The lack of journalistic integrity in headlines at the Cardinal Newman Society is astounding. Their headline reads:

Notre Dame President refuses dialogue with students on Obama invitation.

But a quick perusal of their own stupid press release shows that this is hardly true.

The leaders of ND Response, a broad coalition of Notre Dame student groups founded to express the “deepest opposition” to the invitation to President Obama to speak at commencement, informed The Cardinal Newman Society that they wrote a letter to Father Jenkins confirming their interest in discussing concerns with him. The students expressed hesitancy at accepting the limited closed-door meeting which was at first suggested by Father Jenkins. They instead proposed to allow all student members of ND Response to attend.

Perhaps the headline should be:

Pro-lifers blow chance to influence University President because of their own arrogance. Although admittedly that’s a bit long–albeit more accurate.

It’s a simple algorithm. When people have disagreements they argue (in the best sense of that word) together about it. They do so with charity and civility.

The unborn are not being served by the arrogance of people who would rather host a side-show in which they can gang up on a University President, than to have an actual civil discussion of the issues.

Here’s the main story: If these people can’t even get a meeting with Notre Dame’s President because he views them as either extremists, or at minimum uncharitable and unable to have a half-way decent discussion, then what shot do they have in gaining the ear of the President of the United States or for that matter, with anyone who disagrees with them?

My second point on this:
Would they be making similar objections to a pro-choice republican? Patrick Reilly the proported head of the Cardinal Newman Society sheepishly admitted that George W. Bush also shouldn’t be invited to Notre Dame not that long ago–and then clammed up when he was invited to a lesser known Catholic institution as Joe Feuerhard pointed out in NCR:

In 2005 I pointed out to Reilly that should Bush be invited to speak at a Catholic campus, the Society would be compelled to outrage. “Bush, you see, supports embryonic stem cell research, though his policies limit it to existing stem cell lines,” I wrote. “That’s a position directly counter to church teaching.

“Similarly, despite his anti-abortion record, the president supports exceptions for abortion in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is threatened. That alone should be enough to draw the wrath of the Virginia-based group … ’”

Responded Reilly: “Certainly if his position is opposed to the church on those issues (stem cell research and abortion exceptions),” he would be treated “just like anyone else.”

That, I concluded, was “more than a little hard to believe.”

Two years later, Bush was invited by his old friend and former adviser Jim Towey, president of St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania, to give the commencement address at the small Catholic school.

Not a peep from Reilly – a silence that says more about Reilly and company than all the “outrages” and “scandals” he manufactures and exploits.

Bottom line: Mudslinging is not a gospel value. Learn how to come to the table with love and charity and maybe then you have a chance to influence decisions.

Until then…you’re just another guy at the end of the bar.