One of the more bleakly humorous aspects of this administration is just how Orwellian it is. The most recent demonstration of this is the appointment of Jesuit Father Thomas Reese to head the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. Obama appointed him as a member of the Commission two years ago.
Reese resigned as editor of the Jesuit rag America in 2005. At the time he was under fire from the Vatican due to his heterodox opinions. He holds the usual leftist political positions of most modern Jesuit, which explains his appointment. What sort of head will he make of the Commission? A bad one judging from this incident:
After Saudi Arabia sentenced blogger Raif Badawi to public flogging, seven of the nine members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) stepped forward to ask the Saudis to commute his sentence or, if not, to whip them instead.
The only two members of the Commission who refused to sign the letter were James Zogby, the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, and Jesuit Father Thomas Reese of the National Catholic Reporter. Zogby’s abstention is understandable. As the author of Arab Voices, the co-founder of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and an advocate of Saudi interests, it isn’t hard to guess where his allegiance lies. With dozens of Jesuit martyrs in his order’s history, however, and some of these to radical Islam, Reese’s case is more complex.
Reese, a vocal critic of the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, is the former editor of the Jesuit Magazine America, who was pressured to step down by the Vatican in 2005 for misrepresenting Catholic teaching on a number of issues, including same-sex marriage, homosexual priests, priestly celibacy, women’s ordination and offering Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
Go here to read the rest. Reese praised the administration in regard to the Contraceptive Mandate:
“HHS and the Administration have gone out of their way to resolve the concerns of religious institutions that object to covering contraceptives in their insurance programs. They have found creative ways to provide contraceptives to the employees of religious colleges and hospitals without the involvement of these institutions.”
In the hands of Father Reese, religious liberty is as safe and secure as would be the chastity of a maiden spending an evening with Bill Clinton at the No-Tell Motel. As always in regard to this administration, I am reminded of this historical vignette:
Another alum of the Jesuits blazes new ground in contempt for human life:
Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed “Right to Try” legislation passed by large bipartisan majorities of both houses of the California legislature. In my recent Washington Examiner column on “Right to Try,” I noted that 24 states have adopted such measures, championed by the Goldwater Institute, which would allow terminal patients access to medicines certified as safe but not approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. Brown justified his veto on the grounds that the FDA already has a compassionate use policy that allows some patients some access to these drugs. But as the Goldwater Institute points out, that process is incredibly cumbersome and only a small percentage of those in need are able to jump through all its hoops.
Less than a week before Brown signed a bill legalizing assisted suicide, on the grounds that it would help patients avoid suffering. But now he has vetoed right to try, which would help terminal patients avoid suffering and extend their lives. He will need all of his Jesuit training, and more, to reconcile those two decisions.
Part 17 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.
John McAdams, a suspended political science professor at Marquette, go here to read about why he is suspended, at his blog Marquette Warrior, shined the light on a mural at Marquette, a Jesuit university in Milwaukee, honoring a cop killer:
Marquette’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center was set up as a sop to the campus gay lobby in the wake of Marquette’s refusal to hire aggressively lesbian Arts & Sciences dean candidate Jodi O’Brien. Not surprisingly, it has consistently pursued a leftist secular agenda including, for example, the Femsex Seminar, which was so raunchy and so opposed to Marquette’s supposed “Catholic mission” that the Administration ordered that sponsorship be withdrawn.
But now we have yet another case of the extreme leftist agenda of the organization. An entry from its Facebook page:
|(Click on image to enlarge)|
Yes, it’s a mural, in the offices of the Center, celebrating one Assata Shakur.
(Here is a larger view of the image.)
So who is Assata Shakur? A black militant who was convicted of murder and fled to Cuba, where she is still protected by the Communist government. According to Wikipedia:
Assata Olugbala Shakur (born JoAnne Deborah Byron on July 16, 1947), whose married name was Chesimard, is an African-American activist and member of the former Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA). Between 1971 and 1973, Shakur was accused of several crimes and was the subject of a multistate manhunt.
In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, in which she was accused of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and grievously assaulting Trooper James Harper. BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur was also killed in the incident, and Shakur was wounded. Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.
Shakur was incarcerated in several prisons in the 1970s. She escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba in 1984 after living as a fugitive for a few years, and received political asylum. She has been living in Cuba ever since. Since May 2, 2005, the FBI has classified her as a domestic terrorist and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture. On May 2, 2013, the FBI added her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List; the first woman to be listed. On the same day, the New Jersey Attorney General offered to match the FBI reward, increasing the total reward for her capture to $2 million.
More information on her can be found here.
Yes, this is the sort of person the “sexuality” bureaucrats at Marquette feel deserves to be honored.
After Raul Castro paid a call Sunday on Pope Francis at the Vatican to thank him for working for Cuban-U.S. detente — the Cuban president said he was so impressed by the pontiff he is considering a return to the Catholic church’s fold.
Seventy years ago today the Marines raised the flag over Mount Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima and a mass was said at the summit. Iwo Jima probably has the sad distinction of being the most expensive piece of worthless real estate in the history of the globe. Expensive not in something as minor as money, but costly in something as all important as human lives. In 1943 the island had a civilian population of 1018 who scratched a precarious living from sulfur mining, some sugar cane farming and fishing. All rice and consumer goods had to be imported from the Home Islands of Japan. Economic prospects for the island were dismal. Eight square miles, almost all flat and sandy, the dominant feature is Mount Suribachi on the southern tip of the island, 546 feet high, the caldera of the dormant volcano that created the island. Iwo Jima prior to World War II truly was “of the world forgetting, and by the world forgot”.
The advent of World War II changed all of that. A cursory look at a map shows that Iwo Jima is located 660 miles south of Tokyo, well within the range of American bombers and fighter escorts, a fact obvious to both the militaries of the US and Imperial Japan. The Japanese forcibly evacuated the civilian population of Iwo Jima in July of 1944. Awaiting the invading Marines was a garrison of approximately 23,000 Japanese troops, skillfully deployed by General Tadamichi Kuribayashi in hidden fortified positions throughout the island, connected in many cases by 11 miles of tunnels. The Japanese commander was under no illusions that the island could be held, but he was determined to make the Americans pay a high cost in blood for Iwo.
On February 18th, 1945 Navy Lieutenant, (the Marine Corps, although Marines are often loathe to admit it, is a component of the Department of the Navy, and the Navy supplies all the chaplains that serve with it) Charles Suver, Society of Jesus, was part of the 5th Marine Division and anxiously awaiting the end of the bombardment and the beginning of the invasion the next day. Chaplain Suver was one of 19 Catholic priests participating in the invasion as a chaplain.
Father Suver had been born in Ellensburg, Washington in 1907. Graduating from Seattle College in 1924, he was ordained as a priest in 1937, having taught at Gonzaga University in Spokane. Prior to the war, while teaching at Seattle Prep, he rigorously enforced the no running rules in the hall, even going so far as to tackle one errant student! Father Suver was remembered as a strict disciplinarian but also a fine teacher. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, he joined the Navy as a chaplain.
On February 18th, 1945, Chaplain Suver was discussing the upcoming invasion with other Marine officers. A lieutenant told him that he intended to take an American flag onto the top of Mount Suribachi. Suver responded that if he did that, he would say mass under it.
At 5:30 AM the next morning Father Suver said mass for the Marines aboard his ship, LST 684. (The official meaning of LST was Landing Ship, Tank; the troops designated them Large Slow Target.) After mass, nervous Marines, more than a few of whom had not much longer to live, bombarded the chaplain with questions, especially questions about courage. He responded, ” A courageous man goes on fulfilling his duty despite the fear gnawing away inside. Many men are fearless, for many different reasons, but fewer are courageous.” Continue reading
100% pro-abort Senator Richard Durbin (D.Il.) celebrates his Jesuit education
My irony meter just broke. America, the Jesuit rag and not the country, is now against dissent:
Thankfully, Cardinal Wuerl spoke out. Bishops have to be the ones who criticize bishops to garner any attention in the upper echelons. We need their gravitas to address any bishop taking on the pope, the source of unity in our church.
Others might complain of the stupidity of criticizing the church leader who is reaching the public as no one in recent years has done. Still others also can recognize the importance of defending a leader of what can seem like a hidebound institution that needs change to keep the institution vibrant and ready for years to come. Still others can appreciate the paternal, pastoral leader needed by billions of people and the need to support him.
However, it is the bishops themselves who must speak out when dissent comes from within the highest level of the church. This is worthy of their calling to leadership as bishops. Bravo, Cardinal Wuerl. Continue reading
America as in the Jesuit rag, not the nation. The Jesuits can close up shop now at America. There is no way they can surpass this article which perfectly symbolizes the adherence of most contemporary Jesuits to the Faith, and their intellectual acumen:
A New Theology of the Transgendered Body by Sidney Callahan
Bravo Jesuits, you cannot possibly top, or rather bottom, that!
What is it with the modern day Jesuits? With certain honorable exceptions, it is hard to view their antics without assuming that many of them are at heart atheists. Father Z gives us a minor atrocity:
I don’t know about you, but I can’t see any value in having this hideous thing in a church.
This rubbish is now hanging in the Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit Church) of Vienna.
Corriere della Sera has the sad story.
Need an explanation? I’ll bet you do. I’ll bet you all the money in your pocket that you can’t say what this thing represents without looking at an explanation.
“To be in limbo”.
Yes. I know.
This piece of… thing… is 8 meters high, weighs 700kg, and will stay there until 19 April 2015. So, rush to Vienna to see it.
It is meant – I am not making this up – to symbolize “faith and its menacing aspects”.
Only Jesuits could allow into their church something that make the faith look like a piece of… thing.
If this isn’t the representation of self-absorbed promethean neopelagians, I don’t know what would be. Continue reading
Part 16 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.
Well, Loyola Marymount out in Los Angeles went for a twofer for their dean: a pro-abort and an atheist:
On April 16, the Jesuit university announced the appointment of Robbin Crabtree as dean of its Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. The position oversees bioethics, theological studies, philosophy and Catholic studies at the university. The dean is also involved in faculty hiring decisions.
RenewLMU, a group of students, alumni, faculty, donors and other university supporters concerned about the university’s Catholic mission, questioned whether Crabtree was an appropriate choice to oversee “mission critical” departments.
In 2001 and 2002, she was a member of the New Mexico group Las Adelitas Women in Politics. While Crabtree’s curriculum vitae describes the group as an organization to promote women’s candidates for public office in New Mexico, the group has been involved in promoting pro-abortion candidates.
Burcham said that Crabtree’s involvement with the “budding” political organization was “brief,” and the organization “changed significantly” since she left it. He said her involvement with Planned Parenthood consisted of serving as an “outside consultant” to a new Planned Parenthood-sponsored women’s health center. This work was in communications and “aimed at engaging underserved women in the community to increase their awareness of the clinic’s basic health-care services.”
Burcham said the university’s only “litmus test” in hiring is that “a candidate must fully support our mission of academic excellence in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions and commit himself/herself to furthering this mission through [his or her] professional life at LMU.”
The university president’s comments were largely echoed in an April 16 letter from Jesuit Father Robert Caro to alumni and parents. He said that concerns being raised about Crabtree’s past associations “do not reflect her recent involvements or reputation and appear to ignore her distinguished record.”
Father James Martin, SJ, editor at large of the Jesuit rag America, practically breaks his arm slapping his order on the back for all the good qualities he perceives in Pope Francis in an article for CCN. A sample:
Openness. Jesuits are asked to “Find God in all things.” Again, this is not simply a Jesuit virtue but a Christian one. Yet that brief motto is the most commonly cited way of summing up Jesuit spirituality. And “all things” means all people.
This includes those people who have felt excluded, or unwelcome, in the church. So although his message is based on simple Christian mercy, the world has witnessed the Pope repeatedly inviting the church to experience God in places that some other Catholic leaders may have overlooked or even ignored. Atheists, divorced and remarried Catholics, and gay men and lesbians, have all seen the Pope reach out to them.
Francis is not so much trying to find God there — because he knows that God is already there — as he is reminding others to look for God in the lives of all these people.
Other Jesuit hallmarks could be added to the list, such as flexibility, freedom and an emphasis on social justice. But overall, when Jesuits watch the Pope, we often nod our heads and say, “That’s very Jesuit.”
Over the past year, Jesuits have been accused of being too proud of Pope Francis. I’m guilty myself. So at the risk of pride, I’ll say that I think he’s a great Pope, a great priest and a great Jesuit. And I’ll bet St. Ignatius would be proud — or as proud as he would allow himself to be. Continue reading
In 1884 John Joseph Montgomery made the first manned, controlled, heavier than air flight in a glider he built. Born in 1858, he became intrigued with flight when as a boy in 1869 he witnessed the historic flight of the steam driven proto blimp Aviator Hermes, Jr. built by Frederick Marriott. In 1883 Montgomery built a wing flapping glider that of course failed as a glider. In 1884 he made aviation history by building a monoplane glider with curved wings. He flew a considerable distance at Otay Mesa near San Diego, California. In 1884-1885 he built a monoplane glider with flat wings, with hinged surfaces at the backs of the wings to maintain lateral balance, the first step towards ailerons. He also used cables to control the tale of his glider.
In 1885 or 1886 he built a water tank and experimented hundreds of times with moving water over surfaces to understand the movement of air over wings.
A Catholic, Montgomery earned his BA and MA from Saint Ignatius College in 1879 and 1880. He went on to earn a doctorate in physics from the Jesuit College, Santa Clara, where he was a professor from 1898 until his death. The Jesuits were quite enthusiastic about the aviation work of Montgomery and extended facilities at the college for him to conduct his experiments and build his gliders, one of which was named Santa Clara. Continue reading
Part 15 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.
Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report. After 30 years at the bar and almost a decade blogging, there are few stories that shock me any more. This one did:
Spokane’s Gonzaga University has denied a Knights of Columbus group application to be recognized as an official student organization. Those seeking the status were notified of the University’s decision at a meeting on March 7.
“The Knights of Columbus, by their very nature, is a men’s organization in which only Catholics may participate via membership,” says a letter obtained by The Cardinal Newman Society written by Sue Weitz, Vice President for Student Life. “These criteria are inconsistent with the policy and practice of student organization recognition at Gonzaga University, as well as the University’s commitment to non-discrimination based on certain characteristics, one of which is religion.”
The discussion at the meeting touched on formation of a Catholic Daughters student organization at Gonzaga. Such a group would address the gender exclusivity issue. However, it would not address the requirement that all members of a student Knights of Columbus group must be Catholic.
Individuals who spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society only on condition of anonymity explained that the group has been stalled by the administration for the entire academic year. Efforts were made by students to apply for official student group status beginning in September. The group was told they would have a response by November. The group wasn’t notified of the University’s decision until March.
Three guesses as to what order runs the high school. The first two don’t count.
The administrator of a Catholic high school in New York wrote to his students’ parents this week to explain why a gay couple at the all-boys school is being allowed to attend the junior prom together.
Father Edward Salmon, president of McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton, explained that the boys “will be welcomed” as a couple, even though he insisted the gesture of acceptance is not meant to condone homosexuality or go against church law in any way. His full letter, sent Wednesday, was published Thursday by local news website rochesterhomepage.net.
For Salmon, the acceptance represents the success of a student-driven campaign to allow the boys to attend their junior prom together. The school’s administrator described the emotions that campaign generated as “darkness and heavy clouds,” leading to the spread of “misinformation, fear, misunderstanding, and even anger.”
There’s more at the Deacon’s Bench, including the letter from Father Salmon. For those who feared that Pope Francis’s washing of women’s feet would embolden liberal Catholics, you severely underestimate how easily liberal Catholics can twist any words and actions of the Pontiff to suit their particular cause. Witness the beginning of Father Salmon’s letter:
Our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, in the homily for his Inaugural Mass, had encouraging and inviting words: “Today amid so much darkness we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation and to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope, it is to let a ray of light break through heavy clouds.”
And if you don’t interpret Pope Francis’s words to mean that it’s okay to allow a gay couple to attend a prom at a Catholic high school, then clearly you just want more darkness.
Most of the rest of the letter is a bizarre stream of consciousness that uses the imagery of light and darkness to ironic affect – ironic because it just muddies the waters and thereby darkens everyone’s understanding of the faith. He closes with this:
With this decision I am not contradicting the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with regard to human sexuality; I am not encouraging nor am I condoning homosexual activity just as I do not encourage or condone heterosexual activity at a dance. I am not contradicting the Church’s opposition to the redefinition of marriage. With this decision I invite and encourage us all, as Pope Francis does, to exercise care, protection, goodness which calls for a certain tenderness “which is not a virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness.”
You see he’s not contradicting Church teaching because, well, he says so. And light and darkness. And Pope Francis.
There. Don’t you feel much better now?
Father Salmon selectively quotes the Catechism to defend his position. Perhaps Father Salmon should familiarize himself with the concept of scandal.
As long time readers of this blog know I have long been an admirer of the work of Dale Price at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings, and I frequently go there to
steal borrow blog ideas. Dale turned his attention recently to the editorial at America, the Jesuit heterodox rag, which called for the repeal of the Second Amendement:
That their grief may not be compounded.
At long last, the editors of America endorse a constitutional buttress to the culture of life.
Supporting the Human Life Amendment? Surely you jest. Politics is strictly about the art of the possible when it comes to abortion.
No, no–one must be realistic about such things.
Instead, we need to repeal the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The reason: something must be done so that urban, left-leaning Jesuits can feel better about themselves:
The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.
For some reason, there are exceptions:
This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes.
As an aside, please, please, I beg you: stop pretending you give a rat’s fanny about hunting. Deep down, we know you hate it, but somehow you feel compelled to offer insincere boilerplate respect. You can stop now. Besides, hunting firearms are more devastating than ones that make you queasy. Just flop your cards on the table and admit you don’t approve of any significant private ownership of firearms. Dialogue requires openness, don’t you know?
Anyway, there’s a yawning logical inconsistency here: why should an off-duty approved firearm owner be allowed to keep it when he is off the clock? At the end of the day, such individuals should turn them in to a secure area until they punch back in. Even soldiers aren’t toting weapons around all the time outside of combat zones. As the editors note, original sin (!) ensures bad things will happen, and cops are quite capable of misusing firearms, as we have been recently reminded. Thus, in Americaworld, there is no reason for anyone to own a firearm off duty.
Go after violent media? Nah. That’s Legion of Decency, Catholic-ghetto stuff. Shudder.
Revisit our oft-idiotic drug war? Piffle. Nope. What it boils down to is that nobody at America owns a firearm or likes anyone who owns one. In policymaking, this is known as the It’s Time We All Start Making Sacrifices, Starting With You, Of Course! maneuver.
Did it ever occur to them to, you know, actually talk to an actual gun owner before promulgating this un-papal bull? Apparently not. Dialogue’s only for people the Catholic left respect, I guess. Nope–it’s time to tear an Amendment out of the Constitution and unchain Caesar to kick doors in to remove unapproved firearms from our midst. If you like the drug war, you’ll plotz over the gun war. Continue reading
No, not that America. America the heterodox Jesuit rag.
Repealing the Second Amendment will not create a culture of life in one stroke. Stricter gun laws will not create a world free of violence, in which gun tragedies never occur. We cannot repeal original sin. Though we cannot create an absolutely safe world, we can create a safer world. This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes. Make no mistake, however: The world we envision is a world with far fewer guns, a world in which no one has a right to own one. Some people, though far fewer, will still die from gun violence. The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.
The Supreme Court has ruled that whatever the human costs involved, the Second Amendment “necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” The justices are right. But the human cost is intolerable. Repeal the Second Amendment.
Go here to read the predictable rest. It is good to see the Jesuits at America suddenly in favor of a “culture of life”. Considering their editorials in support of the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, I will take their “conversion” with a boulder of salt. Continue reading
Part 13 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits. Georgetown University, founded in 1789, is the oldest Jesuit college in the United States. Last week it found itself at the center of the debate over the HHS Mandate. How the powers that be at Georgetown reacted to all of this is instructive.
On February 16, 2012 Representative Darrell Issa (R. CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on the ramifications of the HHS Mandate in regard to religious freedom. Democrats had the opportunity to present witnesses. Initially they were going to have Barry Lynn, a Methodist minister and Leftist political activist, and head of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, but for some reason that fell through for the Democrats. They then proposed Sandra Fluke, identified as a third year law student at Georgetown. Issa refused to allow her to testify on the grounds that she wasn’t testifying about the religious liberty issue but rather about a perceived need for contraception. The Democrats, who realized that they were in trouble on the religious liberty issue, used this as an argument against the hearings, arguing that women were banned from the hearings as speakers. This was a lie, as there were two panels which testified in opposition to the Mandate at the hearing. The second panel included Dr. Allison Garrett and Dr. Laura Champion who testified as to the dangers that the HHS Mandate poses to religious liberty.
On February 23, 2012, Nancy Pelosi (D.CA), minority leader, organized a Democrats only “hearing” at which Sandra Fluke gave her testimony. Go here to read that testimony. Among other statements she said that in three years contraceptives could cost a law student three grand.
The idea that someone at Georgetown Law School, an elite school that costs over 50k a year to attend, was crying poverty over the alleged cost of $1,000.00 a year, a sum about $800-$900 too high in relationship to the actual cost, to make illicit whoopee has its comedic possibilities, and this was seized upon by Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday February 29:
What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps. (interruption) The johns? We would be the johns? No! We’re not the johns. (interruption) Yeah, that’s right. Pimp’s not the right word. Okay, so she’s not a slut. She’s “round heeled.” I take it back.
This caused an uproar and on Thursday March 1, John J. DeGioia, the first lay President of Georgetown, released this statement: Continue reading
What’s a tenured associate professor of government teaching at a Catholic university to do when he believes the institution isn’t really Catholic?
It’s pretty easy to say “Give up your tenure and go where you will find what you are looking for.” Sometimes, witness to one’s faith entails suffering.
Agreed. But, making that decision isn’t so simple when other considerations—like those of family, financial obligations (a mortgage, for example), and the like—must also be factored into the equation.
The situation presents an authentic ethical dilemma, one that confronted a former Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, Patrick Deneen.
In a letter published at Front Porch Republic, Deneen said with regard to Georgetown University:
…Georgetown increasingly and inevitably remakes itself in the image of its secular peers, ones that have no internal standard of what a university is for other than the aspiration of prestige for the sake of prestige, its ranking rather than its commitment to Truth. Its Catholic identity, which should inform every activity of the community, from curriculum to dorm life to faculty hiring, has increasingly been cordoned off to optional activities of Campus Ministry.
Describing his experience, Deneen wrote:
In the seven years since I joined the faculty at Georgetown, I have found myself often at odds with the trajectory and many decisions of the university. In 2006 I founded The Tocqueville Forum as a campus organization that would offer a different perspective, one centered on the moral underpinnings of liberal learning that are a precondition for the continued existence of liberal democracy, and one that would draw upon the deep wisdom contained in the Catholic humanistic tradition. I have been heartened and overjoyed to witness the great enthusiasm among a myriad of students for the programming and activities of the Forum. However, the program was not supported or recognized by the institution, and that seemed unlikely to change. While I did not seek that approval, I had hoped over the years that the program would be attractive to colleagues across disciplines on the faculty, and would be a rallying-point for those interested in reviving and defending classical liberal learning on campus. The Tocqueville Forum fostered a strong community of inquiry among a sizeable number of students, but I did not find that there was any such community formed around its mission, nor the likely prospect of one, among the more permanent members of the university. I have felt isolated and often lonely at the institution where I have devoted so many of my hours and my passion.
So, where is Professor Deneen headed?
The University of Notre Dame (UND).
However, Deneen appears not to be headed to South Bend blinded by all of the UND hype. He wrote:
I don’t doubt that there will be many battles at Our Lady’s University. But, there are at least some comrades-in-arms to share in the effort.
UND hired Deneen, he wrote, because they regard him as “someone who can be a significant contributor to its mission and identity, particularly the Catholic identity of the institution.”
Although considerations like these are not typically a criterion for hiring at Georgetown as Deneen noted, The Motley Monk would humbly suggest that even in those institutions where they are, there’s quite a distance between espousing those ideals and translating them to pedagogical lessons in every classroom, dorm, and student activity.
For Professor Deneen’s willingness to witness to the importance of an institution’s Catholic identity in name and in fact, The Motley Monk offers a “call out” and “both thumb up.”
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