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The Perfect Donor

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 09, 2003

Why do orthodox alumni of Catholic colleges continue to give financial support to institutions that help undermine the Church? Deal Hudson's column in the May Crisis explains it by means of a peculiar symbiosis: we'll pretend to be Catholic if you pretend to take us at our word.

By staying in touch with these alums, I've been able to observe how their colleges try to soothe them and keep them assured of their Catholic identity. The most obvious scheme is for the development department to ask them for a targeted gift -- one that goes directly to some program that seems to reinforce orthodoxy.

Having instructed their alums not in the truths of the faith but in an etiquette of loyalty, Catholic universities are in a position to camouflage their true antagonisms by, e.g., hosting a lecture series featuring bishops and high-profile Catholics. This permits the alums to tell themselves that their principles will not be compromised by their donations.

Sadly, it appears that Catholic schools since the early 1970s have been producing the perfect donors: well-educated in the world of commerce and able to make enough money to give it away, but uneducated in the Faith and incapable of knowing when their beloved alma mater has drifted away from its mission.

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