Lifesite News outlines the progressive “self-detachment from the church over the last forty years.”
To begin with, in 1961 Notre Dame awarded its Laetare Medal, the same medal recently refused by former ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09042702.html), to then-President John F. Kennedy
By honoring President Kennedy in this way, Notre Dame helped him set the precedent for Catholic politicians to disregard the Church’s teachings, one which we still experience today, for example in the case of Joseph Biden and Nancy Pelosi.
Definitive Break From Church With 1967 Land O’Lakes Statement
On July 23rd, 1967, however, Notre Dame made its definitive break with the Church, along with other American universities, in the Land O’Lakes statement, spearheaded by President Fr. Hesburgh, and signed by him and other Notre Dame officials. In this infamous statement, the American universities declared their separation from the authority of the Catholic Church: “To perform its teaching and research functions effectively the Catholic university must have a true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the academic community itself” (http://archives.nd.edu/episodes/visitors/lol/idea.htm). Notre Dame has never rescinded its involvement in this statement, and, in fact, has operated based on it ever since.
Notre Dame’s public entry into abortion politics began in September 1984 with the address of Governor Mario Cuomo of New York, a Catholic following in the spirit of President Kennedy, as Fr. Raymond J. de Souza discusses in his article “Glendon, Notre Dame, and Abortion Politics” (http://www.ncregister.com/daily/glendon_declines_nd_honor/).