URGENT Message from Ambassador Alan Keyes writing from jail
Last Friday, and again this week, I and others profoundly concerned with the University of Notre Dame's scandalous invitation and extension of an honorary degree to Barack Obama were engaged in peaceful, prayerful witness to truth on the Notre Dame campus...
then it happened...
We walked onto the campus praying the rosary and bearing witness to the Church's teaching against the objective evil of abortion. At the behest of Father John Jenkins, the President of the University, we were detained by the UND police and turned over to the civil authorities!
So I went twice to jail, along with two Catholic priests and other brothers and sisters in Christ. I am told that on Thursday unpublicized action was taken by a local Superior Court judge to enforce new, harsher procedures for posting bond in cases such as ours, so that those of us persistent in our witness could be unjustly incarcerated without relief or any opportunity to post bail for days. This judge cooperated with the "powers and principalities" who disgrace Notre Dame with the Obama "honors," and now violate our constitutional and canonical legal rights to our witness for life. During our arrests we were not defying civil law, but merely obeying the laws of God and the directives of the Church and its leadership!
We sought to counteract the scandalous impression given by University authorities that it is compatible with Christian faith and Catholic teaching to honor and hold up as an example of good conduct someone who has made himself the focus of abortion evil in the world today.
Unlike Father Jenkins, we are acting with respect for Christ's instruction that people of faith should work out their differences within the communion of the faithful before calling upon civil authorities, who may not act with respect for the laws of God and the teachings of the Church.
This is why I sought to meet with Father Jenkins before I joined in the spiritual rescue efforts occasioned by the University's scandalous behavior. He refused to respond to my request!!!
In this, Father Jenkins displayed the same obdurate indifference to spiritual considerations that has exemplified his conduct throughout this scandalous affair. He has encouraged a bunker mentality within the University of Notre Dame community, by treating other members of the Body of Christ, even those in communion with the Holy See, as if we are "outsiders."
This mentality contradicts the "emphasis on Community in Catholicism" cited in the University's mission statement but utterly ignored by Father Jenkins and his colleagues.
Archbishop Burke of the Vatican and the some 70 American bishops who have demanded that the invitation and honorary degree be withdrawn; the hundreds of thousands who have signed the petition with the same plea; the millions of Catholics and prolife Christians they represent -- although part of the Church communion, the body of Christ, and a community of the faithful, all are apparently to be treated as criminals if they dare to set foot on the Notre Dame campus to protect life and protest the University administration's scandalous judgment!!
Where is the humility that should characterize Christian leadership?
Where is the love toward other believers that should give glory to God?
And where is the respect and the will to stand up and protect innocent, vulnerable life?
Instead of ordering arrests and persecution of those – including PRIESTS – bearing true witness, a faithful Catholic and Christian heart should seek to converse in order to instruct or to learn!
Instead, Father Jenkins has reacted with a harshness that bespeaks fearful guilt, using force to dispose of opposition. If, despite the opinion of the Vatican, the bishops and so many of the clergy, religious and the laity, Father Jenkins and his colleagues are right to honor evil, why are they afraid to deal openly and respectfully with both the Church authorities and fellow believers who disagree?
They react with forceful abuses of their authority because they cannot properly defend their actions in terms of the laws of God and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
They therefore substitute force for persuasion. In this too they honor evil, by imitating its methods.
P.S. Father Jenkins continues to arrogantly ignore national and international pleas to hear the concerns from Christians about the injustice of honoring Barack Obama with a podium and degree from Notre Dame, in direct contradiction to the directives of the American Bishops, and in disrepute of the purpose, principles and mission of such a prestigious institution of faith. He has faithful Catholic priests and laity unjustly arrested and jailed for days to silence their witness for innocent life. Father Jenkins and the police powers collude in abuse of the faithful to curry favor with Barack Obama, who is eager for the political credential that "honors" from the University of Our Lady will bring him, to aid in duping a prolife America about his radical anti-life policies. Help us bring public pressure on Jenkins and Obama to force acknowledgement that their abuses of faith and trust diminish Notre Dame's integrity in on-going scandal, controversy and dishonor throughout the Christian and Catholic community, and bring disillusionment to voters of conscience.
P.P.S. If you are able to help us financially in the battle, our needs are rising! We have dozens of people in jail, including Father Weslin and others with families facing a likely few hundreds of dollars each in court costs and fines, never mind the high $1,000 bail that has been set for each of us. With your faxes of protest, you will help us free our brothers and sisters still in jail, INCLUDING 78-YEAR OLD FATHER WESLIN, of the Lambs of Christ!
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