Lynch Draws Some Fire

One bishop muses on Notre Dame, the president, and the protest generated by their convergence:

I am more alarmed that the rhetoric being employed is so uncivil and venomous that it weakens the case we place  before our fellow citizens, alienates young college-age students who believe the older generation is behaving like an angry child and they do not wish to be any part of that, and ill-serves the cause of life.

Bishop Lynch, no doubt, for this blast of “calm and dignity” will be on the receiving end of some venom. Presidents Jenkins and Obama, also no doubt, are grateful some internet ire will be detoured from heading their way. If only for a day.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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22 Responses to Lynch Draws Some Fire

  1. Liam says:

    Here’s what he has to look forward to:

    (Btw, for those who are not aware, this riveting sequence involved filming of a real swarming on site in China.)

  2. Liam says:

    And Louise Rainer is still alive (she’s 99)….

  3. The entire fuss is rather silly. Why should Catholics care if a baby murderer is honored by apostates? Why should we expect otherwise?

  4. Kevin in Texas says:

    The good bishop is perhaps not the best person to pontificate on this particular issue in light of his sad, and nearly total, detachment from the issue of active euthanasia as practiced against Teri Schiavo under his watch. One would only expect that he wouldn’t take kindly to criticism here…

  5. Fran says:

    Thomas Merton in “Seasons of Celebration” says it better than I possibly can.

    For starters there is this… “If he has to belong to my political party or social group before I can love him, then I cannot love him.”

    Then regarding excessive classification versus love, he goes on to say “It is dominated by by an appetite other than love.” I love not the person but his classification, and in that I love him not as a person but as a thing.”

    The subsequent lines really got me… “I love his label which confirms me in my attachment to my own label. But in that case I do not even love myself. I value myself not for what I am, but for my label, my classification.”

    These words could be used in the comment boxes of many posts, many blogs.

    This event seems to really show us how much we all have to learn.

  6. Ronald King says:

    Finally, we have a Bishop who is not afraid to express what real faith means in this situation.
    Fran, Thank you so much for the Thomas Merton quotes.
    I have been given hope this morning after seeing the majority of posts on the internet and listening to the hosts of EWTN talk shows misrepresent the faith of peace and love that God gave me after a 40 year absence. I cannot believe how they have judged Fr. Jenkins and ND and are looking into canon law for ways to punish him and silence him. That is not the faith I know and love.

  7. Kevin in Texas says:

    Hi Fran and Ronald,

    While some may be overly mean-spirited in their criticism of Fr. Jenkins, the great majority are rightly offended by the invitation, and more especially, by the preeminent Catholic university in the US giving President Obama an honorary law degree. How anyone can defend that particular move and say it’s not an honoring of the president’s view of the law is beyond me.

    In answer to those who say critics are casting aspersions and labels (and especially to Fran’s bizarre twisting of Thomas Merton’s very clear response to secular ideologues who critique members of the Catholic faith for their own ends–i.e., not those of faith), I can only point out that Christ Himself showed love to those who would defile His Father’s house by casting them out and rebuking them (Matthew 21:12) Commentary–And Jesus went into the temple. Later, according to Mark, on this day, after the triumphal entry, he entered the temple, looked around, perhaps to note the abuses, and then at eventide went out to Bethany. The next day, returning, he again entered the temple, and wrought the cleansing that is here recorded. He went into the temple, not as a worshiper, but as its Lord.

    I’d ask Fran and Ronald that, rather than shooting the messengers here, what would you suggest is an appropriate Catholic response to President Obama’s being honored at ND this way?

  8. Fran says:

    Fran’s bizarre twisting. I am sorry Kevin but that feels very uncharitable of you to say, but that is your choice.

    I think the appropriate response is to make way for grace.

    As I have stated on this blog in other comment threads, I myself was slow to change on this issue. Had I been outrightly rejected rather than welcomed with clarity but with love, I would not have changed my heart or mind.

    Perhaps that is some other bizarre twisting in your mind.

  9. Ronald King says:

    The scandal is the weak faith that is exhibited in the statement of being “rightly offended”. You stated that we are shooting the messenger. That reveals more about you than me. It reveals an assault when there is none. It reveals an us against them mentality when there is none.
    Your defensiveness prevents a mutual exploration into a deeper understanding of God’ Love working through all of this in order that all may experience His Loving Grace and the conversion of heart that is needed to really stop abortion.
    I see what you see and understand your position.
    You do not see what I see and consequently, cannot understand what I am writing. Therefore, you label me as wrong and view me as an insult.

  10. JC says:

    Please define “peace”.
    I define peace as the authentic security of the Holy Spirit, the confidence that, as long as I put my life in the care of Divine Providence, I don’t need to worry about worldly trials. The peace of Christ tells me that I should value God’s respect above all human respect.
    Please define “love.”
    I define “love” as seeking the best interest, most particularly the spiritual best interest, of the beloved, even if that means that one has to sacrifice the worldly relationship.
    Have you read _The Way of Perfection_ of St. Teresa of Avila? I have recently reread it for the third time, and I think you would accuse our first female Doctor of the Church of “misrepresenting” the faith, as well.

  11. Kevin in Texas says:

    Hi Fran and Ronald,

    I apologize for the rather harsh tone to Fran on the “bizare twisting”–poor choice of words when I was running out the door this morning. However, I stand by the notion that you’ve taken Merton’s comments out of context, using them to back your point. We all do that at times to back our points, but it’s not uncharitable to call someone on it, especially when we’re debating appropriate responses to political/social policies directly contrary to our beliefs and frankly, Natural Law. Forgive me, as I am very passionate about this and find any efforts by Catholics to be mealy-mouthed in defending Obama’s policies therein as very dangerous (I’m not accusing you of doing that here, as I don’t know what you believe would be an appropriate Catholic response to him beyond that it should be charitable).

    Ronald, I neither label you as wrong nor view you as an insult, so please don’t put words in my mouth. I would, however, be interested in hearing your view on what kind of response we Catholics should have to Obama’s policies, exactly as I asked of you and Fran in my comment above.

    Now, in all seriousness, are there any policies a powerful politico could stand for that would merit a strong rebuke from faithful Catholics? I agree, of course, that the rebukes should be charitable and not mean-spirited or vitriolic, as we of course want to convert hearts, as Ronald says. However, as Jesus Himself demonstrated to his Apostles and many others in the Gospels, there is certainly a place for strong rebukes if people wish to save souls, including those who hold to moral relativism like President Obama does.

  12. Ronald King says:

    Kevin, Thanks for opening a dialogue. Without my faith I am nothing. Life is precious from the moment of conception. We all agree on that.
    Also my last statement to you about viewing me as an insult was wrong and I am sorry.
    Before I left for work this morning I also made a quick reply on a Catholic forum in response to being told I was wrong about God’s place in all of this.
    What I have heard so far has been to rebuke the leaders who arranged this because it is seen as a scandal to our faith. This is not a scandal; it is an opportunity.

    The solution I wrote before running out the door was to send an open letter to President Obama and being thankful that he is coming to this commencement since it would afford an opportunity to those of opposing views in our Christian faith to kneel and pray together for the enlightening of everyone to see the beauty of each and every creation of God from the moment of conception when the human being is thought of as less than human to the moment of death when the human can thank God for the opportunity to have made this world a more loving and better place.
    With the President’s acceptance to speak he then would give us the honor and respect of a leader of character to sit with all students who would want to attend and be open to a dialogue of human beings who want the best for all human beings. This dialogue could be arranged the day before commencement and it would be a sign of his faith and position given to him by God to accept this recommendation.
    That is off the top of my head.

  13. Ronald King says:

    JC, I refer to the beatitudes, the Cross and 1 Corinthians 13 for starters.

  14. Fran says:

    Ah, Jimmy Mac comes bearing a different light, thank God.

    I appreciate what you said about words Kevin, but we must continue to disagree. Any use of words from Scripture or otherwise can be suspect of such things.

    I still stand by my assertion that metanoia is slow in many and God’s hand is in that. That is my last word on this topic.

  15. JC says:

    1 Cor 13 is a good start. Go back 2 chapters and read 1 Cor 11.
    Yes, the Cross. The Cross that Jesus died on because He was willing to offend people. Over and over again–the rejection at Nazareth; the cure of the Gerasene Demonaic; the raising of Lazarus–the people react to Jesus words and actions by trying to kill Him. He doesn’t care if He gives offense. Look at John 6; “You wanna leave? Go!”
    True love does not permit a soul to go to Hell for fear of causing human offense.

  16. Kevin in Texas says:

    Ronald, your suggestion of encouraging both presidents (Obama and Jenkins) to set up a true townhall-style debate/conversation on the day before the commencement address is an excellent one! Please post this on other web sites, as well, as I think most people of good will would support it completely.

    If you don’t mind, I’ll borrow that suggestion and do it myself, as well as asking my students and friends to do the same if they wish to act in ways beyond simply praying for the president and this situation.

  17. crystal says:

    Retired archbishop of San Francisco, John Quinn, had something to say too, at America Magazine ….

    “The president has given ample evidence that he is a man of good will, of keen intelligence, desirous of listening and capable of weighing seriously other views. The Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, citing Augustine, points out that ” Certain situations cannot be resolved with asperity or hardness” and goes on to say “(B)ecause his daily pastoral concerns give the Bishop greater scope for personal decision-making, his scope for error is also greater, however good his intentions: this thought should encourage him to remain open to dialog with others, always ready to learn, to seek and accept the advice of others.”

  18. Jimmy Mac says:

    Ronald King says: This is not a scandal; it is an opportunity.

    So did Pope Gregory the Great. Just goes to show why he is referred to as The Great.

  19. Ronald King says:

    Jimmy Mac,
    I guess you do not understand that the way in which we interpret this event will determine our emotional response and strategey. So, if you view it as a scandal you will approach from a weak and angry perspective and that does not help our cause for conversion of hearts. If that is your intent, I do not know.
    If we interpret this event as an opportunity for conversion and using it as an example of the true expression of our faith then we will have a creative loving and intelligent response.
    JC, Christ did not offend the gentiles. He converted them with healing acts first and then teaching with words.
    Those who were offended were those in His faith because they did not know how to love and care for others outside the faith and inside the faith. They had the mentality of us against them. Sound familiar?
    On the Cross, He is defenseless and forgiving them because they know not what they do.
    Please stop using Him to justify your desire to feel good about being angry. And do not twist love into a perverted expression of righteous indignation. That is too easy. Anybody can do that. Look how easy it is to feel offended. Those outside the faith do it just as well as you do.
    I expect more from my beautiful faith and those who proclaim it. I have been greatly disappointed since I returned to our beautiful faith. I only see love for those who agree with them, just like those outside the faith.

  20. Ronald King says:

    Jimmy Mac,
    I made a mistake! I did not mean you! Sorry!
    Thank you for your understanding. It is not my idea. It is what comes from my faith so I hope you do spread it. I am not computer literate and have trouble surfing.

  21. Pingback: Changing the debate to the debate itself « The Lewis Crusade

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