Fr. John Jenkins, current president of Notre Dame University, has sent a letter to Notre Dame alumni informing them that he plans to participate in the March for Life in Washington DC. The march will protest the Roe v Wade decision on its 36th anniversary, making a statement for the pro-life cause. Those who oppose abortion should applaud this activism by Fr. Jenkins and pray for the success of the March for Life to change hearts so that life is protected rather than discarded.
However, his message could be made a little more powerful by the addition of 88 pro-life activists to the march — people instead busy preparing for trials because Fr. Jenkins refuses to drop charges against them for protesting the appearance of President Barack Obama at Notre Dame’s commencement in May. Among those charged is Norma McCorvey, the original Roe, who has long ago switched positions and demonstrates against abortion. Free the ND 88 asks for assistance in asking Fr. Jenkins to show consistency:
Notre Dame President John I. Jenkins announced today that he intends to join the “March for Life” this coming January as part of his commitment made last May, according to Jenkins, to bear witness to the sanctity of life. The March for Life is held each year in Washington, DC to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
Apparently the irony was lost on Jenkins that while he will be preparing to protest against Roe v. Wade, the actual Roe, Norma McCorvey, will be preparing for her criminal trial for protesting at Notre Dame after she was arrested under orders from Father Jenkins who has, so far, refused to drop the charges brought against McCorvey and the rest of the “ND 88”, the dozens of pro-life protestors arrested last spring for “crimes” such as saying the rosary and wearing pro-life t-shirts. …
Jenkins expressed his hope that “we can overcome divisions to foster constructive dialogue and work together for a cause that is at the heart of Notre Dame’s mission” something which many in the Pro-Life community believe to be impossible so long as the “ND 88” are facing possible prison sentences for peacefully expressing the same point of view Father Jenkins is now prepared to support at the March for Life.
The actual “crime” was trespassing, but the point is that the protesters are ostensibly on the same side as Jenkins. Jenkins himself will participate in a massive protest against abortion. Will he do so while prosecuting the woman at the center of the court case that has lent years to the pro-life cause to undo the damage of Roe, merely for the offense of having embarrassed Jenkins during Obama’s appearance? Does Notre Dame, a Catholic institution, really want to press criminal charges against fellow pro-lifers who did nothing on their campus except hold signs and pray the Rosary?
Jenkins should drop the charges and end what seems to be a personal grudge against these activists. Until he does, he risks being a modern-day Pharisee, hiding behind trespassing statutes to gain retribution against those who publicly disagreed with Jenkins about his invitation to Obama. We’ll pray that Jenkins makes the right decision.