with sg12. From a Catholic standpoint, that is unconscionable. You brought this topic up, so if you want to discuss it, please discuss it maturely.

    Oh, I might also point out that nothing I've posted so far is meant to be construed as support for the president himself.
  • shellzie2006shellzie2006 Registered User Posts: 1,267 Senior Member
    OK, I don't know why I'm justifying this topic with any more responses, but:

    1. I'm pretty sure CitricAcid was being sarcastic... There are a lot of people at Notre Dame who are not Catholic and many more who are Catholics in name only. Everyone gets along just fine- after all, we are the Notre Dame family. It would be nice if people who have no idea what Notre Dame is like would stop telling other people what Notre Dame is like...

    2. "The mainstream media coverage of the Obama debacle didn't do justice to the controversy"

    On the contrary, I think it was blown ridiculously out of proportion... Although I suppose some of the backlash wasn't covered thoroughly enough. I mean, there are still some people out there who think Randall Terry isn't crazy. And who haven't seen the Abortoplane (or Fetus Flyer, if you will). A clear oversight on the part of our nation's media...

    3. And of course, collegebound. Just remember: be REALLY careful when you go out in public. You wouldn't want to interact with any non-Catholics out there, especially pro-choicers! You certainly wouldn't want to make the mistake of discussing anything with them! And if you are ever giving someone an award (for anything...) you should probably make sure that their political and religious beliefs mesh perfectly with your own. Otherwise, you wouldn't be Catholic anymore! And that would be terrible...

    4. Well said, TalkingInCode. I agree completely with your two posts above.
  • CitricAcidCitricAcid Registered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    Yea, I should clarify. I understand that sarcasm is nearly impossible to detect on the internet, but that was definitely sarcastic. If you are not Catholic it is 100% no problem, A-OK. I haven't talked to anybody who has had any problem with different (or no) faith besides the fact that there aren't many people of different faiths.

    Let me reiterate, ND is still Catholic and if you aren't Catholic, you will still be fine.
  • notre dame ALnotre dame AL Registered User Posts: 1,674 Senior Member
    Thanks for your response--I sure was hoping that I was misinterpreting the post, but many prospects read these boards and you just never know how posts are received.
  • claremarieclaremarie Registered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    "2. "The mainstream media coverage of the Obama debacle didn't do justice to the controversy"

    On the contrary, I think it was blown ridiculously out of proportion... Although I suppose some of the backlash wasn't covered thoroughly enough. I mean, there are still some people out there who think Randall Terry isn't crazy. And who haven't seen the Abortoplane (or Fetus Flyer, if you will). A clear oversight on the part of our nation's media..."

    But, see, that was my point. The mainstream media focused on Randall Terry and the airplane. NOT the students who organized the peaceful and prayerful Palm Sunday prayer rally and graduation day Mass, or the thousands of ND alums and friends who supported them. Randall Terry is a loose cannon with no connection to Notre Dame, but he does know how to attract attention to himself. The mainstream media obliged, because Terry and his protesters gave them a natural "aren't these folks just ridiculous" counterpart to the solemn statements from Fr. Jenkins and his spokesmen about respectful "dialogue."
    What the mainstream media missed was that there are a number of voices within the Notre Dame community, such as the students who organized ND Response, Fr. Miscamble in the history department, and Prof Rick Garnett in the law school, who spoke out forcefully against the Obama invitation, and who are working hard to maintain Notre Dame's Catholic identity. If all you know about Notre Dame is what you read in the New York Times or watch on CNN, you probably don't know about those people.
  • BobbyCBobbyC Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    claremarie, I agree 100% with that statement. The way the news portrayed it made those of us against Obama's invitation look like complete lunatics. Most, if not all, kids on campus opposed to it were not acting as Terry did, and as you said, that's all the news picked up. It hurt our stance because people just saw us a crazy fringe group instead of a group dedicated to life.
  • hkfl2922hkfl2922 Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    BobbyC Wasn't that the media's intent? If they marginalize intelligent, articulate people who abhor the genocide of abortion, and highlight the carnival barkers, they by default make the pro abortion arguement appear reasoned and unjustly maligned.
  • shellzie2006shellzie2006 Registered User Posts: 1,267 Senior Member
    Fair enough, Claremarie. The media definitely didn't do a good enough job of covering the reaction of actual Notre Dame students, which was generally much more rational than that of the general public (on both the pro and con sides). Yet most of the attention ended up on people with no connection to the University, who were generally insane...
  • BobbyCBobbyC Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    hkfl, while that might be true of a cnn, fox news even did it sometimes and that certainly hurt their intent as a conservative news network
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