Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz addressed the Republican National Convention, offering his support to President Donald Trump’s reelection. Holtz called the president a strong advocate for the unborn and said that the Biden-Harris ticket is “the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history.”
But it was Holtz’s discussion of faith that made headlines.
While addressing the glaring gap between Catholic Church teaching and Biden’s platform, Holtz said Biden’s position on abortion “abandons innocent lives” and called the former vice president “Catholic in name only.”
Holtz immediately faced criticism in some quarters from those who felt that the remark was a judgment of Biden’s heart and not his policies.
Holy Cross Father John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, distanced himself from Holtz in a statement, as did other Catholic leaders. At a recent Mass, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago also appeared to address the subject, saying: “There should never be a time and a moment in which we judge others and their faith journey, say that a person is not Christian enough or Catholic enough, or doesn’t measure up to what we think they should.”
Meanwhile, Bishops Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, and Richard Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee, have recently taken positions more akin to Holtz’s.
It is one thing to judge someone’s heart or motivation. It is another thing entirely to take them at their word and judge their very public actions and positions.
Like Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, too, has shown himself unafraid to call out support for abortion as so objectively wrong that politicians supporting it should not receive Communion.