Wednesday, June 5, 2013


     A brief change of subject:  What was the motivation of Sam Fielden?  Not all contributors have responded so maybe it will be in the next post.


      I remember at a Marquette Notre Dame basketball game in Milwaukee a Marquette student making fun of the name ‘Notre Dame.’ I called him on it, and it wasn’t long into the discussion that I realized that he didn’t know what the French words ‘Notre Dame’ meant.  The next day I checked with some Catholic College graduates and students and no one had a clue as to the meaning of, ‘Notre Dame.’
   So when a friend commented that Cardinal Dolan gave a meaningless commencement speech at Notre Dame by not saying much more than, - in French ‘Notre Dame’ means Our Lady.  My unspoken internal response was, well what’s so bad about that?...a needed defining of the French for Our Lady and besides the Fighting Irish are probably just trying to make up for inviting the President to give a commencement speech – normal everyday church hierarchical politics;  regrettable but nothing out of the ordinary.  However, I had an annoying feeling that there was something seriously wrong.   I googled the speech.

   After a review of the speech I feel that Dolan’s comments point to the unfortunate irrelevance of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.   ‘Notre Dame’ – Our Lady – dió luz a Jesus (gave birth-light) – a perfect time to launch a ‘Hail Mary’ and advocate for women’s ordination; a perfect time to advocate for women’s rights, including women at U.N.D., a perfect time for reference to a viable myth, ‘Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe,’ and immigration reform, but no – it was cheaper than usual hierarchical politics.  It could be considered a suitable ‘ferverino’ for an eighth grade Catholic school graduating class, but even there Dolan’s address fell short.  It appears that its real purpose was an attempt to coalesce and ‘evangelize’ for the Roman Catholic political right wing.
   Could the speech have worked as a sermon in the late forties or fifties?  Not a chance – this is not retro Roman Catholicism; this is the forging of a renewal of Gnosticism and a new right wing political identity for Roman Catholics.  Hierarchical dogma on women’s ordination, birth control, abortion, and gay rights are not subject to nuance or discussion.  As an indication of how far off base he is, Dolan stated, One can make the point that she’s [Mary –Notre Dame] the most important human person ever.”

   What happened to Jesus?  Pius XII would have picked him off.  Dolan might be a Cardinal and from St. Louis, but he’s not Pepper Martin of the invincible gas house gang.  Google the speech – am I correct?

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