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By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 26, 2007

Professional scowler Pete Hamill is quoted by the New York Times:

"They [the Catholic elementary schools] had a kind of madrassa in the morning: 'Hail Mary, full of grace.' It's like these kids you see in Pakistan learning things by rote. But I ended up in a Jesuit high school and the Jesuits have one thing they gave to everybody who's ever gone to one of these schools: doubt. They've probably created more atheists than communism ever did, and standards of excellence that none of us can ever approach."

I doubt that.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 7:16 PM ET USA

    Papa Ganganelli, call your office. ;-)

  • Posted by: - Oct. 28, 2007 9:50 PM ET USA

    I too attended Regis HS in the early 40's. The Jebbies of that time that I knew were completely orthodox. My Faith was never endangered. Too bad they went off the rails later on. JohnVIII

  • Posted by: - Oct. 28, 2007 6:44 PM ET USA

    Whenever I see a Jesuit tome on Theology, I usually push it away with a stick... Over the centuries there have indeed been bright spots. like the martyrs in Auriesville, New York... But cultivating doubt for its own sake is the act of a fool...., a furthermore, claiming freedoms from Church Law by "virtue" of those doubts is a plunge into the abyss.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 28, 2007 4:49 PM ET USA

    Take a lot at the crew teaching theology at Marquette University. Sewing doubt is probably the least of what they do for a living.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2007 3:22 PM ET USA

    Hamill attended New York's Regis High School in the early 1950s (as a side note, he flunked out -- read his memoir, "A Drinking Life"). So this was even before the rot really set in. I also attended Regis in the early- and I can attest to what he's saying. While I was there, there was little or no support of Catholic spirituality, despite an encouragement of excellence in the classroom. I lost track of my priestly vocation and shortly after graduation dropped out of the Church for 15 years.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 8:29 PM ET USA

    Interesting insight Shrink. True dogmatic atheists think it is important to NOT believe in God. The modern apostate thinks the whole question of His existence is not worth caring about. Let's settle on this: Those Jesuits turned out many many practical atheists! Give me a dogmatic atheist anytime- they are always up for a good argument but the practical atheists just don;t care.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 7:35 PM ET USA

    Which part do you doubt, that "They've probably made more atheists than the communists or that they had standards of excellence that none of us can ever approach."? It's a shame that we can't easily determine for ourselves which of the two is true!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 4:07 PM ET USA

    Hamill is simply silly and confuses a simple lack of spirituality for atheism. The Jesuits of the 1960s consisted of two groups. The old guard that students feared and admired, and a new guard who were the innovators and who inculcated neither atheism or skepticism in their students. They believed in God and taught as much, it simply wasn't the Trinitarian God of Nicea; it was perhaps closer to the god of Descartes or Newton. This new guard tried to inculcate only a selective skepticism, not a thorough-going skepticism, and certainly their students all recognized that it was verboten to be skeptical of their own pet beliefs. The new guard BELIEVED whole-heartedly in social prestige and a refined epicurianism, absent the Lucretian atheism. It’s the kind of beliefs common to reasonably well-educated men who have no spiritual life, but who have gone through the motions of having one.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 10:14 AM ET USA

    "They've probably created more aetheists than Communism ever did ..." Well, doesn't that just say it all!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 9:51 AM ET USA

    Did Hamill go to a Jesuit high school run by the Soceity in crisis chronicled by the books "Passionate Uncertainty"/"The Re-formed Jesuits?"Then it would be believable that he might have been given questionable teaching. The "re-formed" Society has played a pivotal role in the secularization of Catholic schools since 1967. Consider the recent scandal at Holy Cross. A young man at my parish was told at a Jesuit high that his musical talents were his worship. He didn't need to worry about Mass.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2007 9:46 AM ET USA

    I spent 8 years under Jesuit tutelage, having attended a Jesuit high school and college, and Hamill is not far off the mark -not about the excellence bit, but about the atheists and doubt as a hallmark of Jesuitism. The Jesuits taught me how to adopt of pose of sneering contempt towards the Holy Father or anything redolent of solemn Catholic teaching. Which is another way of saying they instilled a serious allergy to the truth.