USAT Blogger Passive-Aggressively Hits Pro-life Prof. Glendon as Hypocrite

April 30th, 2009 1:24 PM

While most of the mainstream media yawned at news that former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon was refusing Notre Dame's Laetare award due to the university honoring pro-choice President Barack Obama, USA Today's Cathy Lynn Grossman sure hasn't.

The religion reporter/blogger found her own unique, passive-aggressive way to slam Glendon's stand on principle by suggesting she's a self-righteous hypocrite.

In her April 30 post, "Who's a good enough Catholic for Notre Dame's top honor?", Grossman delighted in excerpting a satirical open letter by Jesuit priest Rev. James Martin, who penned a blog post for America magazine making light of the university's pressing need to find a new person to honor with the coveted Laetare Award (emphasis mine):

Who's Catholic enough -- besides Pope Benedict and some ultra-traditionalists aren't so sure about him -- to be honored with Notre Dame's Laetare Medal this month?

Former US. Ambassador to the Vatican and top-ranked Catholic Mary Ann Glendon, has turned down the most prestigious award given to U.S. lay Catholics -- intended to honor someone who exemplified the church's ideals and contributed to humanity -- to avoid sharing the podium with President Obama.

So leave it to Rev. James Martin to find some wit in the situation. His idea for saving face at Notre Dame: Give the medal to him. That is, of course, if Susan Boyle is unavailable.


At the blog for America magazine, In All things, the Jesuit priest lists his qualifications. Among them:

I would accept it. I mean, if someone's going to give me an award the very least I can do is accept it, whether or not I agree with what they're doing or not doing. It's just common courtesy ... And I wouldn't cause you the least bit of controversy because

I'm Catholic. I mean, really Catholic...

Yeah, that's all that's needed. Being a really good Catholic with the "common courtesy" to share the stage at a Catholic college's graduation ceremony with a man that NARAL Pro-Choice America enthusiastically endorsed in 2008 and who has pledged to sign the Freedom of Choice Act should it reach his desk.

No matter to Grossman, who implied a moral equivalancy between Glendon's connection to President Bush and the Iraq war and Obama's support of abortion:

Glendon, by the way, accepted her Vatican posting from George W. Bush, who led the U.S. into a war specifically opposed as unjust by Catholic theological standards by the late Pope John Paul II and by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

DO YOU've got a better Catholic name to suggest? Or should Notre Dame skip the medal this year?

Grossman's message is clear. Glendon was self-righteous to refuse the honor of accepting the Laetare Award and hypocritical to oppose Obama being honored by the Notre Dame seeing as her former boss waged a war the Vatican thought was unjust.

Of course, in doing so Grossman failed to make a distinction between the Vatican's view of abortion as a sin and "intrinsic evil" and its view of how states wage war to be a "prudential judgment" ultimately left to heads of state.

But what's a little thing such as accuracy when the goal is trashing someone who, in effect, spurned the media's messiah: Barack Obama.