Thank you Mary Ann Glendon

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BobVigneault

Bawberator
Notre Dame has got to be smarting over this.



Declining Notre Dame: A Letter from Mary Ann Glendon

By Mary Ann Glendon
Monday, April 27, 2009, 9:32 AM

April 27, 2009
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President
University of Notre Dame

Dear Father Jenkins,

When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Yours Very Truly,

Mary Ann Glendon

Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A member of the editorial and advisory board of First Things , she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 2007 to 2009.
 

Montanablue

Puritan Board Doctor
I saw this this morning and was quite pleased. Professor Glandon has done a good deal for the unborn in the past.

Evie, have you ever run into her? You're at Harvard Law, right?
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
I saw this this morning and was quite pleased. Professor Glandon has done a good deal for the unborn in the past.

Evie, have you ever run into her? You're at Harvard Law, right?
I was surprised to see this on the Puritan Board. I heard about the letter at some point yesterday from a friend's GChat status, and I definitely admire her principles.

I haven't personally run into her yet. She was at the Vatican for a year and has only recently returned. However, I hope to have two connections with her next year. First, I want to take her seminar on Foundations of Western Legal Thought: HLS: Courses

Also, my conservative ladies group would like to have a tea with her. Since she is the only conservative woman on the faculty here, we very much want to meet her.
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
My pharisee robes are as clean and pressed as anyone else here but if we are going to take responsibility for a precise and pure doctrine then we must also heed our Lord's warnings to us:

Matt. 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
Because I am a pharisee, in the good way, and a hypocrite, in the bad way I will praise those who uphold and exalt the image of God for that very act. I will encourage mercy and justice wherever I see it's seeds growing for fear that I might lose sight of the weightier matters and receive the 'woes' that my pharisee brothers received from the Lord.
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
I'm not saying I'm not grateful. I'm just saying she'd make a good Protestant.
To much of the church, she probably already is. She could join their congregations without any real change in thinking at all.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
My pharisee robes are as clean and pressed as anyone else here but if we are going to take responsibility for a precise and pure doctrine then we must also heed our Lord's warnings to us:

Matt. 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
Because I am a pharisee, in the good way, and a hypocrite, in the bad way I will praise those who uphold and exalt the image of God for that very act. I will encourage mercy and justice wherever I see it's seeds growing for fear that I might lose sight of the weightier matters and receive the 'woes' that my pharisee brothers received from the Lord.
Someone let Bob off his chain! ;)

It's nice to hear that someone is standing up for their principles and medals and recognition isn't what they're after.
 
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