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Leaving Georgetown, professor cites absence of Catholic identity

Catholic World News - January 24, 2012

A prominent conservative professor has announced that he is leaving Georgetown University to accept a post at Notre Dame, saying that his decision is motivated in part by the failure of Georgetown’s university leaders to support a strong Catholic identity.

Patrick Deneen, a professor of government, is the founder of the Tocqueville Forum, a program set up to promote “a probing yet sympathetic understanding of the United States and its roots in the Western philosophical and biblical traditions.” Deneen reports that the program “was not supported or recognized” by Georgetown’s leadership, and “I have felt isolated and often lonely” on the campus.

Deneen disclosed that in offering him a faculty position, Notre Dame emphasized its interest in building up a distinctive Catholic identity. “Without such a criterion,” he said, “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."

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  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 25, 2012 10:28 AM ET USA

    Let us all take heart from Prof. Deneen's report that "Notre Dame emphasized its interest in building up a distinctive Catholic identity." I'm sure he would not have made the move if he did not believe ND was sincere, and we all pray his expectations are fulfilled.

  • Posted by: imanxufan9901 - Jan. 25, 2012 7:05 AM ET USA

    Is this a joke? There are no Catholic values at Notre Dame! Ask the ld priest who was arrested for opposing obamas visit.

  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Jan. 25, 2012 12:49 AM ET USA

    I admire Professor Deneen for trying to revive some principles of Catholic liberal education at GT alluded to in his letter linked to this article. One of those principles is the pursuit of knowledge in search for the truth is inseparable from already knowing the source of truth, that is God manifested in the person of Jesus Christ. Regrettably GT no longer "believes" that knowledge of God through faith is compatible with knowledge acquired of the material world through reason.

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