Friday, April 18, 2008

"Hearing" the Pope v. What Was Said: Fr. Wild, SJ

We offer what I think is an interesting juxtaposition of Fr. Wild's "hearing" of B-16's address with the actual content of that address.

"It encouraged us. It was not finger-waving," said Father Robert A. Wild, president of Marquette University in Milwaukee. "It was praising the work we're doing, thanking us, but encouraging us to do it yet better and to be faithful to our mission as Catholic institutions and yet mindful that, especially in the case of the universities, academic freedom is part of it as well."

Yah, OK. Here's the actual text surrounding "academic freedom."

“I wish to reaffirm the great value of academic freedom. In virtue of this freedom you are called to search for the truth wherever careful analysis of evidence leads you. Yet it is also the case that any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and teaching of the Church would obstruct or even betray the university’s identity and mission.

I also find Wild's 'finger-waving' phrase to be silly, at best. Was Fr. Wild presuming to defend the Pope? Was he descending to the level of the journalist who interviewed him? Or was he displaying his prejudices?

More reaction here, from Reilly. Some excerpts:

B-16: "Each and every aspect of college life must reverberate within the ecclesial life of faith."

Translation: So, once and for all, a play like The Vagina Monologues serves no academic purpose and is inappropriate for a serious Catholic institution

B-16: "We observe today an aimless pursuit of novelty parading as the realization of freedom. We witness an assumption that every experience is of equal worth. . . . And particularly disturbing is the reduction of the precious and delicate area of education in sexuality to management of 'risk', bereft of any reference to the beauty of conjugal love."

Translation: Catholic colleges must take seriously their responsibility to affirmatively foster and promote a campus environment that cherishes chastity

And for the best:

B-16: Colleges have the duty to "ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church's Magisterium, shapes all aspects of an institution's life, both inside and outside the classroom. Divergence from this vision weakens Catholic identity . . . ."

Translation: Three credits in Wiccan Studies is not a substitute for a required Catholic Theology course. Oh, and that Catholic Theology course must teach authentic Catholicism (for reference, please see the Catechism).

Fr. Wild, call your office. Then just fire Dan Maguire.



GOR said...

"We hear what we want to hear".

As others have pointed out, watch for people in Catholic academia to talk up the positives in the Holy Father's address, while glossing over the calls for orthodoxy and adherence to the fullness of Catholic Doctrine.

It has already begun...

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why he didn't just lay it out. Hasn't Rome yet learned that wherever you do not specifically say what something is or isn't, the lefties will take advantage of the ambiguous remark and run it right down the field into their own end zone.

Al said...

Fr. Wild Isn't the only college president to hear what he wants & ignore the rest. Same with the Bishops & Papa Benedetto's address to them.

In no uncertain terms he told them to be faithfully Catholic as Colleges & cut out the relativism. They are opting to ignore what he said, no surprize.

Sadly, most people won't have read the text of the speech, or have watched it on EWTN. The result, they will take Fr. Wild & the others at their word. & they will go on giving the middle finger to God, the Pope & authentic Catholic teaching.