The battle over the soul of the Catholic universities began in 1967 with the Land O'Lakes "Declaration of Independence" and it will end at Notre Dame on May 17, 2009. The 1967 Land O'Lakes statement signaled mutiny by most of the Catholic universities of America. It was a declaration of liberation and independence from the Pope and Magisterium of the Church.
To date, 44 bishops, thousands of priests, and over 350,000 faithful have contacted President Jenkins of Notre Dame and asked him to rescind his invitation to pro-abortion President Obama. He was asked to give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree on May 17, 2009 during Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies. The USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) has made it clear in its directives that no "pro-abortion politician" may be invited to speak at or receive an honorary degree at any Catholic college or university.
Cardinal Ratzinger's commentary Ad Tuendam Fidem, and Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, state that members of faculty at Catholic colleges and universities must make a public profession of faith (Nicene-Constantinople Creed) and take the Oath of Fidelity to the ordinary of their diocese or his representative. It begins:
I, N., in assuming the office of __________, promise that in my words and in my actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.
With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the duties incumbent on me toward the Church, both universal and particular, in which, according to the provisions of the law, I have been called to exercise my service.
In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it.
I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.
If Notre Dame disobeys the Church on these matters, it must change its name and become a secular university and stop pretending to be a Catholic center of higher education. Pope John Paul II tells us: "Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin committed by the person who claims to have a right to persist in evil, and who thus rejects redemption." How prophetic a warning to this generation which insists it has the right to kill babies in the womb and wallow in the perverse sin of sodomy!