Monday, April 06, 2009

Honoring what dishonors you

If I had known, I would have asked "Are they having her [Condi Rice] speak our of the competence of her office or are they heaping honors on her?" If the former, I would have no objection, just as I would have no objection to Obama speaking at Notre Dame. Part of the mission of a university is to engage with the movers and shakers, not to retreat from the world. But a Catholic University, while it has an obligation to engage with those who act in high office (such as Presidents and Sec'ys of State) has no obligation to prostitute itself by according high honors to public officials who advocate policies repugnant to the Catholic Faith.

It would seem obvious that you don't want to make a business out of honoring those who would shut you down given half a chance. I suppose it's possible that the administration at ND considers themselves insufficiently Catholic to fall under any of the various legislative measures being discussed. If so then I would argue it's best to stop calling it a Catholic school. Better to have words with meanings, I like to be able to talk about things, which can become difficult when people make up new things for existing words.

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