The view from The Heights

The view from The Heights

Regarding the proposed merger of the Jesuit-run Weston School of Theology in Cambridge. Mass., with Boston College, the BC student newspaper The Heights editorializes on it. Generally they’re favorable, as long as it doesn’t mean the Catholic Church gets a greater presence on campus.

There are hurdles that will need to be jumped before the merger takes place, especially how BC and Weston would resolve the seminary’s official ties to the Church. Any union would require approval of Rome, as well as the boards of both institutions. The University succeeds academically because it is not constrained by religious doctrine. Students are free (for the most part) to speak their minds and professors can teach what they want to teach. BC, like many other Catholic universities, has upset some conservative religious folks who believe that approving gay/straight alliances and hosting The Vagina Monologues makes you anti-Catholic. There’s enough bureaucracy at BC, no one needs JP II getting involved. [emphasis added]

Yeah, everything’s so much better at those Catholic colleges when there’s no attempt to actually make them Catholic, when the “Pope is not involved.” We’re talking about the merger of a school of theology with a Catholic college’s theology department here, not some business school deal. Of course, there should be a Catholic element, of course there should be some guanratees that they teach authentic Catholic doctrine. Otherwise, what’s the point? Why don’t they just strip the fiction of Catholicism from the campus and be done with it?

They don’t because then all that alumni money would dry up and so would enrollment, because the alumni and parents of prospective students still believe the fiction.

  • I have a friend who was at BC studying philosophy. He was always hostile in comments regarding the Pope and Card Ratzinger. Nasty comments, actually. I can’t help but think the kids learn this from their profs.

    When I lived in Boston I heard stories from parents of how they spent all this money to send their kids to BC. They were disappointed that the kids lost their faith and drifted from the Church.

    I keep hoping that big St. Michael statue in the rotunda comes to life and starts chopping off heads. Except for Peter Kreeft and Romano Cesario, of course.

  • The quote from the student newspaper astounds me.

    Has the student taken a foundational course on what is Catholicism?

    I think Catholic parents are complicit in this situation (cafeteria Catholicism) and this is now a multi-generational problem which began in the 50’s-60’s.

  • I saw Peter Kreeft, author and BC professor of ?philosophy, I believe, speak recently at St. Clement’s Eucharistic Shrine in Boston. He made a joke about “BC” standing for “barely Catholic.” The joke was funny, but the commentary – obviously – is sad.

  • No point in ruining two colleges when they can do a bang-up job on one.  Don’t fret—this just makes them a bigger target for derision.  And it makes it easier for people to remember where NOT to send their kids.  Now all we have to do is get the word out. 

    Actually Peter Kreeft is interesting to listen to.  I haven’t read everything he has written, so I can’t make a call on how orthodox he is, but I’ve seen him speak once—once—and he seemed orthodox to me on that particular occasion.  This merger might be making him a little nervous, I would expect.