The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Defense intellectually offensive

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I consider myself a devout Catholic. I go to Mass every week, try to follow the teachings of the Church, and confess my sins when I err in this effort. I was, however, deeply disturbed by the article entitled, “A defense of the Pope”, by Lee Metzger, which appeared in Monday’s issue of the observer. Mr. Metzger’s article was a blatant ad hominem attack that did more to damage the stance of those who support the Church than to edify it. Rather than addressing the arguments made by those who are disappointed in the Pope’s judgment, Mr. Metzger fell back on the age-old argument of, “Yeah, well you’re stupid.” In the article, he implies that because the Pope has more experience and education than the students here at Notre Dame, his position must be correct, and the students’ position must be incorrect. But while the Pope’s experience and education certainly makes him more likely to be correct, it does not, in and of itself, prove his point. Certainly sometimes even the wisest men can be wrong, and even the fool sometimes speaks sense. The individual’s education and reputation have no bearing on the merits of his or her argument. Mr. Metzger also seems to imply that he is somehow entitled to make these ad hominem attacks, or at least speak from a position of relative authority, because he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. While the Knights are a great organization and fulfill an important role, I doubt that when you are inducted into the Knights you magically gain some kind of deeper insight into matters of faith. If Mr. Metzger and his fellow Knights really wish to”defend our Church and her leaders”, I wish them will in their endeavor, but I would encourage them to address the arguments of those who attack the Church, rather than simply saying”shame on you.”

Christopher White



Feb. 9