Anti-Catholicism takes many forms, but I admit that I didn’t see this one coming.

For those of you that don’t know, after a series of poor seasons Notre Dame just fired its football coach Charlie Weis.

Now there are several reasons for firing Charlie, but Time magazine found one that had not previously occurred to me, primarily, I suggest, because it is singularly stupid. Besides completely misunderstanding the situation at Notre Dame, Time’s analysis has the added defect of anti-Catholicism.

Notre Dame is 6-6 this season, and Weis, 54, didn’t do much better in his previous four seasons as coach. While the Fighting Irish have won 11 national championships in their storied history, the team has not won one for 21 years. And while some may point to the shortcomings of its coach or players, a more fundamental reason may lie in a crisis of the Catholic faith.

In Notre Dame’s glory days, Catholic secondary schools were prime recruiting centers. Priests and nuns would ask for prayers for “the boys” on Saturdays and would encourage their best athletes to attend Notre Dame. But many forces, including abuse by priests, have damaged American Catholicism and crippled the parochial school system.

Time magazine repulsively uses the occasion of the firing of a football coach as an excuse for blatant anti-Catholicism. The reason I say that this is anti-Catholicism is that Time’s contention that Notre Dame is losing because of its inability to recruit top talent due to the breakdown of the Catholic school system is exactly wrong.

As anyone who follows this sort of stuff can tell you, Charlie Weis is an incredible recruiter. During his five year tenure he brought some of the best talent in the country to Notre Dame. This is why he is being fired. He has some of the best talent in the country (Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate, Michael Floyd, and more) and he is still losing.

The inclusion of priestly abuse as a reason for a losing football team is shoddy journalism and anti-Catholic.

If you still lose with the best talent around, you will get fired. The clever editors at Time have obviously avoided this type of Darwinian accountability by insuring that talent comes nowhere near the magazine. This way the blame for their continued losses (in circulation) can conveniently be placed elsewhere.