Saturday, May 06, 2006

BC and Condoleezza Rice

Well, I had read about the 'controversy' a couple of days ago, and there isn't really much to be said about it, except that if the BC faculty wishes to apply a vetting process examining the harmony between the positions/actions of potential recipients of honorary degrees with Catholic teaching, they better be consistent about it.

coverage by the American Papist

I think honorary degrees should be done away with, for the most part. There might be exceptions, for example those who are actually qualified within an area could receive an honorary degree in that area, but the rest seem to be PR gimmicks more than anything else. Do we really need to honor celebrities and the so-called 'important people' who usually don't deserve the honor? It's not really the role of the university to honor people for moral excellence--that is proper to the polis and its government; it should honor people for intellectual excellence, but what does BC know of wisdom?

Impii autem, secundum quae cogitaverunt, correptionem habebunt;qui neglexerunt iustum et a Domino recesserunt. Sapientiam enim et disciplinam qui despicit, infelix est,et vacua est spes illorum, et labores sine fructu,et inutilia opera eorum. (Liber Sapientiae 3:10-11)

Ergo erravimus a via veritatis, et iustitiae lumen non luxit nobis, et sol non est ortus nobis; implicati sumus tribulis iniquitatis et perditioniset ambulavimus per deserta inaccessa,viam autem Domini ignoravimus. Quid nobis profuit superbia? Aut divitiae cum iactantia quid contulerunt nobis? Transierunt omnia illa tamquam umbraet tamquam nuntius percurrens et tamquam navis, quae pertransit fluctuantem aquam,cuius, cum praeterierit, non est vestigium invenireneque semitam carinae illius in fluctibus; aut tamquam avis, quae transvolat in aere,nullum invenitur argumentum itineris,sed alarum sonitu ventus levis verberatuset scissus per vim stridoriscommotis alis permeatur,et post hoc nullum signum invenitur itineris; aut tamquam sagittae emissae in locum destinatum:divisus aer continuo in se resolvitur,ut ignoretur transitus illius. Sic et nos, nati, continuo desivimus esseet virtutis quidem nullum signum valuimus ostendere;in malignitate autem nostra consumpti sumus. (5:6-13)

As for Ms. Rice, given her position in the current administration and its current failings, one wonder what BC administration is attempting to accomplish with this--kissing a$$ to become even more established? Ridiculous. Why don't they give an honorary degree to Pope Benedict XVI instead?

Most politicians in our country are the less deserving of honor. Do we get the rulers we deserve? Lord, have mercy.

Boston College faculty object to honorary degree for Rice
May 3, 2006

The letter entitled "Condoleezza Rice Does Not Deserve a Boston College Honorary Degree," was written by the Rev. Kenneth Himes, chairman of the department of theology, and the Rev. David Hollenbach, who holds the Margaret O'Brien Flatley chair in the department, and sent to all faculty inviting their signatures.

The theology department said nearly 100 have signed it, but declined to release their names, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday. Rice was announced Monday as commencement speaker for the May 22 ceremonies.

Hollenbach said he has no objection to Rice being a speaker, but said she does not deserve an honorary degree. "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.

The letter also cited Pope John Paul II's objection to the Iraq war. The debate over the Rice invitation underscored tensions between liberal and conservative Catholics.

"This is the only time these people have cited Pope John Paul II on anything," said the Rev. Paul McNellis, who is an adjunct professor in the philosophy department.

Some faculty members said having such a notable speaker is an honor for the university. Political science professor Marc Landy said the letter was a "grotesque mistake" and sent his own letter asking colleagues not to sign the Himes-Hollenbach letter.

"This isn't about agreeing or disagreeing with Condoleezza Rice," Landy said. "She is the secretary of state of the United States, and there is a presumption in favor of according a warm and dignified reception to arguably the third most important
executive officer."

The State Department would not comment on the letter or say whether Rice had accepted the invitation. According to BC, however, she has confirmed.


Lady Downstairs said...

Aquinas said that about BC? How did he know? Are you sure it wasn't Notre Dame's decision about "TVM" ?

I'd be inclined to say you are being too durus on BC, but the squabble has got me so down, I'm going home again. (Every time there's something like this, it costs me $300 in airfare.)

papabear said...

eh? Aquinas? where did Aquinas come in?

and when are you going home? eh!

Lady Downstairs said...

Oh, I thought the passage under the Wisdom passage was Aquers.

I'm going home on Saturday morning.

I don't say "eh" anymore. Don't tease, you imperialist oppressor.