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Quick Hits: Would Notre Dame honor Bill Cosby? Father Schall on America's political decline

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 15, 2016

  • While Bishop Rhoades scolds Notre Dame for honoring Vice President Biden, Randall Smith raises a provocative question in Catholic World Report: what if Notre Dame decided to give the Laetare Medal to Bill Cosby? Cosby could be cited for his work in entertainment and his philanthropy. But there’s a problem. Many women are now accusing him of rape. Biden can be cited for his long record of public service, but there are problems: he has supported legal abortion on demand, not to mention the redefinition of marriage. Which offenses disqualify a public figure from receiving honors at a Catholic university?

  • The irrepressible Father James Schall has some mordant observations on the current state of American political affairs. In a Catholic World Report essay he reflects that “there is no branch of the government, under either political party, that sees itself to be bound by the written constitution.” That being the case, he speculates on where the US would fit into Aristotle’s typology for the corruption of political regimes. Father Schall explores a similar theme for The Catholic Thing, in an essay on the Ides of March, suggesting that—on the anniversary of Caesar’s death, and in light of the deterioration of American political will: “What things, we should ask ourselves, ought we never to ‘render’ unto him?”

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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