Dear Mary Ann,
I wanted to write to say how very much I appreciate your courageous stance in rejecting Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal. I can only imagine the pain it caused you to refuse such a prestigious honor from an institution that you undoubtedly love and one that is a premier American Catholic university. The Laetare Medal recognizes outstanding service to the Catholic Church; it is a most appropriate honor for your prestigious career in defending the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. The honor is so well-earned; you are a worthy recipient of the Laetare Medal. Yet you chose integrity and principle; you were unwilling to provide cover for a very controversial and unprincipled decision by Notre Dame’s administration.
As a former Vatican Ambassador, you were unwilling to be Notre Dame’s pawn to deflect the firestorm of criticism over their invitation to the most pro-abortion President in American history to be the 2009 commencement speaker and to receive an Honorary Doctorate. As one of the top authors on bioethics and human rights in the world and a highly respected law professor at Harvard University, you could have accepted your award and made your speech without getting involved in the controversy over whether it is appropriate for Notre Dame to flagrantly defy the foundational moral principles of the faith. Instead, you took a principled stance that said you would not stand by while a Catholic university honored a man whose openly stated intent and public record flies in the face of all that genuine believers understand to be Biblical Truth.
President Obama began his presidency by undermining the Judeo-Christian values that are the foundation of America. The following are just a few examples to prove the point. He began by reversing the Mexico City policy – which means he authorized American taxpayer funding for abortions around the world. He pledged taxpayer money, $50 million, to the United Nations Population Fund whose purpose is to limit births, including support for China’s heartbreaking one-child policy. He supports increased funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that routinely profits in the millions of dollars from being the nation’s largest abortion provider. He supports reversing the “conscience clause” protections that allow pro-life doctors and medical personnel to refuse to do abortions. He has put into place political appointees in pivotal positions that will promote his pro-abortion policies, including the newly confirmed Secretary for Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, whose record is extreme in terms of late-term abortions and providing even minimal oversight of abortion providers.
Long ago, William Ellery Channing described your action: “The greatest [woman is she] who chooses the right with invincible resolution, who resists the sorest temptations from within and without, who bears the heaviest burdens cheerfully, who is calmest in storms and most fearless in menace and frowns, whose reliance on truth, on virtue, on God, is most unfaltering.”
Thank you for serving as an example for all that it does not serve Truth to participate in hypocrisy.
From one who is pleased to be called your friend,