[quote=TPJCatholic]Is there not some way that the Catholic Church can at least remove it’s name and support from those institutions? People should not be able to be fooled into thinking they are “Catholic” if they are not.
The courst are most reluctant to get into such issues, as they require the court to make a determination based on theological issues. In other words, the court will not make a decision in a lawsuit which requires it to determine if an institution, such as a college or hospital, has violated a theological rule (such as following the Magisterium).
To give an example: the bishop in Hawaii attempted to silence two individuals through excommunication. They appealed, and eventually Rome held that the bishop could not. They then sued the diocese (I believe libel/slander/defamation of character) and the court refused to hear the case, as it would have required making a determination which was a church issue.
Another example is Catholics for a Free Choice. Their greates funding comes from secular institutions which appear to have an animosity to the Church; they espouse things which are blatantly anti-Catholic, and there is little or nothing the Church can do.
As an aside, the Church throughout history has shown a reluctance, to a greater or lesser degree at times, but a definite reluctance, to excommunicate individuals. The procedure itself is not quick, and requires that the bishop follow certain procedural guidelines. If a bishop was to excommunicate every individual who publicly steps over some guidelines, he would soon find himself wrapped up in so much time-consuming work that he would have little time to do anything else. And I don’t know too many bishops who lack for something to do.
Additionally, the bishop has to weigh the pros and cons, because he is going to face the consequences. It is simple to say that the Church would be a better place if we just cleaned house; it is also simplistic. In a pluralistic society, it is entirely possible to do way more harm than good. You and I might call the excommunication courageous, or righteous, or any number of things; but it may also be the issue that causes many Catholics to turn away, and non-Catholics to refuse to join the Church. The old phrase “There are more flies attracted to honey than to vinegar” is still true. Prudence is still a virtue. We may not feel that the bishops are prudent in allowing, for example, Notre Dame to ignore the mandatum procedure. But the charism of prudence is the bishop’s, not ours, to exercise, and our opinion of whether or not he is acting prudently ultimately is just that: an opinion. And the bottom line is that our opinion and $1.65 will get us somewhere on the local transportation system…