Monday, April 12, 2010

Irish Rover Slanders Father Hesburgh


I thought everyone should know, the Irish Rover (Notre Dame's conservative newspaper) ran an ATTACK piece on Father Hesburgh on the front page of this week's edition. Declaring in the last sentence of the article after a series of veiled criticisms:

"Fr. Hesburgh spearheaded the famous "Land O'Lakes Statement," in which he, various Notre Dame officials, and representatives from other Catholic universities indicated their vision of a Catholic university divorced from the authority of the Catholic Church."

This quote is an obvious attempt to divorce Hesburgh's opinions from the Rover's limited view on the teachings of the Church. Why you ask? Because he called Joe Donnelly about the health care vote and told him to "vote his conscience."

The article is titled "Fr. Hesburgh Calls Donnelly at Pelosi's Behest."

I am sickened by the Rover, but I am overwhelmed with pride that the single most influential person in the history of the University is Notre Dame President Emeritus Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.


President Obama referred to the house that Hesburgh built as a "lighthouse, shining with the wisdom of the Catholic tradition."

Please say a prayer of gratitude, that amidst troubled times, the Catholic Church is still a lighthouse for millions of people because of individuals like Father Hesburgh.

*Image is a satirical ad from "The Absurder" - the April Fool's Day edition of The Observer

24 comments:

Chris Rhodenbaugh said...

The article is not available online yet, because the Rover's staff is a month behind on putting up pdfs. So you will have to pick up a copy around campus.

http://www.irishrover.net/

Enoch_Root said...

I beg to differ. Hesburgh encompasses all that is wrong with "catholic" education

Chris Rhodenbaugh said...

Explain yourself.... quite a claim.

Bill said...

If Hesburgh is "all that is wrong" with Catholic education, then I don't want to be right.

It's nice to see the Rover outing itself for what it really stands for.

ShamRockNRoll said...

The Irish Rover is complete trash. Any student who works for that wad of toilet paper should be ashamed of themselves. This is shocking... I was surprised that even the IR would write such trash about this great man... but considering who they are, and who their audience is, maybe I shouldn't be.

Greg said...

Where exactly is the "slander" and wouldn't it actually be libel? Just read the article and it isn't opinion based but rather a statement of verified facts (though you could say the presentation of these facts implies an opinion). The statements made with regards to Fr. Hesburgh are that he called Donnelly after Pelosi called him (can't be denied), that hey may have contributed to the health care victory (a possibility), that he told Donnelly to vote his conscience (which you state), that the endowment grew under Hesburgh (not too sure of that relevance), and that he helped spearhead the land o' lakes statement (which enabled ND to invite obama to commencement last year even though Bishop Darcy expressed misgivings). Which of those statements do you not agree with?

Tim Ryan said...

Hopefully this trashy piece of shock-tabloid-journalism will strip the Rover of whatever credibility people attributed to it.

ShamRockNRoll said...

The facts were presented in a very biased fashion. And the characterization of the Land O Lakes statement is absolutely laughable. You can agree with the Rover, but it just makes you look like a freak'n clown.

Bill said...

the word libel can't be used for spoken defamation, but the word slander can still be used for written defamation. All libel is slander.

Bill said...

"Fr. Hesburgh spearheaded the famous "Land O'Lakes Statement," in which he, various Notre Dame officials, and representatives from other Catholic universities indicated their vision of a Catholic university divorced from the authority of the Catholic Church."

This is the only quote I've seen from the Rover article in question, and it clearly lays out more than "just the facts".

In fact, I've never read a Rover article that restricted itself to verifiable facts. That's not what the Rover is for.

Greg said...

point taken- libel or slander could be used, but i still don't see how they apply. Fr. Hesburgh did spearhead the land o'lakes statement with nd officials and other representatives from Catholic universities. So the problem must be with the "vision of a Catholic university divorced from the authority of the Catholic Church" but that's exactly what notre dame is. From that statement Hesburgh asserted that ND is a Catholic school but as an institution of higher learning it was not subject to the bounds of the authority of the Church. Were the vision of this Catholic university NOT divorced from the authority of the Catholic Church, then Obama's invitation to commencement would have been recinded once Bishop Darcy (the authority) condemend it as he did. Is the problem that "divorced" is too strong a word? I can understand disagreeing with the interpretation of facts- those who favored obama coming to campus or having the vagina monologues on campus or whatever would be happy to have a university not beholdant to the authority of the Catholic Church. The rover chooses to see it as a negative, but the fact base upon which the argument lays is stable. Fr. Hesburgh wanted the university to enjoy some freedom from authority and pronounced this through the land o'lakes statement. Where is the glaring falsehood neccessary for a charge of slander?

Chris Rhodenbaugh said...

I agree it is a statement of facts, but when you state facts in a way that creates a narrative implying opposition it is an opinion/op-ed/fox news journalism but with facts. The article is trying to make Hesburgh a culprit, trying to tarnish his reputation or at least identify him as an anti-Catholic liberal.

Greg said...

what's the appropriate etiquete here chris? do i post my enlightened responses here or on your facebook wall? this is the problem we run into when i can't set you straight in person!

but (as i put on fbook) great use of talking points with the "fox news journalism" of course the rover takes a certian viewpoint- you can't name a single piece of journalism that doesn't. the rover doesn't try to hide this. the article does make him a culprit, but a "culprit" of halping pass healthcare- aren't you proud our former pres. would have such influence and ... See Moreshare your views? the article doesn't tarnish him as anti-Catholic, but criticizes that he is a priest who doesn't always follow with catholic authority, which is true looking at his record. the rover article disagrees with hesburgh but doesnt slander him, just as you have disagreed with jenkins on issues without slandering him. You can (and are good at) disagreeing over ideology with the rover, but you can't just throw out acusations of slander- its highly irresponsible and damages your credibility.

Henry Vasquez said...

Perhaps less legal diction could be used, such as defamation. Though if Chris wanted to use technical language, he would use the word "libeled." Clearly, Chris means slandered in a broad sense, meaning general defamation. Though slander can mean a specific defamatory falsehood, it is often used casually in Chris' way. I guess there is a risk to using a term that can have more grave consequences.

Tim Ryan said...

Using this case to argue Father Hesburgh's supposed abandonment of by-the-book Catholicism, however, is absurd. Does Catholic social teaching not support a healthcare system based on morals, not profits?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Irish Rover has made a pathetic attempt to enter the blogosphere.

http://irishwatchdog.blogspot.com/

Give 'em hell, Lefties!

Aly said...

Found this gem upon investigating the link posted above.

"I'm sure we can all appreciate what Fr. Ted has done for this country between setting Catholic Universities apart from what makes Catholicism so special in 1967 and now socializing 1/6 of our economy and securing a meaningless executive order protecting the life of the unborn."

Lovely.

ShamRockNRoll said...

Wow, Aly... that quote is rich.

First of all, I WISH we socialized health care with that bill. We did not... and I wonder where Jesus would come down on that? Hmm, methinks he'd be for it.

And as far as an executive order being "meaningless," that's just clownish... Not to mention Chris already has a post on this blog completely deconstructing the myth that the bill funds abortion. Right wingers are such fucking idiots.

Bill said...

I resent the idea that the executive order is meaningless. Sure it can be overturned by a future executive order, just as the language of the Stupak Amendment could have been overturned by future legislation.

Maybe we should just make a Constitutional Amendment outlawing abortion. I bet the Republicans would still think that wasn't enough

ShamRockNRoll said...

Clearly Bill, a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion would just be meaningless pandering by a baby-killing administration. I mean, a constitutional amendment is meaningless as it can simply be overturned by another constitutional amendment. /snark

Henry Vasquez said...

I think it's cool that Congressman Donnelly's Press Secretary is 2007 ND alumna Elizabeth (LIzzi) Shappell, a former Student Body President. Glad to see Notre Dame's best working for the party.

Anonymous said...

Just read the Rover's article. It is fact-based. Not sure what the stink is about. Especially if you approve of the reforms; in that case, it casts Hesburgh in a good light.

Bill said...

It has some facts in it, but it draws insinuations that aren't there, and characterizing what essentially amounted to Hesburgh calling Donnelly and telling him to "vote his conscience" as a "love triangle" strikes me as inappropriate.

In addition, references to "the transfer of governance from the founding religious community, the Congregation of the Holy Cross, to a predominantly lat Board of Trustees in 1967" and the increase in the University's endowment would seem out of place in a story about Joe Donnelly and the health care vote if they weren't trying to imply something more sinister.

Cecilia said...

Well, I took a look at Hesburgh's profile, and those are the accomplishments that the university notes in regard to his tenure. I suppose the admission of women could be included, but that's hardly unique to Notre Dame. If it's on the university profile in that format, what could be sinister? I tend to be fairly liberal, especially compared to other ND students, but I don't get what's implied.