Our hearts soared when Bishop John DArcy announced his boycott of Notre Dames graduation because President Obama will speak. Our hearts sank when he urged Catholics to to stay away from unseemly and unhelpful demonstrations against our nations President or Notre Dame or Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C
I wish the bishop had followed biblical teaching and contacted me before making his public statement against our efforts. Since he has spoken publicly, I have a duty to respond in the same venue.
It is ironic that DArcy chose Good Friday to issue a statement urging Catholics to remain silent in the face of treachery. Sadly, it appears that he is following in the most regretful steps of St. Peter.
Peter boldly swore that he would not deny Christ; DArcy boldly declared he would not deny the value of innocent lives for the sake of prestige. But now DArcy wavers before Pilate (dont protest Obama), confirms Judas (dont protest Jenkins), and abandons Christ in the babies (dont show pictures of dead babies, dont cry out against their murder).
In his printed statements urging us to forgo demonstrations, he does not even mention the babies dying at Obamas command. Let us pray that even as Peter met the eyes of the suffering Christ – and Peters heart was broken as he wept bitter tears – that Bishop DArcy meets the eyes of the babies condemned to a brutal death by the man he now suggests we do not protest.
He also stated: The Notre Dame community is well-equipped to supervise and support discussions and prayer within their own campus This sounds spiritual, but is actually part of the crisis. God warns us through Isaiah: Though you spread out your hands in prayer, I will not listen; though you multiply prayers, I will not hear you. Your hands are covered with blood.
There are times it offends God if we only pray. If you could feed a starving man, yet dont, and tell him: Ill pray for you you have sinned. If you can save someones life, yet you pass by like the priest and Levite did in the parable of the good Samaritan, you have sinned. If you know the right thing and dont do it, you commit the sin of omission.
We must pray – yes – and then act courageously. We must seek justice, rebuke the ruthless, defend the fatherless and cry out for righteousness.
This I know for certain: DArcy has stepped far beyond his canonical authority by urging the faithful to abandon the babies – and thereby abandon Christ – and to honor Obama and Jenkins with our silent cooperation. We do not deny DArcys right to question certain tactics, but he has gone far beyond that. He has asked us to commit the sins of omission and silence. Respectfully, we will not.
Let us remember that the last chapter on DArcy has not yet been written. Even as Peter wept, repented, was restored by Christ and finally strengthened his brothers, let us pray for DArcys full conversion and restoration.