President of Catholic Notre Dame slams former coach's pro-life comments

Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz drew the ire of the school’s president for the contents of his speech at the Republican National Convention. Taking a strong pro-life stance in his speech, Holtz offered support for President Donald Trump’s stance on the matter. 

He then criticized the Biden-Harris ticket as “the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history.” Holtz elaborated on that by declaring that any Catholic politician who supports abortion, like Biden, is “Catholic in name only.”

Holtz’s pro-life stance seemed to cause controversy at the Catholic university, drawing a rebuke from the school’s president, Rev. John Jenkins, who made it clear that the university did not endorse the words of its former football coach.

[RELATED: University of Notre Dame keeps mum on ‘Confronting Whiteness’ event...but why?]

“While Coach Lou Holtz is a former coach at Notre Dame, his use of the University’s name at the Republican National Convention must not be taken to imply that the University endorses his views, any candidate or any political party. Moreover, we Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions, we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith, which is due to the mysterious working of grace in that person’s heart. In this fractious time, let us remember that our highest calling is to love," Jenkins said.

Notre Dame College Republicans President Adam Morys had a different reaction.

“It was right to criticize Holtz to a certain extent. He was incorrect in calling Biden ‘Catholic in name only,’” Morys told Campus Reform.“Having received the Church's sacraments, Biden is a Catholic, but he is a Catholic committing scandal by publicly promoting a position that is manifestly contrary to that of the Church."

As reported by the Catholic News Agency, in late August, Pontifical Academy for Life President Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, stated that Catholic politicians “must stop promoting laws against the life” of the unborn. 

“The Church is very clear in this regard. It is a response from the Catechism. It is a great mistake to promote legislation on abortion and euthanasia,” Paglia said.

“It is likely that political pressure is influencing the university. In June, Fr. Jenkins praised the Supreme Court's decision preventing the president from rescinding DACA,” Morys told Campus Reform. “It is saddening that the University will not publicly oppose Biden's stance on abortion as aggressively as it opposed Trump's attempt to end Obama's unconstitutional amnesty.” 

“Every Catholic institution, especially one as respected as Notre Dame, must be willing to rebuke Catholic politicians that support abortion,” Morys added.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Notre Dame for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Chris_Tremoglie