Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Catholic Convergence

With newly minted President of Notre Dame Fr. John Jenkins at the helm, Our Lady's University may very well be in the process of reclaiming her place as America's Truly Catholic University. One can discern in Jenkins' speeches on the Catholic understanding of academic freedom an emboldening progression of thought towards a firm, independent, and assertive outward gaze in Catholic thought. Here's an excerpt from his address to the university faculty delivered yesterday:
As I begin my presidency, I am aware that, as I make particular decisions and undertake initiatives, I am establishing patterns and expectations for how I will lead in this position. Consequently, it is important not only what decisions I make, but how I make them. On matters of significance, I will always strive to make decisions, consonant with my authority, according to my most informed and considered judgment about what is best for this university and its mission. I will not lead by consensus, nor by majority vote, nor in response to the pressures that individuals or groups inside or outside the university may bring to bear. However, prior to making a decision on an important matter, I will, as appropriate and practicable, strive to solicit and listen to the views of relevant individuals and groups. Central to the obligations of my office are the twin responsibilities of listening to the views of members of this community prior to a decision, and then making that decision. (emphasis added)
Jenkins sounds awful lot like Alito and Roberts, and come to think of it, like B16. Convergence is such a beautiful thing.

Read the rest to get the substantive philosophical arguments. It'll warm the Catholic mind and soul.