Friday, October 12, 2007

College of the Holy Cross Supports Planned Parenthood

I don't usually post news stories b/c, quite frankly, it's futile to try and compete with American Papist, Amy Welborn, Whispers, and Cafeteria is Closed. But, I haven't seen anything from them on this yet, so I thought I might as well post it.

[Update: Scratch that. Cafeteria has coverage here. I suck.]

I received this today via email, from the Cardinal Newman Society:
  • Manassas, VA—The Massachusetts Alliance for Teen Pregnancy has found a seemingly unlikely ally to host a conference featuring Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts: The College of the Holy Cross (not to be confused with Holy Cross College or Our Lady of the Holy Cross College). A training program is scheduled for Oct. 24 at the college campus, located in Worcester, Mass.

    The Catholic Newman Society has joined with alumni and other organizations in condemning what has been identified as a commercial relationship between the institution and these organizations.

    Among those who have spoken out forcefully has been Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Diocese of Worcester, who said in a lengthy statement, “It is my fervent wish that the administration of the College of the Holy Cross will unequivocally disassociate itself from the upcoming conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy so that the college can continue to be recognized as a Catholic institution committed to promoting the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.”

    Bishop McManus identified three key reasons the event should be cancelled: Holy Cross living its identity as a Catholic university; the Church’s teachings on life issues; and Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts’ position in opposition to Church positions on life.

    Unfortunately, Holy Cross President Father Michael C. McFarland, S.J. responded to the Bishop’s thoughtful statement by declaring his continued support for the event.

    This is not the first time in recent years that Holy Cross has hosted events or speakers that call into question the college’s commitment to its Catholic identity. For instance television commentator Chris Matthews, a Catholic and an abortion supporter, was invited to deliver the 2003 commencement address, and the college has repeatedly hosted performances of the lewd Vagina Monologues.

    According to Cardinal Newman Society Director of Research Joseph A. Esposito, “We don’t believe these are the actions of an authentically Catholic university. It defies belief that Holy Cross continues to support this event even after Bishop McManus has called it into serious question.

    “We urge Father McFarland to follow the guidance of his bishop. Canceling this event would be a splendid starting point to help Holy Cross reposition itself.”

    Unfortunately, many U.S. Catholic colleges and universities have lost their moorings over the past generation. Only about 10 percent of more than 200 such institutions are recommended as having a strong Catholic identity in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College: What to Look For and Where to Find It. Holy Cross is not one of them.

    The Newman Guide will be available nationwide on Nov. 1. Information on The Guide and the colleges and universities included can be found at
Is anyone all that surprised? Also, when I read this a question immediately came to mind: Doesn't the bishop have some control over this? I thought that the Catholic colleges and universities in a bishop's diocese fall under his jurisdiction. Instead of just stating his "fervent wish" can't he keep it from happening? Can someone give me some info on that?

It's saddening that a Catholic college, particularly one named after the very source of all life, would endorse an organization bent on death.

St. John of the Cross...ora pro nobis.
Our Lady of Sorrows...ora pro nobis.

Pax Christi,

1 comment:

TS Holland said...

PLease be very careful to note that the Holy Cross ofd which you speak is NOT Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, IN. Your posting of last Friday entitled "Holy Cross College Supports PLanned Parenthood" refers to Our Lady of Holy Cross, in New Orleans. We are also NOT the College of Holy Cross. They are the Jesuits in Boston. In fact, we at Holy Cross, Notre Dame pride ourselves on being distinctly Catholic among a family of three other Holy Cross schools in the neighborhood. You mention the Cardinal Newman Society. Ironically, our Holy Cross College has dodged more than our share of slings and arrows for participating in and supporting this very group. I appreciate and share your concern for the Catholic identity of Catholic higher education. As my director of campus ministry, a grad school alumnus of Steubie, we are engaged in a holy rebellion. Thanks for fighting the fight. Please post a confirmation regarding the identity of the Holy Cross to which you refer.

TS Holland, PhD
Senior Vice President
THE Holy Cross College

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