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Veritatis Splendor

"Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" --Hebrews 12:2

Pope Benedict XVI before our Lord

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Taking Our Lady's University to task

The local South Bend Indiana newspaper has recently published a well-written op-ed piece from a Catholic alumni of the University of Notre Dame, in which he takes the University of Our Lady to task for its hypocrisy and "pandering" behavior towards the liberal progressive establishment.

SouthBendTribune.com: Notre Dame isn't true to its Catholic character

The popular and well-tended image of the University of Notre Dame is that of a unique, traditional, faith-based institution. However, as a cadre of progressive administrators, faculty and students promotes its agenda, the Catholic character and conservative foundation of the university are at risk. Our Lady's university is becoming like all the rest.

...The independent student newspaper, The Irish Rover, recently reported two disturbing events on campus, neither of which resulted in admonitions from the university. On Sept. 28, undergraduate champions of tolerance mocked and interrupted the conservative guest speaker at a political debate. On Oct. 9, champions of human rights vandalized Christian, pro-life symbolism. For the vandals, the execution of 1.3 million unborn children in this country each year is not a significant human rights problem. Few, if any, have observed a late term abortion, and certainly none wants to.

The Irish Rover also reported in Beth Monteleone's Oct. 15 column that some professors subtly coerce students to adopt their liberal party line. In this writer's recent dialogue with students, some also complain that classroom success frequently depends upon capitulation to highbrow interpretations of social issues. Quests for nuance, subtlety of thought, ethical relativism and political correctness replace the logical pursuit of truth. Members of the Progressive Faculty Alliance took their methods a step further on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, when these university employees demonstrated their political views on campus for national attention.

...Evidence of Notre Dame's progressive makeover also includes a recent 7 percent jump in tuition. A combination of tuition increases and selective financial aid represents a new, albeit non-governmental, form of income redistribution. Kate Antonacci's Feb. 11 report in The Observer makes that abundantly clear. Despite the university's artful explanations, the full-pay student bears a disproportionate burden in promoting campus utopia.

...Notre Dame too often defines itself by new buildings, elitist rhetoric, Berkeley-esque curricula, and pandering to liberal academia. These hardly make the university unique, and the cost of maintaining each new edifice is another factor that drives up tuition cost. Traditional friends, benefactors and students would prefer fearless, contemporary leadership that is true to the university's popular image and to its heritage.

I was happy to visit the Notre Dame campus last fall, for an excellent conference sponsored by the University's Center for Ethics and Culture (one of the good elements of the school I might add). It is a beautiful campus, with a beautiful Basilica, that still maintains it's architecural heritage reasonably well (no major wreckovations that I saw, but then, I didn't see the "crypt" chapel). Mass, confessions and Eucharistic Adoration all seemed to be held fairly regularly while I was there, which was good to see (even if the priest that I went to confession to tried to convice me that the sins I was confessing weren't really sins... at least he gave me valid absolution).

I would agree with this author's opinions, for the most part, from what I saw and experienced while on campus. I do, however, think that (while there was much nonsense going on and being advertised...) there is a fairly well organized Catholic "sub-culture" (if you will) on campus, along with a committed pro-life movement (small, perhaps, but "size matters not" as Yoda would say). There is hope. Give our Lord and Lady some time, and pray for some courageous bishops and clergy administrators to emerge onto the campus scene in a big way.


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