Sunday, 3 May 2009

Notre Dame's Obama invite riles Catholic bishops

http://www.mail.com/Article.aspx?articlepath=APNews\US\20090503\US-REL-Bishops-Notre-Dame.xml&cat=us&subcat=&pageid=1
by Eric Gorski (Mail.com, 3 May 2009)


This coming week, Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando, Fla., will take the unusual step of celebrating a Mass of Reparation, to make amends for sins against God. The motivation: to provide an outlet for Catholics upset with what Wenski calls the University of Notre Dame's "clueless" decision to invite President Barack Obama to speak at its commencement and receive an honorary doctorate May 17.

The nation's flagship Catholic university's honoring of a politician whose abortion rights record clashes with a fundamental church teaching has triggered a reaction among the nation's Catholic bishops that is remarkable in scope and tone, church observers say.

At least 55 bishops have publicly denounced or questioned Notre Dame in recent weeks, employing an arsenal of terms ranging from "travesty" and "debacle" to "extreme embarrassment."

The bishops' response is part of a decades-long march to make abortion the paramount issue for their activism, a marker of the kind of bishops Rome has sent to the U.S. and the latest front in a struggle over Catholic identity that has exposed rifts between hierarchy and flock.

(read more)

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