Everyone who is familiar with the beautiful campus instantly recognizes the golden dome. It scintillates in the sunlight and serves as a pedestal for a large statue of Our Lady, fittingly portrayed crushing the head of the serpent, calling to mind the passage from Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”
That same enmity between good and evil played out during the 2009 commencement exercises at Notre Dame.
As Air Force One touched down in South Bend on May 17, thousands of pro-life Catholics lined the streets leading to the main gate of the university. Dotting the sidewalks for miles, they prayed the Rosary, held signs and protested the university’s scandalous decision to honor President Obama, one of the most outspoken pro-abortion politicians in American history.
Trucks displaying pro-life messages constantly drove past, while an airplane circled above pulling a huge pro-life banner in the wind. The issue not only divided the campus but the entire nation.
Given the glaring incompatibility between Catholic moral teaching and the sin of abortion, it is not surprising that 83 Catholic bishops and millions of faithful Catholics prayed and petitioned so that the university of Our Lady would reverse its disastrous decision. In fact, Archbishop Raymond Burke qualified the invitation as a source of “gravest scandal” and emphasized that “Catholic institutions cannot offer any platform to, let alone honor, those who teach and act publicly against the moral law.”
However, the leadership of the university preferred compromise over integrity, political correctness over truth, and prestige over principle.
Making Reparation to Our Lady
Members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and students of the Saint Louis de Montfort Academy joined thousands of protesters outside the gates of the university on Sunday morning. Their peaceful demonstration had a specific goal: to make reparation to God and His Blessed Mother for the current scandal as well as for the sins of abortion, embryonic stem cell destruction and same-sex “marriage.”
During the protest, a statue of Our Lady of Fatima was present at the main gate carried by a TFP honor guard dressed in their ceremonial habits.
“Why Does Our Lady Cry?” was the title of a TFP flier distributed to passersby. On its cover was a photo of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, the statue that wept miraculously in New Orleans in 1972, only months before the legalization of abortion in America.
Graduates Refuse to Attend Graduation
Abortion is non-negotiable. No amount of dialogue or intellectual sophistry will change that fact, which explains why dozens of brave Notre Dame graduates decided not to attend their own graduation ceremonies. They refused to participate in an event which betrayed the Catholic identity of their university. These principled students acted with honor and were recognized at an alternative ceremony on the South Quad sponsored by ND Response, a coalition of 11 student groups, which drew nearly 2,000 people, including Bishop John D’Arcy and other prominent speakers. The major media downplayed this event of course.
These graduates, wearing mortar boards, then made their way to the Grotto where they recited a Rosary lead by Fr. Frank Pavone. After the Rosary, a reception was held for them at the State Theatre, featuring Fr. John Corapi and Ambassador Alen Keyes. As graduates and guests streamed into the building, members of the TFP pipe band welcomed them at the entrance with patriotic music.
Motivated to Continue
Although the golden dome of Notre Dame was tarnished by scandal, good Catholics nationwide are motivated to continue opposing the Culture of Death and working to restore moral values with ever more vigor and dedication. “I hope the reaction not only continues but keeps growing – more people need to wake up,” said a local South Bend resident who protested the commencement. Although the scandal has caused untold spiritual damage, faithful Catholics turn to the Mother of God, who crushes the serpent’s head, certain that she will guide and help us in these days of great confusion.