"This is Notre
Dame," he said, according to the Observer newspaper. "We dare to say it
is the school of Our Lady. … This place has a special obligation."
The bishop gave
his address on the pastoral role of the bishop. He said the Second
Vatican Council had a strong impact on the role of the bishop, shifting
it from “CEO and administrator to a pastor and evangelist.”
When asked about
his relationship with university administration, Bishop D'Arcy
connected his pastoral role to the recent debates on academic freedom
raised by the “Monologues” incident.
"It is important
to recognize the independence of the university and its academic
freedom," he reportedly said. "But I have pastoral freedom. I cannot
refrain from preaching the Gospel."
He told audience
members Friday that the disagreement on this issue has placed his
relationship with the current administration “under stress.” However,
he retains his respect for the university.
denounced Fr. Jenkins' decision not to ban the "Monologues," the bishop
advised students to read the play and become informed about the
He said his
actions and decisions have been based on the late Pope John Paul II's
definition of academic freedom. The Catholic teaching states that
members of a university should be treated with academic freedom so long
as the rights of the individual members are maintained, the bishop said.
rejected a student's suggestion that Notre Dame was no longer a
Catholic university. "I think among the major universities it is by far
the most Catholic," he said. "I have great affection for it, and so
does [Pope] Benedict [XVI]."
John D'Arcy of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese told students and
faculty at Notre Dame Law School Friday that he was "deeply saddened"
by university president Fr. John Jenkins' April 5 decision that “The
Vagina Monologues” would not be prohibited on campus.