Loyola unfazed by church criticism


Written on 11:28 AM by Jack B.

No, not St.Ignatius - his hetrodox namesake university in Louisiana. As some of you may know, Loyola University decided to give an honorary degree to the entire political Landrieu dynsasy of LA. Archbishop Hughes of New Orleans in protest (the Landrieu's - at least Sen. Mary Landrieu and Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu- being in favor abortion rights) decided to skip the commencement. What gets me in this article is the level of contempt that the folks at Loyola show for the Archbishop and the Church. And this is supposedly a "Catholic" university.
Some quotes:

Some faculty members and students aren't pulling their punches in reacting to Hughes' snub of commencement events.
"I'd rather be on the podium with the Landrieus than an archbishop who protected pedophiles in Boston," communications professor Larry Lorenz said.
Hughes served as the top aide to Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law in the early 1990s. While he played a peripheral role in the handling of John Geoghan, perhaps the most notorious of the era's sexually abusive priests, and generally implemented Law's policies in Boston, Hughes' name has not been directly linked to most of the sex-abuse cases that came to light in that archdiocese.
Loyola senior Katie Ide was dismissive of Hughes: "If the archbishop disapproves of the way we run our graduation, then we don't want him."

But the Loyola Faculty Senate's chairwoman, Nancy Dupont, expressed a common view that the Landrieu family "has demonstrated its commitment to the betterment of our community through decades of services" and that honoring them is appropriate at a campus where ideas are debated freely.

"Does that compromise Loyola's Catholic identity? Not in my opinion," Dupont said. "Good Christians are in search of the truth, and that requires an examination of every side of every issue, and that investigation continues every hour of every day of a human being's life."
Loyola law professor Bill Quigley said the Landrieus "have been part of the fabric of this place." Moon and Mitch Landrieu have lectured at the law school at various times, and Civil District Court Judge Madeleine Landrieu-Sensenbrenner serves on a law school advisory committee. Quigley, who teaches a course on Catholic social thought, points out that the church has a rich faith-based heritage in taking positions on war, immigration, the death penalty and other issues.

"We are not a one-issue church, period," he said. "Abortion is very, very important, but it's not the only issue . . . I can't imagine that anybody would think that this one issue defines what Loyola University is."

Wildes, who took charge last year as Loyola's president, has declined to comment beyond a university statement last week that said Loyola sought to honor the Landrieus "as a family" for lives of public service. He said nothing about the matter Thursday when he spoke at a Faculty Senate gathering. And this week, board of trustees Chairwoman Donna Fraiche wouldn't discuss the issue.

One board member, architect Arthur Q. Davis, said he was ill when the board pondered giving the honorary degree to the Landrieus, but that the abortion issue never should have been raised. In the wake of Hughes' decision to stay away, Davis said he supports bestowing the honor even more strongly.
The Rev. Lawrence Moore, a Loyola board member and Jesuit who has served as a Loyola law professor for 23 years, declined to say what position he took personally on the honorary degree, but said the abortion controversy didn't come "as a total surprise." Moore said he is well aware, through the Jesuit grapevine, of similar issues being raised across the country.

"It's playing out at a large number of campuses. I don't think we're unique or alone," he said.

Moore said "this will pass and, frankly, the sooner it passes, the better off all of us will be." He didn't see any long-term implications for the relationship between Loyola and the archdiocese, noting that Hughes has been warm and engaging in his recent visits to the campus.

I put in bold the excerpts that got to me most. It's like these people take pleasure in giving the figurative finger to the man who is their titular shepherd (even if the University is technically an independent body, it still advertises itself as "Catholic"). And it also points out how the bishops protecting pedophiles has basically ruined much of their moral capital. I personally don't know how they can get it back.

Also here is an article on Moon Landrieu, the family patriarch, accepting the award. He brings up the controversy going on but does he say his family is pro-life? Does he say his family tries to follow Church teachings? No...he apologized for the disturbance caused by pro-lifers in protest of his family's honor:

"If your enthusiasm or your excitement over your graduation" has been dampened, Landrieu said, "we sincerely apologize."

Then the elder Landrieu gazed across St. Charles to the edge of Audubon Park, where a cluster of anti-abortion protesters had gathered, singing or quietly holding signs with "Shame on You" and "Choose Life, Not Loyola."

"We welcome the protest," he said. "That's what this country is built on."

And he told the budding lawyers that they may one day be called on to give legal defense to someone's free-speech right to protest.

How benevolent of him, huh? Excuse me while I gag.

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