After seeing all of this going on with Notre Dame and other Catholic schools, I wondered how we got to this point. Sorry for the length but here are my thoughts:
We have had a problem brewing in our country for a long time in regard to Catholic teaching and beliefs and the problem we have seen with Notre Dame and other Catholic colleges is just one of many. This problem began when Notre Dame started the domino effect of relinquishing control of the university from Catholic control to secular control. Other Catholic colleges and universities followed suit and we are seeing the fruits of one fundamental problem with the process…the Church and their lawyers didn’t make sure there was a clause that gave the Church some means of having an override decision for anything at these facilities that went against the Churches teachings. Bishop D’Arcy’s unable to do anything, except, if he so wills, to remove Fr. Jenkin’s faculties. A lot of bishops have spoken out against what Notre Dame and other Catholic schools are doing. Yet there are some bishops not saying a word because, as one spokesperson said ‘it’s not the place for one bishop to speak about what should be done in another bishop’s diocese. It would be disrespectful to that bishop’. Really? What’s wrong with all the bishops speaking as one voice as one true Catholic Church. The damage has been done all across this country. What else might be to blame for this situation?
In Catholic High Schools and Universities, we have great priests teaching and they don’t sway from the Catholic teachings. They are the shining light of the Church. Also, there are other priests in these same facilities that have veered off course, slightly or severely, and have interpreted Catholic teaching the way they want to see it. My next statements are not to tear down priests and bishops because we have all know some very good, even holy and great priests and bishops. Why hasn’t the Church done something about the abhorrent teaching of the bad priests? We’ve all heard it from one person or another, from students and parents of students, on radio talk shows, about what is taught in some classes by some priests and they’re shocked at what is being said and that it’s coming from the lips of a priest. Have the students and parents actually confronted the schools about this or contacted the local bishop? Have the bishops not been in touch or aware of what these priests are doing? Bishops are very busy, but they should be aware of what is going on in their diocese, including the schools. I’m sure, in some of these situations, bishops have commented to these priests that they need to get back in line with the Church. However, if their still there, doing the same old teaching that does not conform to Catholicism, what are we to believe? Taking no action and crying wolf by just talking doesn’t solve the problem. Look at the non action to the politicians and journalists that are Catholic but continue to disobey and in many instances do things to harm and ridicule the Church. Maybe these priests in the schools that don’t teach the correct Catholic doctrine should be sent back to the seminary for a refresher course and relearn what they have evidently lost. If they don’t want to do that, they can be dismissed and have their faculties removed.
Why are the bishops permitting this to go on? Heaven help us. Again, this is not to rail against priests or bishops. We need to support our priests and bishops as best we can. However, we saw the damage when some bishops failed to take care of the problems of the pedophile priests. We learned these pedophile priests were shuffled from one parish to another, in some/many instances. It was only when it blew up in their faces, the bishops reacted. This was very damaging to the Church and, in the process of correcting the situation, some good priests and bishops were finger-pointed that should not have, as they were innocent, and their reputation marred for life. I brought this up mainly to ask, if something somewhat similar is happening with the bad priests in the schools? Look at what happened with some priests that came out of the seminaries during the 70’s and early 80’s and weren’t trained correctly. You’ve heard the stories of students that have gone to these universities that are faithful Catholics. A lot come out still faithful Catholics. Many others come out having fallen away from the Church or have gone off on a “New Age” direction because they were indoctrinated by the secular teaching and had completely lost their Catholic faith. Yes, many of the teachers are not priests, but these are supposed to be Catholic places of learning.