I had planned to write about this particular subject tonight but I was distracted by coaching my daughter’s team. Upon returning home, I received an email from the Volgi pointing to a particularly excellent take down of the instigators of this particular issue. Let me frame it first and then let it unfold from there:
John Boehner, Speaker of the House, is a practicing Catholic. He has been invited to speak at the Catholic University of America’s commencement on May 14th. A group of Catholic academics have authored a letter, essentially in protest of the event but not asking CUA to rescind the offer nor for Speaker Boehner to decline the offer. They believe that the Speaker’s voting record “is at variance from one of the Church’s most ancient moral teachings.”
My first reaction (after receiving an inquiry from a liberal relative on the subject) was that this just isn’t a big deal. In my opinion, universities can invite whomever they please to speak and alumni, faculty, students and others can protest (within the limits of the law and common decency) the decision. The discussion can be slightly different when we speak about our military colleges (federally funded), state institutions (partially state tax funded) and Catholic or other religious universities (usually subsidized by donations by those of particular faiths).
My next reaction was to wonder where these Catholic academics were when Notre Dame invited President Obama to speak at their commencement? A President whose voting record and public platform included (to some degree) partial birth abortions – an atrocity denounced vehemently by the Catholic Church. Defenders of Notre Dame’s decision largely said that a University can invite those with differing opinions to speak. Should we not extend the same for CUA in this case?
Then, I got around to reading the linked post provided by the Volgi. Wow. Go read it. It’s an excellent piece by Father Robert A. Sirico. Father Sirico makes the point that I in the past have tried to make repeatedly to liberals when presented with this argument: “They make the unfortunately common error of assuming that concern for the economically weak and marginalized must somehow translate into (yet another) government program. That assumption is wrong, and flies in the face of another principle of Catholic social teaching — the principle of subsidarity. With good reason, this is something the Catholic Left — or whatever remains of it these days — rarely mentions or grapples with, because they know that it would raise many questions about the prudence of any number of welfare programs they support.”
Amen. Pax Tecum.
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