Four years ago, Notre Dame fought to award President Barack Obama an honorary degree.
This week, the Fighting Irish have effectively sued their honorary graduate in federal court.
When he arrived beneath the Golden Dome, the president had just finished a campaign inspiring hope for the "change we need" in which he swept the Catholic vote by unprecedented percentages in key electoral states. Within months of the Irish honoring him, Obama adroitly helped steady a nation that for all practical purposes had been economically defrauded by sharp bank and securities practice.
Obama complimented Notre Dame's chief executive, Holy Cross Fr. John Jenkins, for "doing an outstanding job as president of his fine institution, and for his continued and courageous commitment to honest, thoughtful dialogue." As laudatory as that compliment was, it was the least the new president could have said to a priest who in the months leading up to that day and every day since has borne criticism from virtually every American Catholic bishop and suffered a vicious anti-Notre Dame campaign aimed at scaring away donors.