Dick Cavett to MC dinner for Iona’s Br. Liguroi

Who wouldn’t want to have Dick Cavett MC a dinner honoring them?

I mean, Dick Cavett.

Well, retiring Iona College President Brother James Liguori will get the honor on Friday at Iona’s 50th Annual Trustee Dinner. The black tie event will be at the Waldorf.

Also scheduled to be on hand: “American Pie” maker (and Iona alum) Don McLean; Dick Gephardt; former AFL-CIO President John Sweeney; Westchester’s own Rob Astorino;  Cardinal Ed Egan; and others.

Not a bad supporting cast for Br. Liguori, who has been president of Iona for 17 years. And Dick Cavett at the mike.

I recently wrote about Liguori being the last of a string of Christian Brothers to serve as president. Incoming President Robert Nyre is a layman. There simply aren’t as many Christian Brothers — or Catholic brothers, period — as there used to be.

By the way, the College of New Rochelle, at its commencement on May 26, will confer honorary doctorates on its own president, Stephen Sweeny,  who is retiring in June, and on Archbishop Dolan.

It’s a changing of the guard for New Rochelle’s Catholic colleges.

Proposing a forum on media coverage of the Catholic Church

In his latest blog post, Archbishop Dolan again tees off on the media.

He begins:

*****

Because of all the inaccuracies in the recent coverage of the Catholic Church in the New York Times and other publications, appearing in news articles, editorials, and op-eds, I was tempted to try my best to offer corrections to the multitude of errors. However, I soon realized that this would probably be a full time job.

It is a source of consternation as to why, instead of complimenting the Vatican and a reformer like Pope Benedict XVI, for codifying procedures long advocated by critics, such outfits would instead choose to intrude on a matter of internal doctrine, namely the ordination of women.

*****

Dolan later says that the media’s “obsessive criticism” of the pope is “simply out of bounds.”

I’ve noted in the past that Dolan has become something of a media critic since coming to NY. Defending the church and the pope from the NYT and others seems to be one of his passions.

So here’s an idea: How about someone organizes a forum on media coverage of the church?

Give Dolan and someone from the Times, plus others (John Allen? Father James Martin? A  media critic like Howard Kurtz?), a chance to make their case and rebut the other side(s).

Do it in public. In a civil forum.

The Fordham Center on Religion and Culture seems like a natural host. They did a program about anti-Catholicism a few years ago, which I still regret that I missed. (How does one define anti-Catholicism in 2010, I wonder?) But a forum on media coverage of the Catholic Church would certainly revisit the anti-Catholicism question.

What do you think, Mr. and Mrs. Steinfels?

The Crossroads Cultural Center in NYC, run by the Catholic movement Communion and Liberation, has run several provocative forums in recent years and could do one on media coverage. Monsignor Albacete?

One of the many academic centers at Notre Dame could do it — but I would rather the forum be in New York.

How about the Columbia Journalism School?

Maybe Iona could step up to the plate and bring some action to Suburbia?

So who is going to do it? How about one night in late September?