By Hugh McNichol
April 27, 2009 - It was announced today by Mary Ann Glendon, the former United States ambassador to the Vatican has chosen to decline the Laetare Medal offered by Notre Dame University. With her declination of the medal, Ambassador Glendon is the latest of prominent Catholics that have joined the uproar against Notre Dames decision to honor President Obama with an honorary doctorate degree in May.
Since the infamous Notre Dame announcement over forty American Catholic bishops and more than 330,000 lay people have decried the university’s choice in awarding an honorary degree to President Obama.
Her choice in declining the medal is commendable, not only because of the strong message her non-acceptance sends to Notre Dame’s hierarchy, but also because her refusal illustrates her strong Pro-Life position and concurrence to Catholic teachings.
Mary Anne Glendon is representative of the sentiments and beliefs of millions of American Catholic that have been ignored by liberal and pseudo Catholic universities and their policies.
While the Lataere Medal is indeed a great honor to receive, Glendon appropriately holds Catholic teachings on the sanctity of human life as more important. Her refusal of the award illustrates, very strongly and clearly, the larger problem, which is the secular infiltration of our Catholic educational facilities. Mary Ann Glendon should receive a papal honor from Benedict XVI for her upholding of Catholic moral and ethical principles.
Additionally, the declination of this award by Ambassador Glendon should send a message to all members of the Catholic educational establishment, namely: Catholics are no longer going to tolerate secular interpretations of our most sacred Catholic principles. Either you are Catholic in your beliefs, or you are not. There can be no middle ground.
The American Bishops should also applaud Mrs. Glendon’s refusal of the Laetare Medal. Perhaps her courageous initiative in refusing this award will inspire more American Bishops to speak out and condemn Notre Dame’s invite to President Obama.
Notre Dame…return to the fold. Rescind the offer of an honorary degree to the President and respect Catholic teachings and principles. The bestowal on an honorary degree on any individual that so blatantly disregards our respect for human life through his political, personal and government policies has no right to any honorific degree from Notre Dame or any other Catholic educational facility.
Finally, American Catholics with leadership of the American bishops should loudly demand the resignation of Father Jenkins from his position. Only after such resignation, can we as Catholics begin the process of correcting the incorrect policies of Notre Dame and other American "Catholic" universities.
Catholicism and its proper interpretation deserves more attention from not only the American Bishops, but all of the Catholic faithful as well. The sooner Catholics in American, recognize the intrinsic dangers of secular humanism to our Church, the sooner we can endeavor to properly teach Catholic moral, social and ethical principles that are properly reflective of the Gospel message.
Hugh J.McNichol is a Catholic author and journalist that writes on uniquely Catholic topics and issues. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he studied both philosophy and theology. He writes frequently at verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com & nothing-left-unsaid.blogspot.com . Hugh writes about his Irish Catholic upbringing and educational experiences at graysferrygrapevine.blogspot.com . He has contributed works to Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, The Irish Catholic, Dublin, the British Broadcasting Company, London and the Philadelphia Bulletin, Pewsitter.com, Blogger News Network & The Catholic Business Journal.