Former University of Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz spoke at the Republican National Convention and drew attention for multiple comments. He said that President Donald Trump would "make America greater" with a second term and then said that Democratic nominee Joe Biden is "Catholic in name only." This statement prompted a response from the university for which he previously worked.
"While Coach Lou Holtz is a former coach at Notre Dame, his use of the University's name at the Republican National Convention must not be taken to imply that the University endorses his views, any candidate or any political party," Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins said. "Moreover, we Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another's actions, we must never question the sincerity of another's faith, which is due to the mysterious working of grace in that person's heart. In this fractious time, let us remember that our highest calling is to love."
Holtz previously served as the head coach of the Fighting Irish for 11 of his 33 seasons in football. During this time in the sidelines, he led Notre Dame to an overall record of 100-30-2 and a National Championship victory. In 1988, the team achieved a perfect record and landed at No. 1 on the postseason AP poll. There is a statue of Holtz at Notre Dame, bearing the words "Trust, Commitment, Love."
"One of the important reasons [President Donald Trump] has my trust is because nobody is but a stronger advocate for the unborn than President Trump," Holtz said during the RNC. "The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history. They and other politicians are Catholics in name only and abandon innocent lives. President Trump protects those lives. I trust President Trump."
Biden has previously spoken about having faith as the bedrock foundation of his life. He said that it had provided him comfort during times of tragedy, such as when loved ones passed away. Additionally, Biden said that faith has kept him "humbled in times of triumph and joy."
The comments about Biden and Harris prompted criticism from supporters of the Democratic tickets. Others weighed in and said that Holtz should not make these statements about someone's faith. This includes a Jesuit priest named James Martin, who told MSNBC that Holtz "cannot look into the soul of Joe Biden. I think it's a really terrible thing to say about someone. He has no clue what's going on inside of Joe Biden's heart."