Nearly a full year later, Notre Dame finally comments on the status of the now famous ‘Notre Dame 88’ and attempts to take a stand, that somehow, these protestors meant to bring about violence on campus, and that there was a viable threat to the well being of the campus and those who were on it. It is really unfortunate that Fr. Jenkins has decided to paint himself into this corner, and time and the facts will ultimately show how Fr. Jenkins has distorted the facts of this case, as much as he has distorted the teachings of the Catholic Church in matters of faith and morals, especially concerning the issue of legalized child killing.
Fr. Jenkins claims that the ND88 were ‘unruly and lead by individuals who threatened peace and order’ and thus, deserve the possibility of up to one year in jail and the $5,000 fine. As one of the ND88 myself, I am very aware of what went on that weekend, why I was there, and why the majority of those, who ultimately became known as the ND 88 were there. I am also very aware of what our goals were as well as what we were instructed to do by the man who coordinated this effort, Randall Terry. It seems to me that Fr. Jenkins is feeling the heat, and his very convoluted and contradictory position his actions have demonstrated is beginning to catch up with him.
To begin with, Randall Terry did not, has not and will not condone violence, destruction of property or any form of behavior that would be seen as personally threatening to others, and Mr. Terry continues to advocate for NON VIOLENT MEANS of protest. Yes, Fr. Jenkins was correct in alluding to the term’ circus’ to describe the atmosphere of this commencement, but circus is nowhere near a position of rioting, violence or destruction of property that he wants to allege by his statements. The majority of the ND 88 are grandmothers and grandfathers, along with a priest and many young people who believed in the cause of upholding Catholic teachings, and went onto the campus in the spirit of prayerfulness. (Not what I would consider any threat). All the videos of the event confirm this to be true, and we did not get but 50-100 yards past the main gate before being arrested.
Fr. Jenkins is also making the claim that the ND 88 are being treated in the same fashion as all protestors have in the past. This claim has already been demonstrated to be false, as an investigation by the South Bend Tribune and the Sycamore Trust, a Notre Dame Alumni watchdog group has confirmed. Two groups of protestors, the pro gay soulforce and catholic worker anti ROTC were arrested on campus in March of 2007 for trespassing, and were processed and let go. The Sycamore Trust has proven through their investigation that both of these groups also violated the supposed criteria that Fr. Jenkins claims is the ‘litmus test’ for those who may disagree, or protest Notre Dame:
"We require that any campus demonstration ... be peaceful and orderly," be approved by the university, and be organized by a student, staff, or faculty member. However, "those who were arrested last spring met none of these criteria and, in particular, were led by individuals who threatened peace and order by promising upheaval on our campus."
Evidently, there are differing standards according to what purposes the protestors bring to the conversation. Any way one wants to look at this, the ND 88 will have their day and say, and it will not bode well for Fr. Jenkins and co, as they will be exposed for the frauds that they are. There are too many of the faithful out there that are tired of the ‘double speak’ that both the Church and the Society at large engage in on a regular basis. Truth is truth, and this will play out in the end. Many in the ranks of the ND 88 are willing to go where the spirit leads, and in the end Fr. Jenkins is only a bit player in this (much like Pilate was in the crucifixion) this fight is way bigger than Fr. Jenkins, and he is currently, and will continue to be on the wrong side of history (but hopefully not on the wrong side of eternity).
Randall Terry spearheaded the protests, but the rest of us went due to deep convictions that the administration, lead by Fr. Jenkins was in grave error of church teachings by inviting the most pro baby killer in the history of our nation to preside over the commencement of what should be the most orthodox university in this country. There was never a threat of violence, or of disturbing the peace or any of Fr. Jenkins trumped up charges. We were there to uphold the faith that Fr. Jenkins supposedly pledged his life to uphold. Fr. Jenkins created and fomented this scandal, not the 88 of us who stood with our lady in this travesty.
Frankly, I am not personally concerned over what the court of man decides pertaining to my fate. I can and will live with whatever the consequences of my actions are. It is the court of God that I am concerned with, and it is his judgment and condemnation that puts fear in my heart. There is no question for me that we 88 made the moral and faithful decision in standing up for the babies despite the outcome and consequences of the day. Regardless of the consequences in this world of time, these actions have eternal implications that will live on forever. So will Fr. Jenkins actions. Fr. Jenkins will have his day in front of the Supreme Judge, and will have to answer for his actions, and on that day, he will not have an office to hide in, or a board of directors to deflect the heat. I hope he is prepared.