In sad news, the University of Notre Dame has announced that it will now “extend benefits to all legally married spouses, including same-sex spouses.”

Just days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the issue of gay marriage, the university named for Our Lady, released a statement affirming that they “endorse” a “Catholic view of marriage” but said they “will follow the relevant civil law and begin to implement this change immediately.”

The Sycamore Trust, an alumni organization committed to promoting the university’s Catholic identity, released a statement critical of this terrible decision by the university.

“The university neither identified the “civil law” that imposes this obligation nor explained why it has not interposed a religious liberty objection. Accordingly, Bill Dempsey promptly asked the university’s public information officer and General Counsel, first, to identify the law and, second,

Why has the university not interposed a religious liberty objection to that law, whatever it is? Why has not the university, for example, asserted that such a law infringes its “free exercise” of religion and “interferes” with its “rights of conscience” under Article 1, Section 3 of the Indiana constitution?

“As matters stand,” Bill wrote, “it appears that the university has no objection to supporting homosexual and lesbian “marriage” and associated sexual unions in this fashion. It is simply a matter of having a marriage license.”

The group didn’t yet hear back from the university. If they do they’ll inform us.

They did manage to elicit quotes from Father Wilson Miscamble, C.S.C., former chair of the history department and one of the leading lights of Catholicism on campus. He called it a “very sad development.”

He said, according to the Trust, that “Notre Dame has made no effort to stand for the truth about marriage but has supinely conformed to a deeply flawed understanding of this crucial institution.”

Professor Gerard V. Bradley of Notre Dame Law School and a leading expert on religious liberty law, told the Trust that there are “ample legal and constitutional rights” Notre Dame could invoke “to give witness to the truth about marriage” but failed to do so.

He concluded (and I think this says is perfectly):

It is especially tragic that Notre Dame, which occupies a unique place as a flagship of American Catholicism, should so nonchalantly, and without a whisper of resistance or even protest, rush to comply with such an unjust law. Notre Dame’s easy compliance will scandalize many Catholics and demoralize even more. Those who are fighting to evict the truth about marriage from our country’s laws are no doubt celebrating Notre Dame’s action this morning.

CMR will continue to keep you informed about this.

Thanks to the great work of the Sycamore Trust.