heads they win, tails we lose

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 10, 2005

First, the good news. A Catholic college, wonder of wonders, seems to remember its ecclesial and spiritual purpose to the extent of disinviting a Planned Parenthood rep from a three-day conference on science and life issues.

Two panelists invited to attend an ethics conference at [Helena, Montana's] Carroll College next week have been removed from the list of participants, one of them -- a representative of Planned Parenthood -- by the school's president.

Carroll College President Tom Trebon withdrew the school's invitation to Sarah Fredrickson of Planned Parenthood of Montana last week, saying the college was fundamentally opposed to the health-care provider's practices, which include abortion and birth control. ... "Planned Parenthood's stance on certain issues, including abortion and reproductive rights, violate Carroll College's mission as a Diocesan Catholic college," Trebon said Thursday. "I believe the presence of a representative of Planned Parenthood on a panel at a public gathering on campus would violate the college's mission, mission statement, and commitment to Catholic values and ideals."

"It's about time," you're thinking. "Catholics schools wouldn't dream of inviting the Ku Klux Klan to a discussion of race relations or the Aryan Nation to a seminar on achieving peace in the Mideast. Finally they see that surgical murder of the innocent is not up for debate. They're teaching their students that the truth of matter is not up for grabs and their moral duty is plain." Sorry! It doesn't work that way.

Fredrickson's place in the seminar was to be balanced by Eric Schiedermayer of the Montana Catholic Conference. However, in an effort to maintain balance, the invitation to the Montana Catholic Conference was withdrawn by the committee once the school withdrew its invitation to Planned Parenthood.

Trebon called the withdrawal of the Catholic Conference's invitation unfortunate but added that the seminar would be a worthwhile event nonetheless that covers the day's important issues.

Got that? Having yanked the abortion provider from the panel, Carroll "achieves balance" by yanking the Roman Catholic perspective as well. The gang at Planned Parenthood must be laughing themselves sick.

Remind me. What positive advantage is one meant to enjoy by attending a Catholic school?

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  • Posted by: Gil125 - Sep. 12, 2005 8:03 PM ET USA

    There are many advatages to atending a Catholic college, Diogenes. But what does that have to do with this story? Surely you're not suggesting that Carroll College of Helena is a Catholic college.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2005 9:45 AM ET USA

    Could anything be more irrelevant/uninteresting than the idiocies of some supposedly Catholic college in Montana? I astonished to discover that there must be, somewhere, particularly when the college president refers to sanctioned infanticide as "reproductive rights."

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Sep. 10, 2005 10:44 PM ET USA

    This is what one might call a centrist reaction, or "50-yard-line Catholicism." George Weigel once wrote that, with the election of Pope Benedict XVI as the 264th successor to Saint Peter, a clear message was being sent throughout the Church: the end of 50-yard-line Catholicism, putting on notice, in a sense, those who espouse & sow such seeds of confusion. Let's pray for Bishop George Leo Thomas. May he strive to rid the Diocese of Helena of all its corporate box seats on the 50-yard-line.