Thursday, April 30, 2009


Laetare -- Rejoice!

As all of my readers, I'm sure, are aware, Mary Ann Glendon has decided recently to refuse the Laetare Medal this year.

The actual medal has the inscription "Magna est veritas et prevalebit" which could be translated "Truth is mighty and shall prevail." How appropriate!

Professor Glendon has essentially said that she did not want to legitimize an otherwise wrong action. Originally she was going to accept the award, but the University has gone on to say that her presence makes it all okay. Of course, what they fail to realize is that it would be better to not have President Obama here in the first place.

Father Jenkins had made it clear that he intended to offer the award to someone else. I can't see how this could have been a good thing. At this point, with the controversy as it is right now, finding a worthy candidate who will accept this award is going to be nigh on impossible. This may mean that the award will be given to someone who is a less worthy example than, say, Mary Ann Glendon would have been. And then, the argument of Fr. Jenkins, that "at least they'll get to hear from Prof. Glendon," will fall apart completely.

Just now I heard that they have decided not to give the Laetare medal this year, but rather ask a former recipient to speak instead. So, I ask, how is it possible that the relatively short tradition of having Presidents of the United States speak and receive honorary degrees has now trumped the much longer and more venerable tradition of awarding the Laetare medal?

We do know, as the medal proclaims, that Truth is mighty, and we have seen the end of the story, and we know that the Truth will prevail. Perhaps not today, perhaps not before commencement, but the Truth will prevail.

This is the lesson we must take from this whole controversy. Magna est veritas et prevalebit!

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