From the Times-Picayune:
New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes on Thursday joined a growing chorus of Catholic bishops deploring the University of Notre Dame's decision to award President Barack Obama an honorary degree at graduation exercises next month.
"He feels as though this is not just an issue for Notre Dame. This is an issue on which Catholics everywhere are expressing disappointment. It clearly goes against Catholic policy against honoring pro-choice politicians. He's just making the point that Catholics should be standing up for life everywhere," Comiskey said.
Archbishop Hughes, you who learned how to be a bishop under the infamous Cardinal Bernard Law in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boston, who is now hiding in his basilica in Rome to escape possible prosecution for covering up child abuse by priests under his authority, you who had to travel to Boston to testify concerning the abuse that took place while you were a bishop there, what moral authority do you posses to chide the leadership at Notre Dame for conferring an honorary degree on President Obama?
Your spokesman said that you stand up for life everywhere. What about the Roman Catholic Church's policy to forbid the use of condoms by members of the flock to protect themselves and others from serious STDs like HIV? How is that standing up for life? It's no less than a policy to insure sickness and death. In Africa, where AIDS is rampant, where your church denies married couples in which one party is HIV positive, the right to use condoms to protect the other party, how do you twist this counsel to represent standing up for life, when, as a result, many will sicken and die because of it?
I'm sorry, Archbishop Hughes, but the moral ground crumbles beneath you. Why in heaven's name would anyone look to you and your brother bishops in the RCC for moral guidance? Spare me the hypocrisy of your criticism of the leadership at Notre Dame University. Physician, heal thyself.
On campus, however, where the invitation increasingly dominates other issues, more than 600 letters to the independent student newspaper, "The Observer," are about evenly split for and against the invitation, editor Jenn Metz said.
She noted a sharp difference in sentiment between alumni, 70 percent of whom oppose the invitation, and students, 73 percent of whom favor it.
It seems that Notre Dame students are getting smarter.
UPDATE: At OCICBW, MadPriest published an exchange between Paul Pease, AKA TheraP, and Fr. Michael F. Patella, O.S.B., S.S.D., an associate professor of New Testament at the School of Theology Seminary and the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, who writes the “Seers’ Corner” for The Bible Today, published by Liturgical Press.
Now to the query: If someone is convinced that using a condom will prevent the infection of his partner, that is his intention and the fact that his partner (wife, we suppose) will not get pregnant is a secondary effect.
It seems to me that the Principle of a Double Effect, which we covered thoroughly in Moral Theology, would allow condom use when the first (intended) effect is prophylaxis, while the second and unintended effect is non-conception.
If this reasoning still represents the teaching of the Magisterium, please let me know; if not, please tell me what has replaced the thinking behind legitimately removing an ectopic fetus from a place where it will endanger the life of the mother.
Fr. Patella answered:
Dear Mr. Pease,
The principle of double-effect is still very much part of Catholic moral theology and is still held by the Magisterium, and the cases you give here are perfect examples of it. I hope this information is helpful.
My question: Why haven't the pope and the majority of RC cardinals and bishops thought the question through in a rational manner and come up with the same logical and compassionate answer as Paul and Fr. Patella?