Catholic colleges' new "bind"

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. (articles ) | Jun 24, 2004

The media are acting as if the bishops' statement last week on pro-abort politicians has put Catholic colleges in a difficult position suddenly. The statement had warned schools that they shouldn't be hosting openly dissenting Catholics or other speakers who oppose the Church's teachings on bedrock life issues. This is new? Every spring we go through the same lists of pro-abortion politicians and media types receiving honorary degrees, with the same protests and claims of academic freedom. I suppose what's new is that the statement is coming from the whole bishops' conference. So what? Why this fetish for a bishops' conference? The principle doesn't become binding only when a conference decides it. It is binding when it is promulgated by the Holy See (like in Ex Corde Ecclesia ) and it is binding when voiced by a single bishop for his diocese. The conference's vote adds nothing.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jun. 29, 2004 2:17 PM ET USA

    How easy it is to throw guilt at anything that moves on the horizon, when in reality society has changed so greatly in the past fifty years, with no theologians or philosophers to explain how we fit. We shouldn`t be an easy fit within present society, and certainly Catholic colleges shouldn`t either. We should be better, and Catholic colleges should be leading a return to God. Why isn`t this happening? Rather why haven`t reconstructive efforts been put underway?

  • Posted by: - Jun. 26, 2004 12:08 PM ET USA

    To what extent are we blaming the Bishops for the disobedience of the laity? Kate, could you not consider Pope Paul VI a saint because he governed a disobedient Church? Was he not the one who promulgated Humanae Vitae? Pat

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 25, 2004 1:39 PM ET USA

    The problem is, my dear minidoc, that you do not put "FDA Approved" on a can of "Rat Poison." JP

  • Posted by: - Jun. 25, 2004 10:22 AM ET USA

    Few are the institutions of higher learning that are worthy of the name "Catholic." Even in the "good ole days" Bishop Sheen used to caution folks about sending their kids to a Catholic college for fear they would lose their faith. The only solution to this perennial problem is to give the schools 90 days to fully comply with pontifical decrees and then strip them of their "Catholic" name if they fail to do so. Better to have no Catholic schools than to put up with the status quo.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2004 10:02 PM ET USA

    The bishops have defied Rome on this issue for 14 years, why should we expect anything else now? Come to think of it, they've defied Rome on almost every issue for at least 40 years. I wonder if they figured out the cause of their problems during their recent meeting in Colorado? I highly doubt it. Perhaps the bishops have been ordained long enough that they've forgotten their vow of obedience. Or maybe the bishop who ordained them is dead, so they think it doesn't count any more.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2004 9:28 PM ET USA

    Does our group of Bishops expect anyone of the schools to listen?The "Catholic" colleges honored pro abortion people for the last 20 years. Do the Bishops actually think anyone will listen to them; sadly they have made themselves inconsequential. A wimpish statement on Holy Communion and now a "tough" statement to our colleges for cover. The colleges have never paid the slightest attention to the Bishops in the past and they will not now. Sadly our leadership has once again been missing in

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2004 3:10 PM ET USA

    Meanwhile today Al Gore gave a talk today at Georgetown.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2004 3:02 PM ET USA

    Of course you cannot expect anyone in the media to understand the concept of authority. Many in the media worship at the altar of indivdual rights and majority rule. They expect the Church to be a democarcy. Sadly, so do many Catholics.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2004 2:52 PM ET USA

    This so-called warning was obviously a ploy by the USCCB to deflect continued scrutiny of their non-decision on the Communion issue. Every Catholic college president will now examine their conscience and interpret this pronouncement in such a way as to allow them to invite anyone (heretics, schismatics, public sinners, dissident lay groups, renegade clerics) and still claim compliance with the conference of bishops. Heck, if they can ignore the Pope, what difference a group of cowardly bishops?