LifeSiteNews.com

Sex Scandals At Catholic Colleges ‘No Surprise’, Says Catholic Education Lobby

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

MANASSAS, VA, September 12, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Recent sex-related scandals at Catholic colleges and universities—including revelations that a former Gonzaga University president sexually abused teenage boys and women’s lacrosse players at two Catholic institutions hired male strippers as part of their freshman initiation rituals—should come as no surprise to observers of Catholic higher education in recent decades.

“Catholic college educators once took seriously their responsibility to help young adults learn to be responsible, caring, moral people both in and out of the classroom—first by modeling appropriate behavior themselves,” said Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), a national organization to renew and strengthen Catholic identity in Catholic higher education.“But today on too many Catholic campuses, students have little guidance rooted in Catholic moral teaching. Instead of ‘in loco parentis,’ the new theme is ‘livin’ la vida loca.’”

On Friday, Oregon’s Province of the Society of Jesus disclosed previously hidden claims of sex abuse—including two court settlements in the past year—by former Gonzaga University president Rev. John Leary, S.J., who died in 1993. Leary allegedly abused as many as 12 teenage boys, and he remained president of the Catholic university in Spokane, Washington, from 1961 to 1969 despite allegations that first surfaced in 1966. After Spokane police reportedly pressured Leary to leave town, he resigned his post citing health reasons, then was reassigned to a Jesuit high school in Boston and other posts in Massachusetts, Utah, Nevada and California.

The university has never disclosed the allegations or publicly encouraged students to come forward with complaints about Leary’s activity; instead, Gonzaga named a scholarship for its late president. Meanwhile, homosexual-themed activities are on the rise at Gonzaga despite the Church’s clear teaching against homosexual activity and Gonzaga president Rev. Robert Spitzer’s tough stance against pro-abortion lectures and activities.

The disclosure of sex abuse and its cover-up are especially relevant to the annual CNS campaign to end Catholic campus productions of “The Vagina Monologues,” a vulgar play that in one scene glorifies the sexual abuse of a teenage girl by a lesbian woman, describing it as the victim’s “salvation” which raised her “into a kind of heaven.” Gonzaga has not allowed the play on campus since 2002, yet continued to sponsor undergraduate and law-student clubs which presented the play off campus and sold tickets to students.

“We have continually opposed the ‘Monologues’ as a shameful insult to the victims of sexual abuse by priests, especially when the play is hosted by Catholic institutions,” Reilly said.“Can college officials continue to allow this, when even Catholic higher education is tainted by the abuse scandals?”

Yesterday the New York Post reported that photos of women’s lacrosse players from Manhattan College partying with a male stripper had been posted to the Internet, causing the college to cancel the team’s fall season and impose community service hours on the offending students. The photos of a freshman initiation ritual show one woman “performing a lap dance on what appears to be a young man” and another “grinding with the male stripper,” according to the Post. Manhattan College is a Catholic school in Riverdale, New York, founded by the Christian Brothers.

Just last month, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., took less stringent action against its women’s lacrosse team for a similar event featuring a male stripper last spring. The university forfeited three games from last season and placed the team on probation for the 2006-2007 school year.

Since 1993, CNS has repeatedly complained about Catholic campus scandals including dissident theologians, faculty engaged in pro-abortion and pro-contraception advocacy, pro-abortion and homosexual student clubs, drag shows, Notre Dame’s queer film festival, “queer studies” courses, condom distribution, lectures by pro-abortion leaders, rampant sexual activity in campus residence halls, and “sex columns” in campus newspapers.

Yesterday’s issue of Fairfield University’s campus newspaper features a column with a photo of condoms and the message, “Don’t be a fool, wrap your (or his) tool,” Reilly said.“If this is faithful Catholic education, the Pope must be Dr. Ruth.”

For more information on CNS, see www.cardinalnewmansociety.org


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Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent

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Abortion group targets pro-life doctors, nurses with new website: New Zealand

Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent
By Michelle Kaufman

Pro-life health practitioners and crisis pregnancy centres in New Zealand are the target of a new website designed to intimidate those who choose not to refer for abortion or prescribe contraception.

The website, My Decision, is created by the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ). 

The site lists health practitioners and crisis pregnancy centres which they believe women should avoid.  The incomplete list includes the names of individuals or organisations, the region and town, and whether they are a doctor, nurse or other provider. 

Women are asked to submit their stories of “hostile or unhelpful health professionals.”  The stories are non-identifying and can be edited for length or clarity.  At the time of writing only two stories had been posted.

In an earlier blog post, ALRANZ mentioned that the new website, which was still under construction at the time, is “aimed at shining the light on ‘conscientious objectors’… who deny people the reproductive healthcare they want or need.”

Right to Life NZ says they believe the site is “denigrating the good name and reputations of health professionals who believe that abortion is a harmful choice.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Under New Zealand law, health practitioners can object to providing reproductive health services according to their conscience.  However, there is one caveat – they “must inform the person who requests the service that he or she can obtain the service from another health practitioner or from a family planning clinic.”

 “Sonscientious objection is a fundamental right and one that must be preserved if we are to continue to live in a free and civil society,” said Chris O’Brien, Vice President of Right to Life NZ. “We risk tyranny if this right is taken away.”

“There are very good doctors that appear on that website” said Dame Colleen Bayer, whose Dunedin Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centre is also named.  “These doctors speak truthfully and have real care and concern for their patients.  Women do themselves a disservice to discount them based on this information.”

The resource section on the My Decision website links to ALRANZ, Family Planning (an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation and an abortion provider), and the website Abortion Services in New Zealand. 

The Abortion Services website is sponsored by ISTAR Ltd, a registered Charitable Trust which is the sole importer of mifepristone into New Zealand.  ISTAR also provides Manual Vacuum Aspiration equipment for early surgical abortions.

ALRANZ, was instrumental in the writing of the Greens abortion policy, which was unveiled earlier this year.  That policy aims to take abortion out of the Crimes Act making it more accessible.  The policy also targets health professionals who may conscientiously object to ensure they refer patients on to a “neutral practitioner”.

More information about freedom of conscience in healthcare 


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The government is proposing allowing the killing of pre-born babies suspected of being disabled and those conceived through rape or incest.
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Northern Ireland considers allowing killing disabled unborn babies: pro-lifers condemn

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group, Precious Life, has condemned this week's announcement by Justice Minister David Ford that a consultation on changing the abortion law will be "ready by autumn." The government is considering allowing the killing of pre-born babies suspected of being disabled and those conceived through rape or incest.

“Abortion is a serious criminal offence in Northern Ireland,” said the director of Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth. “The law here protects unborn babies, and David Ford as Minister for Justice must ensure that all children are legally protected."

Last December, Ford revealed he would be undertaking a consultation to consider changes to the law after he heard the stories of two women, who complained that they had not been allowed to abort their babies who had been diagnosed with anencephaly. Instead, they said, they had traveled to Britain for abortions.

Abortion was refused under Northern Ireland’s laws because the diagnosis of anencephaly for the child poses no medical threat to the mother.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

On Monday Ford told the BBC that the Department of Justice would bring forward its consultation paper on changing Northern Ireland's abortion laws by the fall.

However, Smyth warned that “the core ethical principle which must underpin this discussion is that every child deserves the right to life regardless of how short their life may be, and regardless of the circumstances of their conception."

She vowed that Precious Life will launch a public campaign in support of the life of all unborn babies.

“We all feel enormous sympathy for parents in these traumatic and distressing cases," Precious Life stressed in a statement. "But parents in these difficult situations deserve much more than our sympathy – they need a professional support system in place, which will provide them with help, support and resources.

"Precious Life are resolved to work towards a solution that loves and protects both mother and baby. Once again we call on the Health Minister to immediately establish perinatal hospice services for parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis for their baby,” said Smyth.

 

Contact:

Justice Minister David Ford
Department of Justice
Stormont Estate
Belfast, Northern Ireland
BT4 3SG
Phone:(028) 9076 3000
Email: via website (http://www.dojni.gov.uk/contact-us.htm)


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80% of parents who have an unborn child with spina bifida choose abortion. But Chad Judice (pictured with Eli) knows that life is worth it.
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

Abortion? No way. Dad says son with spina bifida is a ‘gift’ to the family.

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

What is the most pro-life, pro-God influence in your life? According to Catholic author and speaker Chad Judice, his five-year old, disabled son has been a tremendous source of happiness and faith for even the hardest of hearts.

In an op-ed published in The New York Post, Judice writes that when he and his wife found out their unborn son Elijah had spina bifida, they were offered the option of abortion. While they chose life, it didn't stop them from fearing the worst for their careers, eldest child, and Eli.

"That evening...Ashley cried as she read to me from the literature we’d been given," writes Judice. "It said 80 percent of parents who receive a spina bifida diagnosis choose abortion."

"And it told us that our son might have learning disabilities and be paralyzed from the waist down, unable to ever walk."

According to WemMD.com, the two most common forms of spina bifida have few, if any effects, on those who have them. However, the most rare and most aggressive form of the disability can result in significant problems for life:

  • Little or no feeling in their legs, feet, or arms, so they may not be able to move those parts of the body.
  • Bladder or bowel problems, such as leaking urine or having a hard time passing stools.
  • Fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus). Even when it is treated, this may cause seizures, learning problems, or vision problems.
  • A curve in their spine, such as scoliosis.

Eli's form of spina bifida was severe, but -- as it turned out -- manageable, writes Judice. Despite surgeries and "medical challenges," he was out of the hospital within thirty days, though seizures and surgeries would continue to challenge the family. At five-and-a-half, he is entering kindergarten, learning to walk with modern technology, and "his intelligence is at or above average, and he's very talkative."

But perhaps the greatest miracle of all, Judice says, is the effect Eli has had on those who are outside of the family. His story has helped "some pregnant mothers...to reject abortion," and "rekindle the dormant faith of some...drawing them into a life with more room for God and family."

One of those rekindled Christians was a man who, after years in prison, prayed for Eli "as he recited The Lord's Prayer." According to Judice, "it was the first time he’d prayed in 30 years."

Since Eli's birth, Judice has written two books about his son and their family. "Waiting for Eli: A Father's Journey from Fear to Faith" was the first, and has received praise from Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. According to Pavone, it is "an inspiring story of faith, hope, love, and the power of prayer."

"The world judges the value of human life by physical perfection, but God sees things differently. To Him, we are perfectly lovable in our imperfection. Uplifting in its reverence for human life in its most fragile stages, WAITING FOR ELI will encourage pro-life activists everywhere, from the most seasoned to the newly initiated."

Also unstinting in praise was the Chair of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Daniel Cardinal Dinardo, who writes for Judice's website that the book "chronicles [Judice's] spiritual journey from fear of one’s personal limitations to self-abandonment to the divine mercy of God’s providence."

The second book, "Eli's Reach: On the Value of Human Life and the Power of Prayer," received the "Best Book by Small Publisher" award in 2013 by the Catholic Press Association.

"I think of Eli as God’s special gift to my family," Judice wrote in the Post. "And as I share about him, Eli’s story softens hearts and brings people to a greater appreciation of the beauty and sacredness of life."


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