Jesuit-run Gonzaga University rejects Knights of Columbus?

This is absurd.

The last acceptable prejudice around these days is to hate faithful practicing Catholics who accept the Churches teachings on faith and moral.

Now the acceptable prejudice is creeping into the catholic community itself.

I read at Catholic World Report about the rejection by Jesuit-run Gonzaga University – theoretically a Catholic school – of a student group of the Knights of Columbus.  Why were they rejected?  Because only Catholics belong to the KofCs.

Let’s get this straight…

Professor: Will Gonzaga also consider removing the Society of Jesus from campus?

Dr. Eric Cunningham, Associate Professor in the Department of History at Gonzaga University (GU) and a former advisor to the campus council of the Knights of Columbus at GU, yesterday sent a letter to Sue Weitz, Vice President for Student Life, remarking upon her letter explaining that a Knights of Columbus group’s application to be recognized as an official student organization had been denied by GU.

Weitz’s letter stated, in part:
The Knights of Columbus, by their very nature, is a men’s organization in which only Catholics may participate via membership. These criteria are inconsistent with the policy and practice of student organization recognition at Gonzaga University, as well as the University’s commitment to non-discrimination based on certain characteristics, one of which is religion.

In response to that statement, Dr. Cunningham (a contributer to Catholic World Report) wrote:

The chief reason for my confusion is that as an organization, the Knights of Columbus is, by these criteria, identical to the Society of Jesus. How strange it is to think that if Ignatius of Loyola and his companions, who were students at the University of Paris when they established the Society, had tried to apply for club status at Gonzaga, they would have been denied.

[...]

Read the rest there.

By the reasoning of Sue Weitz and her superiors… Jesuit-run Gonzaga University should know expel the Jesuits.  (Not a bad idea in some cases… but… let’s move on.)

There is a growing gulf between hard identity and soft identity Catholics.

Which side is winning? Probably soft identity… the types who call themselves Catholics, but are actually CINOs… catholics In Name Only.   They hold a lot of power and they are using it, in coordination with secular power-brokers (such as the Obama Administration).  They are, right now, emboldened.

This is in part the fruit of the dissolution of our education system over the past few decades.  Fewer and fewer can reason now and many are subject to the dictatorship of relativism.  What is “true” can vary from person to person… except for liberals, of course.  If the root of the word “liberal” is “liber… free”, then a liberal is someone with whom you are free to agree with.

In the meantime, would you $34,570 per year to Gonzaga University, or any other putative Catholic school that would deny the presence of the Knights of Columbus on the grounds that it is a Catholic organization for Catholic members?

 

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29 Responses to Jesuit-run Gonzaga University rejects Knights of Columbus?

  1. Better than that, Fr. Z:

    State legislators in Idaho and Virginia have invited religious student clubs to seek official recognition at public universities, even while some Jesuit universities object to the membership policies of the Knights of Columbus.

    “Right side up” is now “upside down.”

    http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/2140/State-Universities-Welcome-Religious-Clubs-after-Gonzaga-Snubs-Knights-of-Columbus.aspx?utm_source=WhatCounts+Publicaster+Edition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Worse+than+we+thought&utm_content=Knights

  2. AvantiBev says:

    Fr. Z wrote: “This is in part the fruit of the dissolution of our education system over the past few decades. Fewer and fewer can reason now and many are subject to the dictatorship of relativism. What is “true” can vary from person to person… except for liberals, of course.”

    Made me think of last week’s story from GW University about two gay men trying to get Fr. Schaffer of the university’s Newman Center dismissed or disciplined BY THE UNIVERSITY because he told them that celibacy was required outside marriage for heterosexuals and for those who struggle with same sex beliefs. The Catholic priest at the Catholic student’s chapel expressed Catholic doctrine and the two students were outraged. Thankfully, a GW student started a “support our chaplain” blog where many have posted their praise of the priest including gays and others who stated they disagreed with what the Church teaches but are intelligent enough to recognize silencing him is just another step down the road to dismantling freedom of religion and speech. BUT THINK OF THE LACK OF LOGIC these two students exhibit.

    The total subjection of reason to feelings so characterizes everything in the West these days from schools to the halls of Congress.

  3. Laura98 says:

    On the one hand this does not surprise me in the least.

    On the other hand… I never thought I’d live to see the day, this sort of thing would happen. I honestly can’t believe this, or the other stories I’ve been reading, along a similar vein.

  4. Rich0116 says:

    Perhaps we need to understand the new root of the modern ‘liberal’ as not coming from liber = free, but rather liberi = children. I think it might explain a lot.

  5. “Not a bad idea in some cases… but… let’s move on.” says Fr. Z.

    As soon as I heard “Gonzaga”, I thought “Jesuit” and said to myself “they’re not even CINOs”.

    Why they haven’t been suppressed YET is still one of the mysteries of the universe. They’re the fifth column inside the walls.

    Not totally unexpected; one of my RCIA students, a young lady who just was received into the Church this Vigil last, asked me what I thought of her plans to attend my alma mater (Fordham). I said, quite plainly, if she wanted to keep her faith alive after just kindling the fire of Christ through her reception of the sacraments…she would do better to attend a public university…there she would know that the forces were arrayed against her, and would see blatant challenges to her faith, rather than be seduced by a catholic-in-name-only university system that would subtly destroy all she has worked to come to believe by smooth words and pseudo-faithful thought.

    Not surprised, though, that ANY Jesuit-run institution would fully support such b-as-in-B and s-as-in-S.

  6. LarryW2LJ says:

    Personally, I’m sick of all this. Where’s the common sense?

    “Weitz’s letter stated, in part:
    The Knights of Columbus, by their very nature, is a men’s organization in which only Catholics may participate via membership. These criteria are inconsistent with the policy and practice of student organization recognition at Gonzaga University, as well as the University’s commitment to non-discrimination based on certain characteristics, one of which is religion.”

    So it’s OK to discriminate in order to be non-discriminatory.

    I’m relatively new to Fr. Z’s blog, having become a follower around the beginnig of Lent. There is a poster here, I can’t recall the name, who has used this phrase a couple of times that caught my eye – “playtime is over”. Sadly, it seems that playtime is not over and has been indefinitely extended.

  7. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Sue Weitz subscribes to the tyranny of relativism: the only absolute is that there are no absolutes. According to this principle (the only one that relativism has) it is “wrong” to have a club or group which isn’t open to every person, from any walk of life. Relativism will be our downfall. Bring on the truth! Let’s open wide the doors to Jesus Christ and put away this kind of absurd nonsense.

    Sue Weitz, if you read this blog then you might might to note that it is totally appropriate for the KofC to accept only members of the Catholic Church because: THEY ARE THE RIGHT ARM OF THE CHURCH. The “of the Church” part precludes members of other faiths or atheists from membership.

  8. marylise says:

    Soft-Identity Catholics, Catholics in Name Only, modernists and other heretics are all about power whereas faithful Catholics are about truth. Both groups are composed of sinners, but the frame of reference is different. In the past, when a Catholic lost the faith, he would leave the Church. This was sometimes done with sorrow because the person remained devotionally a Catholic, but realized he no longer had any right to receive the sacraments. Nowadays, however, when a Catholic loses the faith, he generally remains inside the Church. He applies for a job at the chancery and makes a good salary while building up a pension. This is what he is protecting when he lashes out at faithful Catholics who clearly state what the Church teaches. In all likelihood, the Knights are perceived as a potential threat to someone’s salary.

  9. Back pew sitter says:

    Totally mad.

  10. sciencemom says:

    In the meantime, would you $34,570 per year to Gonzaga University, or any other putative Catholic school that would deny the presence of the Knights of Columbus on the grounds that it is a Catholic organization for Catholic members?

    We have two children who intend to begin college in the next 3 years. Gonzaga and other CINO colleges are not even up for consideration. I would honestly rather send them to a state school that has a decent Newman Center. (Heck, even one without! — as long as they still have regular access to the Sacraments.) At least they won’t be blindsided into thinking that what they’re being taught is real Catholic anything.

  11. heway says:

    As the widow of a Grand Knight, recipient of his insurance with the Knights and a Jesuit educated woman, I have already written to Gonzaga last week. Obviously this woman belongs to the ACLU and should be relieved of teaching duties.

  12. frjim4321 says:

    I feel like I’m in a time warp . . . I think this came up recently; maybe on another blog but was quite certain it was here.

    Anyway, doesn’t this college have some sports teams that are either male or female?

    My problem with the KoC is that it is run by a political operative who once was a functionary in a republican administration. I don’t like the very, very clear political overtones of the KoC under Carl Anderson.

    I wonder if that’s the real reason they are not inviting the KoC, but it’s easier to omit them under a preexisting line of their charter.

  13. LarryW2LJ says:

    Fr Jim,

    You’d prefer a K of C run by the likes of Joe Biden or John Kerry perhaps? Or would you prefer to just have to be a politically neutral person as Supreme Knight? Is it politics in general; or just, shall we say, Conservative politics?

    Just wondering, and not trying to be diresepectful.

  14. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Father Jim: Could you be more clear about precisely what political overtones you take issue with? There are reasons to take issue with the K of C, as is true of nearly any organaization. But I don’t understand quite where you are coming ffrom with your concerns.

    I believe that Gonzaga U is being honest in their dismissal of the K of C on their campus. Gonzaga wants to be like every other fair-minded secular-influenced purblind-association that mistakes ugliness for beauty, fairness with madness, a lie for the truth. Something is either beautiful or not beautiful. Everything was created for beauty, but when we see every issue as gray, with wiggle-room, instead of black and white, as the truth is, then we fall prey to the unattractive side of our nature. Father Z is exactly right when he says: “The last acceptable prejudice around these days is to hate faithful practicing Catholics who accept the Churches teachings on faith and morals.” There is nothing innovative about a club, whether it is the KofC, or a neighborhood tree-house club, existing as an expression of particular principles. For a university to dictate that the K of C is not allowed within Gonzaga campus because its membership isn’t open to people who don’t agree with their principles is foolishness, simply. If you had a tree-fort as a 10-year-old would you have allowed me in if you didn’t know me and if I didn’t know the secret knock? Of course you wouldn’t. What I am saying, fundamentally, is that it is sily to assert that no organization can exist on campus unless everyone is allowed to join: even if they imbibe divergent principles. As I mentioned before, this strikes me as being on a par with relativism, which philosophy states that the only absolute is that there are no absolutes. But this is nonsense because relativism then crumbles under its one principle, exactly because it relativises truth to its own experience and judgement.

    Even if you can’t get past the KofC by way of opinion, this issue flies in the face of truth and reason, and exposes young minds to falsehood and lies, portraying them as true. “And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea” (Mk 9:41). This is not a place to send your son or daughter. Beauty is truth, and only beauty captivates us and lifts us beyond ourselves–out of ourselves. And this is the point of life, because it is the only authentic expression of love. We want our children to be formed in the truth above all else so that they can work to transform the world in the face of a culture that is blind to the true, good, and beautiful. We rely on these college-age young men and women to take up the torch of true love in a world that confuses love with hate, so that the beauty of Jesus will shine like the sun among men as a sign of hope when they become disillusioned by what relativism has to offer.

  15. gracie says:

    Don’t send your kids to Loyola University of Chicago either. Forty-five years ago: yes. Now: no.

  16. Lin says:

    My very first thought when they introduced our new Pope was that he is a Jesuit!?! I am still wrestling and praying about this. I just read an article on the NCRegister web site about Pope Francis’ reform of the laity. Anyone have any idea what that really means?

  17. Kathleen10 says:

    It is indeed unfortunate that pretty much all of our “public” life is an unpleasant intersection of politics and religion. At least, I find it to be so. And the camps are so blatant! These issues constantly make me mentally divide everyone into the sheep and the goats on the issues. I see this camp and think sheep, and this one and think, goat. Simplistic, I know. When I see a Democrat whose policy opinion coincides with mine I’ll be amazed (except on the environment) so if everyone is political in some way, I’m glad the head of KofC is an old Republican. Just sayin… It seems utterly impossible to avoid that intersection of politics and religion today, particularly as the head of the KofC, but I get what you mean, I think, Fr. Jim. It is annoying and noticeable when the policies don’t coincide with our own. Happens to me all the time.
    Politics today are running after religion like a hammer would chase after a nail if it could, only to pummel it into the ground when it catches it.

    I am forwarding information about the dangers of university life to people I know who are going to be making that decision soon. I would not send my child to one of the offending universities or colleges (most) for FREE. The dangers to the soul of a young person are that large. Seems a kindness to try to inform people of what they are sending their young person off to, since most people probably have NO idea what level of malevolence exists on campus today.

    Regarding the GWU debacle and Father Shaffer, if you would like to do your part and support Father Shaffer, please write to George Washington University President Porter at : porter@gwu.edu
    Give President Porter an email and a small piece of your mind on this Father Shaffer issue. Does he intend to allow freedom of religion to exist on his campus for Catholics or NOT?
    As many threats as we see to Catholic life and simply for the right to BE Catholic, the outcome will of course depend on Jesus, and OUR response to the threat, which is real, growing, and ominous. We simply MUST address these assaults each and every day if we can. When we see it, hear about it, address it. Lend support to our Catholic faith, freedom of religion in general, and the right to EXIST, because I can tell you, gay activists are getting bolder and bolder, thanks to alot of cowardice and fear. I’m sorry if I “beat the drum” on this, but in the Northeastern US, I assure you, it is growing. We don’t have to put ourselves in danger by speaking out, but we MUST speak out, now.

    The Catholic League will send anyone, donor, member, or not, emails that inform of the latest incident of Catholic-abuse, and what good old Bill Donahue is doing about it. Mr. Donahue, is like a little bulldog, and ready for it if it comes to it. But he relies on the army of Catholics and others of goodwill he unleashes when he posts an email address. That is where we Catholic Militant come in, and it is up to us to storm heaven (and the offenders).
    If we don’t counter the clamoring from the opposition, is it any wonder they make such headway? Don’t we all grease that squeaky wheel and leave the quiet ones alone.

  18. Tantum Ergo says:

    Professor: Will Gonzaga also consider removing the Society of Jesus from campus?

    Oh come come now. Of course they won’t have to remove the Jesuits. They already include many non-Catholics.
    That’s a no-brainer.

  19. frjim4321 says:

    “Father Jim: Could you be more clear about precisely what political overtones you take issue with? There are reasons to take issue with the K of C, as is true of nearly any organaization. But I don’t understand quite where you are coming ffrom with your concerns.” Lucas

    Hi, Lucas … I thought he was using the KoC to shill for votes for the opposition. That’s my impression after hearing Carl speak. I don’t think he was keeping clear from partisanship, and thought that he was protesting a little bit too much along those lines.

  20. jhayes says:

    The President of Gonzaga points out that Gonzaga has a K of C chapter – Gonzaga University Chapter 12583, which is supported by the University.

    http://barney.gonzaga.edu/~kofc/membership.htm#howtojoin

    The current issue is whether to create a “Knights of Columbus Club” as a student organization.

    Here’s part of the President’s statement:

    “Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh states that Gonzaga honors and respects the purpose and good works of the Knights of Columbus, with which it has a long tradition and mutual collaboration at both local and state levels. The Knights of Columbus College Council (#12583) is already present within the student body and receives support from the administration. Gonzaga University’s core Catholic and Jesuit identity recognizes, encourages and supports many student organizations that advance faith-related issues (for example, Gonzaga Right to Life, and the Blessed John Paul II Fellowship).

    President McCulloh has received a request from the sponsoring student to review the institution’s decision regarding the recognition of the organization as a student club, and has decided to undertake this review. The review is expected to take 30-45 days.

    April 6, 2013″

    http://www.gonzaga.edu/About/mcculloh/messages/2012-13/message_040613.asp

  21. mightyduk says:

    frjim4321,

    i think what the other posters are asking for respectfully, is for you to cite actual facts, quotes, etc. which justify your dislike of a Catholic institution such as the KofC. Do you have any, or is it merely a natural revulsion for conservatism even when it manifests itself in keeping with the Catholic Faith? Do you think abortion, and so-called same sex marriage should not be political issues that the KofC and other faithful Catholics should prioritize on?

  22. Frank Apostolica says:

    Fr. Jim,

    Perhaps you should note that Thayne McCulloh is a committed leftist who publicly contributed big money to President B.O.

    Also, most of the Jesuits in charge in the U.S. are also committed Democrats who worship at the altar of George Soros, not The Catholic Church.

    To any alumns of GU reading this – don’t give money to GU and tell other alumns to give to really Catholic institutions like Christendom, Thomas Aquinas College, and the University of Mary.

    The Jesuits hate the Papacy and the Church, and show it by their institutions’ hateful antics.

  23. Johnno says:

    Fr. Jim,

    Please kindly describe to all that even if the KofC was supportive of the Republicans over the Democrats, as to why this is a bad thing? I don’t understand and I would like you to clarify.

    And no, just saying “it’s partisan” isn’t a good reason. What is wrong with being partisan? Why do you think they are being partisan? Hmmm?

  24. swissguardwannabe says:

    I’m going to attend Christendom College this Fall, so no worries for me. ;-)
    It’s too bad different Catholic Schools do not allow us Knights. I’ve been a Knight for almost 2 years, and I have always thought about Matthew 10:14. Hopefully, if I become a priest, I can help reform the Jesuits, especially the Jesuit Universities.

  25. frjim4321 says:

    jhayes, I personally appreciate how you bring facts to these discussions.

  26. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Father Jim, I will go this far with you: I wish (with all my heart ans soul! I wish) that the K of C were a more spiritual bunch of men. There is a guideline for retreat days or talks along a spiritual line, but they haven’t been a part of my connection with the Knights. The Supreme Knight does have a particular agenda that isn’t always easy to decifer. He allows pro-abort politicians to remain Knights when they do not meet the minimum requirements for membership. But the Supreme makes a hefty salary, which makes him a mover and a shaker in ways that I cannot imagine. That, coupled with his political background could lend itself to concerns since the K of C should not enter into the political arena at all. We stand for life and marriage defined as one man and one woman, yes. But discussions of a more political nature are frowned upon. So, in other words, I could see where you take issue to some extent. The very fact that we are so concerned about not offending small-”c” Catholic politicians is highly questionable.

    Regarding the Gonzaga University K of C thing, I shoud have simply quoted Chesterton right from the beginning: “Tolerance is the attitude of those who do not believe in anything.” If a man on the street approaches you and suggests that we should be more tolerant on some issue then you can safely say to him, “Sir, I cannot be simply tolerant because I believe in something which leaves me on a more principled ground on which I can clearly see what is right and what is wrong. Good day to you.”

  27. Luvadoxi says:

    Science mom-not all Newman centers at state universities are faithful. So check it out first.

  28. Mary T says:

    I have met Carl Anderson a number of times, heard him speak many, many more times (including at academic conferences) and read all his books. I would especially recommend Called to Love , written for a non-academic audience. He was a professor at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family (founded by John Paul II) in the Washington DC branch. He is a brilliant intellectual and faithful Catholic. Believe me, he would vote for a person on ANY party who was faithful to Church teaching; he is not partisan.

    You may disagree with his tactics regarding the political arena, but first, the K of C is a LAY organization that can go where priests and religious cannot, and in fact according to Church teaching it is our duty to do so (that is, to enter the marketplace…there is a ton of writing and teaching on this).

    Second, we all BENEFIT from what this LAY organization has accomplished for us over the years. Do a little research —- if you send your kids to parochial school in the US, you have the Knights to thank. Look up Pierce vs the Society of Sisters, the Supreme Court case from 1925, mentioned in Pius XI’s encyclical Divini Illius Magistri. This is about freedom for EVERYONE – it’s not a party issue nor a “conservative vs liberal” issue.

    In other writings Pius XI singled them out for praise in the Mexican situation, as outspoken supporters of the suffering Catholics.

    It was a Knight, Henry Hyde, who pushed through the eponymous amendment for conscience protection in 2004. This isn’t “partisan”, it’s about liberty for EVERYONE.

    In CT, the Knights were instrumental in mobilizing opposition to a bill that would have turned Connecticut Catholic Churches into congregationalist ones, turning them over to elected lay boards that the parish priest could NOT be a member of! Seriously. I am not making this up.

    There would be NO Special Olympics without the Knights of Columbus (a fact which is ignored everywhere in the secular press).

    I could go on and on. The sheer amount of money they donate to the Church and to the Vatican is astonishing. If it were not for them, World Youth Day in Madrid would not have had that fantastic central pavilion. All kinds of Catholic museums, hospitals, and MANY more projects benefit from the K of C. They’re not just fish fries.

    A little more research and a lot more gratitude might be in order.

  29. Magash says:

    A little late to the party, but as a Knight in good standing I can say that one of the reason the Knights are reticent to expel dissident members is that as a provider of insurance, if the member holds a policy they basically cannot be legally expelled without coming afoul of insurance regulations. This is always the problem when one dances with the devil, or his representatives. The Knight basically invented life insurance, but once the state became involved they have now lost control.
    As for why they support republicans– Just take a look at the party platforms of the two political parties. Once supports the intrinsic evils of abortion and homosexual marriage and one does not. How could any valid Catholic organization chose to support the one that supports intrinsic evil by their own declaration?
    I’m just glad I won’t have to try to spin my support of Obama, Biden or Pelosi’s policies in the end times. I have plenty of my own sins to worry about, without having to take on the sins of the Democratic party by supporting them.