Notre Dame University again betrays Catholic pro-life principles

Notre Dame University again betrays Catholic pro-life principles

Roxanne M. Martino

It did it by appointing to its board of trustees Roxanne M. Martino, a campaign contributor to political candidates who are strongly opposed to the Church's teachings on life.

The Cardinal Newman Society revealed her history:

A review of Martino's contribution history on (see here and here) revealed that she gave a total of $16,150 to the pro-abortion group EMILY's List between 2005 and 2008. On its website, EMILY's List states that it is "dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office."

Furthermore, it appears that Martino has given a total of somewhere between $3,250 and $5,996 to the pro-abortion Chicago Foundation for Women between 2004 and 2011 (see here, here, here, here and here). Although it is not certain that the donor is not someone with the same name, the match is strong: same middle initial, two reports identify her husband Rocco, and her firm is in Chicago. During those years, the Chicago Foundation for Women made grants to the Chicago Abortion Fund, Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, the ACLU Reproductive Rights Project and Black Women for Reproductive Justice. The Foundation's website also notes that it supports the Illinois Campaign for Reproductive Health and Access, which seeks "to organize around the advancement of a broad pro-active, pro-choice agenda."

The move was roundly criticized by the Sycamore Trust, a group that fights to preserve the Catholic faith at Notre Dame. It said:

CNS scrupulously noted that there might be a remote possibility that this was another "Roxanne M. Martino" from Chicago, but it would have to be one whose husband was named "Rocco."

Moreover, we have verified from another source the CNS findings that Ms. Martino has contributed both to Emily's List and the Chicago Foundation, and we have given the University an opportunity to dispute these facts and it has not.

During the years Ms. Martino contributed, CNS wrote, the Foundation "made grants to the Chicago Abortion Fund, Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, the ACLU Reproductive Rights Project, and Black Women for Reproductive Justice."

For the University to make this startling and deeply disappointing appointment in the wake of the torrent of criticism triggered by the honoring of President Obama displays an indifference to life issues that nullifies its efforts to shore up its pro-life credentials.

Plainly the University's attitude remains unchanged. It is "Pro-Life Lite": pro-life when convenient, but not when it would endanger a presidential drop-in or threaten the promise inherent in the appointment of a prominent businesswoman to the board or perhaps make Notre Dame appear too Catholic in the eyes of secular academe.

The group also noted:

The Fellows elected Ms. Martino. They are specifically charged by the University's statutes with the duty of maintaining the Catholic character of the University. You may wish to get in touch with them. Here is their contact information. Let us know if any of these addresses do not work.

I recall that Northwestern University was once a Methodist school but was remade into a secular school. It increasingly appears that Notre Dame, no longer faithful to church teachings is on the same track. 


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  • Go to bars in Lincoln Park or Old Town or Wrigleyville on a Saturday night and you will inevitably stumble upon inebriated Notre Dame co-eds & female recent graduates......the last thing on their mind is upholding the "Catholic character of the University."

    So yeah, maybe the school should become secular.

  • When the Church starts following its own teachings...then you can complain. For a bunch of bishops, supposidly full of the holy spirit, to have investigated, consulted, congregated and prayed over the history of Priests' child molestation and their mismanaged response to the crisis... and to produce the report they published, is a sin. What's the biblical saying about worrying about the spec in another's eye ...and not the beam in one's own?

  • Apparently you missed the catechism lesson about 'free will'...aka 'free choice'. That is what being pro-choice is....the ability to CHOOSE. You, and the sanctimonious CNS, spin this story to conveniently leave out all the good that Planned Parenthood, et. al., do in the community, providing vital health care for women who could otherwise not afford it. Why don't you worry about YOUR relationship with God instead of everyone else's? When the time comes, HE will make the decisions - not you, not CNS, not the Catholic Church - God.

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