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.”