Condi Rice & Boston College (updated)

Together at last. A minor dustup followed the announcement (free registration required) that this year's Boston College commencement speaker would be Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. This entails bestowing the customary honorary degree, something several B.C. professors object to for her role in the Iraq adventure.

''On the levels of both moral principle and practical moral judgment, Secretary Rice's approach to international affairs is in fundamental conflict with Boston College's commitment to the values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions and is inconsistent with the humanistic values that inspire the university's work," the letter said. It pointed out Pope John Paul II's opposition to the war in Iraq.

It's been pointed out that Rice has describedherself as "mildly prochoice," which has led someto criticize the complaining professors for ignoring prochoice Democrats and picking on the GOP speaker.

Over at Mirror of Justice, a letter from Patrick Shrake (recent University of St. Thomas Law grad) was posted which lists other prochoice B.C. speakers and honorees. Shrake writes:

I'll note that I'm NOT saying that the professors are wrong to oppose the award for Rice.Just curious if they have consistently opposed awards to those who were "in fundamental conflict with Boston College's commitment to the values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions and is inconsistent with the humanistic values that inspire the university's work."

To which Elizabeth F. Brown, Assistant Professor of Law at St. Thomas, responded, in part:

Pat's comment on Boston College's records of awards lifts language directly from the Cardinal Newman Society's report on Catholic College's entitled Culture of Death on Catholic Campuses: A Five Year Review, pp. 16-17.

The Cardinal Newman Society strikes again. They really are the gift that keeps on giving. Brown also argues, rightly, I think, that the list of bad Catholics is a distraction from the issue at hand, namely whether Rice ought to be honored with a degree from B.C.

Update

Patrick Shrake has clarified in the comboxes for this post that his original e-mail contained a line crediting the Cardinal Newman Society for their list of suspect Catholics.

Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015. 

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