Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Priest Responds

The news keeps coming, and so it would seem I keep posting.

A Franciscan priest who is a law professor here has spoken with Zenit (here) about the Hope he sees on campus. I will include some excerpts, but I encourage reading the article. My emphasis and [comments].
"At the same time," he said, "the university community has a responsibility to foster Catholic teaching especially when some aspects of this truth might be countercultural."

The priest acknowledged his concurrence with Bishop John D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who gave a public statement Tuesday on his decision not to attend the university's graduation ceremony.

Father Coughlin explained: "This action on the part of the university is inconsistent with the rules established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that prohibit honors from being bestowed by Catholic institutions on public figures who have clear records that are contrary to the Church's fundamental moral teaching. [This is really the point. Worthy or not, good rules or not, this is the direction which our Bishops have given to us, and we, the faithful, are to follow them. To do otherwise would be to erode our Catholic identity, which we are doing.]

"There can be no question that the inviolable dignity of each human person and the defense of innocent human life are fundamental to the Church's teaching. One who publically opposes in word and action this truth should not be honored by a Catholic university." [If he were a C.S.C. I would see if he could be made University President by popular acclimation.]
"I have been privileged to be a Franciscan priest on the faculty for the past seven years," the priest continued. "I offer Holy Mass at the university each day -- sometimes several times a day [I hope not more than twice] -- and hear Confessions daily in my office and once a week at the [university's] basilica -- where there are always long lines. [I can attest to that!]

"We have Eucharistic adoration daily, and I am always impressed by the large number of persons who regularly participate in this life-giving prayer."
He gave particular reference to the "vigorous commitment of so many members of the university community to the defense of innocent human life as evident of those who regularly participate in the rosary and other prayer outside of abortion clinics," or other pro-life activities.

"Indeed, my experience of the many Catholic persons and aspects of Notre Dame has left me with a realistic hope for the future of Catholicism in the United States," Father Coughlin concluded. "I thank God for this hope."
I also share in this hope. I do fear that as the Church descends more and more into decline in this country and elsewhere, that the numbers of the faithful will drop severely. However, I have encountered so many people here and elsewhere with such a fervency in their faith, that I know there will always be at least a faithful remnant. Plus, they will probably all have lots of kids.

This Franciscan, Fr. John Coughlin, is okay in my book.

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