"Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon, one of the most prominent Catholic conservative intellectuals in the United States, announced yesterday that she would refuse a prestigious award from the University of Notre Dame rather than appear on the same platform on which President Obama is being awarded an honorary degree," the Boston Globe reports.
The Globe notes that not all Catholics are unhappy with Notre Dame's plan to give the president an honorary degree:
"There are some well-meaning people who think Notre Dame has given away its Catholic identity, because they have been caught up in the gamesmanship of American higher education, bringing in a star commencement speaker even if that means sacrificing their values, and that accounts for some of this," said the Rev. Kenneth Himes, chairman of theology department at Boston College. "But one also has to say that there is a political game going on here, and part of that is that you demonize the people who disagree with you, you question their integrity, you challenge their character, and you brand these people as moral poison. Some people have simply reduced Catholicism to the abortion issue, and, consequently, they have simply launched a crusade to bar anything from Catholic institutions that smacks of any sort of open conversation."
Now read this 2006 Associated Press dispatch:
Nearly 100 faculty members at Boston College have signed a letter objecting to the college's decision to award Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice an honorary degree.
The letter entitled "Condoleezza Rice Does Not Deserve a Boston College Honorary Degree," was written by the Rev. Kenneth Himes. . . .
"On the levels of both moral principle and practical moral judgment, Secretary Rice's approach to international affairs is in fundamental conflict with Boston College's commitment to the values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions and is inconsistent with the humanistic values that inspire the university's work," the letter said.
Himes, it seems, is an expert on demonization.