Father John I. Jenkins has voiced his opinions in 2006 by saying he was, "very determined that we not suppress speech on this campus", and was also "determined that we never suppress or neglect the Gospel that inspired this University", saying that "[a]s long as the Gospel message and the Catholic intellectual tradition are appropriately represented, we can welcome any serious debate on any thoughtful position here at Notre Dame."
The views that he announced some 3 years ago are apparently not the views he has now. Last Friday Dr. Alan Keyes asked for a meeting with Father John, president of Notre Dame University, about inviting President Barack Obama to speak at a commencement exercise and to offer him an honorary law degree.
Keyes has long been a pro-life advocate, and wished to appeal to Father John’s sensibilities as a priest first and administrator last. Father John refused to meet with Dr. Keyes, and later that day when the quiet protest was attended by Keyes and several priests that don’t agree with Father John’s views, Father John, president of Notre Dame University instructed the Campus Police to take them into custody.
According to reports, on Thursday, fearful of the pending protest, Father John conversed with a Superior Court Judge who not only favored the president’s position but quietly changed the bail procedure to one far more harsh to prevent civil disobedience in the future.
Dr. Keyes insists that he was only there to protest what he felt was a reversal of Catholic Doctrine put forward by the Pope. The arrests of the priests also showed a flagrant abuse of power by a man who was sworn to uphold the laws of god. His actions were complete, and decisive, and intended to silence his opponents, much in the way the President and his posse works.