30 January 2014

Pope to Notre Dame: Be an uncompromising witness to the Church

One week after the New York Times published an editorial by Gary Gutting, a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, in which he suggested "the pope might be open to significant revision of the absolute ban on abortion" and that in some circumstances it might be morally permissible to kill a "potential human" in its mother's womb, Pope Francis received in audience the trustees of the University of Notre Dame.

Turning to one his favorite themes, that of missionary discipleship, the Holy Father reminded the delegation of the role of a Catholic university:
This commitment to “missionary discipleship” ought to be reflected in a special way in Catholic universities (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 132-134), which by their very nature are committed to demonstrating the harmony of faith and reason and the relevance of the Christian message for a full and authentically human life. Essential in this regard is the uncompromising witness of Catholic universities to the Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors. It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness [emphasis mine].
I'm not sure what "unambiguous testimony" to which Pope Francis refers.  Over the past decade, Notre Dame has been anything but unambiguous, even in recent days.  It seems there is some serious work to be done at the University of Notre Dame if she is to be an "uncompromising witness."

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