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.

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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.

LMU’s Defense of Giving an Honorary Doctorate to President Bill Clinton

The U.S. Catholic Bishops teach, “Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. … 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.

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,” 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.”  
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.