Bishops within the Catholic Church have condemned Notre Dame for allowing Barrack Obama to give the 2009 commencement speech. Essentially this is a significant disagreement over Obama's position on abortion.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I applaud dissension in whatever form it takes. But the Catholic Church is a Symbol of value leadership, moral leadership and religious leadership. This fracas over Notre Dame and President Obama has at its roots serious issues of rules and fixed positions, of power over tolerance, of contradiction.
As leaders of the Catholic Church must lead by example, so must leaders of the Catholic Church be conscious of the impact of contradictions in their messages to all the peoples of the world. You cannot have it both ways. If you are willing to take a dramatic and dogmatic position in one area you cannot ignore all other related areas.
There is a significant difference between expressing disagreement and using the power of your position in the Church to Condemn. I would not presume to tell the Bishop's what to think or what position to take on any given issue. Yet I would presume to point out abuses of power or contradictions that are important enough to bring into public focus.
The Notre Dame condemnation is one of those. The message should read: We disagree with this leader's position on abortion but our faith and tolerance allows us to permit his voice to be heard. The message that is being sent with this fracas is: Anyone who disagrees with us is to be condemned.
If that were really true all of the leaders in the world who acted or failed to act when hundreds of thousands have been killed or injured in a war that should never have been, when Nuclear proliferation must be stopped, when China destroy's an entire countries culture, history and people must be condemned.
This contratictory list is quite long and covers all manner of issues not just abortion. I would like all of the leadership of the Catholic Church to weigh carefully the messages they send out and the example they set forward.