Protest President Snyder: Monday Morning 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 am on LMU Drive and Lincoln Blvd.

President Timothy Law Snyder has failed LMU. He has damaged its Catholic identity. We are having a rally to protest what President Snyder has done and what he has failed to do on Monday morning December 6th between 7-9 a.m. on the corner of Lincoln Blvd and LMU Drive near the LMU fountain. The LMU Board of Trustees is meeting that morning, and as they drive by us into LMU, we need to make them aware of the many failures of leadership in the administration of President Snyder.  (Some of you may want to stand outside the other entrance to LMU at the gate at the corner of Loyola Blvd and 80th near the LMU sign on Monday morning December 6th between 7-9 a.m.. That entrance may be used by a few board members.) We hope that the media will cover this event.

Please feel free to make and bring signs to protest President Snyder. Here are some ideas. “President Snyder, Renew LMU”  “Snyder Restore St Serra”  “Snyder Stop Religious Discrimination at LMU” “Snyder Restore Mission in BCLA” “Snyder Stop Pronoun Policing” “Snyder Needs to Stop Student Cyberbullying” “Tim, does ‘inclusivity’ include Catholics?”

Please tell your friends and bring your friends. We will see you by the fountain.

Entrance to Loyola-Marymount University at Lincoln Blvd in Westchester District

Mom Decries Harassment and Cyber Bullying of her Child at LMU: President Snyder Ignores Her Letter of Concern

Catholic students on campus have been bullied, harassed, and even sent messages like, “we hope you die.” For example, consider the following post “Everyone bully the LMU republicans Instagram page pls [please]” from one LMU student against another group of LMU students:

The mother of two current LMU students wrote to President Synder about the harassment and bullying. President Synder ignored her concerns and did not reply to her letter. Maybe his version of “inclusivity” does not include faithful Catholics. Please find her letter below.

Dear President Snyder,

As the mother of two current students at Loyola Marymount University, I am appalled at the cyber-bullying that occurred toward a group of pro-life LMU students. In opposition to the Planned Parenthood fundraiser, a small group of pro-life LMU students chose to table on campus a few days before the event. A photo of the group was posted on Instagram by a comedic account which harshly ridiculed the group of pro-life students. What followed were over 200 comments on this photo from LMU students. A number of the comments were vile and hateful in content, some even ridiculing the appearance of the pro-life students and mocking them. This is cyber-bullying. Pro-life students are already a minority on campus. Should Catholic and pro-life students be afraid to share their personal views?

Your office was made aware of this incident through our previous letter, but we received no response.

LMU students should be held to a level of decorum which respects free speech and insists on acting civilly and respectfully. We understand disagreement and debate, for these are fundamental aspects of free speech, especially on a college campus. However the ridicule and cruelty which occurred through this Instagram post is unacceptable. Our children that attend LMU have a personal attachment to the pro-life issue as children of an adopted mother. They have been raised in Catholic doctrine to respect life from conception to natural death.  As a Catholic university, LMU must protect its Catholic students just like any other students, and in this egregious example LMU has not protected these students. 

How will the administration respond to this instance of vile and hateful ridicule against Catholic pro-life students? We implore the administration to stand with its Ignatian values and protect students of all beliefs. This protection must extend to those with beliefs in the minority. Only then will the university’s mission statement be achieved. In closing, LMU is a Catholic university. Do Catholic students receive the same protection as other students at LMU? We pray that they do. We hope moving forward that the administration takes action to ensure that all students, yes even Catholic pro-life students, are protected, respected, and considered a viable part of this Catholic university.

Sincerely,

A Highly Concerned LMU Mom (name withheld to prevent further bullying of her children currently at LMU)


To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition https://renewlmu.com/ by emailing friends and posting on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775

Jesuit Fr. William J. Fulco, S.J. RIP

LMU has announced the death of Fr. Bill Fulco:

[T]he Rev. William J. Fulco, S.J., a Jesuit priest and the retired National Endowment for the Humanities Chair of Ancient Mediterranean Studies, passed away on Nov. 28, 2021, of a longtime illness at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. He was 85 years old.

Father Fulco joined LMU in August 1998, and through his retirement in 2019, he established himself as a scholar, teacher, curator, mentor, and raconteur. A popular teacher, Father Fulco’s courses covered an impressive range of topics: “God and the World of Ancient Israel”; ancient religions; music culture in ancient Palestine; ancient Near Eastern languages; Near Eastern archaeology; biblical archaeology and Old Testament studies; and classical numismatics. He traveled the world exploring those subjects, and he made archeological travel available for LMU students, annually sponsoring digs across the globe through his NEH funding. In 2007, LMU recognized him with the President’s Fritz B. Burns Distinguished Teaching Award, one of the highest honors bestowed on faculty by the university.

Father Fulco founded LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts’ Archaeology Center to study and display the collected and preserved museum-quality artifacts he acquired during his travels. His scholarship in the Aramaic language led him to be the advisor for the film “The Passion of the Christ.” 

William J. Fulco - IMDb

He also advised on the films “The Nativity Story” (2006) and “Jesus VR: The Story of Christ” (2016), and the television documentary series “Ancient Aliens” (2010-13). Father Fulco worked extensively with the Pontifical Biblical Institute Museum in Jerusalem and made a transformative impact through his work with Alcoholics Anonymous, speaking at retreats across the United States.

He was the classic Jesuit academic, equally at home on an archeological dig as in the classroom. Father Fulco embraced, with his characteristic animated joy, whatever project lay in front of him. He was a devoted member of LMU’s Jesuit Community, a highly engaged faculty advisor, and he remained connected with his former students over the years, always present to celebrate sacraments and offer advice. His contributions and impact inspired the formation of the Father Fulco Balanced Living Scholarship, reflecting his work over the years with Sigma Phi Epsilon and benefiting first-year students.

A native Angeleno, Father Fulco was born in the Leimert Park area, graduated from Loyola High School and joined the Society of Jesus in 1954. He was ordained in 1966. Father Fulco earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and literatures from Yale University. He earned his B.A. at Santa Clara University and his M.A. at Gonzaga University. He also held a Licentiate of Sacred Theology and Master of Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, California. 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Professor Forces Students to Declare their  Personal Pronouns: A Petition to President Snyder

Professor Forces Students to Declare their Personal Pronouns: A Petition to President Snyder

Dear President Snyder,

Recent news stories reported that a professor in LMU’s Department of Theological Studies forces his students, on penalty of reduction of their grade, to include their personal pronouns next to their name in their classwork. This practice must stop immediately because it is a direct violation of LMU’s mission.

Forcing students to declare their pronouns violates the promotion of justice because it violates the right of free speech. The right of free speech, which LMU says it protects, includes the right to remain silent, the right not to say something that you do not want to say. Compelled speech is not free speech.

Forcing students to declare their preferred pronouns also violates the education of the whole person because it violates privacy. Some students may want to remain private about their gender identity. It is invasive and inappropriate for a professor to force his students to publicly declare their sexual orientation or their gender identity.

Forcing students to declare their preferred pronouns also violates the service of faith because it signals endorsement of what Pope Francis has called “gender ideology.” Gender ideology is a dualism that the ‘real me’ (male) could be trapped inside a (female) body, that biological males can become women, that an individual might be any one of 58 genders, and that sex and gender are mere social constructions. These views have been repeatedly and strongly criticized by Pope Francis. The Pope teaches that the human body, as male or female, is part of the good gift of God’s creation. Any university whose mission statement includes the service of faith should protect students of faith from being forced to act against their faith.

As the screenshots below indicate, not just one Theological Studies professor but your administration itself reflects and reinforces gender ideology. For example, Dean Robbin Crabtree of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, whose service to Planned Parenthood has been decried by alumni and under whose leadership “commitment to Roman Catholicism” was deleted, promotes the practice of declaring preferred pronouns. Moreover, your administration’s “Chosen Name Project” presupposes and reinforces the claims of gender ideology decried as “ideological colonization” by Pope Francis. That the “Chosen Name Project” includes a video shot inside Sacred Heart Chapel in front of the crucified Christ is particularly inappropriate.

To be crystal clear, we believe, as the Catholic Church believes, that all human beings deserve to be respected by everyone and protected against unjust discrimination. Indeed, we should love all human beings, including every person with gender dysphoria.

But respecting people does not mean adopting their ideology or their practices. Protecting people does not mean forcing other people to act contrary to their faith or their consciences. And loving all people does not mean speaking or acting contrary to the truth. As St. Edith Stein taught, “Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth.”

We respectfully ask you, therefore, to issue a public declaration and establish as official LMU policy that no professor is permitted to force his or her students to disclose their personal pronouns. We ask you to stop your administration’s institutional commitment to gender ideology, and to renew LMU’s institutional commitment to Roman Catholicism.

Sincerely,

Anne (Rezzo) Rosen, LMU Alum 1985


To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition https://renewlmu.com/ by emailing friends and posting on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775



Update on Statue of St. Junípero Serra:  Catholic When Convenient

We are grateful to the hundreds of people who signed our petition to restore the statue of St. Junípero Serra to a place of honor on campus. We are also impressed by the thoughtful comments and messages that we have conveyed to President Snyder, Archbishop Gomez, and other important members of the LMU community. 

An article in the Catholic News Agency and in the National Catholic Register recently wrote:

“The statue dates back to the 1990s, when it was placed outside the campus library as a gift of William H. Hannon, a Catholic philanthropist and passionate admirer of Serra. Hannon was a major benefactor of the campus, an honorary trustee, and regent emeritus. Many campus buildings are named for him at the university, which claims affiliation with both the Society of Jesus and the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary.” 

Claims is exactly the right word, but only when convenient.

LMU was built with the money of Catholic donors and parents. President Snyder wants to keep what is convenient (the buildings, the donor base, the cash) and reject what is inconvenient (the statue, the BCLA mission statement, anything Catholic which is contrary to woke ideology). 

The article continues:

“In a Nov. 24 statement to CNA, the university said: ‘In summer of 2020, the statue of Rev. Serra on LMU’s Westchester campus was removed to conduct repairs. When the campus reopened from the pandemic in fall of 2021, the university convened a task force to invite feedback from the community and to develop recommendations on future plans. No final decisions have been made, and the university remains committed to a thoughtful process of open dialogue.’”

Those on campus who want to ban the statue consider it a symbol of tyranny, oppression, and racism whose presence is “triggering trauma” for students rather than providing “a safe and welcoming place” for everyone on campus. 

This argument for removing the statue of St. Junípero Serra applies even more forcefully to Sacred Heart Chapel. The beautiful chapel is built in the Spanish Mission style.  But according to woke ideology, the Spanish Missions were expressions of European colonial oppression, racism, and white supremacy. The Chapel is even painted white, a blatant attempt to glorify white supremacy and to marginalize Black and Indigenous people of color. 

Since Sacred Heart Chapel is so much larger and more prominent than the Serra statue, the Chapel must be an even greater threat of “triggering trauma” for those who chose to come to LMU. If they go into the chapel, things go from bad to worse because right in the center of the chapel is a large crucifix. Think of the oppressive symbolism that the crucifix entails for Jewish students whose ancestors suffered pogroms, Muslim students who ancestors suffered under Christian crusaders, and Protestant students whose ancestors suffered under the Spanish inquisition. And what about the atheists on campus? Non-believers showed us what they thought of Catholic places of worship when during the Reign of Terror they took down the crucifix and turned the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris into a storage warehouse. They also knew exactly what to do with priests and other Catholics who stood in the way of their pursuit of utopia. These Catholics got to experience a new invention named after Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. Now that’s moving beyond words to taking action for Liberty, Equity, and Inclusivity!  So, if we are to be consistent advocates for inclusive, non-triggering “safe spaces,” we should remove the crucifix immediately and then before Easter, at the latest, demolish Sacred Heart Chapel or at least rededicate it to Michel Foucault.

Apparently, some people who chose to come to a Catholic university hate Catholic symbols. They won’t feel “safe and included” until everything they dislike about Catholicism is removed from their sight.  Should we make our “campus a safe and welcoming place” by means of removing every last vestige of Catholic identity? Should a Jewish university scrub itself clean of every Jewish symbol to avoid traumatically triggering those who choose to come to a Jewish university? 

On the other hand, maybe those who are triggered by Jewish symbols at a Jewish university should check themselves for latent anti-Semitism.  And maybe those who come to a Catholic university and are triggered by Catholic symbols should check themselves for implicit bias or the virus of woke ideology.

LMU’s administration under President Snyder is institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism when fundraising with donors, recruiting students with parents willing to pay, and appealing to alumni. 

LMU’s administration under President Snyder is institutionally committed to woke ideology when hiring administrators, recruiting professors, and fundraising for Planned Parenthood. 

LMU is Catholic when convenient. 

President Synder Removes St. Junípero Serra Statue at LMU:  A Petition to UnCancel A Saint

Dear President Snyder,

In the summer of 2020, after statues were taken down across the United States, your administration approved the removal of the statue of St. Junípero Serra that stood in the front of the Charles Von der Ahe Building, the former library.  We object to your action.

It is hard to believe that the statue was taken down in order to be repaired. An identical statue, also donated in 1992 by one of our greatest donors William Hannon, can be found in very good condition at St. Anastasia School, just one mile away from LMU. In any case, any repairs should be complete by now, a year and a half later. Nor was LMU’s statue taken down in order to prevent likely vandalism. Due to Covid, almost no one was allowed on campus until Fall 2021.

These symbols matter, and they are dearly treasured by the Catholic faithful. Moreover, as the essay, “Is Loyola Marymount University Losing its Catholic Identity?,” predicted,  “The final argument about religious identity will be about whether distinctively religious art should remain. A compromise will be struck whereby the pieces considered offensive—such as the central crucifix and the statue of Mary—are removed, but the stained glass windows remain intact, a silent reminder of a long lost tradition.” Your choice to remove this statue was one more step you have made towards LMU losing its distinctive identity and becoming just like any secular school.

With all due respect to some on campus who see things differently, the statue of St. Junípero Serra should be returned to a place of honor. The saint’s statue should be accompanied by exactly the same contextualization, historical perspective, and critical evaluation that accompanies all the other statues, plaques, memorials, and quotations in stone on campus from figures including Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and the Virgin Mary. That is to say, none. For these figures, we do not publicly document their real or alleged sins, or the sins of those associated with them, near their sites of commemoration.

This consistent policy in how we treat statues on campus is particularly appropriate for St. Junípero Serra who recently completed the lengthy and rigorous examination process involved in becoming a canonized saint. In the words of Pope Francis, St. Junípero, “sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it.” As Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco point out, St. Junípero “defended indigenous people’s humanity, decried the abuse of indigenous women, and argued against imposing the death penalty on natives who had burned down a mission and murdered one of his friends. At age 60, ill and with a chronically sore leg, Serra traveled 2,000 miles to Mexico City to demand that authorities adopt a native bill of rights he had written.”

Regardless of what any committee may recommend to you, we hope your decision about this statue does not further erode our Catholic identity. If a Planned Parenthood fundraiser can be held at LMU in Roski, certainly a statue of this country’s first Hispanic saint canonized by the first Hispanic Pope can be in a place of honor and respect at LMU. If you wish to have the statue placed inside, so as to lessen the likelihood of vandalism, it should be in a place of high visibility as it was before. We suggest putting it in Roski.

Yours truly,

Marcos Chavira, LMU Alum 1995


To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition https://renewlmu.com/ by emailing friends and posting on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775



Media Coverage of Fundraiser Continues, Harassment of LMU Pro-Life Students Continues

President Snyder’s decision to approve the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser continues to draw attention from the media. For example, an article in the Washington Post (paywall free version here) quotes:

“[One student], who was raised Catholic but is not religious, said Loyola Marymount feels like an ‘unsafe campus to be on as a woman.’”

The idea seems to be that if LMU does not hold fundraisers for Planned Parenthood, then LMU is somehow threatening the physical well-being of women. This is hard to  believe. But maybe ‘safety’ means mental well-being, understood as feeling comfortable. But then all the pro-life students on campus were made ‘unsafe’ by the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser, since they were extremely upset by President Snyder’s approval of this event. 

Another article in the campus newspaper, the Loyolan says the following, “One held a sign, “If abortion is murder, masturbation is mass genocide.” Maybe a biology class next year will clear up this confusion for the student. It’s odd how the “We believe in Science” crowd forgets inconvenient scientific facts. The Loyolan article continues:

“It’s not just about abortion services, it’s [sexually transmitted disease] testing and treatment, contraception and most importantly cancer screenings and prevention,” said [another student].

Planned Parenthood doesn’t only do abortions. So what? A hitman doesn’t only do killings-for-hire. He may call his grandma every Sunday, play video games, and most importantly make a great pumpkin pie for his family every Thanksgiving. Do these other actions mitigate his killing-for-hire?

The Loyolan essay continues, “Promotional posters asked, ‘Confused on why students were allowed to call other students murderers?’ referencing the nature of the Nov. 5 protest.”  Confused is right. LMU’s Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) comes down like a ton of bricks on anyone who shows any kind of bias against a member of the LMU community because of “someone’s actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity and expression, race, color, religion….”

We wonder if these students, and LMU itself, show equal concern for religious pro-life students at LMU on campus who have been bullied, harassed, and even sent messages like, “we hope you die.” For example, consider the following post “Everyone bully the LMU republicans instgram page pls [please]” from one LMU student against another group of LMU students:

Will LMU administrators hold this student and others who are harassing and bullying Catholic students accountable?  Will LMU’s Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) swing into action and public condemnation? Will President Snyder send an email to the entire LMU community decrying attacks on Catholic students on campus? I wouldn’t bet on it.

LMU  Cancels ‘commitment to Roman Catholicism’ from BCLA Mission Statement: A Petition to President Snyder

Dear President Snyder,

Several years ago, an essay entitled, “Is Loyola Marymount University Losing its Catholic Identity?” made this prediction, “In order to reflect what is really happening in the university, mission statements will have to be altered by deleting words such as ‘the service of faith’ and ‘commitment to Roman Catholicism’ from university and college mission statements. Deletion of these few lines will have no effect on the day-to-day running of the university, as they had no effect for years previously.” 

Unfortunately, this has already happened. Please compare the following mission statements.

“The Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts (BCLA) embodies the wider University goals of liberal education and commitment to Roman Catholicism and the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The curriculum in the College liberates the mind, nourishes the spirit, and cultivates creativity for the challenges of today and tomorrow. Its courses, therefore, are at the heart of the University’s core curriculum for all undergraduates.” (LMU Bulletin 2014-15, p.49)

Under the leadership of Dean Robbin Crabtree, who served on the advisory board and media-relations committee for Planned Parenthood, the Mission Statement of the LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts changed to this:

“BCLA is the oldest and largest school at LMU and the liberal arts is at the heart of the LMU undergraduate education for all our students. We have 25 degree programs and 31 minors that will help you sharpen your intellectual capacity, gain deep content knowledge, and practice the marketable skills–such as critical thinking, writing, diversity awareness, and teamwork–that are highly valued by employers. In fact, the overwhelming majority of employers prefer to hire people who demonstrate the outcomes from a liberal arts education. Liberal arts graduates have similar peak earnings as business and pre-professional majors, and are more likely to pursue graduate degrees” (LMU Bulletin 2015-2016, p.57)

We write because we want you to restore the missing language of a “commitment to Roman Catholicism and the Judaeo-Christian tradition.” 

More importantly, we want BCLA, and LMU more generally, to actually live out this stated mission and Catholic identity in its decisions. We need both words and deeds.

Sincerely,

George Cassar, LMU Alum 1987


To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition https://renewlmu.com/ on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775 and on twitter @LMUSnyder

Before Dean Crabtree

After Dean Crabtree

LMU Women in Politics Raised $4,100 for Planned Parenthood

The Loyolan is reporting:

“LMU Women in Politics (WiP), a left-wing feminist registered student organization (RSO) on campus, wrapped up their fundraiser for Planned Parenthood held Friday, Nov. 5, which raised over $4,100 for the non-profit.”

“And it’s not even a major percentage of what Planned Parenthood does,” said [a] freshman civil engineering major [], a member of WiP [Women in Politics] who attended the fundraiser. “It’s a small percentage of what Planned Parenthood does, is abortions.”

This makes about as much sense as saying:

“And it’s not even a major percentage of what the Corleone Family does,” said a freshman Italian Studies major who attended the fundraiser. “It’s a small percentage of what the Corleone Family does, is killing-for-hire. Aren’t you forgetting they make great olive oil and run legitimate casinos? Michael is a war hero, for crying out loud! All people are loved and equal, so long as they are chosen and convenient for us. If not, well, we make them a deal they cannot refuse, to sleep with the fishes.”

Did President Snyder Violate the Right of Free Speech of LMU Community Members? 

If an LMU administrator, even an angry president says,  “You work for me!” and therefore you cannot speak in the way that you want to speak, or protest what you want to protest, this is contrary to LMU policy. If this happens to you, may we suggest that you point out to this administrator that both you and he work for Loyola Marymount University, and LMU claims to value free speech and the exchange of ideas.  He is an administrator at this university, not a dictator who can order members of the community not to speak.

Responses to President Snyder’s Approval of the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser

Responses to President Snyder’s decision to approve the continuation of the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser continue to be published nationally and internationally. The Catholic Business Journal headline reads, “Courage students want the True Faith at Loyola Marymount: Students Restart Pro-life Group after Planned Parenthood fundraiser.” 

The Catholic News Agency reports:

When Loyola Marymount University student Megan Glaudini heard that her university was not stopping an on-campus fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, she felt “convicted” that she needed to do something. “Upon hearing about the Planned Parenthood fundraiser on campus, originally, I was just completely disgusted and embarrassed, and disappointed that the university would allow this to happen,” she told CNA in a phone call Nov. 6. “I took a while to kind of discern what I really wanted to do, what kind of action would even make a difference, and I really felt convicted and like I needed to do something,” she said. That “something” turned out to be resurrecting the long time, inactive pro life group, and planning a rosary rally before the Planned Parenthood fundraiser.

Vita, a student run pro-life organization, rose from the dead after years of inactivity. We wish them well. 

An essay about LMU entitled, “Catholic Colleges That are Not Catholic” gets a lot right, but gets something very wrong. LMU does want to be Catholic when it comes to talking to Catholic donors and parents. In fundraising and recruiting students, LMU embraces its Catholic identity. As a recent Covid inspired advertisement put it, “This past year, the LMU community has demonstrated how creativity and compassion—values central to our Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount identity—have been our North Star.”  On the other hand, in terms of student life, hiring faculty and administrators, and campus climate, LMU operates as any other secular school. So, a more accurate title of this essay about LMU would be “Catholic Colleges That Are Catholic When Convenient.” 

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/249519/loyola-marymount-student-reforms-pro-life-group-after-planned-parenthood-fundraiser

COURAGEOUS STUDENTS WANT the True Faith at Loyola Marymount: Students Restart Pro-life Group after Planned Parenthood fundraiser

RenewLMU Response to the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser which took place on November 5, 2021

As you may know, President Snyder authorized the continuation of the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser which took place last night on campus in Roski. A peaceful and prayerful protest also took place, led by students, and joined by LMU faculty, parents, alumni, donors, and some Jesuits.

The letter found below was sent to President Snyder on November 5 at 1:30 p.m. before the Planned Parenthood Fundraiser in a last ditch effort to persuade him to call off the event.  This letter was also sent to Archbishop Gomez, the Provincial of Jesuits West, and other important members of the LMU community.  Archbishop Gomez, in a rare move, publicly expressed “deep disappointment” at LMU’s decision.

At around 5:00 p.m., before the fundraiser at 7:00 p.m., LMU issued a press release that said, “LMU regrets the concerns this situation has caused our community members and Catholic partners.” How sincere can your regret be if you carry out the nefarious plan anyway? Imagine a wife who  discovers that her husband has a plan to cheat on her. She confronts him and begs him to break it off. He replies, “So sorry honey. I regret causing you and our children concerns. I remain firmly committed to the values of our marriage. Moving forward, I’ll try to do better.” He then goes and meets his mistress. Is this a man expressing true regret? More importantly, is he showing true regret in his actions?

LMU, apology not accepted.

———–

Dear President Snyder,

Please find attached the names of more than 2,750 people who have signed the petition at RenewLMU.com and more than 15,000 at LifeSite in the last few days. In response to the national and international media (please see links below), your spokesman Mason Stockstill told the press that, “LMU’s core principles, reflected in its decisions, are consistent with Pope Francis’ guidance.” If this were true, then this event would already be cancelled. I can hear Pope Francis now, “Open dialogue with everyone, yes. Fundraising for abortion, no.” The difference is obvious and enormous.

Your spokesman writes,  “The events, actions, or positions of student organizations, including Women in Politics, are not endorsed by the university. The fundraiser being hosted by Women in Politics is not a university-sponsored event.” This red herring makes no difference to Planned Parenthood nor to us. The money goes to Planned Parenthood regardless of whether the event is officially “sponsored” or “endorsed.” We object to the fundraising for Planned Parenthood, regardless of whether the fundraising is labeled as “sponsored” or endorsed.”

We also question explanations from university officials about a so-called compromise that gives Planned Parenthood all the money, publicity, and cooperation and gives those who object to the fundraiser a sentence on advertising that says that this event “shall not be construed as approval” by the university.   In reality, this disclaimer removes none of LMU’s complicity.  LMU administrators approved an event entitled “Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.” They authorized use of Roski Dining Hall for this purpose. You personally have given your approval for this event to move forward on campus despite appeals from alumni, donors, students, and allies. Who needs the verbal fig leaf of “approval” when the event was in fact approved initially by LMU administrators and approved to move forward again by you?

We hope even now that you will make the right choice rather than the politically expedient choice.  Now is the time.

Sincerely,

Samantha (Stribling) Stephenson, LMU Alum B.A. 2011, M.A. 2016, M.A. 2018

Washington Post – https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/a-student-groups-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-draws-backlash-at-catholic-university/2021/11/04/e7609dba-3db6-11ec-bd6f-da376f47304e_story.html

Angelus – https://angelusnews.com/local/la-catholics/students-raise-alarm-over-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-at-lmu/

National Catholic Reporter https://www.ncronline.org/news/people/student-group-s-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-draws-backlash-catholic-university

Crux https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2021/11/planned-parenthood-fundraiser-to-go-ahead-on-campus-of-catholic-university/

EWTN – https://www.ewtn.com/tv/shows/ewtn-news-nightly (Nightly News Nov 3 coverage starts at 17 min 45 sec)

https://vietcatholic.net/News/html/272126.htm

National Catholic Register – https://www.ncregister.com/cna/why-is-a-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-being-held-on-the-catholic-campus-of-loyola-marymount-university

Our Sunday Visitor – https://osvnews.com/2021/11/03/a-catholic-university-is-hosting-a-fundraiser-for-planned-parenthood-yes-you-read-that-right/

Life Petitions – https://lifepetitions.com/petition/call-on-catholic-university-president-to-cancel-planned-parenthood-fundraiser

https://www.dailyadvent.com/news/38ab1e09b1b29a9e1f6f9c1198b356ac-A-student-groups-Planned-Parenthood-fundraiser-draws-backlash-at-Catholic-university

Breitbart – https://www.breitbart.com/education/2021/11/02/catholic-university-to-host-fundraiser-for-planned-parenthood/

Live Action – https://www.liveaction.org/news/catholic-university-planned-parenthood-fundraiser/

America Needs Fatima – https://americaneedsfatima.org/blog/how-to-do-a-rosary-rally

LifeSite News – https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pro-life-students-to-protest-catholic-universitys-decision-to-allow-planned-parenthood-fundraiser/

The Beauty of Life –  https://thebl.com/us-news/demand-that-los-angeles-catholic-university-fundraiser-for-planned-parenthood-be-canceled.html

PJ Media – https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/ari-j-kaufman/2021/11/01/decidedly-divisive-catholic-college-in-california-to-hold-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-n1528778

Christianity Daily – https://www.christianitydaily.com/articles/13823/20211103/catholic-university-receives-backlash-from-pro-life-advocates-over-plans-to-host-fundraiser-for-abortion-provider.htm

Daily Advent – https://www.dailyadvent.com/news/361d6ae8162bbc28a204358b771dbfa5-Catholic-University-to-Host-Fundraiser-for-Planned-Parenthood

Complicit Clergy – https://www.complicitclergy.com/2021/11/03/catholic-university-to-host-fundraiser-for-planned-parenthood/

Life News – https://www.lifenews.com/2021/11/02/a-catholic-university-is-hosting-a-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-and-alumni-are-not-happy/

TFP Student Action – https://tfpstudentaction.org/petitions/stop-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-at-loyola-marymount-university

Catholic News Agency – https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/249499/why-is-a-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-being-held-on-this-catholic-campus

Religion News Service – https://religionnews.com/2021/11/04/loyola-marymount-university-protested-for-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-hosted-by-student-group/

California Catholic Daily – https://www.cal-catholic.com/loyola-refuses-to-back-down-on-planned-parenthood-fundraiser/

https://www.breitbart.com/faith/2021/11/05/jesuit-university-planned-parenthood-fundraiser/

Catholic World Report – https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2021/11/04/why-is-a-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-being-held-on-this-catholic-campus/

Creative Minority Report – https://creativeminorityreport.com/blog/2021/11/03/loyola-marymount-u-to-host-fundraiser-for-planned-parenthood/

EWTN Ireland – https://www.ewtnireland.com/why-is-a-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-being-held-on-this-catholic-campus/

Prolife Update – https://prolifeupdate.com/2021/11/02/alumni-furious-after-a-catholic-university-does-the-unthinkable/

https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=52812

https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2021/11/05/loyola-marymount-planned-parenthood-fundraiser-backlash-241789

“Planned Parenthood Fundraiser” at Loyola Marymount University: Petition President Snyder to Cancel This Event

Dear President Snyder,

We  write to ask you to cancel Loyola Marymount University’s “Planned Parenthood Fundraiser” scheduled for November 5th at 7:00 p.m. in Roski Dining in University Hall. Founded by the eugenist and virulent anti-Black racist Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States and has been caught red-handed in the illegal sale of fetal tissues and has been complicit in sex trafficking.

As Jesuit Pope Francis said last month, “Is it right to eliminate, to take a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? That’s what abortion is.” We hope you see through rationalizations that ‘Planned Parenthood does more than just abortions.’ The mafia also produces olive oil.

Alternatively, we suggest that LMU Women in Politics, the group sponsoring the fundraiser, might select a more worthy recipient of funds, one that more effectively supports women’s dignity and whose primary purposes are not at odds with the Catholic Church. Selecting Planned Parenthood as a recipient for fundraising on a Catholic campus is decidedly divisive. A fundraiser in support of an organization that affirms rather than undermines the dignity of women would be an opportunity to build bridges, bringing together people from all sides of the table in support of women’s advancement.

This LMU event is not an academic debate but a fundraiser. As such, LMU is making an in-kind donation to the nation’s largest abortion provider. President Snyder, please take action now to prevent an egregious violation of LMU’s Jesuit, Catholic identity. 

Sincerely,

Samantha (Stribling) Stephenson, LMU Alum B.A. 2011, M.A. 2016, M.A. 2018

@sstephenson614


To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition https://renewlmu.com/ on your social media.  LMU’s President can be reached at president@lmu.edu 310.338.2775 (voice) 310.338.2766 (fax) and @LMUSnyder

Fr. Bill Fulco, S.J., retires from LMU

LMU has announced:  

“National Endowment for the Humanities Chair of Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Bill Fulco, S.J., retired after nearly 20 years at LMU. Scholar, teacher, curator, mentor, raconteur are among the roles Father Fulco has played since he joined the faculty in 1998. Among his many accomplishments, Father Fulco collected and preserved a museum-quality collection and founded the LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts’ Archaeology Center, which enhances the educational experience of our students.

A popular teacher, Father Fulco’s courses covered a broad range of topics: God and the world of ancient Israel; ancient religions; music culture in ancient Palestine; ancient Near Eastern languages; Near Eastern archaeology; biblical archaeology and Old Testament studies; and classical numismatics. Father Fulco has traveled the world exploring those subjects, and more; he also made archeological travel available for our students, annually sponsoring digs all over the world through his NEH funding. In 2007, LMU recognized him with the Fritz B. Burns Distinguished Teaching Presidential Award, one of the highest honors bestowed on faculty by the university.

His acclaimed wit made him a sought-after speaker for gatherings of intellectuals, parents, and friends of the university. Father Fulco was the Aramaic language adviser for the film “The Passion of the Christ.” Father Fulco was born in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles, graduated from Loyola High School, and joined the Society of Jesus in 1954. He was ordained in 1966. Father Fulco earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and literatures from Yale University. BCLA welcomes Prof. Caroline Sauvage to her new roles as NEH Chair and Director of the Archaeology Center, and thanks and honors Bill for his significant and impactful contributions to our community.”

We wish Fr. Fulco a wonderful retirement, and we hope that God blesses him for all his good work with so many LMU students, faculty, and staff.

Censorship of Catholics at LMU: Double Standards in Play?

 

This article from the Loyolan reported on what took place:

Padre Pio Society, a Catholic group on campus, placed posters on campus displaying a pro-life message on Monday, Oct. 2. The posters were down a few days later by students on campus.

Some students expressed disapproval of the message as the posters are similar in imagery and style to the posters put up by RESILIENCE and MEChA in protest of President Trump’s immigration policies. The Padre Pio Society poster reads “Don’t abort my fellow humans #NoHumanBeingIsIllegal #AbortionIsAnImmigrationIssue” while the RESILIENCE poster reads “Don’t deport my friends #NoHumanBeingIsIllegal.”

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“Yeah we’ve been scrambling to take [the posters] down, Chris Lorenzo did like three buildings,” according to a Facebook page appearing to belong to senior women and gender studies major Cass Vitacco, who commented on a post of the pro-life posters.

The RESILIENCE Facebook page posted a statement the following day stating that while they supported the expression of free speech, they had no part in making or posting the posters.

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Delano Perera, a senior theology and philosophy major and president of Padre Pio Society, said the posters were posted to express the Catholic Church teachings that lives of the unborn are important, and that there was no malicious thought behind the posters.

“Everyday over 1,000 babies are put to death because of abortion, and we wanted to bring awareness to this evil,” said Perera. “I […] and many of our group members come from migrant families. Some of them will be affected by DACA. We care for our migrant brothers and sisters as we care for our unborn brothers and sisters.”

Perera also said that posters with a similar message were posted last year, but were also taken down within two days.

“After engaging in conversation with other students, I have been deeply troubled by the general response to these posters,” said Shannon Hayes, a senior classics and archaeology and modern languages double major and a member of Padre Pio Society. “They were meant to draw parallels between two serious human rights issues; unfortunately, they were viewed as divisive.”

Hayes says, in the future, she hopes to work with other students and alumni to create original pro-life art to be displayed at LMU.

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Some students, however, viewed the posters as a form of plagiarism and used the efforts of the RESILIENCE and MEChA students without communicating effectively first.

“I first saw the posters […] and my immediate reaction was anger,” said Paige Prevost, a senior English and film and TV production double major. “It felt like capitalizing off a movement for one’s own gain. It didn’t feel like solidarity.”

Prevost later communicated with Hayes via Facebook, who explained the original intention behind the posters. However, Prevost, who identifies as pro-life and Catholic, still believes the use of RESILIENCE’s original design in the pro-life poster and hashtags co-opts the immigration movement in a divisive and alienating way.

[One professor] criticized LMU’s lack of retribution for those who took down Padre Pio’s posters, and questions the University’s policy of free speech for ideas that some people may dislike.

“Rather than engage the argument that all human beings deserve basic rights, the critics of pro-life view attempt to stifle the free exchange of ideas … If ‘pro-choice’ people are so confident in the truth of their view, why do they need to silence those who disagree?”

A faculty survey in 2014 revealed that “Conservative Catholics feel they are in an environment that is hostile to what they feel are true Catholic values.”

According to this survey, only 24 percent of those who took the survey identified as Roman Catholic.

“Our group members have been called names and mocked for standing up for Church teaching,” Perera said. “Being a Catholic is not easy, but Jesus said we must pick up our crosses and follow him. If my cross is to be ridiculed by my peers and professors then that is what I must do to follow Christ.”

Recall that just last year, a Catholic employee who removed LGBT signs was accused of a “hate crime”, denounced publicly, and subject to investigation by the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT).   Now Catholic students are saying they are harrassed, their signs taken down, and their pro-life message censored. Will President Synder defend these students with the same vigor, energy, and public visibility that he showed last year in defending people at LMU with messages opposed to Catholic teaching? Does mocking and naming calling not matter if it is against pro-life Catholic students? If “all are welcome,” Catholics at a Catholic university sharing a Catholic message should not be silenced, harassed, or made to feel like second-class citizens.

 

Pro-Life Rosary at LMU

A terrific LMU student organization, the Padre Pio Society, is planning a public rosary on Saturday, October 14th in honor of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima.  The students will meet at 12 noon in Alumni Mall on the grassy area between the VDA building and the fountain (Foley Pond).  They invite alumni and friends to join them for this rosary during Respect Life Month.

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Fr. Thomas Rausch S.J. and Fr. Robert Caro S.J. Retiring

Fr. Thomas Rausch S.J. began his teaching career at LMU in 1967.  A prolific author, Fr. Rausch holds an endowed professorship as T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology. Fr. Rausch has also served LMU as the Director of Campus Ministry, Chair of the Theological Studies Department, Associate Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, and Rector of the Jesuit Community.

Fr. Robert Caro, S.J. retires this semester as Vice President for Mission and Ministry.  Before coming to the upper administration in 2006, Fr. Caro spent 30 years as a member of the English faculty, teaching, among other courses, Shakespeare, the Poetry of Meditation, and Women in the Bible. His research and publications focused on the Jesuit poet G.M. Hopkins and on links between the Ignatian Rules for Discernment and characterization in Shakespeare.

We commend these two Jesuit priests for their generous service to so many LMU students as well as to innumerable faculty and staff. Combined, they have given the University more than 80 years of service. May God richly bless them for all the good work that they have done, and may God grant them many golden years of healthy and happy retirement.

LMU President Snyder Cancels Summer Institute on Catholic Identity

Since the time of Father Thomas P. O’Malley, S.J., the President of LMU has sponsored a week-long summer seminar for faculty to help them gain a deeper understanding of the Catholic character of LMU. This annual event, sponsored since 1996, once provided a collegial setting in which to explore an aspect of LMU’s ethos as a Catholic, Jesuit-Marymount university.  It was one of the few institutionally provided opportunities for LMU faculty to better understand and explore the distinctive Catholic mission and identity of the university. 

President Snyder has canceled this program for 2017.  With fewer and fewer Catholic professors, and more and more signs of loss of Catholic identity, LMU needs programs like the Summer Institute now more than ever. Under President Snyder, LMU’s Catholic identity is moving from the magis to the minus.

 

 

Transgender Activists Prompt LMU President Snyder to Change Restrooms on Campus

In response to events on campus, LMU President Timothy Law Snyder ordered, “Facilities Management to create additional all-gender restrooms.”  As the Loyolan reported, “The Student Housing Office replaced the traditional signs that depict a man and woman on eight different individual-use bathrooms at the beginning of August in the Leavey apartments, McKay Hall, Tenderich apartments and the Doheny, Desmond, Rosecrans and Whelan freshmen residence halls.”  In the words of one student, “This is big, not just for [LGBTQ+] students, but for all LMU students. If one group feels more included — if they feel they are more a part of the LMU community — that will strengthen LMU as a whole.”

One group who feels more excluded as a result of President Synder’s action are the LMU students, faculty, donors, and alumni who agree with Pope Francis who has repeatedly urged that people accept the goodness of their bodies as created male or female.  Rather than following the lead of Pope Francis and urging students to “accept the body God gave them,” President Snyder has decided to institutionally support what the Pontiff calls “gender ideology.” For now, however, it remains the case that “The University is institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism” when it comes to appealing to parents of prospective students, asking alumni for donations, and promoting LMU in PR campaigns.

LMU Sociology Department Defends Late Term Abortion

On January 23, 2017, on  Facebook, LMU’s Department of Sociology issued a statement  claiming, “OB-GYNs have never heard of babies being ripped ‘out of the womb in the 9th month on the final day’ unless a Cesarean section is being performed (the rare terminations that occur at or after 21 weeks are due mostly to serious fetal abnormalities).”

Here is a small sampling of OB-GYNs and abortionists who have heard of babies being ripped out of the womb on their last day in utero, not for the purpose of saving their lives in Cesarean section but for the purpose of killing them.  Let’s start with this footage in which abortionist Laura Mercer indicates what takes place in late term abortion.screen-shot-2014-12-11-at-9-35-51-am

In this video, OB-GYN Dr. Anthony Levatino who has performed thousands of abortions describes how abortions take place in the last trimester of pregnancy.

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The evidence indicates that late-term abortion does involve ripping the human being in utero from the womb piece by piece.

In the United States, drunk driving accidents take the lives of more than 9,000  human beings per year. Such deaths are far too common and so can hardly be said to be rare. In the United States, late term abortions take the lives of more than 12,000  human beings per year, hardly rare.

Nor is LMU’s Sociology Department accurate in claiming that these second and third trimester abortions are mostly performed because serious fetal abnormalities.

In her article “Why do women get late-term abortions?” Sarah Terzo notes:

A study in 2006 in Perspectives of Sexual and Reproductive Health, a publication of the Alan Guttmacher institute, which has been affiliated with Planned Parenthood throughout its history, conducted a study of hundreds of women who had second-trimester abortions (the second trimester ends at 27 weeks). It came up with the following results:

68% had no pregnancy symptoms

58% Didn’t confirm the pregnancy until the second trimester

45% had trouble finding abortion provider

37% unsure of date of last menstrual period

30% had difficulty deciding on abortion

The study sample did not contain a single case of abortion for health reasons.

We applaud LMU’s Department of Sociology for its opposition to “ableist discrimination” against human beings with disabilities. But we call on the Department to be consistent in this opposition rather than engage in selective moral outrage.  If all human beings deserve respect regardless of disability,  human beings in utero with abnormalities deserve respect.

LMU’s Department of Sociology Statement continues, “Worth noting is that women’s indisposable contributions to the global and US work force and to higher education would not be possible without full control of their reproductive and other forms of health.”

The new-speak euphemism “reproductive rights” attempts to conceal the reality of abortion. Once a human being is actively self-developing towards maturity in utero, reproduction has already successfully taken place. Abortion is not about reproduction, but about killing the human being who has been reproduced.  Abortion, particularly late term abortion, endangers the woman’s health (for example, by increasing the likelihood of ectopic pregnancy) and always destroys the health of her son or daughter.

Is LMU’s Department of Sociology correct that abortion, particularly late term abortion, is necessary for women to flourish? In Ireland, abortion is almost entirely illegal. As Ross Douthat noted in The New York Times, “Meanwhile, international rankings offer few indications that Ireland’s abortion laws are holding Irish women back. The country ranks first for gender parity in health care in a recent European Union index. It was in the middle of the pack in The Economist’s recent “glass-ceiling index” for working women. It came in fifth out of 135 countries in the World Economic Forum’s “Global Gender Gap” report. (The United States was 22nd.)” Indeed, Ireland has already had its first female president, but the United States (with its radical abortion laws) is still waiting.

Alternative facts, falsehoods, ignoring peer reviewed evidence in scholarly journals, concealing euphemisms are not bad ways of describing the defense late-term abortion provided by LMU’s Department of Sociology.

Below, you can find the full text of the Department’s statement as found on Facebook.

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Bishop Robert Barron at LMU

Great kudos to LMU for inviting Bishop Robert Barron to give the annual Cassasa Lecture. Bishop Barron will deliver a free, public lecture on “Beauty and Evangelization” on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. in Roski Dining Commons, University Hall. 

The Most Reverend Robert E. Barron is the Episcopal Vicar of the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  Bishop Barron received a M.A. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America in 1982 and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris in 1992. He is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and the host of “The Pivotal Players” and “CATHOLICISM,” a groundbreaking, award-winning documentary about the Catholic faith which aired on PBS. A #1 Amazon bestselling author, Bishop Barron has published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He has also appeared on several media outlets including NBC, PBS, FOX News, CNN, and EWTN.  Bishop Barron’s website, WordOnFire.org, reaches millions of people each year. Next to Pope Francis, he is the most-followed Catholic leader on social media. His regular YouTube videos have been viewed over 18 million times. Bishop Barron’s pioneering work in evangelizing through the new media led Francis Cardinal George to describe him as “one of the Church’s best messengers.”

Bill Clinton Gets Honorary Doctorate from LMU; Pope Francis Invoked to Justify It

Not only did Bill Clinton deliver the commencement address, but he also received an honorary doctorate from LMU.   Fr. Allan Deck, S.J., rector of the LMU Jesuit Community defends this decision as follows, “LMU, precisely because it is a Catholic and Jesuit University, seeks to follow the inspirational leadership of Pope Francis in promoting a culture of encounter that requires an openness to meet people cordially where they are rather than negatively in a judgmental way.”

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Fr. Deck’s defense of violating the teaching of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, as noted earlier, attacks a straw man.  While it is true that a culture of encounter requires an openness to meet people cordially where they are, it does not require inviting them to give a commencement address nor does it require giving them an honorary doctorate.  Indeed, Pope Francis’s particular emphasis on the authority of local conferences of bishops does not exonerate but exacerbates LMU’s action.  If Pope Francis is right that abortion is a “crime” and an “absolute evil,” surely we must, with respect, disagree with Fr. Deck.

Encountering and dialoguing with those who facilitate serious injustices is one thing.

Celebrating and honoring them, in the highest manner institutionally possible, is quite another.

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Protest Letter about President Clinton as 2016 Commencement Speaker

Dear President Snyder,

We alumni, donors, parents, faculty, students, and concerned friends object to your decision to honor President Bill Clinton as LMU’s 2016 commencement speaker on May 7th. If you as President of LMU treated a 21 year old intern in your office as he did, you would be fired as president and never honored in any way at LMU. Why should the standards be lower for a President of the United States? If LMU cares about sexual harassment, it should not honor someone repeatedly and credibly accused of such activity.  Moreover, it is inappropriate in an election year to honor the spouse of a leading candidate thereby politicizing an event that should be unifying.  Finally, President Clinton’s steadfast support of abortion on demand, including even partial birth abortion, is incompatible with LMU’s Jesuit emphasis on social justice for all human beings.

We protest your decision to give an honorary doctorate to President Clinton.

 RenewLMU 

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To support this effort please sign below and circulate this petition.  We also welcome you to include your own comment. 

LMU Jesuit Rector Defends Giving an Honorary Doctorate to President Bill Clinton

In the Loyolan, Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, the rector of the Jesuit Community at LMU and a trustee, defends giving President Clinton an honorary doctorate.  “In conferring this honor LMU does not endorse all of Mr. Clinton’s past or current policies nor condone all his actions,” Fr. Deck told the Loyolan, “Rather, the University recognizes the extraordinary service he has given to civil society and his lifetime connection to Catholic and Jesuit higher education as a Georgetown University alumnus.”  

By contrast, the U.S. Catholic Bishops teach, “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” A politician’s extraordinary service does not constitute an exception to this principle, since any politician who is being considered for an honor presumably has exemplary service in at least some respects.

Fr. Deck’s response to RenewLMU’s criticism attacks a straw man.  No one thinks that to grant an honorary doctorate is to endorse all of a politician’s policies or to condone all the politician’s actions.  Nor is the question whether the politician provided extraordinary service or attended a Jesuit university.   The question is whether President Clinton’s policies and actions violate fundamental Catholic moral principles about partial birth abortion, perjury, obstruction of justice, and sexual harassment in the workplace.  The answer is obvious.

Only 24% of LMU Faculty are Catholic!

We have wondered for years about the percentage of Catholic professors at LMU.  Now we know. In the essay, “Is Loyola Marymount University Losing its Catholic Identity,” an LMU professor points out in a recent essay.
“Like many institutions of higher education in the United States, Loyola Marymount University wrestles with questions of religious identity. These discussions—at least as they relate to faculty composition—can now be better informed thanks to a recent “Faculty Climate Survey.” Of the 392 professors who took the Faculty Climate Survey, 94 (24 percent) indicated that they are Catholic. The percentage of Catholic professors at LMU is well below the standard articulated by Pope St. John Paul II in Ex corde ecclesiae, ‘the number of non-Catholic teachers should not be allowed to constitute a majority within the Institution, which is and must remain Catholic.’”

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This dearth of Catholic faculty will soon worsen, because the most senior faculty are almost all Catholic. In the Department of Theological Studies as well as in philosophy, Catholics make up all four of the most recent retirements as well as the two most senior faculty. In the history department, two Jesuits recently retired as well as a religious brother. In mathematics, four of the five most senior members are Catholic. In classics, in the College of Business Administration, and in political science, Catholics constitute two of the three most senior members. Simply to maintain 24 percent would require that every retiring Catholic in the university be replaced with another Catholic.”

If the status quo continues, what will happen next? As LMU loses more Catholic faculty to retirement, the “secular majority view” on campus will grow even more strident. The campus will be increasingly shackled by a pall of orthodoxy, secular Group Think.   Tenured faculty ultimately shape the destiny of a university because they outlast Deans, Provosts, and Presidents. If LMU’s faculty composition is like everywhere else, the university will eventually be like everywhere else.

“Symbolic ties will probably be the last to be cut. Already, the change in our university logo from a depiction of Sacred Heart Chapel to the current logo, below, is not without significance. Our current logo contains, we are told, subtle religious symbolism. Indeed, the symbolism is so understated as to be completely unnoticeable to the untutored eye, a perfect icon for the future of LMU.”
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“Sacred Heart Chapel will need to move into greater conformity with wider university culture. The Eucharist will be permanently removed so that the space can be used for theatre, concerts, and yoga. The final argument about religious identity will be about whether distinctively religious art should remain. A compromise will be struck whereby the pieces considered offensive—such as the central crucifix and the statue of Mary—are removed, but the stained glass windows remain intact, a silent reminder of a long lost tradition.”

The essay, Is Loyola Marymount University Losing its Catholic Identity,” is a must read for anyone who cares about LMU. It contains not just bad news, but numerous suggestions for increasing the Catholic identity of the faculty. Please post a link to this essay on social media and circulate it to friends and family.  LMU needs to act decisively and quickly to prevent a further collapse in the percentage of Catholic faculty. Now is the time.

Professor James Hanink Retires from LMU

Among the most notable recent retirements at LMU, Dr. James Hanink stepped down after decades of service.  A faculty colleague had this to say about him:

Professor James Hanink served since the 1970s at LMU, excelling especially in the classroom.  He assigned numerous essays for students to write and returned them promptly with oceans of red ink as suggested improvements for the next round.  His students reported that they were both challenged and edified by his teaching which stretched them to think more concretely about questions both metaphysical and practical.  His stories and jokes lightened the philosophical load.  Jim’s scholarly productivity was steady and focused on questions interesting to philosophers in the analytic tradition (such as Elizabeth Anscombe) and the continental tradition (such as Edith Stein).  With his colleagues, he generously read and commented on drafts of papers as well as seminar presentations.  Jim was well known, on campus and off, for his concern for the Catholic identity of LMU, especially as it related to issues of justice for human beings waiting to be born.  This concern for the most weak and vulnerable in the human family also manifested itself in terms of Jim’s personal involvement with the Mother Teresa’s sisters, the Missionaries of Charity, and Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker Movement. 

 

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“Catholic Fundamentalist” and other offensive slurs

Calling people, to their faces or behind their backs, terms of disparagement, ridicule, and mockery because of their race, sex, or religious belief is condemned at LMU.  An unfortunate exception to this rule is to speak of someone as a “Catholic fundamentalist.” What does the term mean?  No Catholic is a fundamentalist in the Protestant sense of accepting as fundamental that the Bible and the Bible alone is the sufficient and inerrant guide of faith. No Catholic is a fundamentalist as the term is sometimes used of Muslims to denote someone who advocates violent jihad against non-Muslims.  No Catholic is a fundamentalist as a matter of self-description, and no Catholic takes it as a compliment to be called one.  So what does the term mean? If you agree with Pope Francis rather than the New York Times editorial board about marriage, life, or “gender ideology,” you too may count, in the eyes of some, as a “Catholic fundamentalist.”  The term “Catholic fundamentalist” is used as a way to marginalize, stigmatize, and ostracize people with Catholic religious beliefs about controversial issues.    This hateful slur is a way of shutting down rather than stimulating dialogue.  If LMU is serious about creating an inclusive learning environment, if LMU is to become a place welcoming to all, then “Catholic fundamentalist” will go into the category with other charged epithets which are never said by loving and just people.  LMU’s rhetoric is inclusive.  Is LMU’s practice inclusive?


Top Vatican Reporter John Allen Jr on LMU

John Allen, Jr. is one of the most respected reporters on matters Catholic in the English speaking world.  Formerly of the National Catholic Reporter and more recently of the Boston Globe, Allen’s reporting is acclaimed, by liberals and conservatives alike, for its balance, objectivity, and fairness.  In the middle of a recent essay, Allen offered these words about LMU:

A widely read recent piece in Catholic World Report …raised sobering questions about whether LMU can, or will, remain “Catholic” in anything but name. …  [O]nly 24 percent of faculty at LMU are now Catholic, and they tend to be the oldest members of the faculty. The increasingly non-Catholic ethos on campus, [the author] argued, shows up in a variety of ways, and he predicted that if things continue unchecked, “the process of secularization will be completed within a generation.” To be clear, the essay was neither alarmist nor antagonistic, but a rather straight-forward reading of the situation.

 

LMU Recognizes the Year of Mercy

In a previous post, we wondered whether LMU would do anything to recognize the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis.  We are happy to report that they have organized a series of lectures to be given by Jesuit Bishop Gordon Bennett, the Peter Faber, S.J. Fellow in Pastoral Theology and Ignatian Spirituality at LMU.

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We are delighted that the wise and much loved Bishop Bennett is giving these lectures, and we hope that many students, faculty, and staff are able to attend.  Well done LMU, and thank you Bishop Bennett!

Join Us in Asking LMU to Hire More Catholic Faculty

An Open Letter to LMU President Timothy Law Snyder

Dear President Snyder,

We welcome you to the Office of President. We are excited to work with you and help you to enhance the distinctive mission and identity of LMU as a Catholic university. In this spirit of cooperation, we would like to call to your attention issues of great importance to us as LMU alumni, donors, parents, faculty, and concerned friends. As reported in the LMU Faculty Climate Survey, of the 392 professors who took the survey, only twenty-four percent (24%) identified as Catholic. In Ex corde ecclesiae, Pope St. John Paul II indicated : “the number of non-Catholic teachers should not be allowed to constitute a majority within the Institution, which is and must remain Catholic.”

LMU’s Proactive Publicity Committee Final Report states, “We are institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism….and seek to ensure that Catholicism is ‘pervasively present and effectively operative.'” But the Faculty Climate Survey found not pervasive Catholicism but a “majority secular liberal point of view” at LMU. As the New York Times indicated, “Students said there were few reminders that they attended a Catholic university at all, aside from the glistening white church at the center of campus or the occasional cross on a classroom wall.”

We respectfully request that you take action to hire more Catholic faculty and keep track of the religious identity of newly hired faculty.

Thank you for considering our requests.

Sincerely,

 RenewLMU 

To support this effort to preserve the Catholic identity of LMU,
please sign here and circulate this petition.  We also welcome you to include your own comment.
 

Catholic Professors Claim Hostile Environment at Loyola Marymount University

The Cardinal Newman Society ran an article entitled, “Catholic Professors Claim Hostile Environment at Loyola Marymount.” This article draws on a Faculty Climate Survey which reports, “Conservative Catholics feel they are in an environment that is hostile to what they feel are true Catholic values.”  We have also heard from several former, current, and prospective LMU professors who believe that de facto litmus tests are used at LMU to exclude professors with Catholic religious beliefs. In some cases, these professors had the ‘wrong’ view (a Catholic view) on marriage. In other cases, they encountered a ‘red flag’ because of their opposition to abortion or because they were perceived as ‘too conservative’ in their religious beliefs. Catholics like these are warmly welcomed into the LMU community as donors, trustees, or parents paying tuition, but these Catholics experience a rather cool reception or outright rejection as professors.  We believe that professors with Catholic religious beliefs should be treated fairly in recruitment, hiring, as well as in appointment to committees, directorships, and endowed chairs at Loyola Marymount University.

So, we encourage Catholics who believe they have been subject to unfair treatment to come forward and, confidentially or publicly, to make their voices heard. Tell us about your personal experience. Catholics should not face discrimination, exclusion, or adverse treatment at any university, let alone at a Catholic university funded by many Catholic donors and Catholic parents.

The Twilight of the Jesuits at LMU

 

Unfortunately, recent years have brought the deaths of many LMU Jesuits, such as Fr. Thomas Maloney in Political Science, Fr. Herbert Ryan in Theological Studies, and Fr. Ernesto Sweeney in History.  Other Jesuits have left LMU taking up missions in other educational endeavors, such as Fr. Thomas Sherman in Philosophy, Fr. Dorian Llywelyn in Theological Studies, and Fr. Michael Caruso in the School of Education. Still other Jesuits are quickly approaching their 80th year, such as Fr. Thomas Rausch of Theological Studies and Fr. Bill Fulco of Classics.  Other professors have left the Society of Jesus, but remain on the faculty.   For a variety of reasons, fewer Jesuits are coming to LMU and fewer are remaining.
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We hope that the Jesuit order sends many men to LMU so as to reinforce the Jesuit community, the heart of LMU’s mission and identity.  We fear, as personnel continue to be diminished, that Jesuits fit for ministry as professors will increasingly be sent to Santa Clara University and elsewhere. In 2016, let us pray for a fresh harvest of Jesuits devoted to serving the greater glory of God at Loyola Marymount University.

LMU Ignores Respect Life Month in October 2015

During the month of October, Catholics in the United States celebrate Respect Life Month.  Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez called it a time of prayer and action to “defend the dignity of every human person, from conception until natural death.”

Recent news made this October an especially important time to educate the campus about the intrinsic value of every single human being. The undercover videos made by The Center for Medical Progress exposed the selling of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood. On October 5th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill legalizing physician assisted suicide.
So, with all these life issues in the news, how did LMU celebrate Respect Life Month? Did they have pro-life lectures, a film series, or perhaps make extra efforts to help women with crisis pregnancies or to reverse the legalization of physician assisted suicide?  Did they attempt to influence campus opinion on these topics, perhaps by a debate, or posting pro-life quotations from Pope Francis around campus, or hosting reading groups for the Jesuit statement “Standing for the Unborn”?
LMU observed Respect Life Month in exactly the same way in which they celebrated the Year of Faith which Pope Francis brought to a close.  LMU did nothing. Not one lecture, not one retreat, not one banner.  Doing absolutely nothing for Respect Life Month is a longstanding tradition at LMU, but some traditions are worth changing and worth challenging.
To paraphrase, “Standing for the Unborn,” it is our desire that our Jesuit university begins to offer a consistent message of respect for life, especially for unborn children.
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Will LMU do anything to promote the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis starting December 8, 2015?
Will LMU do anything to promote Respect Life Month in October 2016?
We’ll let you know.  We are hopeful.

Ignatian Heritage Month at LMU

A positive development on campus is that November has become Ignatian Heritage Month at LMU. Students had a chance to view the inspiring movie The Mission starring Robert De Niro, to learn how to practice the Ignatian Examen, and to see beautiful images on banners throughout campus celebrating the insights of St. Ignatius.  Ignatian Heritage Month is a welcome element of renewal at LMU. Kudos to all the good people who made this happen.

Ignatian Heritage Logo (Dino 1)Sized-630x336

 

Prejudiced Remarks from Former LMU President Fr. Robert Lawton, SJ

Imagine if a person of color were appointed to be President of a university, and the former President of the university said of him, “He is an African American but also has great academic abilities in his subject. He also knows a lot outside his field of study.”  Such a remark would be immediately and rightly condemned as negative stereotyping of African-Americans as intellectually inferior. Or imagine if a woman were appointed as president, and the President Emeritus said, “She is a woman, but also has great mathematical abilities. She also is good at science.”  This remark suggests negative stereotyping of women as mathematically and scientifically inferior. Now, here is what LMU’s former President Fr. Robert Lawton SJ, said in the Loyolan about LMU’s new President Timothy Snyder, “He is a devout Catholic but also has great respect for other religious traditions. He also respects non-believers.”  Fr. Lawton’s negative stereotyping of devout Catholics suggests that they are morally inferior, not extending respect to those of other religious traditions and non-believers.  Bigotry against Catholics of a certain kind is common in the academy, but one hopes for better (magis) from a former president of LMU.

Director of Bioethics Institute at LMU Defends Use of Undercover Videos to Expose Planned Parenthood

Roberto Dell’Oro, the Director of the Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University, was recently quoted in the Orange County Catholic defending the use of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress in exposing Planned Parenthood’s grotesque trafficking in human body parts.

From the OC Catholic on August 10, 2015:

Dell‘Oro said that while it is always best to be above board in seeking the truth, there are instances when “a conscientious objection to morally unacceptable practices” can be justified.

“Throughout history, we have numerous examples of those who have lied or broken the law because they conscientiously objected to, and sought to expose, a deeper moral evil,” he said, citing those who hid Jews from the Nazis during World War II. “And I don’t see why this shouldn’t be the case here.”

In a related article in Catholic News Service dated July 31, 2015, Dell’Oro suggested Catholics acquaint themselves with “Donum Vitae” (“The Gift of Life”) and “Dignitas Personae” (“The Dignity of a Person”) issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Dell’Oro was selected as Director of the Bioethics Institute in 2013 after the university first considered two abortion advocates for the position. RenewLMU launched a petition drive that forced the university to drop the existing candidates. Shortly, thereafter, LMU hired Dell’Oro, a professor in LMU’s Theological Studies department. RenewLMU commends Dr. Dell’Oro for his vocal stance in defense of human life.

LMU Announces the Selection of New President

On March 27, 2015, Loyola Marymount University announced the hiring of its 16th President. Dr. Timothy Law Snyder, a lay Catholic, will replace David Burcham effective June 1st. Most recently, Dr. Snyder served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Loyola University in Maryland. More information about the presidential selection can be found on the LMU website.

RenewLMU congratulates Dr. Timothy Law Snyder on his new position. And we look forward to working with him to cultivate a vibrant Catholic identity at LMU.

We are hopeful that under Dr. Snyder’s leadership, LMU will effectively address the serious decline in the number of Catholic students and faculty. And we are optimistic that, as a Catholic, he will demonstrate a commitment to promoting the Catholic intellectual tradition in guiding students in their pursuit of truth and virtue.

LMU Political Science Dept. Promotes Student Internship Program with Pro-Abortion Organization

The LMU Political Science Department is promoting a student internship opportunity with the non-profit organization Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), a pro-abortion organization. The internship opportunity is posted on the Political Science Department website. Led by long-time abortion advocate Eleanor Smeal, the FMF, on its own website states, “Abortion is a necessity for millions of women worldwide, for their health, for their well-being, for their dreams of a better tomorrow.”

According to the internship posting, student interns working in the Los Angeles office of FMF will have the opportunity to work on the National Clinic Access Project, “the nation’s largest and oldest clinic defense team.” There LMU students can “research and collect data on anti-abortion violence directed at health care workers and patients; monitor anti-abortion websites and literature.”

No student internship opportunities with non-profit organizations dedicated to the protection of the unborn child could be found on the LMU Political Science Department website.

The Political Science Department Chair, John Parrish, is serving on LMU’s Presidential Search Committee at the request of Kathleen Aikenhead, Chair of the LMU Board of Trustees, to assist in the selection of LMU’s next President.

The link to LMU’s student internship posting can be found at: http://bellarmine.lmu.edu/politicalscience/studentopportunities/internshipopportunities/governmentpolitical/feministmajorityfoundation/

Novena to St. John Paul II for LMU’s Presidential Search

We recognize that authentic renewal at LMU will only occur with the assistance of Almighty God. Please pray with us the nine day novena for the intercession of Saint John Paul II beginning October 14, 2014 and ending on his feast day, October 22, 2014. Saint John Paul II cared deeply about the Catholic character of Catholic universities. His vision was laid out in the papal encyclical Ex Corde Ecclesiae which guides the goals and objectives of RenewLMU.

Oh, St. John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing! Bless the Church that you loved and served and guided, courageously leading her along the paths of the world in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus. Bless the young, who were your great passion. Help them dream again; help them look up high again to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth. May you bless families; bless each family! You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth. St. John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family and every life that blossoms from the family.

Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions, wars and injustice. You tackled war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love: pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.

Pray for LMU. Pray for her students, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, and regents, that they be specially blessed by God. Pray for the presidential search committee, that God guide and bless their efforts. Entreat God on LMU’s behalf to bring to LMU a president yearning to serve God and eager to lead the souls at LMU closer to Him.

Oh St. John Paul, from heaven’s window, where we see you next to Mary, send God’s blessing down upon us ! Amen.

President Burcham Announces Resignation

On October 6, 2014, President David Burcham announced that he will be resigning as President of LMU effective May 31, 2015. The Board of Trustees Chairwoman, Kathleen Hannon Aikenhead, announced that a search committee is already being formed and that a national search will be conducted to fill the vacancy. President Burcham’s departure presents an opportunity for the LMU Board of Trustees to fill the position with a Catholic, as required by Ex Corde Ecclesiae, who is committed to restoring LMU’s Catholic character. RenewLMU is hopeful that the search committee will be comprised of individuals equally as committed to this worthy goal.

Reaction to the State of California’s Violation of Religious Liberty

Recently, the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), under the direction of Governor Jerry Brown, and in response to pressure from abortion advocacy groups, reinterpreted California law by directing commercial health insurers to cover abortion for any reason, including purely ‘elective’ abortion. The result of this directive is to require Catholic institutions like LMU to provide abortion coverage to their employees.  This intrusive government action violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law protecting the religious freedom of LMU students, parents, faculty, and staff morally opposed to funding the destruction of innocent human life.  

In response, noting that the DMHC directive was targeted at institutions like LMU, the California Catholic Conference (representing California’s Bishops) called the action “coercive and discriminatory,” and filed a federal complaint  against the State of California in opposition to this government intrusion on religious liberties. RenewLMU commends the California Bishops for their unequivocal statement and their decisive action to protect the Catholic character of LMU.

When the LMU Board of Trustees considered whether or not to cover abortion in LMU’s employee health plans last Fall, Fr. Robert Caro, S.J., LMU’s Vice-President for Mission and Ministry, in a letter to the Loyolan, stated that the Jesuits affirm the moral teaching of the Church.  Quoting Saint John Paul II, Fr. Caro said, “’the right to life is ‘the most basic and fundamental right and condition of other personal rights.’ ”  Further, citing Pope Francis, Fr. Caro went on to call abortion a particularly “egregious evil,” saying that “exclusion of abortion from our medical benefits…is the position which LMU’s institutional commitment to Roman Catholicism urges us to respect.” [emphasis added] 

RenewLMU calls on President Burcham and the LMU Board of Trustees to put into action the principles articulated by Fr. Caro and the Jesuit order, and explore alternatives at LMU’s disposal, including:

1.  Joining in the federal complaint filed by the California Bishops; and

2.  Establishing, or participating in, a morally sound self-insurance health plan not governed by the California Department of Managed Health Care.

It is our hope that LMU will take action in defense of innocent human life consistent with its institutional commitment to Roman Catholicism.

Novena to St. Ignatius of Loyola

Please join RenewLMU in a Novena to St. Ignatius of Loyola, beginning on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, and concluding on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, July 31, 2014.

Each day of the novena, please take a few moments to meditate on the life and works of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and to ask for his intercession for the renewal of Loyola Marymount University. We highly recommend the set of nine meditations on the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola by Fr. Mark Link, SJ, located here.

May our Heavenly Father continue to pour out His Graces on each of us.

Novena Prayer

Lord, support me with Your power and protection as I more fully commit myself to Your Gospel. I walk along this path together with my brothers and sisters around the world, purposefully making the world more just, more fraternal, and more Christian. I accept the role You have given me in Your Divine Plan, however big or small it may be.

Through the intercession of Our Lady and of St Ignatius of Loyola, and joining my prayers to the prayers of the others praying this Novena, I humbly ask for Your Grace to carry out Your work. I particularly pray for Loyola Marymount University. Give the students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni of LMU an ardent love for You, a deep and abiding trust in You, and a constant faithfulness in carrying out Your Holy Will. May we each remain forever obedient to our Pope, Your representative here on earth, and the Church Magisterium. We make this prayer together in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

LMU Hosts/Sponsors President of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles

Dear Friend of RenewLMU,  

Early in May, we asked LMU’s President Burcham to withdraw the invitation extended to Sue Dunlap, President of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, to speak at a TEDxLoyolaMarymountU conference on May 17, 2014. After receiving numerous calls and letters from concerned donors and alumni, how did President Burcham respond?

The administration treated the issue as a mere public relations problem. Dr. Shane Martin, Dean of the School of Education which sponsored the event, sent a letter to concerned donors and alumni saying he had no control over the program and did not invite the speaker. In fact, the stories that ran about this scandal in Lifenews, the Cardinal Newman SocietyLiveAction News, and Lifesite News did not claim that Shane Martin invited the President of Planned Parenthood. Neither did RenewLMU make this claim.  

In a transparent effort to dampen negative publicity, the administration scrambled to change the program (over which they claimed to have no control) and added a pro-life speaker just 72 hours before the event. Just as the inclusion of someone from the NAACP would not justify or “balance” sponsoring the president of an organization engaged in racist activities, so too, the inclusion of a pro-life speaker does not justify sponsoring the president of an organization engaged in the unjust killing of prenatal human beings.  

As you can see in this video, Ms. Dunlap praised the work done by Planned Parenthood. She also acknowledged the scandal created by her presentation and thanked LMU for being so gracious in welcoming Planned Parenthood. 

Shockingly, she cited the words of Mahatma Ghandi (who opposed both contraception and abortion), “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” Somehow, the CEO forgot that her organization does more than any other to destroy our nation’s weakest members. The TEDx monologue format compounded the scandal because this format does not allow raising questions or the academic exchange of ideas. TED talks simply exclude all debate and discussion. President Burcham (and Dean Martin) simply allowed the President of Planned Parenthood an unchallenged platform to transmit talking points to perhaps millions of people under the “TEDxLoyolaMarymountU” label.  

LMU’s parents, students, alumni and donors deserve better than to have our university used as a pulpit by the abortion industry. The university needs to establish a clear policy to prevent this kind of scandal in the future. We invite you to post your feedback on this latest scandal on our website so that we can share your perspective with the LMU administration and others. We also invite you to increase awareness of the secularization of LMU by sharing this post with others.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. 

LMU Hires Atheist as Liberal Arts Dean!

On April 16, Wednesday of Holy Week, President David Burcham announced he had hired
Dr. Robbin Crabtree to serve as the next Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts.

As RenewLMU and news sources reported earlier, Dr. Crabtree has worked for both Planned Parenthood and for a pro-choice political action committee. We also asked for your support in urging Pres. Burcham to instead “hire for mission”.

Moreover, it is now confirmed by LMU itself that the new appointment to this position is a professed atheist. Henceforward Dean Crabtree will make hiring decisions for the mission critical departments of Theological Studies, Philosophy, Bioethics, and Catholic Studies, among others.

The facts about this candidate were fully known by Loyola Marymount’s senior officials before employing Dr. Crabtree. However, because of the tremendous concern expressed by many alumni and others who value genuine Catholic education, these officials now have felt compelled to defend their actions. Our Response to LMU’s Attempt to Justify the Dean Appointment demonstrates how unsound their justifications are.

RenewLMU now invites you to publicly express your opinion about LMU’s choice for the new dean and its implications for the future of a Catholic LMU. We will forward your comments to the University President, Board of Trustees, Board of Regents, and Archbishop Gomez.

Click here to go to on Comments page. Look for the ‘Leave a Comment’ or ‘Leave a Reply’ box at the bottom. Be sure to mention if you are a LMU alum. Please be respectful.

 

 

 

LMU’s New Dean Controversy – Read the Press Coverage

Following are links to the several news stories about the controversy surrounding Loyola Marymount University’s candidates and final choice for the position of Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts as well as RenewLMU’s efforts to ensure the university instead ‘hire for mission’.

Cardinal Newman Society Catholic Alumni: Finalists for Loyola Marymount Dean Both Worked at Planned Parenthood
March 17, 2014

National Catholic Register Loyola Marymount Dean Search Lands Finalists With Planned Parenthood Links
March 24, 2014

Catholic News Agency / EWTN Jesuit school’s dean finalists faulted for Planned Parenthood ties
March 24, 2014

LifeSiteNews.com Both candidates for dean position at Jesuit-run university have ties to Planned Parenthood
March 26, 2014

Live Actions News Catholic university’s decision to name dean finalists who worked for abortion giant brings protest
March 27, 2014

The Tidings (Official Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) Controversy marks LMU search for liberal arts dean
March 27, 2014

Cardinal Newman Society Loyola Marymount Univ. Hires Dean Despite Past Work with Pro-Abortion Organizations
April 23, 2014

LifeSiteNews  Catholic college hires dean who served on Planned Parenthood advisory board
April 29, 2014

Catholic News Agency / EWTN Loyola Marymount community objects to dean’s links to abortion groups
May 1, 2014

Posted
in The Tidings May 1, 2014

Posted by the National Catholic Register Loyola Marymount Criticized for Appointing Atheist as Dean May 2, 2014

 

LMU Looking to Hire Dean – Our Letter to Supporters

Dear RenewLMU Supporter:

As you are aware, RenewLMU was formed to strengthen the Catholic identity of Loyola Marymount University. That effort encompasses the areas of admissions, speakers at events, governing policy, and most especially, the hiring of faculty and administration.

Not long ago, we had seen hopeful indications LMU would address how it made key employment decisions and put greater emphasis on dedication to Catholic intellectual tradition and identity. Recently the names of the two ‘finalist’ candidates to fill the position of Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts were announced by the Search Committee.

Amazingly, both of these candidates have performed work for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, and one did not even disclose that fact to LMU. Also, one candidate joined in issuing a statement praising the overturning of the definition of marriage (Proposition 8) in California. Neither candidate’s résumé gives reason for confidence they would further “LMU’s mission and identity as a Catholic university”. You may see for yourself on the RenewLMU website how suitable these candidates are. https://renewlmu.com/lmu-looking-to-hire-dean-who-worked-for-planned-parenthood

Among the Bellarmine College’s thirteen academic departments are Theology, Philosophy, and Pastoral Studies. These are ‘mission critical’ disciplines, and should not be overseen by someone whose views are incongruous with the Catholic Faith. Further erosion of institutional Catholic consciousness can no longer be defended as necessary to “achieve diversity”, since divergence from foundational Catholic values has now become the norm.

President Burcham needs to reform the University’s search and screening process to ensure that the new dean demonstrates a strong record of furthering Catholic mission and identity. Only then can LMU meet the challenge that Pope Francis has posed for Catholic universities: to be an “uncompromising witness … to the Church’s moral teaching.”

If Loyola Marymount University is “institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism”, and if the University “takes philosophical and theological disciplines seriously”, then it is time, starting now, to hire for mission.

Let’s tell President Burcham to make adherence to genuine Catholic principles the New Diversity at LMU!

The time is short to affect this critical decision. Please sign our letter to him here and forward this email to others who share your concern for the integrity of Catholic university education. https://renewlmu.com/letter-to-pres-burcham

Sincerely,

Philip Zampiello, ’93, Chair

RenewLMU

More from St. Ignatius

St Ignatius

From the Ratio Studiorum:

The development of the student’s intellectual capacity is the school’s most characteristic part. However, this development will be defective and even dangerous unless it is strengthened and completed by the training of the will and the formation of the character.

Update on Petition to Restore Canceled “Commitment to Roman Catholicism” in the BCLA Mission Statement

We have forwarded our petition, signatures, and messages to President Synder and other important community leaders, including the Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez. The following messages came in to us too late to be included, but we post them now so that their voices of concern may be heard.

One message read:

I can no longer support LMU financially nor recommend it as a “Catholic” university. The current administration’s recent actions make it impossible. There no longer seems to be the “commitment to Roman Catholicism and the Judeo-Christian tradition” that you tout. St. Ignatius must be turning over in his grave to see a Jesuit university turning away from basic Catholic doctrine. Shame on President Snyder and the Board!

Another reads:

A fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, and now this! How can you continue to call LMU a Catholic university?

And another:

I donate to LMU as a Catholic University. Though I applaud free exchange of ideas and discussions in an academic setting, it appears that the university is abandoning it’s commitment to being a Catholic university first and foremost. This will certainly affect my willingness to donate in the future. I pray that LMU will reconsider the direction that it is headed.

And another:

Dear President Snyder,
Apart from what’s already stated, I urge you in the strongest terms possible to restore the Catholic mission statement language that used to exist at LMU. A blunt — if not crass — question places it all into proper perspective. What is LMU’s raison d’etre? For that matter, what is any so-called “Catholic” institution’s reason for existing, if not to proclaim loudly and live unapologetically its Catholic Identity and Mission. Surely, LMU does not exist merely to be yet another credible secular school!!! The nation and world are full of high quality secular state schools where one can obtain a top-notch education at a fraction of the cost. Indeed, the “something extra” reflected in the tuition cost differential is traceable to the moral Catholic component. Conversely, if you abandon the Catholic nature and mission focus of the school, there is no real reason for students to pay elevated tuition at LMU; one could pay far less tuition at a quality State school, receive a comparable education (or better, depending on the school), and pay a fraction of the cost.

Another letter reads:

This is unconscionable. The very faith which built your school is now to be deleted and denied? Before the cock crows… we are very disappointed in your lack of moral courage for our faith and the values that built your University. Until you stand up for those values we will make sure to tell our Catholic friends and family to look elsewhere when it comes to educating our youth.

Thank you for the overwhelming number of messages and letters of support. The more you circulate the information you find at renewlmu.com, the better.

We are determined to hold President Synder publicly accountable for what he does and what he fails to do.