The media are acting as if the bishops’ statement last week on pro-abort politicians has put Catholic colleges in a difficult position suddenly. The statement had warned schools that they shouldn’t be hosting openly dissenting Catholics or other speakers who oppose the Church’s teachings on bedrock life issues. This is new? Every spring we go through the same lists of pro-abortion politicians and media types receiving honorary degrees, with the same protests and claims of academic freedom. I suppose what’s new is that the statement is coming from the whole bishops’ conference. So what? Why this fetish for a bishops’ conference? The principle doesn’t become binding only when a conference decides it. It is binding when it is promulgated by the Holy See (like in Ex Corde Ecclesia) and it is binding when voiced by a single bishop for his diocese. The conference’s vote adds nothing.