Pete Buttigieg is heading to the University of Notre Dame and the usual right-wing suspects are up in arms over the announcement. Notre Dame announced thatthe former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and 2020 presidential candidate is now a 2020-2021 faculty fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS).
“I am delighted to join this academic community to pursue research on one of the most salient issues of our time — the nature of trust,” Buttigieg said in a statement announcing the move last month. “I look forward to engaging with faculty and students from various disciplines at a time in the life of our country that calls for deep and wide-ranging inquiry,”
Reaction from the right to the announcement has been predictably negative. A 1952 graduate of the Catholic university, William Dempsey, told the aptly named Church Militant that Buttigieg’s appointment is “worse than the university’s recognition of former President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden.” Dempsey was also upset that Buttigieg’s husband Chasten Buttigieg “will be given spousal benefits” and that Pete’s “presence will radically still the voices who would teach Catholic doctrine and will radically undermine anyone who dares teach authentic Catholicism.”
“He holds many positions completely at odds with the Gospel, among them, he is in a homosexual ‘marriage’, and he supports abortion and holds views on religious freedom that would greatly restrict that freedom,” Janet Smith, a former philosophy professor at Notre Dame, opined to Life Site News.
For their part, NDIAS is thrilled with Buttigieg’s fellowship.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Pete to the institute and Notre Dame in the coming year,” Meghan Sullivan, director of the NDIAS and the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, said in a statement. “More than ever, we need scholars and public leaders working together, generating the insights that will make democratic institutions stronger and advance the common good in creative and evidence-based ways.”
The NDIAS is a research institute that uses interdisciplinary groups of faculty, graduate and undergraduate fellows to study and advance understanding of important issues of the day. Buttigieg joins a group of 30 faculty and student fellows, and he will work on projects that explore restoring trust in political institutions and examining forces shaping the next decade. According to Sullivan, it’s a perfect fit.
“We are eager to support Pete as he pursues his ambitious research projects,” said Sullivan. “He is a perfect fit for our world-class Nature of Trust cohort. We’re expecting some really exciting ideas from this group.”