Patrick J. Reilly is president and founder of The Cardinal Newman Society, which promotes and defends faithful Catholic education. He also teaches at Aquinas Learning, a classical Catholic homeschool program led by his wife Rosario. They have five children.
Faithful alumni of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles are urging signatures on a petition protesting a university-hosted fundraiser for Planned Parenthood this Friday.
What kind of lunacy must this be, when the Pope unambiguously calls abortion “murder,” yet a Catholic university hosts a fundraiser to support America’s largest abortion business?
Or when students at a Catholic high school walkout in protest of a pro-life speaker?
Or when Catholic college students compete for a number of sexual conquests?
“Catholic education is an expression of the Church’s mission of salvation and an instrument of evangelization: to make disciples of Christ and to teach them to observe all that he has commanded.” If ever the need for a renewal of truth and fidelity in our Catholic education was more obvious, it is certainly clear now.
Faithful alumni of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles — sponsored by the Jesuits, Marymount Sisters, and Sisters of St. Joseph in Orange — are urging signatures on a petition protesting a university-hosted fundraiser for the abortion giant Planned Parenthood this Friday, Nov. 5. It is sponsored by a student group, LMU Women in Politics.
The University told Catholic News Agency, “The fundraiser being hosted by Women in Politics is not a university-sponsored event. However, the existence of these student organizations and their activities are living examples that LMU embraces its mission, commitments, and complexities of free and honest discourse.”
Not a university event? Consider this:
1. LMU Women in Politics is a “Registered Student Organization” at the University. Its radical feminist mission includes emphasis on “LGBTQ+ women, genderqueer, and nonbinary individuals.” In September, the group protested the “terrifying” Texas ban on many abortions.
2. Friday’s event is scheduled to occur in LMU’s Roski Dining Hall on campus.
3. The “Planned Parenthood Fundraiser” was advertised in LMU’s student calendar until this afternoon, after substantial media attention. Calls to the LMU media office to confirm the reason we’re not returned before publishing this article.
Then there are the students at Archbishop Riordan High School, a Catholic high school in San Francisco, which last year became co-ed after being an all-boys school. A recent school assembly featured pro-life speaker Megan Almon, part of the Life Training Institute, which, as Catholic News Agency states, seeks to “empower others with the knowledge and conviction necessary to make a case for life that changes hearts and minds.”
About five minutes into Almon’s speech, almost all 800 students walked out, leaving only a few dozen students left to listen to her talk. The interim president, Tim Reardon, appropriately defended the talk, telling CNA, “Many of the parents sent their kids to Catholic school so that the kids could learn about Catholic social teaching. To avoid these topics would be a failure to serve these individuals.”
The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University are investigating reports that male students from St. John’s held a “sex competition” to see who could score the most female sexual partners from the College of St. Benedict.
Students who were appalled by the news recently staged a walkout, because they believed that the colleges were not doing enough about the allegations. Aisha Sadik told those who gathered in protest, “Some Johnnies allow their peers and friends to get away with these actions because it has nothing to do with them. … Bennies have talked about how scared they feel walking alone at St. John’s University.”
In Ex corde Ecclesiae, the apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education by Pope St. John Paul II, he states, “If need be, a Catholic University must have the courage to speak uncomfortable truths which do not please public opinion, but which are necessary to safeguard the authentic good of society” (No. 32).
He specifically calls on Catholic educators to fulfill their duty in proclaiming the truth of the dignity of all human life. Especially in our current culture, these truths are not always popular, especially as we’ve seen in the debates over the Texas Heartbeat Bill.
Nevertheless, it is the purpose of Catholic education to teach truth in fidelity to our Catholic faith. When failures occur, Catholic families need the entire Church to stand with them in protecting students from scandal, rejecting institutions that deny the truth of Catholic teachings, and redoubling efforts to renew faithful Catholic education.