A pro-choice Catholic is the new Notre Dame football coach

The University of Notre Dame — where there was an eruption of protest earlier this year after Pres. Obama, who is also pro-choice, was named commencement speaker — has hired Brian Kelly, a pro-choice Catholic, as their new football coach.

Might there be some wiggle room within a religion for some dissent? Is it O.K. for a member of a particular tribe to disagree with a body’s stance on an issue? Rep. Patrick Kennedy has been denied communion for being pro-choice. What about your own faith group, if you have one? Can you publicly disagree and still remain a member?


31 responses to “A pro-choice Catholic is the new Notre Dame football coach

  1. Notre Dame allowed a man who once voted for infanticide to give the commencement speech…so why not hire Brian Kelly?

    Kelly by the way is a very low-character fellow-he totally threw his Cincinnati team under the bus right before the biggest game of the season for that team. Why not dance with the person you brought to the prom, instead of leaving your old team at the altar? I hope Kelly goes 0-12 next year. As a former coach I can’t think of a lower thing to do than to ditch your team before their BCS game.

    • You mean he left just before a big game?

      • Kelly’s Cincinnati Bearcats are 12-0 and will play Florida in BCS Sugar Bowl without him. It was a classless thing for him to leave his old team the way he did. Notre Dame wanted Kelly, and they would have waited for him to finish his season after the Sugar Bowl. I really feel sorry for the kids that now have to play that game minus the coach who got a better deal. Notre Dame smells bad in this as well.

      • Perhaps he just wanted to get some of that great Cincinnati Chili one more time before he left! I like mine “four way!”

      • I wish I could know what happened behind the scenes. I would think Kelly would have liked to take his team to the Sugar Bowl. I really, really want to put this on Notre Dame!

  2. Disagreeing is part of our sacrament.

    • See, I think that takes real courage to allow disagreement in the ranks. I appreciate the Episcopals (shout-out to Bro. Jay!) in that they’re willing to publicly take on the tough questions. Last time I checked, my Own True Church doesn’t accept that homosexuality exists, much less that God created it.

      • Yup. Disagreements R Us.

        In any large group such as a religious denomination, there will be a continuum of beliefs and practices. Thus we have various stances on abortion, homosexuality (including the ordination of homosexual persons), health care.

        We also have a continuum of liturgical practices. “High church” is the use of incense, clergy garb such as birettas, and even adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. For some other churches they may appear to be almost non-liturgical. There’s an old saying, not used much any more:

        High and hazy,
        Low and crazy,
        Broad and lazy.

        Yup, we’re willing and sometimes too eager to tackle the tough questions. When I first visited the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, I told the director that I am an Episcopal priest.

        Her response was, “We couldn’t have done it (the civil rights marches) without the Episcopalians.”

        • I love that as a legacy, Bro. Jay. What’s tomorrow’s sermon? Want Mario to write it for you?

          • Ahhh, I’m retired now. No more weekly sermons. That’s why I can log onto DJ this Saturday night rather than preparing a sermon.

            I stopped serving my congregation in mid-September, but I still feel odd about spending my Saturday nights this way. I’ll get used to it, I’m sure.

            • Well, you could be at the local bar getting liquored up. This is pretty bad, activity-wise, but at least you can log off and then get in your car and drive safely and unimpaired. I think you told me you’d retired. How many years did you serve as a rector?

              • Actually, there are six establishments within half a mile of my house that have liquor or beer/wine licenses, so there’s no need to get into my car. Sort of like England, where there’s always a pub nearby.

                I was ordained a priest in December 1969 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, along with 12 other men. So, that makes 40 years exactly.

                “Rector” is simply a job title, like “sports writer.”

                The Episcopal Church has rectors, vicars, bishops, priests, chaplains, and more. In the liturgy there are gospellers, lectors, preachers, organists, choir directors; not to mention the indispensable ushers and greeters.

                For bishops we have diocesan bishops, called “The Ordinary” not because he or she is a regular guy but because he or she ordains. We have coadjutor bishops, suffragan bishops and assisting bishops. Plus a Presiding Bishop but not archbishops.

                The job titles in the Church of England are even more complex. Can’t tell the players without a scorecard.

          • OK, I was a tad long-winded, but, hey? She asked, smarty!

  3. Yes, this isn’t about religion or even college. This is about football. And as a Cincinnatian I have to say…I can’t really blame him for going. I mean, it’s Notre Dame. But the timing is BAD.

    • Once, legendary Notre Dame president Theodore Hesburg was criticized for hiring a Jewish man to head the Math department.

      He replied, “Math is math.”

    • Are you then a Cincinnati fan? Because I’m only asking for information’s sake. Again: I follow the Cardinals and the Royals. I have no rocks to throw.

      • I am not a fan of the Bearcats. I am a fan of a coach honoring his/her contract and being there for the football players he started the season with back in September. What kind of a message does that send to his former players about honor, and loyalty.

        If I had a son good enough to play Divison One football at Notre Dame, I’d advise him not-if this coach left one program, he’d leave another as well. The NCAA should make a rule that no coaches can be hired until the season is over. It’s also funny to me that coaches can come and go as they please, if a player wants to transfer-he/she has to sit out for one year.

        Hey Coach Kelly….Karma is knocking on the door, and she’s pissed!

  4. I like to think that the UCC is an “open and affirming” church. They actually use that line, hence the quotations. We practice an open communion policy as we believe that the sanctity of communion occurs within the communicant.

    Having said that, the open and affirming stance has moved a few conservative members out the pews into narrower minded congregations. But we all listened before they left!

  5. Vegas 710,

    Kelly was in the power position-he could have told Notre Dame-I will accept the job, but only after the Sugar Bowl-it would have been honorable and decent. Kelly is trying to get a jump on recruiting for his 2010 team.

    I bleed Michigan State green & white-so Notre Dame can lose every game as far as I am concerned, we used to joke if Notre Dame was playing a game against a prison team, we are rooting for the cons. ND does not come out looking good at all regarding this hire.

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