I am an at-home mother of six children, four of whom are now adults. I've been married for 31 years and my children range from 15 to 27. This blog is about faith, family, and life, with occasional rants about politics and other hot-button issues for me. I am Catholic and by that I mean I believe in faithfulness to the Magisterium.
Reflections on life, faith, family and the times we live in
... by a mom at home raising kids.
I was struck by the irony of your front page story of 4/28 on U-M's repayment of grant money used for animal research. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants the National Institutes of Health to revoke its approval for U-M to use animals in federally funded research because of a number of incidents where animals suffered accidental injury or death. I don't recall any outcry by PETA over U-M's announced intention to do research on human embryos. This research will require the deliberate destruction of human lives. Yes, embryos are ethically and biologically human. Is a human life of less value than a mouse or a dog? There is something wrong with this picture.
"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. "May the Lord have mercy on the University of Notre Dame and, through the intercession of Our Lady their patron, may good somehow come from all this. Oh Lord, please give Father Jenkins courage. may he do the right thing.