A marriage made in …

A marriage made in …

This one nearly made me spit my coffee on the monitor when I read it, especially the lead sentence. Boston College may try to merge with Weston School of Theology. Why?

Boston College, moving to strengthen its Catholic identity and take advantage of its recently acquired real estate in Brighton, is exploring a merger with the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, a divinity school in Harvard Square that prepares Jesuit and Capuchin priests.

Strengthen its Catholic identity? Then why are they merging with Weston? Seriously, if you wanted to become more Catholic you would do well to avoid Weston, where heterodoxy is the rule rather than the exception.

It’s interesting, also, that Boston College, which is a putatively Catholic Jesuit university, would feel the need to strengthen its Catholic identity. After all, it is supposed to be Catholic by its very nature, isn’t it?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
6 comments
  • I’m glad to see that the academic Theology department is apparently not included in the proposed merger, whereas BC’s “Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry” is. 

    Ideologically, IREPM, a peddler of fluff and heresy, has a natural affinity with Weston, so putting those two under the same banner makes some sense. 

    A BC alum tells me that the Theology folks consider IREPM a “joke”.

  • Seriously, though, this may enhance Weston’s Catholic identity, since that institution has long shared facilities and some classes with the Episcopal Divinity School, also in Harvard Square. 

    Since WJST offers some ecclesiastical degrees, I’d expect the Vatican will have to give its consent to the merger.  They may be quite happy to see Weston move away from its cohabitation with far-out EDS and become a unit of Boston College.

  • Perhaps Fr. Leahy is looking at the level of dissent from a relative point of view, in which case Fr.Roger Haight,S.J.,Fr.Ed Vacek,S.J., Fr.James Keenan,S.J. and others from the Jesuit Weston School of Theology would look like moderates by comparison with John McDargh, a tenured faculty member in Boston College’s Theology Dept.. According to a Bay Windows article of June 3,2004:“BC faculty band together to promote change”, “McDargh,who has always been open about his sexual orientation” (he lives with his male lover and has adopted a son,Sasha) notes that “B.C. isn’t public enough in its efforts for incoming gay and lesbian faculty to really know whether this is a supportive place” although B.C. grants spousal benefits to married gay employees. For this reason, he is launching the Lesbian and Gay Faculty, Staff and Administrators Assoc. at B.C.(LGFSAA) ” in order to make this a better environment for all GLBT faculty and staff.” Could it be that by comparison to B.C.Theologian Professor John McDargh, Fr. Leahy finds the dissident theologians from the Jesuit Weston School of Theology a bit easier to “sell” to Catholic parents who are paying the bills to send their offspring to a Catholic college with a Catholic mission ?

  • “They [the Vatican] may be quite happy to see Weston move away from its cohabitation with far-out EDS and become a unit of Boston College.”

    As I thought about RC’s comment, it actually makes total sense. 

    I mean, if you broke your arm,  you could be quite happy that it wasn’t your leg.  Same logic applies to a WJST / BC hookup. 

    Still, this looks more like a same-sex marriage to me.

  • I had the same reaction that you did, Dom.  I got to see first hand the effect an education at Weston has on a seminarian.  During law school, our Catholic law student association’s “advisor” was a Jesuit seminarian.  The difference in his attitude and approach to the faith from when he started as our advisor to when I graduated, was like night and day.  He had learned to let the experiential crowd out the objective. Literally, one day, he shook the faith of many students when we were discussing some Gospel passages related to Mary and he began to suggest things such as the virgin birth, Mary’s perpetual virginity, etc., were not in fact true or believed by the Church.  (You know, typical modern “historical critique” of scripture where everything not documented in a thousand external sources with a note, “To twentieth century skeptics, you are wrong; it did happen,” is dismissed.)  And, mind you, this was a good guy who truly wanted to lead people to Christ and help them grow in their faith.  To his credit, he saw the problem he had created when a friend and I confronted him about it.  But that’s the part I found the most disturbing—he couldn’t see how he was changing because of his time at Weston.

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