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The Truth Shall Prevail–Just Not at Notre Dame

By Judie Brown

Nearly everyone has heard that the University of Notre Dame’s prestigious Laetare Medal is being awarded to two people this year—Vice President Joseph Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Considering that this is the case, we thought it important to learn about the medal and its inscription. The medal is inscribed with the Latin phrase Magna est veritas et prevalebit which translates to: “Truth is mighty, and it shall prevail.” This medal has been awarded annually to a Catholic, or in this case two Catholics, “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.”

In view of Vice President Joseph Biden’s history of support for procured abortion and homosexual marriage, one has to ask how truth is prevailing when this medal is awarded to such a man.

Archbishop Kevin Rhoades, who leads the diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, has even voiced his opinion on the matter:

I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any “pro-choice” public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service, since direct abortion is gravely contrary to the natural law. . . . I also question the propriety of honoring a public official who was a major spokesman for the redefinition of marriage. The Church has continually urged public officials, especially Catholics, of the grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that supports or facilitates abortion or that undermines the authentic meaning of marriage. I disagree with awarding someone for “outstanding service to the Church and society” who has not been faithful to this obligation.

Frankly, the awarding of the Laetare Medal to Biden is an action that literally contradicts truth and assures that, as mighty as truth is, nobody is paying attention—at least not at the University of Notre Dame.

Yet, in reality, I am forced to point out that this is not something new. History shows that under the leadership of current university president Father John I. Jenkins, CSC, Notre Dame has taken quite a few missteps. And at each point along this crooked path, Jenkins has defended his decisions—whether they involve the honorary degree for President Obama or this latest fiasco.

According to the National Catholic Register, in defense of this decision, Jenkins stated:

“Public confidence in government is at historic lows, and cynicism is high,” Father Jenkins said in his prepared statement about the decision to honor the two prominent politicians. “It is a good time to remind ourselves what lives dedicated to genuine public service in politics look like. We find it in the lives of Vice President Biden and Speaker Boehner.”

Father Jenkins said that by recognizing Biden and Boehner, the university “is not endorsing the policy positions of either,” but celebrating the lives of two men “dedicated to keeping our democratic institutions working for the common good through dialogue focused on the issues and responsible compromise.”

To this we sigh and say, “What kind of Kool-Aid makes Catholic priests respond this way?”

We are living in an era when babies are dying every few seconds and Catholic doctrine in matters of faith and morality is disregarded time and time again by men like Biden.

Since when is such behavior deserving of honor?

Please take a moment to send Bishop Rhoades a note of support for his courageous position in opposition to what Jenkins finds so appealing.

Pray for the souls of all involved in this scandal.

Be vigilant and teach that the only way to escape the declining immorality in this nation is to take up your cross and help build a culture of life.


Combat the evil with truth! Join American Life League in defiance of the culture of our day—this culture of death. Through your actions and words, become a part of our movement to build a culture of life. Pray, be informed, and educate others.

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