Sunday, September 23, 2007

John Kerry bows out

John Kerry was supposed to give a lecture at Catholic University. That's right, I wrote Catholic University, the school where Archbishop Fulton Sheen once taught.

This weekend there was a second collection at Mass for CU. Rocky and I declined to give this year and so did many of the people sitting in front of us. Well it looks like Kerry will not be speaking due to a "scheduling conflict". Whatever. At any rate CU probably lost a lot of money this weekend. I hope they learn something from it. Don't spit in the face of the Faithful and then ask us to give you money.


Lynne said...

Excellent news!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what they were thinking. What was he going to talk about? "How to /not/ practice what you preach, or at least get everyone to think that you don't"? Yeesh!

God Bless!

Lauren said...

Dear Dymphna,

Please note that John Kerry was actually never formally invited to speak. The bad press Catholic received was ultimately due to one hotshot College Democrat, and poor reporting by our sub-par campus paper.

I wrote the following to Mark Shea to be posted on his blog:

I'm writing to you briefly as I'd like to get the word out regarding my alma mater of this May, the Catholic University of America, and its recent blunder regarding John Kerry and his "invitation" to speak at our University.

I transferred to the Catholic University of America because of its Catholic identity -- unlike the University I attended previously, when they said they were a Catholic institution, they meant it and followed through with it. There are, of course, errors and blunders it makes, strictly because it is a large, old, and strangely bureaucratic body, much like many aging Jesuits today. (*cough*) For instance, the combination of the Theology Department, the Department of Religious Education, and the Department of Religious Studies (read: heathen religions) were all, puzzlingly, combined into one department, which sometimes means odd teacher choices for particular classes. However, the occasional oddball faculty member is often balanced out by teachers like Dr. John Grabowski ( ) , an excellent moral theologian who is scheduled to give a talk about the Catholic position on birth control this evening, or Fr. Mark Morozovitch -- a great liturgist; Fr. Kurt Pritzl, a Dominican at the House of Studies and excellent philosopher, etc.

I was recently employed by the university helping to organize a symposium (requested by the pope) on Natural Law (, so I am becoming familiar with the University's quirks, the frustration of the entrenched "this is way we've always done it" people, and the "sign here, here AND here" sometimes required to get anything done or noticed.

The Kerry situation was a result of this bureaucracy: if you'll notice from the recent Lifesite article covering the situation ( ), there was literally no uniformity. Some upstart kid in the College Democrats (obligatory, as we're located in Washington, DC) thought he'd try to be a hotshot and get a big, on-his-side and therefore controversial, speaker, knowing that the infamous "speaker policy" is something that's caused a lot of grief for students and faculty alike in the past, and has more or less held up well enough, despite being a bit battle-torn at this point.

Initially, Kid Democrat was refused. However, after writing a six-page paper about "Why John Kerry Should Come and Speak", he was approved by the University Center, Student Programs and Events. Problematic, but the UCSPE can, and probably would have been, overruled by the higher-ups.

The problem is, the higher-ups had nothing to overrule because Kerry was never formally invited.

The College Democrats had (rescindable) approval and were exploring the possibility, but our news paper, The Tower, reported factually that Kerry was coming to speak: ( ).
[Note: The student body has always known that The Tower sucks, but in this case it has been the cause for misinformation about this issue nationwide.]

The Lifesite article shows how cranky the higher-ups (Nakas, Persico) were about the issue: it probably wouldn't have happened in the end. Meanwhile, USPCE defended itself saying that Kerry wasn't going to speak on issues offensive to the Catholic Church, and cited the USCCB policy.

(I personally think that the issue is less what he would speak about and more that we're giving money to someone with a 100% pro-abortion voting record, essentially supporting his cause.)

Because the communication was conducted with Kerry's office on an informal level (hence, it's falling-through in the end), I think CUA is defendable. The problem was essentially caused by bureaucracy (a lack of communication within the school) and also by poor reporting from The Tower when it stated that all was said and (formally) done on the issue.

Thanks for hearing me out and turning a merciful eye and ear to my alma mater, like Church itself a fallible institution made up of sinful human beings, but ultimately founded by (the vicar of) Christ.