Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Notre Dame cites Catholicism when it’s convenient, ignores Catholicism when it’s not

Want to attend the University of Notre Dame? You’ll have to live on campus for six semesters, providing the school a lucrative revenue stream, because of … Catholicism.

Want to have sex without consequences at Notre Dame? It will give you free condoms, because the purportedly Catholic university can’t force its morality on you.

Former College Fix contributor Alexandra DeSanctis, now a William F. Buckley Jr. fellow at the National Review Institute, takes on her alma mater’s muddled thinking in The Wall Street Journal.

The university likely “abused the legal process” when it sued to be exempt from Obamacare’s contraception mandate, given that it has ignored the Trump administration’s legal exemption by voluntarily offering “simple contraceptives” (no abortifacient drugs) in its healthcare plan, DeSanctis says.

This decision to voluntarily pay for what the administration itself calls a “grave moral evil” illustrates why “[s]erious young Catholics may no longer look at Notre Dame the way I did,” she continues:

When the administration recently announced that undergraduates would be required to live on campus for at least six semesters, [President] Father [John] Jenkins defended the rule by saying the university makes no apologies about being a place of faith. “If that’s what they want, they should come here, but if that’s not what they want, there are many other places—great places—to go to,” he said.​ The connection between Notre Dame’s Catholic identity and its campus-residency rules is tenuous. But Father Jenkins still imposed this rationale on students who dislike the new policy. Why, then, does he refuse to assert Catholic identity as grounds for refusing to cover contraception?

In its quest for “secular prestige,” Notre Dame “often has renounced its obligation to shape the moral landscape of the society it inhabits,” junking two centuries of “deeply rooted Catholicism” paired with “academic renown,” DeSanctis says.

The university is forfeiting its most distinctive feature – acting as a “countercultural force” – and essentially encouraging its community to ignore the church’s teaching in Humanae Vitae, even as the administration has promised to include the papal encyclical to every healthcare plan enrollee, she says.

Notre Dame has no legitimate excuse to resist ongoing student and outside pressure to provide “free birth control for all,” including the provision of what Jenkins thus far rejects: abortifacients and actual abortion procedures.

Read the op-ed.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Add to the Discussion