Tuesday, August 25, 2009

D'Arcy in America

In America Magazine's August 31st issue, Archbishop John Quinn (archbishop emeritus of San Francisco) looked back on the controversy surrounding Notre Dame's 2009 Commencement invitation/honor to President Obama. As an editor's note specifies, "Archbishop Quinn originally prepared these observations for consideration at the June meeting of the American bishops. Circumstances did not make that possible at the time. He has submitted them to America as a contribution to the debate on the role of bishops in dealing with public issues." Archbishop Quinn reviews some of the pros and cons of the Church's public involvement in those matters, specifically spelling out a few ways in which her involvement might lead people astray.

In this same issue of America, Fort Wayne-South Bend's bishop, Bishop John M. D'Arcy, offers his "pastoral reflection on the controversy at Notre Dame." The bishop explains what he believes to be a bishop's responsibility to all members of his diocese. Further, and more importantly, D'Arcy raises questions about the silence of ND's board of trustees during the whole affair, as well as respectfully poses three striking questions to all Catholic universities:

[1] "Do you consider it a responsibility...to give witness to the Catholic faith in all its fullness?"
[2] "What is your relationship to the church and, specifically, to the local bishop and his pastoral authority as defined by the Second Vatican Council?"
[3] "Where will the great Catholic universities search for a guiding light in the years ahead? Will it be the Land O’Lakes Statement or Ex Corde Ecclesiae?"

Both articles are well worth while to read.