This is not good. You likely remember that earlier this month, the University of Notre Dame announced that it was complying with the law by offering spousal benefits to same-sex partners.

The problem is…there’s no such law.

The Sycamore Trust released its latest bulletin and it’s a must read.

As we have reported, earlier this month the university announced that, since same-sex marriages are now legal in Indiana after the Supreme Court refused to review the lower court decisions striking down Indiana’s ban, Notre Dame would extend spousal benefits to spouses in same-sex civil marriages. Those benefits include not only health insurance but such particularly symbolic privileges as married student housing. The university explained:

Notre Dame is a Catholic university and endorses a Catholic view of marriage. However, it will follow the relevant civil law and begin to implement this change immediately.

We thought Notre Dame meant there is some law requiring Notre Dame to do this. We thought “follow the law” meant, well, follow the law. You might have thought the same thing.

You would have been wrong.

Since we couldn’t find such a law, we asked the university to tell us which law they meant and why they hadn’t raised a religious liberty objection. When we received no reply, we wrote again, this time to the general counsel with a copy to Father Jenkins. We said we’d conclude there is no such law if we got no response within a week.

Again, no reply.

Plainly, what the university means by “follow the law” is “adopt the law,” not obey the law. The university simply decided to recognize civil law gay marriages under its spousal benefit provisions. It didn’t have to. It wanted to.

In a recent interview, Father Jenkins confirmed that this isn’t a question of law but a one of policy

“Apart from any legal obligation,” he said, “we recognize an urgent call to welcome, support and cherish our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.” After referring to past injustices to homosexuals, he declared, “Our abiding goal…is to build a less imperfect community of love.”

This is nothing short of a disaster. To me, this is right up there with the honoring of President Barack Obama. Probably worse.

While so many of the bishops work hard to preserve marriage and the family, the most well known Catholic university undercuts them in a public and disgraceful way.