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Many people are familiar with the iconic golden dome over Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, upon which stands a golden image of the Mother of God. It's touted as a Catholic university, and to many, it's preeminently a Catholic university.
The sad truth is that despite its Catholic trappings, the university named after Our Lady no longer represents or promotes the Catholic culture that started it. This has been by design.
Father Theodore Hesburgh, the president of Notre Dame from 1952–1987, was the architect of the downfall of not only Notre Dame, but of Catholic education in America. He was ordained a priest in 1943, long before Vatican II, but in the 1960s held secret conferences with elite secularists on Our Lady's campus.
The conferences, held in conjunction with the Rockefeller Foundation and Planned Parenthood, plotted how Pope Paul VI could be convinced to change Church doctrine condemning artificial birth control.
Afterward, in 1967, Hesburgh and his fellow leftist cohorts held another conference targeting Catholic education at Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin. The document became the blueprint employed by Catholic universities to modernize them. It pushed the idea that Catholic teaching and culture stood in the way of a properly developed modern university.
It all culminated in 2009 when pro-abortion, pro-sodomy president Barack Obama was invited to give the spring commencement speech. Faithful Catholics were outraged and a petition, signed by almost 90,000 people, demanded Obama's invite be canceled.
The then-bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Bp. John D'Arcy, boycotted the event, but the university had by then long stopped considering the sentiments of Catholics. The bishop commented:
I have decided not to attend the graduation. I wish no disrespect to our president, I pray for him and wish him well. I have always revered the office of the presidency. But a bishop must teach the Catholic faith 'in season and out of season' and he teaches not only by his words but by his actions.
Hesburgh's influence is infecting most colleges and universities today. Unfortunately, the majority of once-Catholic institutions like Notre Dame can now be aptly described as "Catholic in name only."
Learn more by watching The Download — Notre Shame.