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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  April 8, 2012
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Topic category:  Secession - Formation of a New Constitutional Republic

It's Time for Notre Dame University to Apologize to Mary Ann Glendon

Perhaps, as penance, Notre Dame University should establish a Mary Ann Glendon award for persons who refuse a great temptation to become complicit in a grievous wrong!

When Mary Ann Glendon, President George W. Bush's Ambassador to the Vatican and Harvard Law School's Learned Hand Professor of Law, declined to receive the 2009 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics established at Notre Dame in 1883, Huffington Post posted an article by Kaitlyn Riely, then a Notre Dame student, protesting.

Riely (

"Glendon, like many others who have spoken out against the Obama invitation, opposes Obama's pro-choice stances and decisions.

"But Glendon has been trained in diplomacy. Shouldn't being in the same place and engaging someone of an opposing view be right up her alley? Wouldn't the better decision be to use her platform -- or at least her proximity -- to persuade Obama to change his views?

"Her diplomatic style seems to be less suited for U.S.-Vatican relations and more for U.S.-Cuba relations.

"This is one more headache for Jenkins, Notre Dame's president...."

Glendon disapproved of both Notre Dame's decision to award President Obama an honorary degree as a violation of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops guidelines regarding people who espouse views contrary to the Catholic Church and Notre Dame's claim that her acceptance speech would provide appropriate balance.

In declining to accept, Glendon explained that a commencement "is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame's decision -- in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops -- to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church's position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice."

Glendon's daughter, Elizabeth Lev, exquisitely rebutted Riely's petulant piece (, stating in part:

"That Professor Glendon 'did not like that Notre Dame was claiming her speech would serve to balance the event' is...facile and simplistic. What is there to like in being the deflector screen for inviting a profoundly divisive figure to give the commencement speech? What is likeable about a Catholic University named for the most important woman in Christianity exploiting a woman who has already dedicated her life to protecting the Church's teaching by turning her into a warm-up act for a grotesque twist on a reality show?"

"[Riely's] notion that [Glendon's] 'training in diplomacy' might somehow ease this situation does not take into account that she [would have had] a five-minute acceptance speech and he [would have had] a lengthy commencement speech. There is no 'engaging' here. Diplomacy generally teaches that if you have a rapier and your opponent has a missile launcher, try not to engage."

"Professor Glendon has spent a month thinking, consulting, and given her deep faith, praying about this decision. (This, for those of you who don't know, means asking God to help one put aside one's own personal concerns and act in the way that will produce the greatest good). (Kaitlynn) Riely's dismissive 'thanks, no thanks' rendering of her decision, while pithy, is reductive."

(Reductive means tending to present a subject or problem in a simplified form, especially one viewed as crude.)

Lev described the award that her mother declined as follows: "The Laetare Medal is the highest honor conferred on Catholics in the United States. For a Catholic, it has greater prestige than a Nobel Prize for a scientist or an Academy Award for an actor, as the award is given for career-long achievement, for 'staying the course' in the words of St. Paul. It doesn't just showcase a single discovery or film role."

History has vindicated Glendon's highly principled decision to decline and exposed Notre Dame University's foolish decision to honor Obama as a grave mistake.

As a result of the Obama Administration's attack on religious liberty in HHS regulations issued this year, reportedly every diocesan bishop in the United States protested.

Notre Dame University was terribly wrong in honoring Obama by inviting him to deliver a commencement address and Glendon was right.

Perhaps, as penance, Notre Dame University should establish a Mary Ann Glendon award for persons who refuse a great temptation to become complicit in a grievous wrong!

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to,,, and and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is

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