Have a gander at this quote that came from Franciscan University. The backstory appears at the site Church Militant and Inside Higher Ed (IHE). Franciscan University [FU] is a Catholic school in Steubenville, Ohio; it’s sufficiently hard-line to include homosexuality in a course on “deviant behavior” along with rape and robbery.
Here’s the quote, which would be hilarious if it wasn’t both true and sad:
“Franciscan University encourages the faculty, in their teaching function, to address all material relevant to their subject matter but, as specified in the Faculty Handbook, opposes the promotion of propositions and values contrary to Catholic teaching. This in no way impinges on true academic freedom, as the Catholic church accepts all that is true and rejects all that is false.”
Where did this come from? As Inside Higher Ed (IHE) reports, FU removed the departmental chairmanship from Stephen Lewis, an FU professor of English, after he was found to have included the Emmanuel Carrère’s book The Kingdom in a course syllabus. Given its content, that book was a no-no. IHE summarizes the contentious parts:
Part memoir, part religious history — imagined and actual — the hard-to-summarize book essentially tells two stories: that of Carrère’s own crisis of his Catholic faith and that of the formation of the early Christian church. Watching pornography in one scene, Carrère’s says that Jesus’s mother, Mary, wasn’t a virgin. Rather, he says, she knew men in her youth and “might have come, let’s hope so for her, maybe she even masturbated.” There’s a bit more about a favorite adult actress and female masturbation.
There was an outcry among Catholics, and the University President apologized in an open letter, saying that The Kingdom was pornographic, blasphemous and would never again be taught at FU. There’s more to the story, but, as IHE reports, the quotation at the top came from a statement issued by FU on Monday.
According to that statement, no criticism of Catholicism can impinge on Catholic teachings because what the Catholic Church teaches is 100% true!
While religious schools are free to censor whatever they want, I find it ineffably sad that they censor criticism in this way, especially when it comes from a Catholic teacher trying to inspire thought (they’ve also made sure the book isn’t in the school bookstore).
And really, how brainwashed do you have to be to buy the school’s statement that “the Catholic church accepts all that is true and rejects all that is false”? Does that mean that homosexual behavior is really, truly, a disorder, and that you can go to hell if you don’t confess it? And that the sacramental wafers literally become Jesus’s body when blessed? And that Jesus’s mother was a virgin, which was apparently based on a dubious translation from Hebrew? Some “truths”!