In the latest installment of a sad trend, another Catholic university has shortchanged its Catholic principles and heritage. In 2006, Georgetown University kicked a host of ministries off campus. This year, it concealed references to Christ to appease the White House. And of course, Notre Dame hosted a commencement speaker who completely rejects the Catholic Church’s stance on the sanctity of life, thereby minimizing the issue’s importance. Now St. Louis University, a Jesuit school, joins this “elite” club.
Recently, St. Louis University blocked Young Republicans and Young America’s Foundation from bringing David Horowitz to campus to lecture on “Islamo-Fascism Awareness and Civil Rights.” Apparently, the University feared that the event “could be viewed as attacking another faith and seeking to cause derision on campus.” This ludicrous decision even prompted groups like the AAUP and College Freedom to defend Horowitz, something that itself is nigh unto miraculous.
Not only does the University overlook the heinous crimes committed in the name of Islamo-Fascism, but it also ignores its own religious heritage. At this university founded by the Society of Jesus, would Jesus be allowed to declare: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”? After all, He implicitly “attacks” every other faith in the world with this statement. Would Peter (the first pope in the Catholic tradition) be allowed to proclaim of Christ: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”? Or would these words, uttered during a confrontation with Jewish civil and religious leaders, be construed as attacking another faith and causing derision?
Like Georgetown and Notre Dame, the University responded to criticisms by invoking its “Catholic, Jesuit mission and values.” But in light of its actions, one must wonder whether this is just a sanctimonious way of maintaining a religious facade while acting just like a secular university.