We are once again doing an accuracy check to determine how Catholic Catholic colleges and universities really are. First, the good news, which usually takes up less space than the bad.
Two months ago, our intern, Christine Inauen, wrote of the official cable TV offerings at the college of her choice—the Catholic University of America (CUA). After we posted Christine’s article, the cable package at CUA changed to one that does not include HBO, which ran a documentary on brothels last summer that the Vatican would never approve of. CUA is the only college or university in North America that is chartered by the Vatican.
As always, when we ran a story on one college that looks like it is Catholic in Name Only (CINO), our readers gave us tips on others—usually their alma maters. Here are a few choice updates:
• Marquette University’s law school distributes a “Milwaukee Survival Guide” that lists Planned Parenthood as a resource.
• Santa Clara University, another Jesuit-run institution, has allowed the campus Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) club to host a drag show on school grounds. Additionally, the school offers five gay studies courses.
• The GLBT club at Boston College staged a photo and art exhibit in an on-campus lobby. Also at BC, David Hollenbach, S. J., prides himself on the work he did on the U. S. Bishop’s pastoral letter on economics. This is the pronouncement which called for expanding government welfare programs. The letter was superseded by a papal encyclical that warned of the danger of a leviathan state.
The schism between the secular and the sacred is not a new one for institutions created by the Catholic Church, particularly educational ones. Here, the wisdom of the ancients is instructive.
“I was amused to read that, when Padre Pio was told by a psychologist that the marks of his stigmata were the result of meditating neurotically upon the Passion, he invited the expert to go and meditate neurotically on a bull and come back when he had grown horns,” John McMahon writes in Chronicles magazine. McMahon is the author of the forthcoming An Extraordinary Gathering of Saints.
When he was a Cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI offered some thoughts on the God versus mammon conflict religious institutions invariably face. “It is not the sporadic majorities which form in the Church here and there that determine the path she and we will take,” then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said. “The saints are the true, crucial majority, and it is from them that we take our bearings.”
“Let us stick to them!”
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.