The Corner

In Praise of Mary Ann Glendon

I’m sure Mary Ann’s reputation will survive the kind of penetrating analysis offered by Danielle Crittenden: “Engagement with one’s opponents and the passionate debate of ideas should be at the very core of every college education. Notre Dame realizes this. Unfortunately, Glendon doesn’t.”

I have this vain wish that people who are not Catholic would at least pause to understand us, but, at any rate, to suggest an intellectual of Mary Ann Glendon’s significance is someone who does not realize that the engagement of ideas is core to the university is . . . childlish, silly, and ignorant.

As Mary Ann clearly wrote in her letter to Father Jenkins, the bishops asked but one thing of Catholic universities: that they not honor individuals who oppose core Catholic moral principles: “That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.”

I am at a loss to understand why Danielle cannot at least accurately state Mary Ann’s position, if she wishes to disagree with it.

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