A conservative Catholic watchdog group wants 18 academics, including three professors at Boston College, purged from campus for perpetuating "a culture of death" by supporting abortion rights or siding against Terry Schiavo’s parents in their efforts to keep her feeding tube.
The Cardinal Newman Society also says in a fund-raising appeal that administrators at BC, Georgetown University and elsewhere should be warned their school risks being "stripped of its Catholic identity by the bishop who has authority over that college."
The eight-page letter, written by Eugene Diamond, former president of the Catholic Medical Association, was sent to 75,000 people in two mailings split between April and last month.
"It is for us to raise our voice in defense of the truth and demand that authentic Catholic doctrine be brought back to our beloved universities and colleges," Diamond wrote. "And the most natural first response to such dishonesty and underhandedness is anger!"
Some other Catholic groups criticized Diamond’s letter, saying it would risk the personal safety of those who were named — and that it seeks to undermine the academic and philosophical freedom that traditionally exists at institutions of higher learning.
The ubiquitous "some Catholic groups" and then attributing such an outrageous statement about personal safety. I follow the news pretty closely and I just can’t remember reading about Cardinal Newman Society goon squads beating up heterodox professors or gangs of faithful Catholics threatening professors with violence. And then we always get the academic freedom dodge. An institution of higher learning should teach the highest learning that is the truth. Does academic freedom mean teaching lies with truth side by side. A very odd definition of freedom since freedom is really the ability to do what is right.
"These aren’t politicians. This is a group of educators," said Eric McFadden of Columbus, Ohio, director of Catholics for Faithful Citizenship, a group that claims 7,000 members and advocates the mainstream teachings of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
This group masquerades behinds the teachings of the Catholic Church via the bishops conference. They are connected to many groups associated with liberal Catholic groups hiding under the seamless blanket with very relativistic support against abortion. I really don’t understand the "These aren’t politicians. This is a group of educators" statement. Catholic politicians are not allowed to flaunt Catholic teaching but Catholic educators are? I guess if your children are really strong in the faith you can send them to a Protestant university and if they are so rock solid you have no doubts then you might even consider testing them by sending them to a Catholic one.
Patrick Reilly, the society’s founder and president, dismissed such concerns.
"Who came out publicly in the first place?" Reilly said. "To suggest we should not come out would be fairly hypocritical."
He said his Virginia-based group, which lobbies Catholic schools to stay faithful to church teachings, is also developing a college guide highlighting schools’ affiliation with the disputed teachers.
Among those named in the letter are the Rev. John Paris, a bioethics professor at Boston College, and Charles Baron and Milton Heifetz, professors at BC’s law school. The latter two are Jewish, while Paris has been an ordained Roman Catholic priest for 45 years.
Boston College did not have an immediate comment, but Paris dismissed the society as "a self-appointed vigilante committee." He also labeled its planned appeal to the bishops as baseless, since the schools are run independently from the Catholic church.
Too true. Many Catholics are also independent from truths of the faith.
"They neither represent the church nor the academic community," Paris said of the society’s leaders, "and yet they want to censor the academic community in the name of the church." [Source]
This is of course the same Rev. Paris who said that food and water in Terri Schiavo case was disproportionately burdensome.
Update: Frequent commenter Teresa got me thinking more about possible Catholic vigilantes. Maybe it would be somewhat cool to have gangs of faithful Catholics lassoing wayward professors with Rosaries and doing an intervention. Perhaps an academic exorcism that uses not only passages from the Bible, but the catechism also. Though you would have to have some people hold them down when actual passages from the Catechism are read to them.
"The power of the Catechisms compels you.
The power of the Catechism compels you" while at the same time they scream "Academic Freedom!" The power of the Catechism compels you." Because of the amount of spin they give the faith in class I would not be surprised to see some professors spin their head around and speak in some foreign language (except of course Latin). Holy Water and Ex Corde Ecclesia used together could also be a powerful combination, that is if was actually backed by the bishops.
Though maybe real Catholic Vigilantes would be Vigil-antes that is attend a vigil and pray for wayward professors.