Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Notre Dame: Those Outside Looking In

While the Catholic blogosphere has been doing its thing lately in looking at Notre Dame and all that, I've found interesting the look by 'secular' blogs at the Catholic divide.

To wit: Laura Ingraham: Notre Dame’s no longer a viable Catholic institution at has two lead bloggers, one of them Catholic and the other atheist, both conservatives. The atheist's view on ND and the Church's overall response to Obama:

The real question here isn’t whether Notre Dame is still Catholic in any meaningful sense, it’s what it means to be “Catholic” in America today. 54 percent of Catholics voted for The One last fall and 67 percent approved of his job performance as of three weeks ago; majorities approve of torture in at least some circumstances and say they’re more likely to consider common sense and experience when making decisions than Church teachings; a narrow plurality think priests should be allowed to marry. Even on abortion and stem cells, those calling themselves Catholic are almost indistinguishable from non-Catholics (although there are sharp differences between non-Catholics and Catholics who attend mass regularly). And of course the Vatican itself is as squishy as can be when it comes to taking on Obama for his stances. The Church, ironically, seems to have the opposite problem from the GOP these days: They’re so comfortable with “centrists” that it’s no longer clear what American Catholicism stands for. Which puts Notre Dame squarely inside the mainstream.

While the traditional, orthodox elements of the Church work on renewal and are seeing signs of life from the US episcopate, at the same time, what should be the Church's allies in political life look in from the outside and they don't seem that encouraged, especially by the Vatican itself and the whole deal with L’Osservatore Romano's efforts of late in wooing Obama.

Anyway, food for thought.

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