Category Archives: Catholic Identity Abuse

Pro-Abortion Television Host Speaks at Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University is highlighting Black History Month with a keynote address by pro-abortion journalist and MSNBC TV host Touré Neblett this evening, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Carlo Auditorium of Tegeler Hall. Neblett will speak on “How Racism Functions Today and Ways to Deal with it to Get Success.”

“Without question, one of Saint Louis University’s greatest strengths is our diversity,” said University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J. “Here at SLU, people of diverse beliefs, diverse backgrounds and diverse faiths come together to learn, to live and to lead.”

On January 25, 2013, Neblett, described on the MSNBC program The Cycle, how he and his girlfriend had an abortion, saying that the “choice saved my life.” He further went on to thank God for abortion.

“I cannot imagine arguing against a woman’s right to control her own body, and thus her life,” said Neblett.

Prior to the election, Neblett tweeted: “Girls, get your abortions NOW in case the Republicans win.”


Neblett hosts Fuse’s Hiphop Shop and On the Record. He is the author of Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What it Means to be Black Now, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work of Non-Fiction. He is a regular contributor to MSNBC’s the Dylan Ratigan Show, the Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and NewsNation with Tamron Hall.

Al Gore to Speak at Dominican University

Former Vice President Al Gore, an abortion rights and homosexual “marriage” advocate will speak at Dominican University on February 13 as part of the University’s 2013 Institute for Leadership Studies (ILS) Spring Leadership Lecture Series.

Gore, chairman of The Climate Reality Project, the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize is a radical and outspoken abortion right supporter. In fact, in his run for President of the United States in 1999 Gore reportedly said, “I will always, always defend a woman’s right to choose. Every time Congress has tried to play politics with that fundamental personal right — imposing gag rules, and attaching anti-choice language to any bill they can think of — we have stood up to them and stopped them. If they try it again, we’ll stop them again. And if they try it after the year 2000, with your help, I’ll stop them. That hard-won right will be safe with me as your President.”

In 2008, Gore endorsed homosexual “marriage,” saying, “Shouldn’t we be promoting faithfulness and loyalty to one’s partner regardless of sexual orientation?”

The speaker series is sponsored by the Dominican’s Institute for Leadership Studies as part of its Leadership Lecture Series. Past lecturers include Nancy Pelosi, MSNBC host Chris Matthews, and Caroline Kennedy.

Loyola Chicago Prof Requires Students to Attend Radical Van Jones Lecture

Several students at Loyola University in Chicago reported in a video published at Breitbart that they were “required” by their “environmental sustainability” professor to attend a January 23rd lecture by gay marriage supporting Van Jones.

The event was labeled a “2013 MLK Celebration” in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. In his lecture, Jones talked little about the environment but at length about what he called the “ugly and unequal” founding of our country. He called students to a “new patriotism.”

Nancy C. Tuchman, the Executive Director for the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola, spoke to Breitbart regarding the requirement that students attend the Jones lecture.

We don’t want them to just follow in their parents’ footsteps, or just do whatever their parents told them to do, or vote whatever direction, they were told to vote, we want them to think about stuff and look at stuff and make their own decisions.

I do not think the provost was wrong in saying that this guy has done fabulous stuff for society in a very selfless way, and maybe he goes too far, but he has done stuff that has been valuable to humanity, and you can’t deny that.

And you might say you don’t like what he’s talking about when he’s throwing pot shots at our founding fathers. Okay, there’s probably a lot of stuff that maybe I wouldn’t about him either. I think what the provost was trying to say was, here’s a guy that has really devoted his life to trying to affect change in a really positive way, for humanity.

I think that’s really one of things that we try to do at Loyola is get students to look at how they can devote a part of their life when they leave here. How can they feel responsible for humanity, for the common good, not just for going out and getting a really great job where they can make millions of dollars, and exploit people.

You can read the entire story at Breitbart.

Bishop Finn Recognizes that National Catholic Reporter Isn’t “Catholic”

Writing on the mission of Catholic media, Kansas City-Saint Joseph Bishop Robert Finn expressed his disappointment with the National Catholic Reporter’s failure to live up to its name. Bishop Finn wrote:

“In a different way, I am sorry to say, my attention has been drawn once again to the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper with headquarters in this Diocese. I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here. In the last months I have been deluged with emails and other correspondence from Catholics concerned about the editorial stances of the Reporter: officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.

My predecessor bishops have taken different approaches to the challenge. Bishop Charles Helmsing in October of 1968 issued a condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter and asked the publishers to remove the name “Catholic” from their title – to no avail. From my perspective, NCR’s positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory in the intervening decades.

When early in my tenure I requested that the paper submit their bona fides as a Catholic media outlet in accord with the expectations of Church law, they declined to participate indicating that they considered themselves an “independent newspaper which commented on ‘things Catholic.’”  At other times, correspondence has seemed to reach a dead end.

In light of the number of recent expressions of concern, I have a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the Faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name “Catholic.” While I remain open to substantive and respectful discussion with the legitimate representatives of NCR, I find that my ability to influence the National Catholic Reporter toward fidelity to the Church seems limited to the supernatural level.”

Canonist Edward Peters, at his “In the Light of the Law” blog, said that the National Catholic Reporter’s use of “Catholic” in their title is canonically illicit per canons 216 and 300.

“There is simply zero question about this assertion, for they ‘claim the name Catholic without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.’ Second, once one is shown to be acting illegally under canon law, a number of canonical responses to illicit activity come into play including precepts, the invocation of penal law, and certain sacramental consequences for organizational leadership,” Peters wrote. Peters serves as professor of canon law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

G’Town Cites Catholic Identity in Dropping Affiliation with Adidas, But What of the Unborn?

Georgetown University has reportedly terminated its athletic sportswear contract with Adidas one year after the company was accused of failing to pay $1.8 million in severance to Indonesian workers after the factory shut down in 2011.

The University’s Licensing Oversight Committee — a body formed of students and administrators that monitors the university’s apparel contracts — recommended to the Office of the President last year that Georgetown terminate its contract with the corporation.

In a letter, Vice President for Public Affairs Erik Smulson said, “As a Catholic and Jesuit university, deeply committed to the dignity of all persons and human labor, Georgetown University is steadfast in its commitment to improving the working conditions and lives of workers involved in the production of apparel that bears its name or logo.”

Ironically, Georgetown still links to abortion giant Planned Parenthood on its websitehosted pro-abortion rights HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a commencement day speaker last year, and even boasts of rabidly pro-abortion rights politicians such as Eleanor Holmes Norton on their faculty.

And recently, the Jesuit university hosted a one-sided forum on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

The forum called “Reproductive Rights 40 Years After Roe” was sponsored by the Georgetown Law chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. The event took place in the student center on the Jesuit campus yesterday. If one simply looks at the panelists it seems to have offered a very one-sided view of the abortion issue.

The panelists included:

Walter Dellinger, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP; former Acting Solicitor General of the United States. Dellinger, according to the National Right to Life Coalition was “perhaps the most prominent legal advocate in the pro-abortion-rights movement.”

Marcia Greenberger, Co-President, National Women’s Law Center. She once reportedly called the fact that military hospitals don’t perform abortions “tragic.”

Helene Krasnoff, Assistant Director, Public Policy Litigation & Law, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Recently, Krasnoff was quoted by NPR arguing that the state of Texas must be forced to fund Planned Parenthood.

Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Executive Director, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. In a recent piece, she argued against a ban on “race and sex-selection abortion.”

The moderator of the event was reportedly Caroline Fredrickson, President of the American Constitution Society, who once reportedly said, “Today, more than ever, we cannot take our right to reproductive freedom for granted. Anti-choice forces are moving full steam ahead to not only take away a woman’s right to choose an abortion but to limit access to birth control and other important reproductive health care.”

With all panelists and the moderator in agreement, one wonders what was left to discuss.

Thankfully, a number of students at Georgetown hosted The Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life at Georgetown University the day after The March for Life.

G’Town Law Students for Reproductive Justice Holding Auditions for “Vagina Monologues”

Georgetown University’s Law Students for Reproductive Justice held auditions for the vile play Vagina Monologues last week, according to the university’s law school website. The auditions took place in the Gewirz Student Center on campus.

The obscene play distorts human sexuality by placing sinful activity in a favorable light, including lesbian activity and masturbation. It seems to take delight in reducing sexuality to the satiation of selfish pleasure and even declares a lesbian rape of a teenage girl her “salvation” which raised her into “a kind of heaven.”

The Cardinal Newman Society reported last year that nine Catholic colleges and universities hosted the depraved play in 2012. That was the lowest number of Catholic institutions to host the play in a single year. That was down from a high of 32 in 2003.

Former President of St. Mary’s University – Minn. Praised for Dissent

The dissent of Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, former president and chancellor of St. Mary’s University in Minnesota and author of Flying in the Face of Tradition, is being praised in the pages of the Huffington Post for his advocacy of women’s ordination and anti-Church statements:

“I look at the way the [C]hurch is treating women … in this day and age, come on,” he says. “You just cannot give any credence to the fact that women shouldn’t be equal to men in all things, including ordination.”

In this concise, easily digestible yet thought-provoking 10-chapter book, DeThomasis explores conflict within the Church and the resulting mass exodus of Catholics frustrated with an increasingly unbending hierarchy. There volatile subjects are usually reserved for private conversations, but discussing these matters out loud is now crucial, he says; discussion is, in fact, the Christian thing to do.

He begins, in Chapter One, by asking a question:

Is the institutional [C]hurch dying? Yes. And even though it may be politic to add “unfortunately,” I offer no such qualification. I believe that the death of the institutional [C]hurch as we all know it can be the last opportunity for it to transform itself into something that once again is able to carry out its original purpose.

That “original purpose” is getting lost in the shuffle of bureaucracy, says DeThomasis. The hierarchy’s recent investigation into the practices of American nuns, for example, not only further disgusted modern Catholics disillusioned by their Church; it was as far from Jesus’ original message as you can get.

“I contend they’re not doing things in a business sense correctly, they’re not doing things in an organizational sense correctly, but most importantly, they’re not doing things in a Christian sense,” he says in his interview with me. “You looked at Jesus’ life — he bucked the authorities, he called them hypocrites.”

DeThomasis served as president of the University from 1984-2005 and as chancellor from 2006-2011. But his affiliation doesn’t end there. Last year, The Cardinal Newman Society reported that St. Mary’s University announced the creation of a new award in DeThomasis’ name in 2011 for employees who show “creativity, innovation and a spirit of educational entrepreneurship,” which they said “reflect the principles his life exemplifies.”

Dominican University to Premiere “Band of Sisters”

Dominican University’s Siena Center will host a film screening and discussion of the documentary Band of Sisters later this month. The film tells the story of a number of post-Vatican II Catholic nuns and reportedly takes a rather unorthodox bent, according to one Catholic writer who viewed it at the motherhouse of the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. (Note: We have not seen the film ourselves.)

The film centers on some liberal women religious who are former heads of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, NETWORK progressive political lobby, and some of their friends. Featured in the film: Reiki, “women’s ordination”, animals, plants, rocks and air have rights from the same source as humans have rights and one species shouldn’t be privileged over others, “the whole earth is a manifestation of God”, and the Sisters’ new cosmology apparently doesn’t have a heaven and hell anymore. Jesus is hardly mentioned. The film also shows one or two of their ministries that seem good. But so many of the beliefs highlighted aren’t those of the Catholic Church, and some of the Sisters in the film are key dissident figures, like Sr Theresa Kane in regards to “women’s ordination” and Sr Jeannine Grammick in regards to homosexual behavior. There’s no narration but it does present a certain angle on the story of American women religious and obviously a heavy concentration on some in leadership roles who hold dissenting views.

Some may recall that in 1979 Sister Kane made headlines around the world when she publicly confronted Pope John Paul II over the issue of women’s ordination at a prayer service at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

Life Site News had this to report about Sr. Grammick in 2006:

Sr. Gramick’s public life has been dedicated almost exclusively to promoting the idea that homosexuality is a legitimate “alternative” lifestyle and is morally acceptable to the Catholic Church. On account of the nature of her “ministry”, in 2000 Gramick – along with the co-founder of New Ways Ministry, Father Robert Nugent-was ordered by the Vatican to discontinue all ministry with homosexuals. The Vatican statement charged that Gramick’s teachings on homosexuality “have caused confusion among the Catholic people and have harmed the community of the Church.”

In her public response to the Vatican notification Sr. Gramick made clear her intent to disobey the Vatican order to remain silent and desist from ministry. Since then she has continued to be active in the effort to promote the homosexual lifestyle, as well as homosexual “marriage”, and has continually and vocally condemned Catholic teachings and documents on homosexuality.

Here’s a trailer for Band of Sisters.

Sr. Diane Kennedy, OP, Dominican University’s vice president for mission and ministry, and Sr. Bernadine Karge, OP, a practicing immigration attorney, will offer responses to the film at the screening at Dominican.

Fordham Hosts ‘Queer Prom,’ Approves ‘Queer’ Label

Fordham University has approved the word “queer” for use in University-sanctioned events such as the “Queer Prom” which took place last month, according to Fordham’s student newspaper.

The push for the acceptance of the term “queer” on the Jesuit campus started in 2011 when students in the Rainbow Alliance lobbied to use the term for their “prom.” The officially recognized group wanted to change the name of the “LGBT Prom” to “Queer Prom.” In order to convince the administration to allow this change, they began hosting performances held by LGBTQ students, created a task force, put up posters, and hosted academic panel discussions featuring Fordham professors discussing “queer theory.” In September, a forum called “Queer Theory and Ignatian Values” was held with theology professor Dr. Maureen O’Connell and Fr. Vin DeCola, S.J., advertised as speakers. The Facebook page for the event also acknowledged “support from Campus Ministry and Women’s Studies Dept.”

Their efforts paid off when Dean of Students for Lincoln Center Keith Eldredge and Dean of Students for Rose Hill Chris Rodgers approved use of the word “queer” for campus events and on Dec. 4, the Rainbow Alliance hosted the first “Queer Prom.”

“[S]tudents have taken this really impressive leadership role in this issue,” Anne Hoffman, associate chair of the English department and advisor to the queer task force, said in the student newspaper. “The university is a place of inquiry and freedom to explore and that [sic] the students have really shown us the way.”

“I think that the term ‘queer’ always evoked that rebellious edge, that constant questioning,” Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé, a Latino studies professor and an advisor to the queer task force, reportedly said. “The students themselves that affirming their identity, they are affirming the fact that they are not only for justice, but that they are always questioning social terms and social givens.”

The word “queer” can now be used in the titles of social events at Fordham but not yet in club names, something some students want changed in the future.

One student quoted in the student newspaper reportedly said, “Prior to coming to Fordham, I wasn’t really familiar with the word ‘queer’ and its significance within the LGBTQ community.”

Pro-Abortion Rights Mark Shriver to Speak at University of San Francisco

Mark Shriver, a pro-abortion rights politician, will be speaking on the campus of the University of San Francisco later this month — the first event in a series on “Jesuit Mission in the University, the Church, and the World.”

Ironically, he will be speaking about his new book A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver which is about his father, a pro-life Catholic.

While a 2002 candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland, Mark Shriver stated in a Washington Post interview, “Women’s issues are critically important and I will continue to fight for a women’s right to choose; family planning funds; maternal and child health funding and education for girls both here and abroad.”

The university’s website also touts Shriver being senior vice president of U.S. Programs at Save the Children, a pro-contraceptive charity with reported ties to Planned Parenthood.

The January 30th event is cosponsored by the USF Office of the President, University Ministry, Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought, the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, St. Ignatius Parish, and the University Council for Jesuit Mission.

Loyola Chicago Prof Advocates Married Priesthood in NY Times

Patrick J. McCloskey, a project director at the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness at Loyola University Chicago, co-wrote a piece in The New York Times proposing solutions or as he calls it “salvation” to the difficulties facing Catholic schools. Chief among them is advocating a married priesthood but he declares the celibacy requirement “institutional suicide.”

One solution is at hand. In the late 1960s, the Vatican allowed men to be ordained as deacons, who are clergy with many but not all the powers of a priest. Today there are almost 17,000 in the United States, about the same number as active diocesan priests. Over the next decade, the diaconate will continue to grow, while the number of ordained priests is projected to decline to 12,500 by 2035.

Many deacons have valuable professional, managerial and entrepreneurial expertise that could revitalize parochial education. If they were given additional powers to perform sacraments and run parishes, a married priesthood would become a fait accompli. Celibacy should be a sacrifice offered freely, not an excuse for institutional suicide.

The Center for Catholic School Effectiveness, according to the University’s website, states that its mission is “to respond to the need that elementary and secondary Catholic schools have for high quality, research-based professional development in the context of Catholic identity and mission.”

HT Pewsitter

Saint Joseph’s College Statement on New Logo

Responding to a Cardinal Newman Society report on the new, secular logo announced by Saint Joseph’s College in Maine, the College has provided a statement reaffirming its commitment to its Catholic mission and explaining that the new logo does not replace the College Seal.

The College’s new logo gives no indication that the College is Catholic, aside from the College name. Whereas the College’s marketing materials had featured the College Seal, including a cross on a shield with the motto “Fortitudo et Spes” (meaning “Fortitude and Hope”), the new logo simply features an abstract shield with five gold bars.

But the 100-year-old College Seal has not been changed and will continue to be used for certain purposes by the College.

Today’s statement from Saint Joseph’s College reads:

In 2013, Saint Joseph’s College is implementing a series of outreach activities to expand its presence in New England and beyond to attract more students to the college. Part of this outreach effort is the establishment of a logo and new font style for the College to be used in conjunction with the College Seal.

While this logo will be used to identify the College in an ever-increasing competitive higher education marketplace, the College Seal is not being removed from the identity of Saint Joseph’s College; it remains a significant, relevant and vibrant marker of the College, and it will continue to be used.

Saint Joseph’s College represents the personalized, supportive education that our students have come to expect. The College is committed to its mission, values, and the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy and the heritage of the Roman Catholic Church and will continue to do so now and into the future.  This is demonstrated in the way we speak about the distinctiveness of our Catholic-Mercy mission on our website, in our promotional materials and in the good works our faculty, staff, students and alumni do in the community.

“In no way are we trying to water down and not say who we are,” said Sister Kathleen Sullivan, RSM, vice president for sponsorship and mission integration. She told The Cardinal Newman Society that marketing materials for the College will significantly promote its Catholic identity and sponsorship by the Sisters of Mercy.

Pro-Abortion Rights Novelist Invited to Speak at Santa Clara U

Santa Clara University, a Jesuit university in California, will be hosting pro-abortion rights author Amy Tan as part of its President’s Speaker Series next month.

The university’s website promoting the event states, “Tan’s work speaks to millions with its universal themes of family relationships, generational change, and personal history.”

But in a widely reported Facebook rant, Tan wrote scathingly of pro-life politicians and religion as a whole, and revealed her strong pro-abortion rights and pro-contraceptive stances (harsh language warning). After a post in which she called Republican presidential candidates vulgar names, she defended herself by writing:

To those who criticize my perversion of the GOP candidates’ names, please know that name-calling is not my usual standard of response. Nor do I normally use expletives. But I make exceptions. Never in my lifetime have I seen such a line-up of candidates who want to pervert the lives of women, who want to [expletive] them over every which way they can think of. These perverts are men, and variously they are telling us that single women should not have sex, should not use contraceptives, should consider a baby conceived from a rape to be a blessing, and to leave all matters concerning their uterus to them. They say that contraceptives for women make it too easy for them to “do things.” They do not offer the same opinions on men and their tendencies to “do things.” Their rhetoric makes it sound like women are wanton spirits who must be controlled. I am a writer because I have strong opinions. Those opinions on women’s rights come from my grandmother, who was raped, and my mother, who was raped at gunpoint by her husband, and who was jailed when she ran away from him. My mother told me as a child and a grownup, that no one should ever tell me whether I should have a baby. How could I be any other kind of writer, any other kind of person? How could I not protest the perversion of women’s rights espouses by these candidates? The twisted names I give them may sound “hurtful” –as name-calling is. But the hurt they would give us would not be temporary slights, but permanent scars. This country is not divided because of Obama. It has been divided for a long time by the Republican Right who vote down the line on personal moral beliefs. They are out of touch with the the actual governance of this country and its relation to the larger world. Would these candidates cut off relations with China until China abolishes the one-child policy? I was born the daughter of a Baptist minister. I know how intractable religious beliefs are supposed to be, how by faith, you must carry those beliefs into the world, into all walks of life, without compromise, without listening to any other opinions. By that faith, you save who you can and smite who you can’t. To these GOP candidates who want to rule government by the divine guidance of their [expletive], study the pages of history on the Inquisition and the Holocaust, and keep your hands off me, my nieces, my sisters, my women friends, their daughters and their daughters to come.

Tan’s novel The Joy Luck Club featured a main character having an abortion. She is expected to speak on January 17th and sign her latest book.

In April Santa Clara will also host former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler as part of the same Presidential Speaker Series. Kessler defended the FDA’s approval of birth control pills for “the morning after” and was quoted in the Los Angeles Times at the time saying:

“The best-kept contraceptive secret is no longer a secret,” FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler said in an interview. “We have concluded that the use of certain oral contraceptives for emergency contraception is safe and effective. Physicians, clinics and patients who are interested in using contraceptives for post-coital emergency contraception can use this method knowing this.”

Kathryn Lopez on the Catechetical Crisis and Sandra Fluke

Sandra Fluke is “Person of the Year”? Time magazine’s consideration of the Georgetown Law student turned contraceptive activist has an odd cheerleader in noted Catholic and conservative writer Kathryn Lopez.

Lopez writes in The Catholic Pulse that she thinks it’s a good idea for the magazine to honor Fluke and would “actually be disappointed if the Time cover features anyone but her.”

Why? Because Lopez believes that the debate on contraception is one the country should be having — out in the open. She writes that she wants to directly take on the assumption “that women will never be free unless they can medicate their fertility away.”

But Lopez doesn’t see Fluke as simply one individual. She thinks that the Georgetown Law grad is a symptom of a catechetical crisis in the Church that exists all over the country but especially at many Catholic colleges like Georgetown:

When even professed Catholics regularly are heard to claim that their faith can be kept separate from their public-policy positions, we have all the evidence we need to prove that the Catholic Church suffers from a catechetical crisis. Sandra Fluke helps bring our cultural crisis into the open: That we would ever accept that girls could go through their young lives believing that contraception is simply expected in their young single lives. That’s unacceptable. And you don’t have to oppose the use of contraception to agree that this is an injustice: No longer celebrating women and men and the most creative gift there is, but setting up our young people to use and be used.

As part of her original testimony, delivered at a House Democrats’ press event, Sandra Fluke pointed to an anonymous Georgetown student, identified as a lesbian, who was prescribed a contraceptive pill for use as hormone therapy. If the university’s insurance plan wouldn’t cover that, it was a matter of bureaucratic error, not a moral edict. But not even Georgetown cared to make that point, instead contributing to the histrionics of the hour by expressing pride in their activist student.

It’s not hard to imagine that while attending a Catholic institution, Fluke, like many others, never really got a shot at seeing a joyful, clear, compelling testimony of what exactly it is the Catholic Church proposes in the vision of human sexuality its teaching presents. That’s an injustice. That’s unacceptable. And that’s why Sandra Fluke is the “woman of the year,” the one who helped wake us up out of our sleep — as a Church, as a culture, as mothers, as sisters, as fathers, as brothers, as wives as husbands, as teachers, as friends, and as young people helping one another insist on something more than what the culture is feeding them.

So, thank you, Sandra Fluke, and everyone who celebrated her activism. This was a pivotal moment in a revolution that has been ongoing. If we deny the revolution and mask its consequences, then we do so at our own peril and impoverishment.

No campaign to protect religious liberty will ever be successful without an appreciation of the fact that religious faith might offer a superior vision what it means to lead a good life, a life that is entirely within our grasp, a life filled with all the dignity and meaning that we lose whenever we pursue happiness in all the wrong places. Even fallen and frequently lost, we have the offer of redemption and the responsibility to rebuild. It’s time we did so. And that’s no fluke.

Lopez is a member of The Cardinal Newman Society board of directors. You can read her entire piece by clicking here.


Bishop Morlino Bans Workshops by Professor, Campus Minister

Two women with long-standing ties to a Catholic college in Wisconsin have been banned by Bishop Robert Morlino from holding workshops or providing spiritual direction at any Catholic churches in the 11-county diocese for diverging too far from Catholic teaching, according to news reports.

Paula Hirschboeck, a philosophy professor at Edgewood College in Madison, and Sister Maureen McDonnell, who formerly served for 21 years on the campus ministry staff at Edgewood College, were banned along with another nun and lay woman affiliated with Wisdom’s Well, an organization that offers spiritual retreats and guidance.

The memo reportedly says Bishop Morlino has “grave concerns” about the women’s teachings, specifically that they “espouse certain views” flowing from such movements as “New Ageism” and “the belief that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another.”

Wisdom’s Well was founded in 2006 and offers workshops and retreats on topics such as nonviolence, contemplative living and Christian meditation. The website states that the group is “grounded in the Christian tradition, while embracing the wisdom found in other religious traditions, we offer resources for the journey through spiritual guidance, educational programs, retreats, and the teaching of contemplative practices.”

The women “may not share an authentic view of the Catholic Church’s approach to interreligious dialogue,” the memo reportedly said.

According to Edgewood’s website, Hirschboeck teaches courses in “environmental Philosophy, feminist Philosophy and Buddhist philosophy.” News reports identify her as one of the founders of Wisdom’s Well but no longer on its staff.

Her bio at Wisdom’s Well states:

Interfaith spirituality has been my path since my college years.  While a Dominican student sister at Rosary College (now Dominican University, River Forest IL), I discovered that the wisdom of Zen stirred my soul.  Zen supported the mystical yearnings which drew me to the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa WI in the first place.   Both of these spiritual lineages or ‘threads’ have guided me on the Way.  They are both woven within the celebration of a sacred, evolving Universe.

McDonnell, a founding member of Wisdom’s Well, served in campus ministry at Edgewood for 21 years before founding Wisdom’s Well.

She states on Wisdom Well’s website, “I see life now more in the context of the Universe Story, which leads me to profound gratitude for all the gifts of creation.  I feel a greater sense of responsibility to live justly and simply, study important issues, and encourage others to join me in those efforts, widening the circle of compassion to care for Earth.”

Edgewood College, according to its website is “a Catholic college in the Dominican tradition” that is “committed above all to the lifelong search for truth, pursued by men and women of all nationalities and backgrounds. All of us — regardless of our personal spiritual beliefs — are partners in the pursuit of a just and compassionate world.”