GREEN BAY, Wis. — Bishop David Ricken didn’t criticize St. Norbert College’s (SNC) decision to host pro-abortion feminist Gloria Steinem when the announcement was first made on Sept. 29, 2014.
But that’s only because he wasn’t made aware of it.
Now, after receiving a steady stream of complaints from concerned Catholics in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., Bishop Ricken has left no doubt about where he stands on SNC’s invitation of the feminist activist, who once said that Planned Parenthood was the most important organization in the world.
I think it is a misguided attempt (sometimes) in trying to prove that they are “open minded”. The problem with that is that in trying to prove this, they close the door to truth and one can be so open minded that your brains fall out.
“One cannot protest domestic violence outside the womb and be in favor of violence and denial of life in the home of the womb,” the bishop wrote in his column. “Therefore, the good [Steinem] might be doing is seriously compromised by her own positions and actions.”
I hope whoever made that decision, and all who knew of it, feel the egg on their face after this admonishment.
What the bishop is doing is very good. But if there is a pattern of this kind of thing at this college, with no intent by the college to fix things, the diocese has a responsibility to publicly disaffiliate the college from identification as Catholic. The diocese can’t force the college to stop using that term, especially if it uses deceptive language - “in the Catholic tradition”, or heritage, or similar. But the diocese can proactively communicate to the public the reality that this is not a Catholic institution.
*remove any listing from diocesan directory that this is a Catholic institution;
(in my diocese, highly secularized institutions are still misleadingly listed as Catholic)
get this college out of the diocese’ Wikipedia entry
make sure the diocesan newspaper, high schools, and other departments don’t fall back in the familiar pattern of referring to this as a Catholic school, publicizing open houses, whatever; avoid workshops, etc, on that campus
Communicate to the board of trustees, and to the alumni association that the diocese does not regard this as a Catholic institution.
People argue that a diocese should keep communication open, it’s better to have some influence than no influence, that this college is more Catholic than the University of Wisconsin. My own diocese has condoned for over 40 years. This results in alumni giving, and parents encouraging their kids, to very expensive colleges they think are still Catholic, which they no longer are. At least in a public college Catholics know they are in a pro-secular environment. In a (fake) Catholic college they are also in a pro-secular environment, but sometimes presenting as Catholic. A mostly secularized “Catholic” college can do more damage than a totally secularized public one.
University and colleges are primarily about academic inquiry, so this necessarily means that students must be exposed to alternate points of view. Open debate of multiple, opposing points of view is the essence of higher education.
If alternate points of view are censored, this college shouldn’t even call itself an academic institution.
If the good Bishop wants to preach against her views, that is of course all well and good. But requesting that she be barred from speaking at an academic institution, even a Catholic one, is unacceptable.
There is a large segment of catholics (even church going) who are very left wing and they don’t care about their belief being at odds with the church and a lot of these people meet up at universities. It also doesn’t help that they believe that Pope Francis( they often quote him) is on their side, and especially on the homosexual issue.
And yet Condoleeza Rice was forced to cancel her scheduled commencement speech at Rutgers because of faculty and student protests. Apparently the Rutgers faculty was not fully open to the notion of hearing opposing points of view.
A Catholic university can present alternate points of view without making it a practice to invite speakers who reject all things Catholic. I think the Bishop might welcome an invitation to speak.
Inviting the Bishop, or even him asking for the opportunity to speak, is fine. Would the college consider having the two of them (Steinem and the Bishop) on the same stage? Direct debate is always a good thing.
I have no idea, but I certainly hope that the bishop would not share a stage with Gloria Steinem, of whom he previously said "her whole career and life is a grand affirmation of the pro-abortion movement.”
There is no doubt of where Ms Steinem stands in the matter of abortion: she affirms it and approves it. Is there anything left to say about it? The matter has been fully debated ever since the infamous Roe v Wade decision.
The purpose of a Catholic university is not to sow confusion but to sow truth; that ought to be the purpose of any university. But for a university which supposedly takes pride in its Catholic identity to work against Catholicism is akin to inviting a creationist to debate one of its anthropology professors–a pointless exercise in confusion.
What you call sowing confusion is what I term academic inquiry. For anyone to be truly educated and claim any position to be valid, they must have looked at conflicting positions and through reason concluded that their position is correct.
If one simply wants to take someone’s (i.e. the Church’s or the Bishop’s) word for it, that’s fine but don’t claim that that is education. It’s merely indoctrination.
Yes, I realize that universities and education have long since fallen on hard times. Rather than trying to teach truth, they take the position that, “Well, we don’t know anything for sure, so we’ll provide you with a lot of contradictory speakers, and when you graduate, you’ll be truly educated. You won’t know anything for sure, but that’s the point.”
A Catholic university ought to be a little different than that, but that’s not always the case.
I’m surprised that universities don’t invite geocentrists to speak. There are some out there.
But they feel free to invite Gloria Steinem. She can promote the view that it’s fine to kill babies in the womb, and maybe they’ll invite someone else to give the other view, as if they were equal. But they aren’t.
Gloria Steinem is a professional Judas Goat who emplaced herself in front of the parade and redirected feminism from “equal pay for equal work” to “Second Wave” feminism, prostitution-in-place abortion, abortion, abortion. Steinem had NO feminist affiliations and alarmed the real feminists in brainiac eastern colleges who worked as menials in New York City and Washington, D.C. alongside her then-boyfriend, Henry Kissinger, CIA/MK ULTRA supervillain. Gloria Steinem’s women’s media group was co-founded by lesbian-feminist and former child star Robin Morgan; and “Red” Jane “BARBARELLA” Fonda.
Steinem was outed as a Russia-visiting CIA operative by REDSTOCKING feminists; and Kissinger was later openly decried as a child molester by these self-same real feminist subalterns, with Kissinger’s wife defending him manfully. Steinem’s MS MAGAZINE, the dumbed-down rag with kiddie illustrations for the child-like woman, receives funding from the PLAYBOY FOUNDATION. Got it? This is satanista Aleister Crowley’s sex magick writ large, like the movie “EYES WIDE SHUT” and it’s agenda is “WOMEN AND CHILDREN LAST.” Now, pre-president Hillary Rodham Clinton is reviving “equal pay for equal work” only a few decades after the fact; and now that money can be pushbuttoned away and swapped for bank shares with the demise of Glass-Steigall under husband William Jefferson Clinton. >sigh<:blush:
**Blessed Virgin Mary, pierced with a sword of sorrow that the thoughts of all may be revealed, expose all thoughts; cleansing them in the fire of love which is your divine Son, Jesus Christ’s Sacred Heart. Thanks. AMEN **
I’m not sure that inviting any specific person to speak implies acceptance of their position at all, let alone that it is equal to any other. Give the students some credit, they have likely had all kinds of catechesis and Catholic training and can form their own opinions. They are not likely to turn into radical pro-choice, pro feminists on the basis of one speech. Maybe they will even heckle her during her speech.
But, it is important that they know what her movement stands for. If one wants to fight against her values, one needs to know what they are. And, it’s best to hear them directly from the source.
So, tell me. What guidelines should Catholic institutions use when inviting guest speakers? How closely should their views match the teaching of the church? What level of dissent is acceptable before it is judged inappropriate for a Catholic institution?
One might hope that Catholic students would have had some Catholic catechesis, perhaps even know something about their faith, maybe even have read, say, Frank Sheed’s “Theology for Beginners,” but anymore, it’s not a sure proposition.
It’s possible to make it all the way to a Catholic university while having picked up little knowledge of the faith. (I heard once from a Catholic bishop of great zeal that after years of Catholic schooling, all he knew of the Faith was how to draw nice pictures and sing songs. Fortunately, seminary was not too late to correct that lack. He had the good fortune to enter seminary after seminaries had lately corrected their own flaws in that regard.)
As to knowing what her movement stands for, if the students do not know what Ms Steinem stands for by now, they really have not been paying much attention over the course of their lifetimes.
When the history department wishes to teach what the Nazis stood for in pre-war Germany, must they locate some old Nazi living in Argentina to give them a first-hand account? Probably not. Neither, I think, should they invite one of the Castro brothers to explain why it is necessary to round up opponents and jail them periodically, or why the revolution found it wise to round up ordinary businessmen to be lined up against the wall and shot. I think that the university might even be able to find some more respectable advocates of the feminist movement than Ms Steinem, the great abortion advocate, to harangue young students. If they are really intent on getting the pro-abortion view, they could just invite some prominent abortionist.
I won’t lay out a guideline for universities for their guest speakers. One hopes for common sense and common decency to prevail. But that may be hoping for too much.
Steinem’s point of view has not been censored. It’s readily available at many nearby institutions, as well as through the media.
A Catholic college doesn’t need to duplicate what is already being communicated; Steinem isn’t presenting an alternate point of view, it is the dominant view. Catholicism is the alternate point of view.
Suppose a car dealer sells you what he says is a Cadillac. After you buy it, you find out the engine, the transmission, every other component is of much lower quality, not made or endorsed by Cadillac. That’s what is happening here, as the college is soliciting Catholic-based donations, and recruiting students (at Catholic College tuitions) for what is really generic, public college education they could get much cheaper elsewhere. If they practice academic dishonesty here, how can we trust their academic honesty in other areas?
Some opposing points of view are valid and viable and worth giving voice in an educational institution. Such as the immigration debate in the USA. This is a point which, underpinned by Catholic doctrinal teaching, there can be legitimate debate and prudential judgement used to determine which is the best political course of action. The USCCB supports a particular course of action, while Republicans support a different one, and both could be adequately represented on Catholic college campuses to engender a lively debate. The same goes for opinions about the application of the death penalty or just war theory. These are all great social justice, life-values issues that can have legitimate opposing points of view that are all still well within the purview of sound Catholic teaching.
However, abortion is a non-negotiable, and a holocaust in our own time. Feminism is a corrosive danger to the minds of youth. Gloria Steinem stands for all that is wrong with pro-abortion and feminism, and her points of view are simply invalid. Invalid points of view, those containing fatal doctrinal errors, cannot be presented by anyone in a Catholic context. The ordinary is well within his rights to forbid this kind of use of Catholic property and he can even go so far as to revoke the use of the adjective “Catholic” from institutions that have strayed too far from orthodoxy.
Several decades ago we were blessed with an Index of Prohibited Books. Films were banned too based on the level of offense to the Christian mind. Unfortunately we no longer have such sure guidance through a jungle of viewpoints and opinions out there. But one thing is certain. Catholic schools have an obligation and a duty to retain, promote, and strengthen hard-identity Catholicism for their students, faculty and staff. It is very heartening to me that bishops such as +Ricken and even +Cordileone in San Francisco are taking an active interest and role in reshaping the mission of Catholic schools, because they have been too far off track for too long. They need to return to orthodoxy and begin teaching the faith in a way that will make a lasting impression on the next generation of Catholic leaders.
Suppose there was a debate. The other side was given 2 hours to present their view. You are allocated 30 minutes to present your view. Would it be right to take 10 of your minutes to present the other side’s view, which they already presented for 2 hours? Of course not.
That’s the position a Catholic institution finds itself. Its students get most of their formation from the media, and other institutions that have far, far more resources and access to Catholics than Catholic institutions have. Catholic college graduates heard more “sermons” from the secular media than from the Church. So they already heard Steinem’s views. It’s likely they haven’t heard much about Catholic social teaching.
Would you demand African American institutions allow presentation of racist views, to give credibility and respectability to white supremacists?