Bad manners.

I suppose anyone who attends a Catholic college should expect a level of ideological discipline on a level with the Politburo, but at the same time, those who seek to bend reality to their point of view have a certain responsibility to do their homework first.

Back in Fort Wayne, local daughter-made-good Dr. Nancy Snyderman was dis-invited to speak at the commencement ceremonies for University of St. Francis, an event years in the planning, days before the event. Her crime? Journalism. Snyderman, an M.D. who also covers medical stories for ABC-TV, displeased her hosts with her reporting:

During the story on “Good Morning America,” Snyderman discussed a woman who had suffered from infertility, but then had become pregnant with septuplets, Snyderman said.

Paraphrasing her previous report, Snyderman said it “was imprudent to deliver seven babies,” and said many doctors will suggest “selective reduction” – using abortion to reduce the number of fetuses to two or three or four – to increase the chances of survival for the remaining fetuses.

But Snyderman, an Episcopalian, said it was a medical report, not an expression of her personal beliefs.

“He has no idea what my personal beliefs are,” she said of D’Arcy. As a reporter, Snyderman tries to leave her beliefs out of the reports, she said.

“I report facts. As a medical reporter, I report science,” she said.

The bishop was unhappy: The letter informed Snyderman that the offer to speak had been rescinded.

“The university recently received information from (D’Arcy) containing comments by you on the topic of abortion, and these comments appear to be contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church,” the letter read. “As a Catholic university, we have no choice but to rescind our invitation.”

You’d think, before extending the invitation, they might have made a few phone calls and discovered Snyderman was not Catholic and hence, might hold an opinion or two contrary to the church’s teachings, and as a journalist, has a responsibility to report facts the church is uncomfortable with. On the subject of her personal beliefs, they might also have cracked one of her books and discovered she carried an out-of-wedlock pregnancy to term at a very difficult time in her life, which traditionally earns back-patting from Catholics.

What an interesting story. “No choice,” they say. Ironic, doncha think?

Posted at 10:33 am in Uncategorized |

9 responses to “Bad manners.”

  1. danno said on April 28, 2004 at 12:26 pm

    Boy, The Fort keeps slipping back in time!!! Do yourselves a favor and stay in AA!! I left 9 years ago and haven’t looked back since.

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  2. Lex said on April 28, 2004 at 12:54 pm

    Y’know, Catholic “leaders” might want to consider that Galileo’s mummified middle finger remains on display in a Florence museum for a good reason.

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  3. ashley said on April 28, 2004 at 1:06 pm

    Don’t pigeonhole ALL Catholic Universities.

    Ashley Morris, Professor, DePaul University

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  4. Nance said on April 28, 2004 at 1:13 pm

    There’s also that well-known outfit up in South Bend, home to more than a few heretics. Still.

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  5. deb said on April 28, 2004 at 2:05 pm

    not to mention marquette university, hotbed of jesuits.

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  6. J M O said on April 28, 2004 at 9:41 pm

    I think at the root of the decision is the flap that is going on over KERRY still receiving communion, even tho the Vatican told the priests to stop giving communion to people who support abortion rights. JMO

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  7. elaine said on April 29, 2004 at 12:12 am

    One can only hope that this little gem of religious politics makes at least a burp on Good Morning America – or any of the news shows for that matter. Now that the damage is done, per WANE TV, D’Arcy has decided not only to refuse the honorary degree he was to receive, he won’t be attending the graduation services either.

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  8. Nance said on April 29, 2004 at 7:22 am

    That’s OK. They have Mark Souder attending, and he’ll give a speech everyone will approve of. I notice D’Arcy is also backpedaling on his handling of the incident, and says he’s going to contact Snyderman to discuss things. I hope she gives him an earful.

    I also hope everyone who complains about lousy coverage of religious issues by major media notices, too. Knowing your bishop is parsing your sentences for ideological purity sure would have a chilling effect on Catholic reporters, but maybe I’m reading too much into it.

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  9. Connie said on May 2, 2004 at 2:18 pm

    The news broke last night that the same bishop has caused Indiana Governor Joe Kernan to be disinvited from speaking at graduation at his South Bend Catholic High School alma mater, due to his stand on abortion.

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