A group of St. Francis University students and faculty gathered this week to read some of Ellen Goodman's writings. You will recall that university officials cancelled a talk by Goodman because of her pro-choice views under pressure from the Cardinal Newman Society. Of course, it doesn't matter that Goodman was not intending to speak about abortion, only about civility. Such distinctions are lost on these modern day inquisitors.
Actually, comparing the Cardinal Newman Society to the Inquisition is a slur. Against the Inquisition. The Newman Society is more like Daniele de Volterra, the man brought in to cover up Michelangelo's nudes in the Sistine Chapel. Mind you, Ellen Goodman is no Michelangelo, but that isn't the point. Censoriousness is an ugly trait, sometimes imposed upon us by necessity to be sure. But, CNS, like de Volterra, picks the wrong fights and reduce the Christian faith to a kind of smug puritanism. I am no fan of Goodman, but I am even less of a fan of CNS.