Bookmark and Share
My Photo


    Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.


« Prayers | Main | Chesterton Academy »

Monday, May 17, 2010


Stephen Sparrow

Excellent address

Gustavus Adolphus

Thanks for pointing out yet another example of Charley’s Rice’s penchant for self-aggrandizement. His methodology remains unchanged: Give everyone an oversimplified version of what’s wrong and who to blame for it. Then, try to convince everyone that the answer lies in faith or, more specifically, in his interpretation of it. Unfortunately (for him) his ego still won’t permit him to accept that lecturing anyone other than the already converted doesn’t make him prophetic. It only makes him appear condescending. That’s why the editorial staff at the Notre Dame Observer last Winter refused to print his umpteenth diatribe against gays. Clearly, no one could reasonably have been in doubt as to the Church’s stand on homosexuality or his support of that policy. However, what really happened there is that someone finally figured out that Charley’s principal motivation was to boost his own ego by policing the faith of others. This was a crass misuse of religion and one that the N. D. Observer rightly refused to perpetuate. Face it, Rice may be your icon, but there’s nothing new in this Commencement Address. Rice has said everything he’s ever going to say and, like the N.D. Observer, you should find another icon. How about Mark Souder? Now there’s a good Catholic boy in desperate need of prayer.


I'm off to point out some flaws in the address.

Carl E. Olson

"Gustavus": If you have something to offer other than personal attacks, ad hominem "arguments," and sputtering vitriol, you should consider employing it.

David G

Gustavus said "...there’s nothing new in this Commencement Address. Rice has said everything he’s ever going to say and, like the N.D. Observer, you should find another icon."

Doesn't the Church teach that, in Christ, God has said all he's going to say. However, I don't think that finding another God is really any option.

I wouldn't expect to hear much new in any pronouncement of Church teaching, at least from those who hold to it. The novelty is actually hearing someone uphold Christ's teaching. It seems a strange form of self-aggrandizing to call his listeners to repentance and conversion? At least he's in good company.

Eric Thomason

I had the privilege of taking Prof. Rice's class while at Notre Dame law. He is humorous, gentle, patient, and genuinely interested in debate. He is confident about things which are true, but never "self-aggrandizing." The fellow above is lacking in charity.

Gustavus Adolphus

Eric, I too took Professor Rice's class at ND Law. However, unlike you, what I remember about him, even then, was his total unwillingness to consider opposing points of view. That approach has gotten him marginalized at Notre Dame and kicked off the Ave Maria Law School Board. Worse, his latest so-called Commencement Address is nothing but a wholly politically inspired diatribe against the majority of Catholic voters who, in Professor Rice's estimation, purportedly contributed to a Nazi-like transfer of political power in this country. The absurdity of this analogy should put anyone familiar with the history of the Third Reich on notice that they're dealing with someone who employs the teachngs of the Church as a cudgel. Furthermore, his so-called Commencement Address isn't a Call to Christ. It's a diatribe against individual conscience. Although Rice thinks he's cornered the market on truth, it doesn't follow that anyone who disagrees with him is an errant Catholic. Moreover, in keeping with his penchant for authoritarian rhetoric, Rice's adress does not contain an iota of Christian compassion. It's merely another repetition of his frequent predillection for spouting dogma. Although I understand that some of you view my criticism of Professor Rice as misplaced, I maintain that this Address departs from traditional Catholic virtues in a manner that is uniquely characteristic of his need to uncritically embrace othodoxy regardless of the consequences. That's hardly a legacy to be proud of.

Terence M. Stanton


The Catholic Church needs a few million more men like Dr. Rice here in America. He teaches the truth with clarity and charity. The teaching of Jesus Christ is never popular to the world but always attractive to the seeker of truth.


I also took Rice's class at ND Law, and consider it one of the highlights of my education there. At the beginning of the first class, he told us that the course would be devoted to teaching us the basic principles of natural law, etc., and not to debating whether the Church's teachings are correct or fundamentally flawed. I respected the fact that he informed students of this and indicated that if a student wanted to simply debate what the Church teaches instead of learning why natural law, etc., leads to certain teachings, he should take a different class. He's a class act and a truly generous man. And the sand in the gas tank analogy never gets old.

Also, although Mark Souder is, of course, in need of prayer, he's not Catholic. He's a member of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.


...his need to uncritically embrace othodoxy(sic) regardless of the consequences... - Gustavus Adolphus

This is a problem?

You have paid the man a great compliment. This is the attitude of martyrs. Thank you for this, GA.

I have not been acquainted with Dr. Rice up until now, not being a scholar or theologian myself, but reading such a statement from a critic, I am inclined to trust his writing.

Gustavus Adolphus

ER. Thanks for the clarification about Mark Souder. For what it's worth, I was referring to the first-year torts class that Prof. Rice taught for a number of years. I don't remember hearing anything about a natural law class. Perhaps it wasn't being offered when I was a student

Niall O'Donnell

You can download his address in the iTunes Store at Christendom on iTunes U,


I find it highly unusual that someone who takes the name of one of the most notorious anti-Catholic monarchs in history as a handle would presume to give lectures about what Catholics ought to do.

I guess this would explain why Dr. Rice wasn't at NDLS's own graduation that weekend. I wondered.

Is Dr. Rice saying anything new here? No, not really---so he's something of a one-trick pony these days. But that doesn't mean it's a bad trick; it's actually quite a good trick. And it's not really his trick; it's the Church's trick, just presented in Rice's own style.

For what it's worth, Rice no longer teaches 1L classes since assuming emeritus status. He teaches an elective on natural-law jurisprudence.

Gustavus Adolphus

Show me where there's anything in what I've said that tells Catholics what to do? That's Charley's bag, not mine. While his "my way or the highway" approach may still play at Christendom, it has little if any traction at Notre Dame. As an ND alum, it's my intention to help keep it that way. While Prof. Rice still has his supporters at ND, it's become increasingly evident that his intemperate rants against University policies have effectively forced him to go off campus. That explains the snotty remarks about ND in his Commencement Address. Evidently, there aren't enough real Catholic left on at ND to suit him. And that's also why I've assumed the personna of Gustavus Adolphus - if you're not a good enough Catholic, you might as well be one ferocious Protestant. In general, I try not to judge the message by who delivers it. However, in this case, its all about the messenger. So, sorry Charley.

Brian J. Schuettler

"That explains the snotty remarks about ND in his Commencement Address"
His remarks are snotty but yours aren't?

"And that's also why I've assumed the personna of Gustavus Adolphus - if you're not a good enough Catholic, you might as well be one ferocious Protestant."
That doesn't sound quite right. It' akin to reigning in hell rather than serving in heaven.

Manuel G. Daugherty Razetto

"And that's also why I've assumed the personna(sic) of Gustavus Adolfus-if you're not a good enough Catholic, you might as well be one ferocious Protestant"

Having visited Sweden many times I've learned to love and admire the country and its people.

I would qualify G.A.'s comment about Gustav II Adolf by saying the great military man was quite an outstanding monarch and an extraordinary man.

The king was strictly brought up in the Lutheran faith. He definitely was among the most fulfiled sovereigns of his time. He knew 8 languages, of which he spoke and wrote fluently five. Was familiar with the classics and ancient history, proficient in music and, as he is well known for, he excelled in the science and practice of war.

Gustav II Adolf was, by family ties, somehow connected to the Caholic faith; his cousin Sigismund, king of Sweden and Poland was Catholic. In 1629 he terminated the war with Poland through a truce that, among other things, allowed freedom of religion to the subjects of both countries. His own daughter became queen after his death in the battle of Lutze. She was so determined to become Catholic that, after 22 years of her reign she abdicated and moved to Rome where she was so close to the papacy that today queen Christina's sarcophagus lies in St. Peters basilica.

Gustav II Adolf was pre-eminently religious. His moral influence and deep seated piety and character , inspired his soldiers.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Ignatius Insight


Ignatius Press

Catholic World Report


Blogs & Sites We Like

June 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad