Notre Dame In the Arena

Notre Dame In the Arena April 5, 2009

My hair is a mess and I did not get to say what I wanted to in response to Fr. Reese’s assertion that joshing about at the Al Smith Dinner is more prestigious than receiving an Honorary Degree from Notre Dame University and addressing the graduates (and the whole world) from its podium.

What I meant to say to Fr. Reese was: that’s BUNKUM. The Al Smith dinner means nothing except to political junkies. (and, as my Li’l Bro Thom writes, “It did not bestow on him an award. And it happened months before he began enacting legislation that lifted all those protections on innocent life, and widened the reach of abortion and experimentation on embryos…”)

The other thing I wanted to say but time ran short (also, I am always brain-dead on the air) is that the Holy Spirit, ultimately, will both guide and use everything about Obama’s commencement address to further God’s purpose; it is what the Holy Spirit does, and we forget that all too often.

It’s tough to say everything you want in a half-hour format, especially when you have to allow other people to speak, too (it’s all about me, me, me, isn’t it?) and Commonweal’s Grant Gallicho (who is a very fine and fair fellow) and I were already alternately agreeing and sniping, but if you’re so inclined, you can catch the debate tonight at 11:30 PM Eastern, live-streamed on NET TV. Just press the “watch now” button.

If you miss it, the thing will be digitized and then put up on the website, probably by Tuesday evening. Right now, they’re running last week’s show on married priests in the church.

Doesn’t Jane Hanson’s hair look great? She does a terrific job keeping the show on pace and point.

Also, if you do watch last week’s episode, you’ll get to see Fr. Kieran Harrington, the Vicar of Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Why is that interesting? Well, he’s a smart and thoughtful guy and when he’s not there, I think the broadcast feels it, but also…he looks eerily like this Irish priest who died in 1925. They even wear the same collar!

Cue the Twilight Zone theme…Oooeeeeeeooooooo….perhaps a long-lost great uncle? Like Fr. Harrington and umm…the Irish, in general…he appears to have relished public debate on Catholic issues. He was for the unions when the unions were for the little guy. Spencer Tracy might have played him in a movie.

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