Monday, June 22, 2009

In Domesday Redux, Bishops Back D'Arcy

Five weeks after the University of Notre Dame hosted President Obama as its commencement speaker and bestowed an honorary degree on the Commander-in-Chief, the last word on the controversial move comes from... the US bishops.

Sure, some 80 of the 365 active and retired prelates criticized the Golden Dome's choice in the run-up to the 17 May ceremony, but during the USCCB's executive session last week in San Antonio, the bench approved a group statement of support for the university's ordinary, Bishop John D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who boycotted its graduation over the invite, saying that Notre Dame "must ask itself if, by this decision, it has chosen prestige over truth."

D'Arcy did attend the university's Baccalaureate Mass over commencement weekend (right), leading a candlelight vigil on-campus afterward to pray for the protection of human life.

Here's the Mothership's release, hot off the press:
During their spring General Assembly, June 17-19, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed their solidarity for Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., in particular for his care and concern for the University of Notre Dame, which resides in his diocese.

The bishops made this show of support during executive session, but released the following statement:
The bishops of the United States express our appreciation and support for our brother bishop, the Most Reverend John D'Arcy. We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd.
More frequently a staunch supporter of Notre Dame -- and invariably a fixture at the U's November reception for the bishops -- D'Arcy is currently the oldest active head of a US diocese; the Boston-born prelate reached the retirement age of 75 in August 2007.