Theodore's World: No Longer On God's Side Notre Dame Abruptly Fires An Admin Member For Attending Pro-Life Rally

« Obama and His Brand New Oval Office Rug Gets History Wrong | Main | Former UN Ambassador John Bolton Won't Rule Out 2012 Run for President »

September 05, 2010

No Longer On God's Side Notre Dame Abruptly Fires An Admin Member For Attending Pro-Life Rally

Notre Dame Associate Vice-President of Residence Life Bill Kirk was fired by the university for attending a pro-life rally. This is the same “Catholic” University that gave pro-infanticide President Obama an honorary degree.

A top pro-life professor at the University of Notre Dame is calling into question the motives of the university after Bill Kirk, a long-time member of the Notre Dame community and the only administration member to join a protest against President Obama's appearance on campus, was abruptly terminated.

In May 2009, Kirk boycotted the official graduation ceremony at which President Obama was giving the commencement address and receiving an honorary law degree, and instead attended an alternate graduation ceremony held by pro-life graduates protesting Obama. Bishop John D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, whose diocese includes the campus, also opted to attend the alternate ceremony.

The Observer newspaper reported Thursday that Father Tom Doyle, Notre Dame’s new Vice-President for Student Affairs, had terminated Kirk from his position as Associate Vice-President for Residence Life.

Doyle praised Kirk's "thoughtful and caring" service as Student Affairs administrator, but said he had been fired "in anticipation of a restructuring that I want to do."

A Notre Dame spokesman refused to comment to about the reasons behind Kirk's termination, saying only that the university does not discuss personnel issues.

But Notre Dame philosophy professor David Solomon, the founder and director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, said on the Center's blog, that he sees a connection between Kirk’s “removal from office” and what he called “the background of other events at Notre Dame that inevitably raised questions about its real motivation."
Solomon suggested that Kirk's insistence on maintaining school-wide disciplinary standards for Notre Dame football athletes helped precipitate the move. However, the professor also said the news appears to confirm fears that Kirk's stand against the highly controversial honor to Obama would prove fatal.
"At the time Bill took part in the NDResponse rally, many people commented on the courage it took for him to stand with his wife and other witnesses to this protest of Notre Dame’s decision to award President Obama an honorary degree. I personally discounted these worries, believing that the Notre Dame administration would admire him for his principled stand on a matter so close to the Catholic heart of Notre Dame, even if they disagreed with his particular action," wrote Solomon.
Since the administration welcomed Obama's own "sharp dissent from and attack on central Catholic teaching on life," he continued, "It seemed only reasonable that they would equally welcome dissent from university policy by such a loyal Catholic and member of the Notre Dame family as Bill Kirk — especially when his dissent was made in the name of the Catholic principles at Notre Dame’s heart and in the company of his bishop.
"Perhaps, alas, there was reason for Bill Kirk to be worried about his participation in NDResponse after all."
The professor said Kirk's treatment would undoubtedly have "a chilling effect" on un-tenured administrators in public policy and moral debates on campus. He noted that "a number of other administrators have told me that in light of Bill Kirk’s treatment, they will in the future keep their heads down rather than dissent from the policies of the central administration." "It will be tragic if these pressures toward uniformity become a permanent feature of Notre Dame life," he wrote.
Solomon said that what he termed the "callousness and brutal insensitivity" of Kirk's termination has had "the greatest impact" on the close-knit Notre Dame community: Kirk and his wife Elizabeth, who have already adopted two young children, were in the process of adopting a third at the time of the firing.

The professor contrasted the situation with the magnanimity shown by former Notre Dame President Rev. Ted Hesburgh to Ralph McInerny decades ago when, as an assistant philosophy professor, McInerny received monetary help as he struggled to make ends meet following the tragic death of his 4-year-old son from a brain tumor.

"It may be that in an era when Notre Dame has become more of a brand and less of a community, such actions are no longer possible and that those of us who long for them are simply being naive," wrote Solomon.
"If so, it is surely a great loss."

The prestigious Catholic university has been widely criticized for its handling of other aspects of the Obama controversy as well. Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins continues to refuse to request leniency for 88 pro-life witnesses arrested for peacefully protesting Obama's presence on campus, while pro-Obama and pro-Notre Dame protesters were allowed to roam free. Several pro-life leaders have unsuccessfully urged Jenkins to intervene for the pro-lifers, who continue to face up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine under prosecution by St. Joseph County.

Wild Thing's comment........


That’s how the left does things. There is no freedom of opinion any longer. Father ( Lucifer) Tom Doyle Jenkins does not like opposition. What a smug SOB! The Catholic Church should officially sever all ties with the university, and all other “Catholic” institutions like it, that fail to uphold and defend the teachings of the Church. I say this as a non-Catholic.

I pray that they never have another winning season. Call it "the Father Jenkins curse."

Notre Dame is now in the hands of pro-aborton evil. Itis no longer a Catholic University but a bastion of the athiestic Rat party and their god obama. It is false to call it a "Catholic University." UND is no more Catholic than the University of Baghdad.

Posted by Wild Thing at September 5, 2010 05:48 AM


So much for those staunch Catholic values. They are falling into the trap of Collective salvation of the Liberation theology.

Posted by: Mark at September 5, 2010 07:47 AM

This and Georgetown University covering religious statues and removing crucifixes for that visit by obama. The Catholic Church has quite often dealt with politics and leftist politicians with an entirely different philosophy than it deals with loyal Catholic parishoners. The Kennedy family and Biden and Pelosi come to mind. Politics is one reson so many people raised Catholic have left the Church. Or to alter a famous political quote, "I didn't leave the Church, The Church left me".

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at September 5, 2010 11:20 AM

Notre Dame stopped being a Catholic University, a long time ago.

Remember there are a lot of mandated Federal Programs that are required, or at least strongly suggested, to be included in the Curiculum. With these programs comes the Federal Funds, and in order to qualify you have to meet certain guidelines.

Some of these guidelines may not be in keeping with the basic philosophy of the school, ergo a choice must be made.

Schools like Notre Dame go from being Religious institutions to secular schools as a result.

Posted by: Sean at September 5, 2010 11:23 AM

Over the years, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Boston College have all left the room.

Send your kids to Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Posted by: Carlos at September 5, 2010 12:22 PM

Can't Notre Dame be excommunicated (or something like that) as a Catholic school for going against relgious principle like this? Forget God, we have leftist faculty and hedonistic paying students to attend-to! Seriously, heresy.

Posted by: Anonymous at September 5, 2010 05:51 PM