Letter To the Editor
Published: May 13, 2010
Addressing Catholics Who Differ
To the Editor:
The April 29, 2010 issue of The Georgia Bulletin contained a full page ad in which Southern Catholic College appealed for financial assistance. I noted with sorrow the following statement in that ad: “The formula here is simple and yet rather uncommon among most Catholic colleges today: be faithful to the Church and its teachings, and immerse young men and women in the great Catholic intellectual tradition.”
One might be tempted to smile to oneself, while regarding the above statement as merely the view of some conservative Catholic. However, the above statement is not just a ‘gentle criticism’ of most Catholic colleges and universities. Rather, it represents the demonizing of those Catholic institutions of higher education that strive to be Catholic in ways differing from that guiding Southern Catholic.
Such demonizing of the majority of Catholic colleges is not infrequent in today’s American Catholic Church and is, I believe, a clear indication of the unfortunate direction in which Catholic culture is headed in this country. A parallel—and instructive—case is that of American political discourse. A straight line can be seen running from the President’s Enemies List of the 1970s, through the memo proposing a list of pejorative terms to use in speaking of the opposition party sent by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to the members of his party in the late 1980s, to today, when the elected members of Congress almost never socialize with anyone of the opposing party. Do we want a parallel situation in our Church? If so, don’t speak to those holding views different from your own, don’t try to discover why they think and act differently than you do, but above all, condemn all those who are not of your party.
James C. Doig