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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Apologia Pro Magistris Meis

It never ceases to amaze me how folks tend to hair-split with scholastic acumen the various positions and actions of members of the administration, faculty, Board of Governors and alumni with regard to what will probably be known in the future to the greater Catholic world as "The Ave Maria Affair." There seems to be an inability for some to conceive that folks like Kate O'Beirne, Bernard Dobranski, Bowie Kuhn, Fr. Joe Fessio, Gerry Bradley, Robbie George et. al. can make a mistake or, sadly, can be too arrogant to consider the legitimate questions of faculty who do the yeoman's work in forming new Catholic lawyers. What is clear, is that these people have shown a tremendous amount of indifference to legitimate concerns of the faculty. A professor friend of mine, who recently delivered a guest lecture at the law school, acknowledged that "things are bad" at the law school. He further commented that what is probably most tragic is the fact that former allies no longer speak to one another.

Some of our commentators have recently taken to task the faculty (and Professor Rice in particular) for their outspokenness in the face of blatant injustices by the administration and the Board--putting into practice the doctrine that they espouse. More than teaching, this is the type of example that fills me with a tremendous amount of gratitude for the integrity and faith of these stellar individuals. In light of the continuous criticism leveled by some against the majority of AMSL's faculty, these words of our Holy Father come to mind:

Speaking just to find applause or to tell people what they want to hear ... is like prostitution," he told the theologians, according to a transcript. "Don't look for applause, but look to obey the truth.

I believe that Uncle Di's commentary (click the above quote) on the intellectual integrity of Papa Ratzinger can be readily and accurately applied to Professor Rice and the AMSL faculty who have the courage to speak out in this controversy. The applause of the D.C. dinner circuit does not impress, nor should it.

Our faculty members have obeyed the truth.