Full Text: A Note from Fr. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame on new pro life initiatives

‘Our Commencement last Spring generated passionate discussion and also caused some divisions in the Notre Dame community. Regardless of what you think about that event, I hope that we can overcome divisions to foster constructive dialogue and work together for a cause that is at the heart of Notre Dame’s mission…’

Father John Jenkins

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Dear Members of the Notre Dame Family,

Coming out of the vigorous discussions surrounding President Obama’s visit last Spring, I said we would look for ways to engage the Notre Dame community with the issues raised in a prayerful and meaningful way. As our nation continues to struggle with the morality and legality of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and related issues, we must seek steps to witness to the sanctity of life. I write to you today about some initiatives that we are undertaking.

Each year on January 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, the March for Life is held in Washington D.C. to call on the nation to defend the right to life. I plan to participate in that march. I invite other members of the Notre Dame Family to join me and I hope we can gather for a Mass for Life at that event. We will announce details as that date approaches.

On campus, I have recently formed the Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life. It will be co-chaired by Professor Margaret Brinig, the Fritz Duda Family Chair in Law and Associate Dean for the Law School, and by Professor John Cavadini, the Chair of the Department of Theology and the McGrath-Cavadini Director of the Institute for Church Life. My charge to the Task Force is to consider and recommend to me ways in which the University, informed by Catholic teaching, can support the sanctity of life. Possibilities the Task Force has begun to discuss include fostering serious and specific discussion about a reasonable conscience clause; the most effective ways to support pregnant women, especially the most vulnerable; and the best policies for facilitating adoptions. Such initiatives are in addition to the dedication, hard work and leadership shown by so many in the Notre Dame Family, both on the campus and beyond, and the Task Force may also be able to recommend ways we can support some of this work.

I also call to your attention the heroic and effective work of centers that provide care and support for women with unintended pregnancies. The Women’s Care Center, the nation’s largest Catholic-based pregnancy resource center, on whose Foundation Board I serve, is run by a Notre Dame graduate, Ann Murphy Manion (’77). The center has proven successful in offering professional, non-judgmental concern to women with unintended pregnancies, helping those women through their pregnancy and supporting them after the birth of their child. The Women’s Care Center and similar centers in other cities deserve the support of Notre Dame clubs and individuals.

Our Commencement last Spring generated passionate discussion and also caused some divisions in the Notre Dame community. Regardless of what you think about that event, I hope that we can overcome divisions to foster constructive dialogue and work together for a cause that is at the heart of Notre Dame’s mission. We will keep you informed of our work, and we ask for your support, assistance and prayers. May Our Lady, Notre Dame, watch over our efforts.

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2 thoughts on “Full Text: A Note from Fr. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame on new pro life initiatives”

  1. I think Father Jenkins needs electrical shock therepy
    if he thinks we are buying his story. Drop the charges
    against the real people who stand up for the most innocent,
    the most defenseless and the voiceless and then I will
    listen to what he has to say. Until then I repeat the
    words of our hero Joe Wilson who had the courage
    to say “You Lie !”

  2. Fr. Jenkins needs therapy. There is something clearly dysfunctional about a man acting like a radical pro-abort targeting pro-lifers with arrest for carrying pro-life signs on an open campus while letting supporters of the most pro-abortion politiican in history stride the campus unmolested with signs adoring the Great One. That’s what happened on graduation day — clear discrimination against those with the “wrong” signs which violates the First Amendment.

    Attending the March for Life is simply the act of a pharisee waving his tassles and phylacteries. Stay home, Fr. Jenkins. Actions speak louder than words. Yours have already demonstrated where your treasure lies – in the White House not God’s house.

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