Less Catholic than Time

LIFEembedDrawImage(87438323); Amy Sullivan of Time launches a nearly 1,200-word report on President Obama and Notre Dame University with this ludicrous sentence: "At the rate things are going, Pope Benedict XVI may find his next trip to the U.S. dogged by airplanes overhead trailing banners with images of aborted fetuses." Sullivan qualifies this language in her next sentence, calling it "a bit of hyperbole," but the rest of her report proceeds in a similar vein, arguing that an article in L'Osservatore Romano "essentially urg[ed] the bishops to chill out" on Obama. She repeatedly confuses diplomatic silence with tacit endorsement of the university's decision.

Sullivan dismisses 74 bishops, and others who have objected to Notre Dame's decision, as a "small but vocal minority," as if numbers have anything to do with their concerns' moral legitimacy. Most moral revolutions, after all, begin with small and vocal minorities, given the tendency of large and vocal majorities to side with whatever is convenient. She fails to mention at any point that many Catholics have objected not merely to Obama's appearance at Notre Dame, but also to the school's awarding him an honorary degree.

I expect President Obama will deliver a stemwinder of a speech momentarily at Notre Dame. The moral debate surrounding his visit to the campus deserves better far better coverage than Sullivan provided.

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