taking a stand

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 11, 2007

The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy has plans to hold on a conference on the campus of Holy Cross ("a college in the monotheist tradition") in Worcester. Among the workshops scheduled are those sponsored by NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Diocese of Worcester Bishop Robert McManus has denounced the College's provision of conference space in refreshingly straightforward language. Here's the conclusion of his statement:

Both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice are notorious for their policies and practices that directly reject the Church's teaching on artificial contraception and abortion. The College of the Holy Cross should recognize that any association with these groups can create the situation of offering scandal understood in its proper theological sense, i.e., an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. Certainly it is understandable how people of good will could interpret the college's allowing presentations to be made by such groups as truly scandalous.

I strongly contend that the confusion and upset to the Catholic faithful and others that flow from the perception that the administration of the College of the Holy Cross supports positions contrary to the fundamental moral teaching of the Church must be avoided. To deny Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice a forum in which to present their morally unacceptable positions is not an infringement of the exercise of academic freedom but a defensible attempt to make unambiguously clear the Catholic identity and mission of the College of the Holy Cross.

It is my fervent wish that the administration of the College of the Holy Cross will unequivocally disassociate itself from the upcoming conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy so that the college can continue to be recognized as a Catholic institution committed to promoting the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic church.

Not bad. It'll be a great day when canonical muscle more authoritative than "my fervent wish" can be brought to bear on the situation, but within the limitations of the possible McManus is pushing hard in the right direction. It's especially gratifying that he frames the controversy in doctrinal terms (the impermissibility of abortion and contraception), states the college's failure in moral terms (the scandal caused by apparent material complicity in evil), and justifies his intervention in authentically pastoral terms (the duty to remedy harm to souls caused by scandal).

He's acting, in short, as a bishop.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 16, 2007 4:14 PM ET USA

    Holy Cross is giving the Church the old "double cross." The fault lies with the Jesuit superior at the college. His superior is not doing his job if he does nothing about this. Having conferences which offer as subject matter how to break the law is not a valid educational process for Catholics. Let's hope the "new' Jesuits somehow emulate the old Jesuit Order.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 1:53 PM ET USA

    Forget the "iron fist" stuff. He does not need to hand our enemies another excuse to dismiss the Church's position. Trust me, here in the Peoples' Republic of Massachusetts his statement rings out like a clarion call. This time let's bless the good Bishop for doing his job. Let's hope for more of the same.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 1:37 PM ET USA

    The Bishop should do more then just lip service. The Bishop should just lock-up the College until the Jesuits learn to be real Catholics. Why allow them to continue to teach on property that belongs to the authentic Roman Catholic Church. The money raised ,for the College to be built, was from authentic Catholics; hoping that their children could learn authentic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The college was not built to teach heresies. I say, make these Jesuits look for a job elsewhere

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 1:28 PM ET USA

    Hurray for the courage of the bishops. Now, the next question: Where is the courage of the parents who should refuse to send their children to Holy Cross and schools of its ilk.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 12:53 PM ET USA

    Santiago, What's the difference? "NARAL and Planned Parenthood; why not the Eugenics Society as well?" actually, your point is well taken!!!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 10:50 AM ET USA

    Fervent wish will get absolutely no results from the Jesuits at Holy Cross. Until a bishop stands and actually denies the use of CATHOLIC in the College description; nothing will happen. Once again we see a half hearted attempt at defending the faith!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 10:14 AM ET USA

    "...so that the college can continue to be recognized as a Catholic institution..." Why can't somebody "just do it...?"

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 10:09 AM ET USA

    (1) Someone please send Archbishop Wuerl a clipping. (2) The question was raised over and over (and never answered) at the FCS convention: does the Church or does it not have any authority over a Catholic college? We parents might be lacking the sophistication to comprehend such matters, but we ARE the ones writing the big checks to these institutions while they systematically divest our children of their faith... so why, exactly, can't the Church say "CUT IT OUT" to the Catholic colleges?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 10:02 AM ET USA

    It really is amazing at how blatant things have gotten! NARAL and Planned Parenthood; why not the Eugenics Society as well? Good for Bishop McManus!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 10:00 AM ET USA

    An excerpt from the webpage 'About Holy Cross': "With a tradition of academic excellence that dates to its founding in 1843, Holy Cross is the oldest Catholic college in New England and has grown increasingly diverse in the last decade." The phrase, 'increasingly diverse', speaks volumes.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 9:52 AM ET USA

    Way to go, Bob!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2007 8:26 AM ET USA

    The velvet glove of the "fervent wish" seems to clothe the iron fist of "so the collge can continue to be recognized as Catholic," where the bishop says earlier in the statement that his duty is to determine what institution gets to call itself Catholic. Imagine the effect on alumni fundraising were Holy Cross no longer allowed to call itself Catholic. To a certain generation, it still means something.