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Written Word > Articles & Commentaries > April 2009 > Covering Up the Name of Jesus
Current rating: 4.8 (9 ratings)
Thank you. Our Catholic universities should not be ashamed of their identity. If President Obama was uncomfortable with the religious symbolism of the Society of Jesus, he should not have been on the campus. I am disappointed in the Jesuits. God's Soldiers? Not lately. My daughter attends the College of the Holy Cross and I hope the leadership at that campus will hold firm if confronted with a similar issue.
4/22/2009 12:52:55 PM
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Just one question for Fr. Reese, could not the University moved the venue so the background did not contain the symbol? Surely this is a simpler solution to the President's "problem."
4/22/2009 1:32:58 PM
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Michael Jaffray King
Cindy I absolutely agree with you and with all Father Barron's remarks. It is high time that we Catholics become really proud of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. No wonder the world ridicules us when we are ashamed of the Name of Christ and remember the warning from Christ Himself Mark 8:38
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels
4/22/2009 1:37:40 PM
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Steve J
Reclaiming Catholic culture really is two steps forward and one step back (or more like 1 1/4 steps forward and 1 step back). I know progress is being made, but it's still most discouraging to watch spokesmen for the Church sell out the faith in front of the whole world. It certainly doesn't help me witness to the truth of the Faith to my non-Catholic family & friends.

On a positive note, though, it's been encouraging to see a number of bishops stand up vociferously for the Faith, especially with the Notre Shame deal - many of their comments were most politically incorrect. Keep it up!
4/22/2009 3:41:19 PM
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Gina Nakagawa
Pope Paul VI said it best, "The smoke of Satan is in the sanctuary
4/22/2009 5:57:02 PM
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Caroline David
I agree with Fr Barron. It's like having to cover the altar of your home just because the President wants to visit.

If he wants to visit, he's got to respect his host's beliefs. If he's not happy, it's better not to visit.
4/22/2009 7:59:04 PM
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Obama is paving the way for the anti-christ....he may very well be the false prophet....if he is not,at least world should take note of this man because he is dangerous and prophetic showing people how the anti-christ will come--THE BIBLE SAYS ..PRAY FOR YOUR LEADERS--AND THIS GUY NEEDS OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.GOD CAN CHANGE HIS HEART.
4/22/2009 10:15:02 PM
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Kathy D
Thank you, Father Barron. My family and I are very glad to read your comments. We have been dismayed at the behavior of some of the Catholic universities in this country and their recent behavior. I am proud to be Catholic, why aren't they?
4/22/2009 10:18:17 PM
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I agree with you about who Jesus is. I think we need more education and evangelization, so that Christians aren't embarrassed any more. I have to take issue with the characterization of President Obama as "radically pro-abortion". I think it would be fair to say that he staunchly favors a policy of abortion law that legalizes the procedure and makes it available. I do not think that is the same thing as favoring the procedure itself. Mr. Obama himself maintains, correctly I think and hope, that no one is pro-abortion. I don't think we further the constructive dialogue to which we are called by calling that stance either "pro-abortion" or "radical" when it isn't either of those.
4/22/2009 11:20:16 PM
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Michael Jaffray King
It has come to that. We will have to trust the Lord and pray for help from the saints and from our Holy Mother to intervene and straighten out our awesome church. These posts are important as they highlight the problem. Now we can unburden ourselves in front of the Tabernacle. Prayer is powerful!
4/22/2009 11:48:03 PM
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suzie quatro
Yes Michael prayer is so powerful as are acts of sacrifice. I will make extra efforts as my heart aches for all the division and ignorance and contradiction out there. Christians - live the faith. Live it... in simplicity and love emulating our Holy Family. Your faithfulness will not go unnoticed by our Saviour.

Bob - More education and evangelization yes. I read with interest your comments on Obama. I too think his demonization is inappropriate. I so wish our catholic universities - instead of sinking away from who they are - would instead open dialogue with Obama administration about abortion, contraception, the family, social programs for women, and lay out the strong rational policy reasons of our Faith. Where are our catholic scholars out there representing us? Come out and engage and educate not only Obama and his Admin but all of us catholics who know far too little and are way too young in our relationships with Our Saviour.

Now, in the time of His Resurrection, the time of the descent of the Holy Spirit - let us act out with zeal spreading His Word, His love, His Heart so we can bring all catholics to the authentic life to model Christ and through their faithfulness, transform hearts...
4/23/2009 7:17:20 PM
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Monica Carde
Shame on Georgetown, shame on Notre Dame. This is our leadership? If Obama stood behind the IHS, I would never mistake him for a Catholic. I am offended.
4/23/2009 10:29:39 PM
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Ann Urbanski
No where do you mention that the symbol is prominently displayed in 26 other locations in the Hall.
4/24/2009 8:19:34 AM
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Sadly, most of us know that most "mainline" Catholic colleges have lost their moral compass long ago ... especially the Jesuits. Like too many general business, promoting the "brand" becomes more important than the principle. But don't take this laying down.
4/24/2009 11:52:06 AM
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Laura Johnston
To President Obama:

When you want to speak at a Catholic University, expect Catholic symbols to be displayed. If they are so abhorrent to you speak elsewhere, I suggest the Headquarters of the American Civil Liberties Union, I am sure that you find no symbols to Jesus or the Catholic Faith there.
4/24/2009 12:12:38 PM
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Perhaps one should consider that it is the President making the speech and not the University itself. Generally, in a formal setting the flag and presidential seal are used in official speeches. Perhaps the author should check the protocols for presentaions by the president. Freedom of thought is critical to a Catholic Univerisy and generally the Church has supported the free exchange of thought. Ad hominum remarks by the author do little to promote an understanding of philosophy.
4/24/2009 1:41:01 PM
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Johnny EUbanks
I thought IHS stood for In Hoc Signo, which means In This Sign - that's why it was on all of the hosts back in the day. I thought all priests knew that - Rev. Bob, are you REALLY a Catholic priest? What else about your story is a little bit wrong?
4/24/2009 1:46:24 PM
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Anne Alvarez
I applaud all of the ongoing efforts of Fr. Barron tp make this information available via the web. Further, I would like to ask those reading this to consider the following question. If I invited you into my home, would you instruct me to cover things like artwork or symbols of any kind? I hope your immediate response would be "No! I'm an invited guest into your home and it would be rude and unacceptable (bad manners) to ask such a thing." How in the world does this person have the audacity to make such a request when he's the invited guest? Our country was founded on a bedrock of faith in Christ as evidenced by our own currency featuring "In God We Trust" so is it just a matter of time before he "requests" that to be "covered up" too? Pray People, Pray!
4/24/2009 1:56:32 PM
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Tom B.
Did anyone hear what Pres. O said at Georgetown? He twisted the meaning of Christ's parable of building on rock and not sand to refer to his economic approach. -Displacing Jesus! So now it makes sense why he would want to hide any reference to Jesus.
4/24/2009 2:07:43 PM
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Patti Duda
Thank you Fr. Barron for always standing up for Truth!
4/24/2009 5:53:03 PM
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IHS are the first three letters for the word Jesus in Greek. It does not mean "In Hoc Signo!"
4/24/2009 7:39:19 PM
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See this link for the meaning of IHS:
4/24/2009 11:04:47 PM
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Michael Jaffray King
Father Barron is one of my very favourite Priests. I am a recent convert to the Catholic Church, an ongoing process starting 10 years ago and galvanising more recently about 5 years ago.
EWTN and now Father Barron, Word on Fire are playing a very important part in my on going conversion. By the day, I am more and more convinced that the Catholic Church is the right one. It is the Church founded on Peter by Christ Himself. I have come to this conclusion rather late in life being now 70. I was converted or born again on a railway train in the spring of 1965 just after the death of Winston Churchill at the age of 26. From the start I wanted to be a radical Christian. I wanted to take my faith seriously. I could not settle for being just a bench warmer. By 1971 I had tried all the main line Protestant denominations. Being a Brit, Catholicism was not even on the agenda as a very successful campaign of misinformation and disinformation had been brain washing our land for 500 years, so I eventually settled for the COG, The Children of God sect, the only lasting branch of the Jesus revolution of the Hippies from California. Believe it or not these forsake all missionaries are not the evil sex maniacs that they are reported to be. Yes, they largely reject the sanctity of marriage and sex is a kind of free for all but no abortion or birth control is tolerated. They are extremely serious about their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and live a very disciplined life of total dependence on Him for their financial support and for guiding and directing their personal lives. Of course there have been and maybe still are some who have abused their liberties but that is not the norm by any means. No more the norm than saying that all Catholic Priests are perverts. A very tiny minority, Yes, but that is a ridiculous accusation promoted by the Gutter press. All that to say that of course I am against abortion. It is a murderous horror perpetrated against defenceless human beings. I sometimes try to compare this with Hitler's horrific treatment of the Jewish people. Those lead off to the Gas chambers had more possibility of defending themselves than a tiny baby supposedly in the safe confines of its mother's womb. At least the Jews in their majority of numbers could have rushed their guards. They were going to die anyway so with a mass determined and organised effort they might have been able to overcome at least some of their murderous opponents.
Christ has warned us in His Word that the Broad way leads to destruction and many there are that are on that wide and popular path. Actually we are a chosen few. Saint John's Gospel Chapter 15 verses 16 and 17.....16 You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another. The narrow way is just for those who have chosen to put their Creator and His plans in first place rather than their own. This narrow way leads to life with a capital L. However I cannot see that it is our duty to impose our standards on those on the broad way. In other words is it our duty to legislate righteousness to those who reject the Truth? The fact that Abortion is a horrendous social evil cannot be denied by those on the narrow way. The use of condoms and promoting sex just for pleasure is also a form of abortion. I am beginning to see that maybe our best shot as stated by other contributors in particular, suzie quatro, is not to Demonise the opposition. According to Father Barron who has read President Obama's book, “The audacity to hope,” There is hope for this young President. Even the pro Abortionists are not really pro it but allow it as a sad consequence on the moral decadency and promiscuity of our times. It is like birth control through mechanical methods. In the Bible Onan lost his life for spilling his seed. God does not approve of it any more than a true Catholic but surely we should befriend those who are in opposition and through desperate prayer and a good example of loving our opponents may the Lord Jesus help us to change their views. It is kind of like that old adage of loving the sinner and hating the sin. Look forward to lots of comments and help as I am a little confused about how to best fight against the scourge of Abortion. In other word Pro Abortionists be they President or Pauper are not our enemies just their views.
4/25/2009 7:31:36 AM
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GB Mayes
The most chilling aspect of this for me is that the school not only denied the Lord of Creation by covering over the symbol, but did it to the purpose of elevating a world leader in the culture of death. No spin can explain that betrayal away.
4/25/2009 8:26:49 AM
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The photos on the attached link show where and how the letters IHS were covered. The letters were above the blue curtains on the stage.
4/25/2009 10:52:08 AM
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Gabriel Austin
Whence comes this nonsense about Notre Dame as the flagship Catholic university in the U.S.? It lives in a world of its own, in the cornfields of Indiana. Perhaps "flagship" as the university which misled many others out of the Catholic fold with its Land-O'-Lakes anti-papal statement.
4/25/2009 11:00:20 AM
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I read your review and pondered your comments. Why was President Obama being honored at a Catholic University? An honorary degree! Was it in theology? Or something worldly?
Do we praise the works of man's hands such as a building? Is not our Christian body the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit? Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar and to God what is God.
4/25/2009 4:34:06 PM
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Wow, I was too poor to attend a Catholic University, but I have never been too ignorant to know that those who deny Him before men cannot expect Him to know them before the Father.
4/25/2009 9:08:16 PM
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Gina Nakagawa
Vivian's comments about rendering are very perceptive. However whether receiving an honorary degree in law, mathematics or theology, when in an institution founded under God's aegis, God, not Caesar takes precedence.
4/26/2009 3:48:22 PM
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Would President Obama have asked any other religous organization to do the same especially the Musilms, I think not, we catholic roll over that is why we are the butt end of every religous joke.
I voted for President Obhama, but this will be his downfall.
4/27/2009 10:59:54 AM
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I am wondering, if Obama visits mosque in US, would mosque clerics cover islamic religious symbols and Mochamed's writings? I am not Catholic, but find Notre Dame attitude despeacable.
4/27/2009 1:17:20 PM
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I can understand why the White House requested the drape and Georgetown complied. A picture of the President of the United States in front of Christian religious symbols is just the type of propaganda tool that extremists of other faiths would use to support their claim that the United States is on a religious crusade to impose Christianity on the rest of the world.
4/27/2009 8:33:38 PM
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norma Luna
This is the time for catholics to practice their faith and do as Jesus, their Lord taught!God takes care of those who betray HIM, while we pray for these weak, lost brethren of ours!Jesus is the good shepherd and the church He founded will prevail!Forgiveness is love, love will triumph over evil.Let us pray for ourselves, that God's light is upon us, in all our decisions, in Jesus name, amen.
4/28/2009 11:32:15 AM
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Most people do not know the Catholic faith, They called Themselfs Catholic, but do not know what it means.
5/2/2009 12:16:29 PM
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It saddens me to see such a disrespect for ones identity. Compromising who we are as Catholics so that no one will be offended. This being ashamed of one's Catholic identity, unfortunately isn't anything new. There are even some Catholic hospitals in the country who have taken the crucifixes off the wall in the name of sensitivity - not wanting to offend anyone. The Georgetown incident only makes that reality more national. After Vatican II, many Catholics and Catholic institutions in their desire to be more e*****enical demeaned the Catholic thought. The erosion of what it means to be Catholic began. Don't get me wrong, I am a complete supporter of Vatican II, but some took it upon themselves to interpret the Vat. II do*****ents in their own way. Thus we are left with what we have today, Catholics who know very little about who they are or what they believe or what the Church actually teaches. I digress. What we need to understand is that being respectful doesn't mean be less of who we are, it actually means being fulling and truthfully who we are and inviting others to be the same. This whole action at Georgetown and even at Notre Dame to me, is rooted in "Shame" and shame is from the devil because it calls to hate who we are at our very roots. Please, lets get this right.
5/13/2009 10:19:53 AM
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Patricia Lewis
As a recent convert to the Roman Catholic Church I find it so unbelievable that Georgetown and Notre Dame would participate in these demeaning actions. I would like to hear the administrators explanations to GOD for allowing SATAN to participate in their universities.
5/25/2012 9:17:31 AM
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