When last we left Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, it was covering up the "IHS" symbol for Jesus behind a podium at which President Obama was to speak earlier this year.
Now, the summer edition of Outreach, a newsletter published by Georgetown's Women's Law & Public Policy Fellowship Program, features interesting "highlights" of 19 fellows. First, the mission of the program, from the newsletter...
... [T]hey all learn together about substantive women's rights issues, explore a multitude of career paths through which they can advocate for women's equality, and develop their advocacy skills through seminars, trainings, networking events and other activities provided by WLPPFP.... WLPPFP helps our Fellows continue to develop as leaders of the women's rights movement.
And now, 2 of the "unique" fellowship experiences...
Meredith Asay (Planned Parenthood Federation of America): Through her work with the legal and litigation department at PPFA, Meredith has helped prepare a legal response for the possibility of a very restrictive ban on reproductive health services via a state-level referendum....
Meredith has also been responsible for overseeing the legal and litigation department's submissions to PPFA's Now What newsletter, which is sent to affiliates, other offices, and organizations....
In December, the Department of Health and Human Services published the final rule on "Ensuring that Department of HHS Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices in Violation of Federal Law." PPFA had previously submitted comments on the HHS proposed rule in September, Meredith and her colleagues were waiting to see if the final rule incorporated any of the suggested changes or comments. Meredith researched various issues relating to potential harm to PPFA and its affiliates that may have been caused by the rule, as well as how the rule
addresses other matters.
More recently, Meredith has been conducting research into President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor...
Elizabeth Atemnkeng (LAWA Fellow - Cameroon):... For her summer work experience, Elizabeth is conducting research on women's reproductive health and human rights for Catholics for Choice....
One of WLPPFP's group activities was a "discussion with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court about the development and current status of women's rights in U.S. constitutional jurisprudence."
I don't understand how open flouting of Catholic teaching is tolerated at an institution centered on Catholic teaching. More than that, this group is working to undermine Catholic teaching. It seems to me the Church has lost total control of the American Catholic educational system.
[HT: Peter R.]
From my secular POV, it appears that your conclusion is 199% accurate, Jill.
The "product" (Catholic Christianity) is being diluted beyond the point of recognition by trying to be "all-inclusive". I'd have much more respect for a smaller, more consistent RCC.Posted by: Doyle Chadwick at July 23, 2009 11:31 AM
Jill Great Info , sad but true most of the 'Catholic University ' Mindset is that of a moral relativistic one than that of the authentic moral theology taught by the 'Theology Of The Body ' by Pope John Paul II. If The Theology of The Body , was a required course at the Catholic schools , we would have more respect for one another as persons and this insanity would wind down rather quickly. I am a Practicing Catholic and I will never abandon my Catholic Faith or The Authentic Catholic Teaching given by 'The Catechism of The Catholic Church' Given To us By John Paul The Great. If The C.C.C. were mandatory in the Catholic School System we would also avoid these problems to a great degree. We Can Never Leave Jesus no Matter How Many Judas' there might be. If The Eleven Apostles walked away after Judas' betrayal of Jesus we'd have no Church and no Bible. Many Prayers are needed to be sure,yet Authentic Teaching of Catholic Moral Theology is a must. It can Be Found in the C.C.C. , but too many people will not take time to see what the Catholic Church actually teaches because it's easier to do what they want .rather than what Our Precious Lord wants for Them,LIFE! Thanks for all you do Jill,God Bless,Mrs.WorksPosted by: Markie at July 23, 2009 12:12 PM
So here is the problem with why these "Catholic" institutions are out of control. They are operated by a board of trustees. There was a terrible shift of power in, I think, the 1960s or so when many Catholic colleges went from being owned and operated by the orders founded by them to being owned by a secular based board of trustees. They still employ priests and religious from the founding orders, but ultimately, the schools aren't under the control of the founding order anymore. Hence, there really is a quite loose connection between the Catholic Church and Catholic institutions.
The way they are supposed to be is clearly spelled out in JP II's letter Ex Corde Ecclesia http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_15081990_ex-corde-ecclesiae_en.html but no one cares.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 23, 2009 12:23 PM
How does the problem get fixed though, BB? I'm not a huge supporter of religion, but if there being more devoutly religious people lessens the number of abortions or weakens the abortion industry, I have to say that I prefer there being more devoutly religious people.
How exactly does the church regain control? I do also find it sad to see the Catholic Church which helped raise me to now be full of people who would just as soon murder a baby as baptize one. How will the flock be fixed?Posted by: xalisae at July 23, 2009 12:45 PM
Well that's the big question, x. Some would suggest stripping these schools of their Catholic status. While this would solve the problem, it would very much be simply "giving up" on these once fine and great institutions which were originally founded to uphold truth rather than distort it.
There will probably be something done by the Church in regards to Catholic colleges in the next several years since this is becoming such a major issue, but what one must realize is that the Church is veeeery slow to deliberate on anything. They are careful to look at the issue from all angles and consider all possible solutions before reaching some sort of decision. I know that isn't the answer you (or I) want to hear, but unfortunately that is how I see the reality of things.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 23, 2009 1:15 PM
Is that a large tattoo on that woman's arm on the far left?Posted by: Jim at July 23, 2009 2:09 PM
Bobby, I can appreciate not wanting to "give up" on Catholic institutions, but isn't there a parallel danger of "corrupting" the reputation of the entire RCC by not taking any action? And if you agree that there is, which of those things matter most to you?Posted by: Doyle Chadwick at July 23, 2009 2:30 PM
I'm starting school again in the fall at St. Edward's, a Catholic University. It will be very interesting to see how much they stay true to their Catholic values.Posted by: Lauren at July 23, 2009 2:48 PM
To be honest Doyle, there is no excuse. Plain and simple, this is a scandal and it will continue to be a scandal as long as Catholic colleges support death. Honestly, it's an embarrassment to the faith.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 23, 2009 2:53 PM
I'd like to see these "rogue" Catholic schools stripped of their "Catholic" status to make them work to restore it. It would be fair to the rest of us Catholics who want to send their children to a REAL Catholic college of University. There ARE some great ones out there - generally found by Catholics by word of mouth, not in the MSM.
Catholic for Choice? No such thing.
Hypocrite for Choice? Ok, I'll buy that.Posted by: Ed at July 23, 2009 5:38 PM
Believe me Jill, I don't either.
But as I have commented many times in the past, in my blog and even among my friends in conversation, many of these "Catholic" institutions that find themselves in these "class" are run or started by the Jesuits. I finished my undergraduate studies on scholarship in a Jesuit institution in the Philippines, and even then, whilst I was there, I had my misgivings. Pains me more to read about these things happening now, and perhaps, going for worse.
But there are many Catholic institutions in the US and all over the world that have remained faithful to the Magisterium, without watering down the intellectual and academic freedom that universities and institutions of higher learning should have. Students there are even happier.Posted by: ForzaMillan at July 23, 2009 6:31 PM
Is that a large tattoo on that woman's arm on the far left?
Looks like it is. Is that important?Posted by: Alexandra at July 23, 2009 6:57 PM
what a disgrace.Posted by: Jasper at July 23, 2009 7:52 PM
I toured Georgetown U a few years ago when my son was choosing schools. They pride themselves in the number of people from around the world and the States that make up their multicultural population. They make sure you know they are the only Catholic U. that has an Imam on staff. They have a very high percentage of their students that are able to have intern positions in the DC area.
Although the campus is beautiful and it ideally located if you want to be involved in government, I did not find it very Catholic at all. I went to a Catholic University that was nothing like Georgetown. Georgetown really wants to be prestigious. They are very proud that they have very famous teachers, like Madeline Albright. Many famous people, like our current president give speeches there.
When I left there I was sad, for many reasons. It is embarrassing to be Catholic and to realize that many of our Universities have lost their way. Sure they now are mainly educating non Catholics, and they are sort of making sure their Catholic students are not too endoctrinated. Imagine that as a mission!
Times have changed and these type of Catholic Universities have been infiltrated or poisoned with secular beliefs. Hopefully I pray the pendulum will swing back and that better times are ahead. As a Catholic, I would say that these people are not Catholic. They take offense at that. However, they are not following Catholic doctrine. Some call them cafeteria Catholics, that choose just what they want and ignore the rest. We see that with many of our elected officials that are Catholic, and I don't need to name names because you know who I mean. We could compare all of them to willful adolescents that aren't listening to their parents. I hate to give up on them, but it is very frustrating to say the least. In the end, I guess we pray that they return to the flock.
Posted by: Eileen
at July 23, 2009 10:13 PM
I'd have much more respect for a smaller, more consistent RCC.
That makes a lot of sense to me Doyle.
I say, the Church should strip them of their Catholic name. It should insist these colleges/universities rename themselves. In short, it should cut them loose.
Much the same should be donw with the Catholic primary and secondary schools in Australia. Most are just secular schools with a bit of God sprinkled on top (if you're lucky). Ditch the lot and try some other way of propagating the Faith.
A smaller, but more committed and faithful Catholic Church would at least make things more clear to everyone.Posted by: Louise at July 23, 2009 11:25 PM
Georgetown really wants to be prestigious. They are very proud that they have very famous teachers, like Madeline Albright. Many famous people, like our current president give speeches there.
"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"Posted by: Louise at July 23, 2009 11:28 PM
An alumni group at Notre Dame University is offering a way for concerned Catholic graduates to unite in their efforts to preserve the Catholic identity of their alma mater. The secularization of these religious universities happens because the Catholic alumni are silent and fail to organize a resistance. Please check out Project Sycamore "Guardian of the Grotto" with 10,000 subscribers and their pro-active agenda to reclaim Notre Dame as a "Catholic" educational institution. www.projectsycamore.com/Posted by: Arlene at July 27, 2009 9:03 PM
I checked out the ND site. It looks "nice" but not necessarily "pro-life/anti-abortion". I'd have to know more before supporting a group like that financially if I were an alum, which I'm not. Did they speak out against Kmiec or Obama's visit, or remain silent?
Under the petition signers section, I noted a little over 2300 signers, not 10,000...
"We could compare all of them to willful adolescents that aren't listening to their parents. I hate to give up on them, but it is very frustrating to say the least. In the end, I guess we pray that they return to the flock. "
Posted by: Eileen at July 23, 2009 10:13 PM
Willful adolescents, exactly. Wannabee's. Do you remember the movie "Rudy"? He wanted to be one of them more than anything.
Sometimes it's not worth it considering what you have to give up to get it, as Louise (11:28) commented.