Is Notre Dame Still Catholic?

In case you did not attend the Michigan/Notre Dame football game in South Bend, Indiana, last week, here is what you would have seen:

For the pregame festivities, the Notre Dame Marching Band took the field and played “America the Beautiful.” As the crowd sang, the PA announcer read the preambles of both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Then the ROTC color guard came onto the field with their flags, and the band played “The Star Spangled Banner.” When the song ended, a plane flew overheard, and four Navy SEAL skydivers jumped from it, parachuting into the stadium. While the jumpers slowly descended, the PA spoke for several minutes about the virtues of the Navy and its role as “a global force for good.” The PA also noted that the SEALs are among the finest warriors in the world and that they are trained to parachute deep behind enemy lines under cover of darkness. As the jumpers came into the stadium, one of them displayed a large American flag. The crowd erupted in applause.  At halftime, the Michigan Marching Band joined the celebration, dedicating its entire halftime show to war. The band started with “The Star Spangled Banner” (again), which the PA said was in recognition of America’s “victory in the War of 1812.” Then the band played “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” in remembrance of World War II. The show ended with “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which featured the display of a 20-yard-long American flag. During a timeout in the third quarter, the Navy SEAL skydivers came onto the field, along with two naval officers dressed in their white uniforms. The PA introduced each of the jumpers by name, and the commanding officer was presented with a Notre Dame football helmet as a gift. The PA asked everyone to thank the SEALs, along with all military personnel, for their service in protecting our freedom and keeping America safe every day. The crowd erupted in applause.

The LRC reader who attended the game comments: “Notre Dame claims to be a Catholic school, but there was no mention of Jesus Christ, nor was there a prayer or a reading from Scripture. I didn’t see a priest, nun, or religious brother anywhere. No one mentioned that Pope John Paul II now a saint condemned the Iraq War, as did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. No one mentioned Pope Francis’s recent statement that it’s possible to confront evil without dropping bombs.”

Is Notre Dame still Catholic? After attending one of its home football games, you might think that the school worships the military instead of Christ.


4:24 pm on September 9, 2014