This column from Kenneth Woodward does a nice job of demonstrating the fine line that Catholic universities need to straddle: on one hand, Notre Dame is an esteemed institute of higher learning, encouraging concientious debate and fostering understanding of world issues. On the other, they are committed to the principles of the Catholic faith. On those occasions when the synergy of those missions is not abundantly clear, there is going to be some backlash.
I have always appreciated Catholicism’s distinct lack of zealotry, at least in comparison to certain other Protestant sects. I would hope that the majority of Notre Dame alumni and students can recognize the President’s visit as an opportunity for dialogue on the issues most important to us, rather than a whole-hearted endorsement of his ideas and policies.