The Notre Dame Chapter of University Faculty for Life (“UFL”) pretty strongly denounced the award of the Laetare Medal to Joe Biden saying he has “conspicuously, repeatedly, and consistently” rejected “Church teaching about life.”
Here it is, via The Sycamore Trust:
As University Faculty we are dedicated to the truth — its discovery, its transmission, and witnessing to it in all that we do. As University Faculty for Life we seek to promote the truth that every human being, from the moment of conception until natural death, must be cherished and protected, and must never be intentionally killed. The Notre Dame Chapter of University Faculty for Life therefore opposes the University’s decision to award the Laetare Medal this year to Vice-President Joseph Biden.
Notre Dame claims to award the Laetare Medal “annually to an American Catholic in recognition of outstanding service to Church and society.” But our Faculty for Life Chapter agrees with Bishop Kevin Rhoades that the awarding of the Laetare Medal to Vice-President Biden is a scandalous violation of the University’s moral responsibility (as the American bishops wrote in 2004) never to honor those who act in defiance of fundamental moral principles about the sanctity of Life.
Mr. Biden has for decades conspicuously rejected Church teaching about life. He has rejected it repeatedly and consistently in the context of abortion, where (he has been quoted as saying) he would not want to “impose” this teaching upon a woman and her doctor. He also favors killing embryonic human beings for research purposes, even to the extent of committing taxpayers’ money to support it. In 1998 he voted against a law which would have banned creating human beings through cloning, which scientists then would experiment upon and kill. Biden would not even “impose” Church teaching upon a man — often the husband or boyfriend of a pregnant woman — who assaults her and kills her unborn baby because she refused to have the abortion he demanded. Then-Senator Biden voted in 2004 against a federal law making it a crime to kill a child in utero. The Vice-President also supports imposition of the death penalty, as does John Boehner.
Saying that Mr. Biden rejects Church teaching could make it sound like he is merely disobeying the rules of his religious group. But the Church’s teaching about the sanctity of life is true. And so the Vice-President rejects the truth that human life begins at conception. He rejects the truth that every human life deserves protection, from conception until natural death. He rejects the truth that public officials like him have an especially grave duty to preserve the least of our brothers and sisters from harm.
Notre Dame President John Jenkins says that the University this year is honoring civility in public discourse, and not the policy positions of anyone. But it is never uncivil to stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable and defenseless among us. Pope Francis recently warned Catholics against a “spiritual worldliness that consists in seeking not the Lord’s glory, but human glory.” In past years Notre Dame awarded the Laetare Medal to persons who spoke truth to power. This year, Notre Dame has chosen to honor power at the expense of truth.
The Notre Dame Chapter of University Faculty for Life respectfully requests that the Notre Dame Administration rescind its award of the 2016 Laetare Medal.
Strong words. I doubt it’ll have any impact. Fr. Jenkins seems pretty set on staking out his liberal bona fides at the cost of Notre Dame’s legacy.