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Conservative pundit speaks on University’s identity, Catholicism

| Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Matt Walsh, a columnist for the Blaze, discussed the impact of liberalism on Catholicism Tuesday evening.Emmet Farnan | The Observer
Matt Walsh, a columnist for The Blaze, discussed the impact of liberalism on Catholicism Tuesday evening.

A topic of persistent conversation at the University has long been how Notre Dame adheres to its Catholic mission — with guest speakers such as former President Barack Obama and former Texas state senator Wendy Davis often being used as examples of a departure from this mission. Tuesday evening in Nieuwland Hall, Matt Walsh, a columnist for The Blaze, spoke on what he believed to be the University’s departure from its Catholic heritage and what he saw as the political left’s corruption of Catholicism.

“Notre Dame has provided us a helpful demonstration of what the consequences are when a Catholic institution loses its Catholic heritage,” he said. “ … This institution calls itself Catholic but proceeds to betray that identity, and in doing so has scandalized the public.”

Walsh cited Obama’s speech and certain University policies as evidence of this departure.

“Recent history speaks for itself,” he said. “ … We know that in [2009] Notre Dame hosted the most radically pro-abortion president in history. … A few years ago, management decided to provide marriage benefits to employees in same-sex relationships, citing a legal obligation that does not exist.”

The invitation for Davis to speak was key evidence for his case against Notre Dame’s Catholicism, Walsh said.

“Last year, this to me is the most egregious of all, … the Notre Dame gender studies department invited Wendy Davis to speak,” he said. “Wendy Davis is known for — and only known for — her extremist pro-abortion views. Davis is a fierce disciple of the abortion death cult and has devoted her entire life to ensuring the right to kill children.”

Walsh said Notre Dame’s Gender Studies Program also helped push the University away from its Catholic mission.

“The very fact that this university has a gender studies program is a problem,” he said. “Gender studies programs exist to create unemployed people, and second, to indoctrinate students into a radical left-wing notion of gender.”

These actions, Walsh said, were enough for the University to draw heavy criticism.

“Notre Dame must be admonished and rebuked for what it’s done,” he said.

Walsh then moved from his critique of Notre Dame to a discussion of his belief that liberalism is corrupting Catholicism.

“This is liberalism, it is indistinguishable from satanism — it is satanism,” he said. “ … Pope Leo [XIII] saw this before liberalism would claim the right to kill children, the right to redefine marriage.”

There were three key areas, Walsh said, in which liberalism was attacking Catholic teaching — family, gender and marriage. Walsh spoke especially passionately against abortion.

“How could a pro-choice catholic believe that an unborn child is worthless and subhuman when unborn humans possess an identity not only created by God but shared with him and experienced by him?” he said.

Walsh said the responsibility for the pervasive nature of these ideas fell somewhat on the shoulders of people of faith.

“We as Catholics and Christians, we drop the ball big time on this discussion,” he said. “We did a really bad job of explaining it. Even more so, we did a bad job demonstrating what a sacred marriage looks like to the outside world.”

While many of these teachings may be hard to argue for in the contemporary context, Walsh said, one must have faith in their truth.

“We may not understand it, we may find it hard and difficult … but although it can be interesting to talk about why the Bible says this or why the Church says this, we need to establish first that they do say it, period,” he said.

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About Lucas Masin-Moyer

Lucas Masin-Moyer is a senior at Notre Dame majoring in Political Science and American Studies. He serves as Assistant Managing Editor, lived in Morrissey Manor and hails from Telford, Pennsylvania.

Contact Lucas