Bishop John D'Arcy intended to stay away from Notre Dame
but he says he belonged on campus
to accompany a group of Notre Dame students in prayerful protest.
The bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese informed Notre Dame in March that he wouldn't attend this year's commencement ceremony after the university announced its decision to invite President Barack Obama as the speaker and bestow on him an honorary law degree.
Eighty-two other prelates soon joined Bishop D'Arcy in voicing disagreement with the university's gesture toward Obama, saying it went against the guidelines set by the U.S. bishops' conference for Catholic institutions of higher education.
The 2004 statement says schools should not bestow honors on individuals who "act in defiance" of the Church's fundamental teachings.
But the activity of a coalition of 12 Notre Dame student groups, formed to protest the administration's plans for graduation day, and to organize a parallel event in support of life and Catholic values, caught Bishop D'Arcy's eye.
The coalition, called ND Response, organized a prayer vigil the night before the commencement ceremony, including a directed meditation by Father John Corapi of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.
The vigil launched an all-night Eucharistic adoration, which concluded on Sunday -- graduation day.
Sunday Mass was held outside on one of the campus quads to accommodate the 3,000 people who had traveled from as far away as Mexico, New York, California and Florida to support the Catholic identity of the university and its pro-life mission.
The outdoor Mass, concelebrated by eight priests and presided over by Holy Cross Father Kevin Russeau, was followed by a rally featuring speakers with ties to Notre Dame.
Bishop D'Arcy made a surprise appearance, and after being invited to take the podium, he admitted, "It was not my intention to come today."
He explained, however, that he had visited the Marian grotto on campus and had observed students praying, and later visited the chapel where Eucharistic adoration was being held.
These moments of prayer, he said, "showed me the place for the bishop to be is here."
"The office of bishop is very important," the prelate added. He echoed the words of Pope John Paul II, and affirmed the importance of standing up "for life, all the time, everywhere, without exception."
Bishop D'Arcy told the crowd: "I found myself saying in recent weeks that this is a sad time, that there are no winners. But I was wrong."
He affirmed that the "heroes" are "the young people on campus, the students" who followed in "the great tradition of Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict."
The bishop continued: "Their protest was carried out with love, and with prayer, and with dignity and with respect. But with a firmness, also, as to what is right."
Bishop D'Arcy concluded, "So there are heroes; all of you here today are heroes, and I'm proud to stand with you."
After the rally, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, led a rosary at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, in a prayer vigil dedicated to the 40 graduates present there as a boycott to the official commencement ceremony.
Father Russeau gave tribute to these students in his homily, stating that despite all the media's coverage of the controversy, "one story that I don't hear enough about […] is the response of the student body."
He continued: "In the face of this controversy, I have witnessed countless students who have given me inspiration.
"Students who instinctively know to approach God in prayer about their trials, students who reach out to others in attempts to offer care, students who have demonstrated to me an ability to listen and obey the scripture we proclaim this day."
In these past months, the priest said, it has been inspiring to see the student body's "instinct to come to the altar of the Lord to ask for guidance and strength."
He added: "I can't tell you the number of rosaries and Masses and prayer meetings that have been intentional responses to what many feel is a concession to the culture of death.
"Students, family, friends, alumni, and many of you, have spent hours in adoration looking for the proper response.
"The students that I have come to know here on campus have reminded me that in all things we must respond with love. And to respond with love in hard times, we must ask our Lord for grace. We are here today to bear witness and to love."
A press statement from ND Response affirmed, "Sunday's events not only provided powerful witness to the sanctity of human life but also expressed constructive disappointment at the University of Notre Dame's decision to honor President Barack Obama, who has publicly supported abortion and embryo-destructive stem cell research during his tenure in office."
Bishop D'Arcy Joins Notre Dame Prayer Protest
Calls Student Coalition a Group of Heroes
SOUTH BEND, Indiana, MAY 20, 2009
Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama
because he is not eligible to be President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five
of the United States Constitution.
This is a fact regardless of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).
He is not a Natural Born Citizen
because he was not born of
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
at the time of his birth.
His father was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of his birth and afterwards.
His mother was too young to pass on her US citizenship
according to the law in effect when he was born.
Check it out:
His usurpation cannot be corrected by Congress,
it can only be corrected by his resignation, his removal
by an amendment to the Constitution
which will never happen.
- Leo Rugiens
WASHINGTON D.C., April 1, 2009: In a move certain to fuel the debate over Obama's qualifications for the presidency, the group "Americans for Freedom of Information" has released copies of President Obama's college transcripts from Occidental College. Released today, the transcript indicates that Obama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia as an undergraduate at the school. The transcript was released by Occidental College in compliance with a court order in a suit brought by the group in the Superior Court of California. The transcript shows that Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship. This document would seem to provide the smoking gun that many of Obama's detractors have been seeking.
The news has created a firestorm at the White House as the release casts increasing doubt about Obama's legitimacy and qualification to serve as president. When reached for comment in London, where he has been in meetings with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama smiled but refused comment on the issue. Meanwhile, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs scoffed at the report stating that this was obviously another attempt by a right-wing conservative group to discredit the president and undermine the administration's efforts to move the country in a new direction.
Britain's Daily Mail has also carried the story in a front-page article titled, "Obama Eligibility Questioned", leading some to speculate that the story may overshadow economic issues on Obama's first official visit to the U.K.
In a related matter, under growing pressure from several groups, Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments concerning Obama's legal eligibility to serve as President in a case brought by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey. This lawsuit claims Obama's dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. Donofrio's case is just one of 18 suits brought by citizens demanding proof of Obama's citizenship or qualification to serve as president.
Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation has released the results of their investigation of Obama's campaign spending. This study estimates that Obama has spent upwards of $950,000 in campaign funds in the past year with eleven law firms in 12 states for legal resources to block disclosure of any of his personal records. Mr. Kreep indicated that the investigation is still ongoing but that the final report will be provided to the U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder. Mr. Holder has refused to comment on the matter.
According to Associated Press story shown below, Obama's tramscripts from Occidential College show that he was an undergradraduate at the school under the name Barry Soetoro, and received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia. I did a search using "Smoking gun finally found."
Here are a few of the websites that came up. None said it was false.