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Dear Fr. Jenkins,

| Friday, November 17, 2017

Your decision to assure employees of our University that they will not lose contraceptive insurance coverage even though the use of contraceptives is not an accepted method of birth control by the Catholic Church is an another unfortunate mistake by your administration.

Again, because of our University’s stature and notoriety, we have a pronouncement that may be used by those not affiliated with our Catholic faith to misinterpret its meaning for purposes not beneficial to the Church. You must know that such actions are often represented to the world outside of the University as “Catholic-based,” even though you may not intend them as such.

You and those at our University who make any and all decisions that are related to matters of faith and morals should be guided solely by our Catholic faith and teachings. But, in decision after decision, you seem to resist or ignore such guidance.

These actions continue to be of great concern for the Catholic alumnae and alumni of Notre Dame who feel that you are unknowingly using our University as a platform for spreading untruths and misrepresentations about the faith and teachings of the Catholic Church.

We ask that you reconsider this decision.


Martha and William Dodd

class of 1962

Nov. 8

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • John H. Gleason

    The Dodds are exactly right. Once again, Notre Dame has blown an opportunity to stand up for Catholic moral teaching, choosing instead to conform itself to popular culture.

  • Rohan

    Dear Martha and William Dodd: your graduation year reflects your lack of synchronization with the needs, trends, and attitudes of modern society – including the vast majority of Catholics. Please, take a hard look at your narrow-mindedness and devote your energy and breath to do something that actually creates GOOD in the world.

    Wasting it here on this forum, and misstating Fr. Jenkins’ decision as a, “great concern for all Catholic alumnae and alumni of Notre Dame,” is hyperbolic and futile, if not an outright lie.


  • Annette Magjuka

    Dear Martha and William Dodd,
    I applaud Fr. Jenkins’ decision to allow a third party to continue to provide birth control for those who wish to use it. There are many reasons women use birth control, although preventing pregnancy is certainly the main reason. I am 61 and when I was young I marched in Right to Life events. I was rigid and strident in my insistence that LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION AND THAT IS THAT. But over the years I have seen many morally complex situations involving family planning, infertility, and women’s health. These issues are best resolved by individual women, with the council of her priest, family, and physicians. I know some Catholics want to police women and sanction those who wish to make their own decisions. I do not agree with this approach. There are severe unintended consequences for denying women agency over their own bodies. These issues are best left to the individual consciences of the women involved. I am not suggesting that the church change its pro life stance. I recently read about a pastoral priest who had the following put on his gravestone: “I tried to treat them like adults.” I found this brilliant and appropriate to this issue. Leave it to each woman to examine her conscience and make her own decisions.