In a column from Georgetown’s The Hoya by a Jesuit priest.
Over the past few decades, faithful dissenters to non-infallible Church teachings or questions of Church organization have been vilified and even demonized in the Church, ecclesiastical power has been increasingly centralized and concentrated in the hands of a few, access to ecclesiastical corridors of power has been limited to a narrow group of those deemed ideologically pure — a combination which some have called the “Sovietization” of the Church.
We haven’t been concerned about discussions on non-infallible teachings. The fact is that what they consider in this category are subjects like homosexuality, women’s ordination, and contraception. The only thing they consider infallible is there opinion about what is infallible.
For some time in this country, ham-handedness and tone-deafness have characterized many of the Church’s actions and statements in the public arena.
The truth is that over the past few decades, it has often been painful for many American Catholics, some Jesuits among them, to be publicly identified with the Roman Catholic Church.
It’s small wonder that marketers and admissions experts encourage our schools to advertise themselves simply as “Jesuit” and refer only to our “Ignatian” tradition. “Catholic” is not a politically correct word these days, especially in the vaunted halls of secular humanism and the American educational system, private and public, which it dominates.
Wow I thought it was the other way around. That the Church has been pained by being associated with many Jesuits. Now I know there are good Jesuits – I recently saw that listed on the latest endangered species list.
Not all of the blame for that lies outside the Church.
Still, the perpetuation of this sense of distance has been and is a disservice to our students.
It has led us to miss opportunities to invite them to claim the Catholic heritage as their own and to take active responsibility for it.
It has contributed to the recurrent refrain that Georgetown is not Catholic enough, when in fact we are in many ways more authentically Catholic than the self-proclaimed academic bastions of orthodoxy in our country
Authentically Catholic like perhaps:
- Showing the Vagina Monologues on campus.
- Having free-speech zones.
- Ejecting students for passing out flyers against homosexuality.
- Teachers walking out when Cardinal Arinze spoke.
- A priest bioethicist who does not quite know what an embryo is and whether they can be be destroyed for stem-cells.
- Doing embryonic stem-cell research from aborted babies.
- Having speaker after speaker who is pro-abortion or against other teachings of the faith.
- Having a gay and lesbian film festival
Maybe it is just me since if I was going to make up a list for authentically Catholic – none of these items would be included.