26 August 2009

Update on Obama at Notre Dame

President Obama's appearance as the commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary degree at the University of Notre Dame last May caused quite a stir. (I myself wrote an invited short opinion about it for National Review Online, here.)

Now Bishop John D'Arcy, whose diocese includes Notre Dame, has written a measured and thoughtful assessment of the controversy. His article, "The Church and the University: A Pastoral Reflection on the Controversy at Notre Dame," appears as the cover article in the new edition of the Jesuit weekly magazine, America.

I think Bishop D'arcy's article is well worth reading for anyone interested in the issues involved, and indeed I find the Bishop's argument compelling.

For further reading: here is a story from Catholic News Agency summarizing the Bishop's article; here is another article in America, this one occasioned by Bishop D'Arcy's, by Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco on the "role bishops should play on the national political scene."


dman said...

How does your experience as an undergraduate at Notre Dame, one of the great Catholic universities in the US, inform your outlook at the way things are and should be at Yeshiva University, particularly at times when the "Yeshiva" and the "University" may be or appear to be in conflict?

Jim Otteson said...

It is a good question, dman. The Jewish community seems to have a much greater sense of community than the Catholics do. From my limited outsider's perspective, Jews seem to think of themselves as Jews more than Catholics tend to think of themselves as Catholics. So being Jewish is a greater part of the Jew's identity than being Catholic is part of the average Catholic's identity. That is one way in which the communities differ, I think.

As for how things should be at YU, I would be interested to hear more from you about what you mean when you say that "Yeshiva" and "University" conflict. How so?