Remember, too, that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It's the belief in things not seen. It's beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us. And those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own. And this doubt should not push us away from our faith. But it should humble us. It should temper our passions, cause us to be wary of too much self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open and curious and eager to continue the spiritual and moral debate that began for so many of you within the walls of Notre Dame.
This much is clear: President Obama has achieved a coup that we will be working to unravel for years to come. The country saw a rejuvenated portrait of dissenting Catholicism today, thanks to the poise and polish of Fr. Jenkins, the careful camera work, and the talking heads falling over themselves to get behind Obama and his brave new world. Even the President got caught up in the moment--though even as he held himself up as an examplar of fair-mindedness and aggrieved generosity ("I mean, look, I changed the wording on my website ... and then said a prayer... "), his finger-wagging was clearly discernible beneath that diaphanous cloak of chameleon-skin.
One begins to wonder if even he believes what he's saying.
And the real irony? Amidst the glamor and the high words and the hearts warm with pride and goodwill (isn't he wonderful? He accepted the invitation!), no one thought it ridiculous that on the 55th anniversary of one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in favor of universal civil rights, an ideological lieutenant of a woman's right to choose--at the expense of all other rights--received an honorary degree at the hands of some of this nation's most prominent Catholics.
Shame, shame. For shame.