With Friends Like These, Our Church Doesn’t Need Enemies!

                 Anthony J. Sacco  © Copyright May 2006

               Special to Saccoservices.com.

NOTE: I wrote this article back in May 2006. The last section is a very recent update.

Pine Bluffs ─ Some disturbing news! Despite the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion, some American Catholic colleges and universities refer their students to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers through their web sites.

Lay Group Reviews College Web Sites

          According to LifeNews.com’s Editor, Steven Ertelt, The Cardinal Newman Society, a Virginia based lay group whose mission is to promote Catholic identity at Roman Catholic colleges and universities, discovered, during a review of Roman Catholic school’s web sites, web links to pro-abortion groups and abortion providers. These schools were also referring students to abortion facilities and pro-abortion businesses for internships.  

          Surprised? Don’t be. Socialism and Communism aren’t the only untoward influences on Catholic college and university campuses. For years, on-campus groups that dissent from Church teachings have spread their insidious poison among impressionable Roman Catholic youth. Individual professors do it, too. In the name of ‘Academic Freedom,’ many college instructors refused to sign the mandatum or mandate required of Roman Catholic theology faculty contained in Pope John Paul II’s “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” which gives local bishops the power to decide that persons teaching Catholic theology will teach nothing contrary to church doctrine.

Cardinal Newman Society Shines Spotlight On The Problem

          CNS had spotlighted this problem before. In 2002, while not calling for anyone’s scalp, it reported that twelve Catholic colleges and universities were providing links and referrals to Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups. All the schools named in that report removed the links except one: Loyola of Chicago.

          In a 2004 report, CNS again identified concerns with a number of Catholic colleges and university web sites, once more pointing up the problem and politely urging presidents of the schools involved to remove the links and referrals from their web sites. Several of these schools have taken no action. That’s mostly what you get from liberal administrators on some Catholic college campuses, who seem more concerned about political correctness than the moral formation of the students we, as parents, entrust to them.       

          The Offending Schools

          The list of schools included Boston College, DePaul University, Dominican University of California, GeorgetownUniversity, Loyola of Chicago, Loyola of New Orleans,Santa Clara University, and Seton Hall.

          Patrick J. Reilly, president of CNS, said: “Faithful Catholics [especially those who send their kids to these colleges] expect Catholic colleges and universities to embrace a culture of life and avoid scandal.”

          Indeed, America’s Roman Catholic bishops, in a document about pro-abortion politicians and communion, instructed Roman Catholic colleges not to give platforms to pro-abortion elected officials, and instead, to help build a pro-life culture. This came as quite a shock to several institutions of higher learning calling themselves Catholic, such as my alma mater, Loyola of Baltimore, which, in its quest for federal and state expansion funds, had routinely invited such pro-abortion personages as Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to speak at commencement exercises on campus, and at the conclusion of their remarks, bestowing upon them honorary degrees. Talk about sending mixed messages to our youth!

What Offending Colleges Are Permitting    

         DePaul University’s web site provided an example of what was going on. The Woman’s and Gender Studies Program offered students links for “jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities,” including a link to the Pro-abortion Feminist Majority Foundation’s ‘career center.’ That center listed jobs and internships at abortion rights groups such as NARAL Pro-Choice America, Catholics for a Free Choice, the National Abortion Federation, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the American Civil Liberties Union. And at Dominican University of California, Psychology professor Gail Matthews posted a list of “Field Placement Sites” for student internships. Planned Parenthood of Marin County was on her list. With friends like these, the Church doesn’t need enemies.

          Now, here’s a late update: for several years, The Susan G. Koman Foundation has been growing. Awareness of what it accomplishes in the field of women’s breast health care services has grown along with it. What has not been growing – until recently – is the understanding that it contributes millions to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation.

          Lately, largely due to investigations by the American Life League, the Roman Catholic Church has re-examined its position regarding contributions of funds to the Susan G. Koman Foundation. In the past, twelve Catholic Diocese, including the major Baltimore Archdiocese, have recommended against contributing to Komen and its annual Race for the Cure campaign:

“The Respect Life Office neither supports nor encourages participation in activities that benefit the Susan G. Koman for the Cure,” the Archdiocese said in a position statement issued on January 7, 2011. It listed three objections:

1) Komen affiliates give funds to Planned Parenthood facilities,

2) Komen rejects studies showing that abortion is a contributing cause of breast cancer,

3) Komen endorses embryonic stem cell research.

          Komen affiliates responded to this position statement and to other requests for clarification by acknowledging that Komen affiliates give grants to local Planned Parenthood chapters [[$629,159 in 2010, according to their federal tax forms for that year], but they sought to emphasize  that the donations are restricted specifically to breast health care services. However, although that may be true, it does not resolve the issue. The Archdiocese of Baltimore pointed out that money is fungible: money donated to Planned Parenthood for a specific purpose directly frees up funds to support other areas of the organization’s operation, i.e. contraception, sterilization services, so-called ‘safe’ sex education, and abortion.

          Despite these warnings from the Archdiocese, several Catholic schools and a Catholic hospital sponsored teams in this year’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley, MD held on October 23, 2011: St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, Mount Saint Joseph High School in Catonsville, the Catholic High School in Baltimore, and John Carroll High School in Bel Air.  Their contributions, according to moral theologians, make them complicit in a sinful activity.

         What the Cardinal of the Baltimore Archdiocese, Edwin F. O’Brien,  plans to do about this situation remains unclear at the time of writing this note, mostly because of his recent elevation by Pope Benedict XVII to the College of Cardinals, and his re-assignment to a commission to support the Roman Catholic ministries in Jerusalem.  

Next time ─ more about the decline of a strong religious identity at Roman Catholic universities, the need to encourage a renewal of the Roman Catholic intellectual presence in secular society, and a list of solid Roman Catholic colleges and universities in the United States.

          Tony Sacco, author of The China Connection, Little Sister Lost, and Return to Darkness, is a licensed private investigator, holding a B.S. degree in Political Science from Loyola University Maryland and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland Law School. His column, Pro-Life Watch-Political Commentary, appeared in the Wyoming Catholic Register. He’ was a frequent contributor to the WREN Magazine. E-mail him at anthonyjsacco@hotmail.com. Visit his website at www.saccoservices.com.  Read more of his artices here.

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