US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Getting your Irish up about Obama

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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One thing you have to give the Obama-Notre Dame story: It's got legs! Today Mary Ann Glendon, well-known in Catholic circles and the most recent U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, has declined ND's Laetare Medal for service to church and society, an honor once conferred on JFK. In her letter to Pres. John Jenkins, Glendon seemed miffed that her honor was meant to somehow balance out the president's speech, which is certainly understandable.

I must take issue with Glendon's characterization of Obama in her letter to Jenkins as "a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice," which I find to be almost outrageous in its lack of precision. The current president shares many of the church's positions regarding fundamental issues of justice. It is true that he does not agree that our Catholic moral position against abortion should translate into public policy that prohibits or even cirminalizes it, but that hardly makes him our "uncompromising opponent."

Unfortunately, it is such lack of care, precision, and charity in speech that I find characterizes many of the voices opposing Obama's appearance.