LMU’s Catholic Demographic Declines
The primary indicator of the decline in LMU’s Catholicity is the deterioration in the Catholic composition of its students, faculty and administration. This is evidenced by the following:
1. A decrease in the percentage of Catholic students. The percentage of Catholic students has dropped in just over a decade from over 60% to around 50% now, though the number and percentage of Catholics in Southern California, from where LMU draws most of its students, has grown in that time.
2. The first non-Jesuit, non-Catholic president in LMU’s history. President David Burcham was hired in 2010.
3. The appointment of a professed atheist to head the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. In 2014, LMU hired Dr. Robbin Crabtree as Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. Though the university knew Dr. Crabtree to be a professed atheist, and was aware of her prior affiliations with Planned Parenthood, they selected her from scores of candidates to oversee the philosophy, theological studies and bioethics departments, among others.
4. The number of Jesuits teaching on campus has declined substantially. Though there have been some recent additions, the number of teaching Jesuits on campus are few.
LMU fails to demonstrate a commitment to ensuring that lay faculty are familiar with, value and impart Catholic intellectual thought. While the university keeps careful count of the ethnic background of each faculty member, it ignores religious identity as if religious identity didn’t matter. If LMU is to remain distinctively Catholic, it must make efforts to hire faculty with knowledge and love of the Catholic intellectual tradition.
LMU Provides a Platform for Pro-Abortion Politicians
In its 2004 statement, “Catholics in Political Life,” the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops stated, “The Catholic community and 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.” Yet, LMU has repeatedly invited pro-abortion Catholic politicians to speak at its commencement exercises. Examples include:
1. In 2010, LMU selected Marlene Canter, a former Board member of the Los Angeles Unified School District and Governor Deval Patrick of the State of Massachusetts. Both of these individuals had taken publicly pro-abortion positions. Ms. Canter stated her opposition to Proposition requiring parental consent where minors seek an abortion, and Governor Patrick voted to fund embryonic stem cell research.
2. The 2006 commencement featured former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa;
3. The 2005 commencement speaker was California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Mr. Lockyer has aggressively sought to maintain federal funding for abortion and oppose parental notification of minors seeking abortions
Similarly, in his first year as President, David W. Burcham appointed a pro-abortion Loyola law professor to the board of The Bioethics Institute. Prior to her appointment Ms. Brietta Clark published an op ed piece against the Stupak Amendment during the Obama healthcare debate. The Stupak Amendment would have provided a “conscience exception” to the Obamacare mandate requiring even religious institutions to provide abortifacient contraception and sterilizations. Ms. Clark also published an article arguing a state law requiring pregnant mothers be shown ultrasounds of their developing child prior to termination of pregnancy was “unethical.”
LMU Fails to Demonstrate True Compassion for those with Same Sex Attraction
While the Church teaches persons with same sex attraction are to be loved, the Church also teaches that homosexual acts are against God’s plan for love. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2357-2359.) True compassion for persons with same sex attraction requires the university present the truth and beauty of the Church’s teaching and provide ministries to support students with same sex attraction in living the life to which God has called them.
LMU has established an Office of LGBT Services and permitted a gay student organization, the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), supported with student tuition dollars. These organizations appear opposed to Church teaching. The GSA’s sponsoring of an on-campus “Out with a Bang Feat” which included a drag performance and a lesbian-themed comedic event in 2011, is one example of this group’s activities.
There are many Catholic resources available for men and women who are struggling with same sex attraction, and RenewLMU looks forward to making those resources more readily available.
LMU Advocates for the Redefinition of Marriage
The Church has been clear that gay marriage poses, according to Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, “grave consequences for children and for the common good of our society.”
Yet LMU on-campus activities and scholarship advocate for redefining marriage.
1. During the 2012-13 school year, LMU’s LGBT Office sponsored the play “8,” a production whose stated purpose is to “instruct the audience on how to become involved in the fight for [gay marriage].” Worse, LMU originally announced the play as a means of raising funds to provide financial support to the legal effort to redefine traditional marriage. Only after an embarrassing publication by a watchdog group was this announcement modified by the university.
2. LMU’s website contains an interview with professor Fingerhut, a psychology
professor at LMU, who advocated overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the need to redefine marriage. See http://www.lmu.edu/Page78584.aspx