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.