Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marquette University's Identity Problem

A puff-piece recently appeared in Milwaukee's Catholic Herald introducing the new president of Marquette University, Father Scott R. Pilarz. I don't know a thing about the new leader of Marquette. I wish him well, but for what it's worth, here are some thoughts for him to consider:

How about making Marquette University an authentic Catholic university once again? Put the faith and the teaching of objective morality above the basketball team and the almighty dollar sign.

How about ending the disgusting partnership between the university elites and the 'dictatorship of relativism'? It goes without saying that Marquette has abandoned the sacred responsibility to form students in virtue, in the classic sense of the word.

Like most ersatz Catholic universities today, Marquette bandies about its Catholic and Jesuit tradition, but that tradition has been eviscerated of any substantial meaning. I would love to see poll taken of the administration and faculty of Marquette University on the question of agreeing or disagreeing with the fundamentals of Catholic moral teaching, especially regarding sexual ethics. Does anyone seriously doubt that the results would show a gaping disparity between the views of those working for Marquette and the teachings of the Church? Why doesn't anyone ask the hard questions about places like Marquette? Why the rote puff pieces from Catholic news sources that routinely turn a blind eye to the real questions confronting Marquette? In short, why is Marquette treated as a serious Catholic university by people who should know better? Where is the evidence that loyalty to the core teachings of the Church at Marquette is paramount over cash and hoops?

Is it in the fact that Marquette was on the verge of hiring an avowed, militant lesbian to serve as dean of students, and only pulled the plug on the deal at the eleventh hour because of outside pressure and embarrassment? How did the hiring process get as far as it did in the first place?

Is it in the fact that Marquette hired Russ Feingold, who, as senator, was one of, if not the most liberal, pro-abortion politicians in Washington, to teach at its law school?

Is it in the fact that Marquette props up an LBGTQ support group on its campus? By the way, how many more letters are they going to tack onto that acronym?

The list could go on. It is a disgrace. It is disgusting. It is a betrayal. I would say it is a betrayal of the students, and that it is, but most students probably don't opt to attend Marquette because of a desire for a strong Catholic, liberal arts education, which proves my point about Marquette's public image. If the pooh-bahs at Marquette University care more about accommodation and rank inebriation on relativism, why not just come out and say it? Say "We are not Catholic." "We find the teachings of the Church to be way outside the mainstream, and not particularly helpful when raising money is our primary concern."

Drop the facade. That would be more intellectually honest than their shameful hiding behind the mantra of some tradition that they really don't care a wit about. It's sad that so many Catholics live in an alternative reality, either believing Marquette to be a real Catholic university, or are so apathetic so as to not care enough to ensure that it is.

Don't take my word for it. Here's an interview I conducted with a friend who attended Marquette for four years. He shares his frank views on the moral confusion and Catholic identity crisis that permeates Marquette's campus.

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