Is Notre Dame Still Catholic?

Notre Dame Still Catholic.jpg
Notre Dame Still Catholic.jpg

 Is Notre Dame Still Catholic?

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On March 25, 2009, Notre Dame was embroiled in the biggest controversy to hit the campus since the performance of The Vagina Monologues. A few days earlier, Notre Dame president John Jenkins, CSC had announced that the university planned to give President Barack Obama an honorary doctorate. Within hours of the announcement a storm of protest erupted which showed no sign of dying down any time soon. Citing the statement of the US Catholic Bishops in 2004, “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions” the ordinary of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, John M. D’Arcy announced that, for the first time in 25 years, he would not be attending graduation ceremonies at Notre Dame, because “President Obama has recently affirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred.”

By April, 2009 over 250,000 people had signed a petition condemning Notre Dame’s actions, and Bishop Thomas J. Olmstead of the Phoenix, Arizona diocese joined with his colleague Bishop D’Arcy in denouncing Jenkins’ decision, calling the decision to honor President Obama a “public act of disobedience” and a “grave mistake.” This story didn’t begin in 2009.

From June 1984 to January 1988 Fidelity Magazine published a series of articles on Notre Dame that rocked the Catholic World. Beginning with a survey of the theology department and ending with an article on why the Chairman of the Liturgy Department was found shot to death in the basement of his home, this series of articles described the trajectory at mid-point that Father Hesburgh began when he stole Notre Dame from the Catholic Church in 1967.

What began as a series of articles in 1984 grew over the next 25 years into an extensive dossier of what went wrong at Notre Dame, what went wrong with Catholic higher education, and what went wrong with the Church in America. No one has examined the situation at Notre Dame over the past 25 years more closely than E. Michael Jones. Taken together these articles tell the compelling story of the demise of Catholic education in America. They also explain the demise of Catholic culture and Catholic political power during the same period of time.   Is Notre Dame Still Catholic? - How Catholic higher education has failed the Church and impoverished the souls of today's students.


“In the updated 25th Anniversary Edition of this hard-hitting book, Is Notre Dame Still Catholic?, E. Michael Jones presents the University of Notre Dame [ND] as the paradigm case for how dissenters  have devastated Catholic universities in the U.S. They have entrenched themselves, networked to bring in others like themselves, and excluded scholars loyal to the magisterium. At the heart of their non serviam is a resolute opposition to the sexual teachings of the Church. As Dr. Jones phrases it, ‘Dissent is libido in academic regalia.’ … When ND gave an honorary degree to Barack Obama on May 17, 2009, Dr. Jones observes, it was the culmination of 42 years of fraternizing with the population control establishment. … Thus, in the phrasing of E. Michael Jones, the ND theology department in the past decades ‘has provided a disedifying spectacle of libidinous priests, defrocked Mennonites, and dead sadomasochistic liturgists all using the theology department as an enabling device for their sexual compulsions.’ … It was not an oversight, then, but the culmination of a ‘42-year-old pact with the devil’ that ND gave an honorary degree to Obama. In E. Michael Jones’ eloquent phrase, all this time ND has been offering up its students ‘to the Moloch of foundation and government money by corrupting their morals and undermining their faith.’ … In this book, Is Notre Dame Still Catholic? E. Michael Jones offers a searing, unforgettable indictment of one Catholic university in America that tragically lost its way.”

Anne Gardiner, Christian Order.

“... a full presentation of details that are important to think through if one wishes to understand the full range of variables that one should be willing to consider and reflect on in order to make a reasonable judgment about the status of Catholic university education and what to do about it. ... a collection of articles that documents and explains, as Archbishop Burke commented after reading it, the 'urgency of the situation' at [Notre Dame] in particular and in Catholic higher education in general in the United States. ... This book reveals how the university consistently uses 'academic freedom' as a trump card to 'liberate' itself from Vatican control. But this freedom becomes slavery ... to the power cliques that rule the Anglo-American Empire. ... Anyone who reads this book will see the details that reveal why the University has become the center of a neo-gnostic heresy in the United States.”

Omar O'Shaughnessey, Culture Wars.

“According to Jones it was Fr Theodore Hesburgh, the late President of Notre Dame, who set all the subsequent scandals and problems in motion by his Land O’Lakes statement of 1967 which declared that “the Catholic University must have true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical”. This, according to Jones, “effectively severed Notre Dame from any juridical relationship with the Catholic Church.” The subsequent history of Notre Dame shows what happens when a supposedly Catholic university puts academic prestige above its Catholic identity. Hesburgh once commented in frustration that Jones was “a character who makes a life work out of knocking Notre Dame”. Perhaps it would be more true to say that he and his successors, down to the present day and the award of the Laetare Medal to Joe Biden, who have proved the real undoing of this famous institution?"

Francis Phillips, Catholic Herald.