I subscribe to several "news alert" features from various national and local sources. From them I received the sad word that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was euthanized this morning, which I grant you is newsworthy. But from none of them did I hear that Robert F. Drinan, S.J., died yesterday. Father Drinan was a lawyer, law professor, college administrator, and the first Catholic priest elected to the United States House of Representatives. (He also was an unabashed liberal and anti-war activist, which I have always felt was the real reason the Vatican ordered him, after 10 years of service to his Massachusetts district, to either leave politics or leave the priesthood. Father Drinan decided to stick with his vows to the church and to the Society of Jesus, which probably was good for him but not so swell for the rest of us. I suspect that, had he been a right-winger, his marching orders would not have come. As it was, being the first member of the House to call for the impeachment of Richard Nixon probably did little to endear him to the pope.)
On balance, it seems to me that Father Drinan's passing deserves at least as much attention as a racehorse's.