Yesterday (April 29, 2009), Tom McFeely, of the National Catholic Register posted a brief story relating the "back story" to Mary Ann Glendon's declining the Laetare Medal.
Catholic writer and art historian Elizabeth Lev is Mary Ann Glendon's daughter.
In a post at PoliticsDaily.com, Lev -- who lives in Rome and is a regular contributor to Zenit news service -- discusses her mother's decision to refuse to accept Notre Dame's Laetare Medal.
Lev explains that Glendon's action, undertaken because of Notre Dame's honoring of pro-abortion President Barack Obama, must be considered in the context of Glendon's proven commitment to defending the human rights of all vulnerable people, born and unborn.
And, Lev said, in light of that commitment it's silly to dismiss her mother's principled action as merely a gesture by someone who cares only about the pro-life cause.
"Professor Glendon was to have been honored for not only for her scholarship, but for her second career, her pro-bono work -- ranging from the civil rights movement of the 1960s to the great civil rights issues of the present day -- namely, the defense of human life from conception to natural death," writes Lev. "Her concerns range from the aging and dying population to the unborn to the well-being and dignity of every life, regardless of race, religion, or economic status. Her outstanding work in this field has earned her the respect of the most brilliant minds of the international community, regardless of whether they agree with her position. So again, to see her merely as 'strongly anti-abortion' instead of as a tireless defender of the dignity of life, is to reveal not only a lack of understanding of the subject's work, but also the writer's real interest in this question."