Fahter Sirico has responded online to my two blogs. His entire response is in italics below. My reply to him is beneath.
Sir: At least twice you refer to my essay as a 'defense' of Rand. It clearly is no such thing - so your entire premise is mistaken from the outset because you did not carefully read the article. To offer a hermeneutic of someone's thought is not to necessarily agree with him - merely to offer an understanding of his thought and in Rand's case, where it went wrong, which is what I did. Besides, in addition to First Things and my own essay, there is a much longer conservative line of criticism of Rand going back to Whittaker Chambers' review of Atlas Shrugged in National Review in 1958, Russell Kirk's criticisms of her, and even Chuck Colson's more recent entry into the conversation. So, in addition to reading my work superficially you appear to have a thin knowledge of the history of conservative reaction to Rand.
Sorry I do not have the time to get tied down to responding to your equally superficial analysis of my concerns about Notre Dame. I would hope to have charity toward Rand, Obama and you for that matter - which always involved telling the truth as I honesty see it.
Really, Father? That is all you have to say in reply? I clearly noted in the blogs where you criticized her (I wrote: "Sirico concedes an enormous amount to her critics—acknowledging, for instance, that “she was the antithesis of Mother Teresa” and that “people who reverence Western Civilization must reject” her.) I said you were offering a charitable understanding of her underlying hermeneutic, but my main point was the political context you framed your essay in and the contrast with your treatment of Obama. Those points are not superficial and your refusal to address them under the guise of a critique of my limited knowledge of Rand, which I acknowledge in my essay, demonstrates a limited reading of my blogs. You can continue to dig yourself deeper, or you can acknowledge that you framed your essay in a narrow way that clouded the true nature of the current debate and that you are showing Rand a much more empathetic hearing than you did towards Obama and the Catholics who invited him to speak. Charity in truth also involves an attitude shaped by a willingness to listen, engage and speak with humility. My main point still stands—when Ayn Rand is under hyperbolic assault, you defend her, when Obama is under hyperbolic assault, you lead the way and fan the flames. This is obvious to anyone who does a cursory reading of your work.