Mea culpa. I read that Tower editorial too fast. They were criticizing a second policy, that politicians not speak on campus during the election to keep the university non-partisan. Here’s a letter from the paper’s editor:
I read your blog entry on NRO with interest, and I appreciate the publicity. I think you’ve misunderstood our most recent editorial, in which we called for administrators to return CUA to a real university.
The criticism we leveled against Father O’Connell in that editorial wasn’t one involving a speaker’s position on abortion rights. We saw Father O’Connell’s appearance at a blatantly partisan event, in which he was introduced as the president of CUA, “a sad irony” in light of the fact that he had prohibited *all* politicians from appearing on campus during the campaign season, irrespective of their positions, in order to keep CUA from being perceived as supporting one candidate or another. Father O’Connell has insisted that the University remain, and be perceived as, non-partisan.
We certainly have criticized his other policy, which bans speakers who are known to support abortion rights, because we see it as an infringement on the free debate and discourse that is central to a university’s identity. We also agree with many faculty members who believe that banning all speakers who take positions contrary to those of the Church is unenforceable. The CUA-sponsored and -promoted appearance of John Corigliano, an Oscar-winning composer who is openly gay and whose partner refers to him as his “husband,” would seem to bolster this view.
Editor In Chief
The Tower Newspaper
Me: Seems to me, that non-partisan strategy is a wise one, in addressing the what-to-do-about-JFK-II problem. (Kerry was no JFK, of course, as we’ve discussed, but he wanted you to believe he was.) The Al Smith dinner in the NYC archdiocese did something similar this year–by having neither candidate show rather than have photos of Cardinal Egan stand with John Kerry.
And, on the pro-abortion policy, is it unenforceable? I’d think it’s more like, CUA still has a road ahead of it on reaching the ideal, but it’s made some good headway.