Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Giving A Platform To Your Enemies?

That, it seems to me, is what Ohio Dominican University is doing this Thursday night.

On October 21, Ohio Dominican University, in Columbus, Ohio, is hosting columnist Ellen Goodman as the premier event of it's 2004-2005 "Presidential Lecture Series".

I have criticized Goodman before, for an ignorant column she wrote denouncing a "Catholic" health plan that the Federal Government was making available to government employees on a voluntary basis. That column was merely the most recent example of a long-running series of screeds that Goodman has penned against the Church. She clearly has a problem with the Church and with the Catholic Faith.

In addition to her anti-Catholic diatribes, Ms. Goodman is a vehement and uncompromising pro-abort, as can be seen in this column, among others. Whenever the issue of abortion and the Catholic Church comes up, Goodman's "go-to" woman is none other than Culture of Death shill Frances Kissling, whom Goodman accords an authority close to that of Holy Writ.

It may seem extreme to label Goodman an "enemy" of the Church, but she has contempt for the faith of Catholics and contempt for the Church's institutions. She has even belittled the sacraments we hold most sacred, such as the Eucharist, by dismissing the controversy over pro-abort politicians receiving communion as the "wafer watch". Someone who hates what you believe in and mocks what you hold sacred is not your friend.

For these reasons, it seems blindingly obvious to me that Goodman should be disqualified from receiving a forum at any Catholic institution. For a Catholic college to invite someone like Ellen Goodman to speak would be akin to a black college such as Howard University to invite David Duke to speak. It makes no sense at all.

Ohio Dominican University says that its Presidential Lecture Series is intended to underscore the Ohio Dominican motto, "To contemplate truth and share with others the fruits of this contemplation."

What "fruits" of Goodman's "contemplation" does Ohio Dominican wish to share? Her dire warnings about "directives from Rome" and lamentations about authoritarian "edicts of bishops"? Or perhaps her ruminations that the prospect of having serious Christians in positions of power is "scary"? Perhaps she will treat her hearers to denunciations of the Church's "absolutist stand against abortion".

Ohio Dominican University wants us to receive the "fruits" of Goodman's writing. Well, someone else had something to say about fruits. Something about "by their fruits you will know them..."

If you have any thoughts about this event, and the suitability of someone like Ellen Goodman as a speaker at a Catholic college, you might e-mail the President of Ohio Dominican University, Dr. Jack P. Calareso, at calaresj@ohiodominican.edu. Share with him some of the fruits of your contemplation.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Australian Bishops Get It

At least when it comes to our duty to provide food and water to people with brain damage or PVS.

Last month, the Australian Bishops' Conference issued a "Briefing Note on the Obligation to Provide Nutrition and Hydration" to PVS patients. The document is clear and concise, and takes as its starting point the Pope's "Address To the International Congress on the Vegetative State" last March.

Some American Catholic bioethicists, such as Fr. John Tuohey, couldn't seem to recognize the Pope's teaching for what it was: the exercise of the ordinary magisterium. I took Fr. Tuohey to task for this, among other things, back in July.

I'm glad to see some clerics understand the teaching of the Church on this issue, even if we have to go halfway around the world to find them.

You can also download the Australian bishops statement here as a handy PDF document, which is formatted as a pamphlet.

Kudos to the Bishops of Oz!