Dear Fr. Jenkins…Speak Up!

There is a blog that just started up at the beginning of Lent where everyday they post an open letter to Fr. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, and then they send nice copies of the letters to his office.

You remember Fr. Jenkins, right?  He used to love Obama.

This was that awkward moment when the President whispered to Fr. Jenkins, "Hey, know I'm just kidding about this whole respecting conscience thing, right?"

But lately, he’s changed his tune.  Fr. Jenkins spoke out strongly when the HHS news first hit the fan.  But since President Obama’s imaginary accommodation, Fr. Jenkins has remained silent on the topic.

Thus the need for these letters to encourage Fr. Jenkins to do the right thing. He has the opportunity to be a hero.  It would say a lot if the head of the leading Catholic university – a university that once embraced Obama – would now stand up and say “Mr. President, we will not comply with your unjust law.”

So if you went to Notre Dame, please consider sending a contribution to  You can also find them on facebook.

May I suggest that your letter appeal strongly and charitably to Fr. Jenkins.  Like this one.

Convince him to do the right thing.

Basically, don’t write anything like I would write.

If you didn’t go to Notre Dame or you just can’t be charitable, feel free to speak your mind in the comments below.

Patrick Thornton has a real job (sort of).  He did not attend Notre Dame, but he knows some people who did and he sometimes roots for their football team when he remembers to watch their games.  He thinks Brian Kelly should be fired because he is pro-choice and kind of loses a lot.  The views expressed here may or may not be his own.  It depends who’s asking.


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  • Francis Wippel

    I guess my first question would be to ask why Father Jenkins is still holding his post at Notre Dame?

    Obama’s honorary degree at Notre Dame gave him legitimacy from the most high-profile Catholic university in our nation, despite the fact that he is the most openly pro-abortion candidate ever elected President, even supporting outright infanticide while a state senator in Illinois. Obama used this honorary degree to project himself as being friendly to Catholicism, and as a tool to convince faithful Catholics they would not be ‘forced’ to violate their consciences under his proposed health care legislation. Well, we all see how that turned out, didn’t we?

    While many other Catholic leaders in our nation saw this coming beforehand, and openly protested Father Jenkins’ decision, he persisted and gave the honorary degree anyway.

    Father Jenkins aligned himself to a cause which he did not understand, and in the process, his association with the leader of that cause (Obama) ended up undermining the Catholic faith, something Obama intended from the start. The President used Father Jenkins for Obama’s own political benefit. Since then, our freedom to have that faith respected in all Catholic organizations (schools, universities, hospitals) has just been taken away, and it’s up to the courts to restore it. So much for that honorary degree, huh?

    I would hope Father Jenkins speaks out now and doesn’t fall for this bogus compromise. I also hope he now realizes how Obama used him, and hopefully, Father Jenkins will not let this happen again.

  • DBfromND

    The Holy Spirit has such a delightful way of humbling the proud . . .

    30 yr. alum here – mortified at Fr. Jenkins and his behavior with Obama. Not much has changed and not much will as long as both remain in their respective position as president.

    I get fairly frequent calls from current students wondering why my meager annual donations have ceased for several years. I try to remind them of Fr. Jenkins / Obama and graduation 2008 – the disrespect of the local Bishop / USCCB etc. They continue through their telemarketing script until I interrupt again wondering if they know anything about the “Land O Lakes Statement” or “Ex Corde Ecclesiae” at which point I realize that between Organic Chemistry and Facebook and video games, there really isn’t much time for a current student to wonder about the “Splendor of the Truth” let alone what Notre Dame has to do with any of it. They make one final push for a donation at which time I tell them that I now make an annual contribution to the conservative Irish Rover on-line paper ( as well as the Sycamore Trust ( – they thank me for my time and off they go.

    Agree Fr. Miscamble is awesome but others as well (Carter Snead etc.).

    Thankfully, “that place” is in the hands of the Blessed Mother – trust she will take care of business as appropriate.

  • Brad Birzer

    Patrick, while I very much appreciate the sentiment, I think Father Jenkins is a lost cause, a man without any integrity. The only person left at Notre Dame with integrity (and, he’s a man of complete integrity) is Father Wilson Miscamble. He’s brilliant, and, if any real justice existed in the City of Man, he’d be the president of the university. Yours, sincerely, Brad Birzer (Notre Dame, B.A., 1990).

    • Patrick Thornton

      I’m in agreement on Fr. Miscamble, as far as him making a better president.

      Since you went to ND, you should write a letter. Sometimes, even those who seem to be lost causes can be swayed to do the right thing.

    • Mike

      “The only person left at Notre Dame with integrity . . . is Father Wilson Miscamble.”

      Fr. Miscamble is amazing, but he is “the only person left at Notre Dame with integrity”? This is a demonstrably false statement. Off the top of my head John O’Callaghan, Alfred Freddoso, Msgr. Michael Heinz, John Cavadini, Gerry Bradley, Carter Snead, Rick Garnett, AJ Bellia, Dan Kelly, Jeff Pojanowski, Margaret Brinig, Peter Kilpatrick, David Solomon, Fr. Bill Dailey, Carolyn Woo, Amy Barrett, Bill Kelley, Philip Bess, Kirk Doran, Fr. John Coughlin, Julian Velasco, and Laura Hollis all are people of integrity–in many (most?) cases “complete integrity.”

      ND has its problems (some of which can be serious at times), and surely Fr. Miscamble would make a better President than Fr. Jenkins, but to say he’s “the only person left . . . with integrity” reads like axe grinding.

      • TLR

        Fr. Jenkins must wake up and realize that there is no dialogue. The war against the first amendment and religious liberty has started. This is Fr. Jenkins’ only opportunity for redemption. Many of us in this country are praying that he and Notre Dame will step to the front and firmly declare: “We will not comply”.

      • Patrick Thornton

        Good comment, Mike!

        Want to write a letter to Fr. Jenkins for this campaign?

        Please send an email to the link in the post.


        • Rozann Carter

          I agree! I would LOVE to have your letters, Mike, Brad, and TLR. Please consider writing for the blog.


    • Nathan

      When I applied to Notre Dame to get a Ph.D. in history, he was the one I wanted to study under. Nice to know he’s rock solid in fidelity to the faith as well as in the field.

    • Bob

      Before you get ahead of yourself, note that Fr. Miscamble has repeatedly defended (in his recent book “From Roosevelt to Truman” and a public debate on campus) President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • Mike

    Brian Kelly is pro-choice?

    • Nathan

      That caught my eye, too. I wouldn’t be surprised, though. I’d imagine coaches at all major sports programs (other than BYU) have to be resigned to the fact that their players are going to get girls pregnant and sometimes will seek an abortion. Very sad.



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