Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
FUMARE EXCLUSIVE: "Catholic" Notre Dame Refuses to Print Prof. Rice's Article
From: Matt Gamber
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 1:24 AM
To: Charles Rice
Subject: Tuesday's column
Dear Mr. Rice,
I wanted to first introduce myself as Matt Gamber, the new Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. Thank you for your continued hard work and contributions to The Observer's Viewpoint section.
Second, I wanted to let you know why we chose not to run your most recent submission in Tuesday's Observer. First, it far exceeded our word limit guidelines, which I understand our Viewpoint Editor, Michelle Maitz, has shared with you in the past. Our daily space limitations require that we enforce this word limit, and we would appreciate your attention to this limit in the future.
Also, I personally had some concerns with the content of the column, particularly considering The Mobile Party comic incident earlier in the semester at The Observer. While your piece was well-researched and I trust the information was factually correct, I did not feel it lent itself to creating a productive discussion, all things considered. I was a bit concerned with certain language as well.
In the future, if you would like to examine this topic, we thought it might be beneficial to do so in a point-counterpoint format, perhaps with an author of an opposing or differing viewpoint. That way, each "side," to speak, would have the opportunity to present relevant facts, evidence and analysis to define its position.
As I began, I again thank you for your contributions to The Observer. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this decision, and I look forward to working with you in the future.
Cell: (847) 287-1141
Office: (574) 631-4542
--- On Tue, 3/2/10, Charles Rice wrote:
From: Charles Rice
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 3:04 PM
To: Matthew Gamber
Subject: Rice Column on Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality
Dear Mr. Gamber:
Thank you for your email informing me that my column presenting the teachings of the Church on homosexuality will not be published. Since 1992, I have been privileged to publish every two weeks a column, entitled "Right or Wrong," in the Observer. I emphasize my appreciation for the unfailing professionalism and courtesy of the Observer editors with whom I have had contact over those years.
You mention the column "far exceeded our word limit guidelines." It is in fact significantly shorter than each of the three previous columns published this semester in the Observer. I was not asked to shorten any of them. The rejected column accurately presented relevant teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality. I understand why you are concerned over the content of the column. You further propose that if I examine the topic of homosexuality in the future, "we thought it might be beneficial to do so in a point-counterpoint format, perhaps with an author of an opposing or differing viewpoint. That way, each 'side,' so to speak, would have the opportunity to present relevant facts, evidence and analysis to define its position."
In a university that claims to be Catholic, I am not willing to restrict my presentation of Catholic teaching to a format that treats the authoritative teaching of the Church as merely one viewpoint or "side" among many. If you require that future columns of mine on homosexuality comply with a format such as you propose, it will be inappropriate for me to continue writing the column for the Observer.
Charles E. Rice
Notre Dame Law School
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