racism at the USCCB?
Why did so many Catholics object to Notre Dame's decision to honor President Obama? That's easy: racism.
That, at least, was the message that Bishop J. Terry Steib of Memphis delivered to an audience in Philadelphia last week.
Other presidents have had disagreements with the positions of the Catholic Church, for example, in war policies and capital punishment, but have received honorary degrees without similar objection, he noted.
Here Bishop Steib glides over the distinctions that Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI have made repeatedly between actions that can sometimes be justified (such as warfare and execution) and actions that can never be justified (such as the deliberate taking of innocent life). But that's the least of his problems, really.
If only racism can explain public opposition to the Obama appearance at Notre Dame, then Bishop Steib has more than 80 racist colleagues. Shouldn't he denounce them? And probably he shouldn't accept invitations to speak in an archdiocese whose leader, Cardinal Justin Rigali, referred to the Obama invitation as "most unfortunate."
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