By Matt Anderson
DETROIT, MI, December 14, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A list on the library website for the University of Detroit Mercy - a Catholic university - promotes a number of abortion advocacy groups as "professional resources" for the university's Women's and Gender Studies discipline. The site lists organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion National Organization for Women (NOW) as resources for students seeking a professional perspective on Women's and Gender Studies.
Of the nine organizations listed as professional resources, three (Planned Parenthood, NOW, and League of Women Voters) openly support abortion. Two other organizations listed on the site (American Association of University Women and the National Council for Research on Women) support "reproductive health for women" but do not specifically outline a definition for "reproductive health."
In describing the different organizations, the site calls Planned Parenthood the "best known pro-choice organization in the U.S." It goes on to say that PP provides "information about planned parenthood, AIDS, Congressional action, and more."
Further, the list also promotes the pro-abortion National Organization for Women. The university site openly acknowledges NOW's support of abortion saying, "(NOW's) goal is to take action to bring about equality for all women. It works to … secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice."
The American Association of University Women, though not specifically mentioning abortion, says on its own site, "Bolstered by the efforts of the Obama administration and several new pro-choice members of Congress, AAUW's advocacy of a woman's right to safe, accessible, and comprehensive reproductive health care will remain an integral part of its efforts to gain equity and justice for all women."
At the bottom of the website, the library page is endorsed as promoting "the views, values, and mission of UDM." However, despite the support of the library's page, the text goes on to say that the inclusion of links to other websites "does not imply endorsement by the University."
Despite the promotion of pro-abortion groups as resources, the university still claims to be Catholic. On its own website, UDM claims that it is following the Jesuit and Mercy traditions and even quotes Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, saying, "No work of charity can be more productive of good to society or more conductive to the happiness of the poor than the careful instruction of women."
Further, on its mission page, under the title "UDM is Catholic," the university says, "A Catholic university like UDM sees its commitment to strong research and equally strong teaching and to service as a sacred calling … UDM also works to heal the world's often brutal wounds as one part of its primary commitment: to serve God's love for the whole of creation."
At the bottom of the mission page, UDM links to the encyclical "Ex Corde Ecclesiae," the 1990 constitution written by Pope John Paul II as an instruction to Catholic universities.
However, in the encyclical, John Paul II emphasizes that fidelity to the Catholic Church and its teachings must be a hallmark of a Catholic university. He states that one requirement of a Catholic university is that "Catholic teaching and discipline are to influence all university activities, while the freedom of conscience of each person is to be fully respected. Any official action or commitment of the University is to be in accord with its Catholic identity."
John Paul II also states that a Catholic University, must exhibit "fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church."
This is not the first time that the University of Detroit Mercy has supported initiatives that contradict the teaching of the Catholic Church. In 2007, as LSN reported, UDM was linking to Planned Parenthood as a career option for students. Similarly, it linked to NARAL and NOW on its websites. Those sites appear to have since been deactivated.
The University did not return LSN's call for comment by the time of publication.
To Express Concerns to the Catholic Leadership in the Diocese please contact:
Archdiocese of Detroit
1234 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226
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