A campus controversy has developed at Notre Dame over Bishop Daniel Jenky's recent homily in which he said, "Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path." Bishop Jenky, C.S.C. is the local ordinary of the Diocese of Peoria, IL and sits on Notre Dame's Board of Fellows; you can read the full text of his homily here. In response, scores of Notre Dame faculty denounced Bishop Jenky and demanded that he either retract his statement or resign from Notre Dame's Board. You can read the faculty letter to the Observer, addressed to Rev. John Jenkins and Richard Notebaert, Board Chairman, here. A number of Catholic scholars have responded to the Notre Dame faculty, including Michael Pakaluk, Chairman of the Philosophy Department at Ave Maria University, in his piece, "Incendiary Educators." For background on the controversy surrounded President Obama's visit to Notre Dame in 2009 when he was awarded an honorary degree as commencement speaker, read the National Catholic Register's interview with Rev. Bill Miscamble, C.S.C.