Catholic World News

Bishop: Land O’Lakes statement was ‘non serviam moment’ for many Catholic universities

July 25, 2017

In a recent address, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln recalled the 50th anniversary of the Land O’Lakes statement, describing it as the “the ‘non serviam’ moment of many of America’s Catholic universities”—a reference to Lucifer’s words (“I shall not serve”) in the Old Testament.

The statement “rejected the authority of the Church, and of her doctrinal teaching,” said Bishop Conley. “It rejected the idea that faith and reason work best in communion with one another. It prioritized the standards and culture of secular universities over the authentic mission of Catholic education. It was a statement of self-importance, and self-assertion.”

He added that the Land O’Lakes statement “declared that Catholic universities would become independent from the hierarchy of the Church, from any obligation to orthodoxy, and from the authentic spirituality of the Church.”


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  • Posted by: james.korenek8574 - Jul. 25, 2017 6:02 PM ET USA

    The article properly references Jeremiah & Israel, "The Latin phrase, meaning “I shall not serve,” is used by the Prophet Jeremiah to refer to the Hebrew people’s disobedience to God. The phrase is also used to characterize Satan’s rejection of God." The summary above is somewhat misleading.

  • Posted by: edward.hadas2857 - Jul. 25, 2017 5:56 AM ET USA

    Not to Lucifer, surely, but to Israel Jer 2.20 (Vulgate): A sæculo confregisti jugum meum: rupisti vincula mea, et dixisti: Non serviam. In omni enim colle sublimi, et sub omni ligno frondoso, tu prosternebaris meretrix. More apt - less evil than Satan, but the whoring around with the strange Gods (ours are secular but they do go in for a certain Baal-like child sacrifice....)