CNS: Feminist Steinem Touts Abortion, Ridicules Church at St. Norbert College (D. Green Bay)

The Cardinal Newman Society (see their live feed on my sidebar) has a story about a horrible event at a catholic college in Wisconsin.

Parents, if you are thinking about paying lots of money for your children to go to college, you might cross St. Norbert’s in De Pere off your list.

Feminist Steinem Touts Abortion, Ridicules Church at St. Norbert College

Abortion advocacy, support for euthanasia and applause for excommunicated and “ordained” women priests—such were the highlights of last week’s “dialogue” with radical feminists Gloria Steinem and Bell Hooks on the Catholic campus of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis.
The event was held in the College’s campus theater on April 21, despite initial exposure by the Cardinal Newman Society last October, public protest by Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay in January, and assurances from the College that Steinem was invited only to headline a “discussion of the history of the women’s movement, especially as it may be understood in the context of domestic violence.”
Bishop Ricken lamented that Steinem’s “whole career and life is a grand affirmation of the pro-abortion movement.” And the Newman Society called on the College to rescind Steinem’s invitation, stating that its refusal to do so “adds insult to injury by disregarding Bishop Ricken.”
Nevertheless the College went forward, and the activists’ dialogue, titled “Talking Together: A Legacy of Solidarity,” predictably highlighted contempt for “patriarchal religions” and pushed support for abortion rights and euthanasia. A video of their dialogue indicates that Steinem and Hooks barely touched on the subject of domestic violence but focused instead on “reproductive rights” and societal ills caused by the patriarchy.
Thomas Kunkel, president of St. Norbert College, opened the event, welcoming the more than 800 participants who reportedly attended.
As the face of the women’s movement… Gloria Steinem leaves us in awe,” said Dr. Karlyn Crowley, professor of English, as she introduced Steinem.


Read the rest of this train wreck over there.

Shame on St. Norbert’s.  There should be consequences for them.

Perhaps Bishop Ricken should conduct a investigation of the Theology and Religious Studies department to determine whether or not they are Catholic.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mysticalrose says:

    Will there ever be real consequences for these so-called Catholic universities? I doubt it.

  2. seanc says:

    What exactly is a “Catholic university”? I’ve read that in Italy there are “Pontifical universities” that are actually run by the Church. But do American Catholic universities have any official affiliation with the Church? Does the Church run them? Does the Church contribute staff like priests, nuns/monks, or laypersons (e.g. canon lawyers)?

    I get the sense that they were founded by the Church but are no longer in any way officially affiliated, and definitely not run by the Church. They appear to be free to do what they please, while maintaining a nominal “Catholicity.”

  3. benedetta says:

    What sort of a bona fide scholar is this who takes leave of her enlightenment to fatuously worship, another human being “with awe” as the “face” of anything…That she embodies the face of the women’s movement is ridiculous, to boot.

    I wonder, if at this dialogue anyone was permitted to enquire to Ms. Steinem or Ms. Hooks as to what would happen if we allowed the children to live? I suppose they have never personally met, much less have befriended, an equally as enlightened, well read, articulate woman whose dignity is not enslaved to violence towards our children? What a pity…

  4. Lin says:

    At 81 years of age, she needs our prayers. Time is running out!

  5. JustaSinner says:

    What the … there are Catholic universities???

  6. Kerry says:

    The Face of the woman’s movement was standing at the foot of the cross with John.
    Gloria is the ‘face palm’ of the woman’s movement. However, her fish and bicycle

  7. Kerry says:

    Ignore that “However…” Missed the delete.

  8. suedusek says:


    Yes, there will be consequences–in the form of lost enrollment. Our daughter visited several colleges in the last year: St. Benedict College at St. Joseph, MN; St. Scholastica at Duluth, MN; St. Norbert’s, Benedictine College at Atchison, KS and University of Mary at Bismarck, ND. The last two are on the Cardinal Newman Society list of faithfully Catholic Colleges and Universities. It was a close call between Benedictine and UMary, but I think she’ll be attending UMary. They’re faithfully Catholic and SNC is not. SNC will feel the consequences one lost student at a time.

  9. St. Rafael says:

    Can’t the bishop do something against this University? Remove the leadership, or if need be, strip the University of its Catholic title and identity?

  10. Private Catholic high schools are often no better. Just locally, all-male Trinity College here in Perth recently held a ball with a Rio Carnevale theme. They employed dancing girls to add to the night’s entertainment, complete with sparkly bikinis and bare feet. The delighted students’ dads were having photos taken with them.

    All part of wholesome Catholic fun, for a mere AUS$14,000 a year in fees. After all, Rio’s in a Catholic country, isn’t? Anyway, it’s Latin, and you’d think all those traddies would be glad about that, instead of complaining. And after all, Trinity’s mission statement – according to its website – is ‘to provide a holistic, quality Catholic education empowering our students to be Men for Others.’

    The few mothers who protested during the organisation of this shindig were told a) to shut up and b) that it would be modest and entirely appropriate in context. You know, like girls in Rio Carnevale costume are, wearing those hijabs that are so much a traditional part of the Carnevale processions.

    Apparently not one dad offered any of the girls the protection of a dinner jacket and a taxi home, either.

    Men For Others. Hoo boy. Is it too late to move to the Moon?

  11. mysticalrose says:

    JustaSinner: LOL!

    Suedusek: I hope that you are right. However, it seems that there are plenty of secular Catholics who are delighted to spend 50k+ to send their children to CINO universities.

  12. gramma10 says:

    Cannot imagine that at 81 she is still so messed up. Yes she needs prayers.
    I looked her up in Wikipedia and saw this about her childhood… always goes back to our childhoods, ya know!

    “The Steinems lived and traveled about in the trailer from which Leo her father carried out his trade as a traveling antiques dealer.[16] Before Steinem was born, her mother Ruth, then aged 34, had a “nervous breakdown” that left her an invalid, trapped in delusional fantasies that occasionally turned violent.[17] She changed “from an energetic, fun-loving, book-loving” woman into “someone who was afraid to be alone, who could not hang on to reality long enough to hold a job, and who could rarely concentrate enough to read a book.”[17] Ruth spent long periods in and out of sanatoriums for the mentally ill.[17] Steinem was ten years old when her parents finally separated in 1944.[17] Her father went to California to find work, while she and her mother continued to live together in Toledo.[17]

    While her parents divorced as a result of her mother’s illness, it was not a result of chauvinism on the father’s part, and Steinem claims to have “understood and never blamed him for the breakup.”[18]

    Nevertheless, the impact of these events had a formative effect on her personality: while her father, a traveling salesman, had never provided much financial stability to the family, his exit aggravated their situation.[19] Steinem interpreted her mother’s inability to hold on to a job as evidence of general hostility towards working women.[19] She also interpreted the general apathy of doctors towards her mother as emerging from a similar anti-woman animus.[19] Years later, Steinem described her mother’s experiences as having been pivotal to her understanding of social injustices.[20]:129–138 These perspectives convinced Steinem that women lacked social and political equality.”
    Sad that the school admired this woman enough to ask her to speak. Thank God for the Newman Society. At least it screens colleges. But today “Catholic” means nothing really. More a cultural description.
    We need to start using different words. Like as one person said..”holy matrimony” instead of “marriage”.
    Do not know what to say in place of “Catholic” but perhaps someone could come up with another descriptive adjective to place in parentheses after the word “Catholic”.
    No one seems to define words the same anymore.
    No one must have a true understanding and they make things up as they go along it seems.
    “What is truth”? The same question prevails today as it did 2000+ years ago.
    Thank God for a few good people!

    The “Remnant” is becoming more obvious.

  13. jameeka says:

    Father Z: I have not heard the phrase “Shame on….” for years! Certainly not in public. [What a shame.]

  14. jflare says:

    “But do American Catholic universities have any official affiliation with the Church?”

    Sort of, after a fashion. other words, not really!
    Some years ago, John Paul II began to require schools with alleged Catholic identity to obtain a mandatum with their local ordinary (the bishop). Such a move intended to ensure that Catholic schools had a requirement to at least interact with the bishop enough that the bishop could at least say yes or no to whether he felt the school truly exhibited a Catholic intent.
    Sadly, such has not precisely meant terribly much in many cases. Bishops have tended to have rather wide latitude regarding what they require and what they don’t. Then too, bishops have relatively limited capacity to discipline schools. They may be able to make a pronouncement about a school’s fidelity to the faith–or lack thereof–but such assumes that parents and students not only know about the requirement, but take it seriously if the bishop isn’t satisfied.
    All too often, one or the other does not happen.

    Also, Catholic universities are technically required to fulfill various requirements set forth for their practice and curriculum. I forget which Congregation of the Vatican oversees such concerns. Again though, such requirements are not enforced so well as many would wish.

  15. Clinton says:

    I suppose that St. Norbert’s could justify calling this event a ‘dialogue’ or ‘discussion’ if
    the organizers had included someone to engage Steinem from a Catholic perspective. As
    far as I can tell, what the college did wasn’t a ‘discussion’ so much as it was an endorsement.

    “As the face of the women’s movement… Gloria Steinem leaves us in awe”.
    Is there anyone at St. Norbert’s awed by the truths of the Catholic Faith?

  16. One of those TNCs says:

    I read the whole article. What sickens me most is the applause from the “Catholic” audience upon hearing some of the most ungodly – literally! – things these 2 women said.

    May God have mercy on all of us.

  17. moon1234 says:

    There are very few universities that I would call Catholic as most do not uphold even basic Catholic morals.

    I have worked hard to teach my children myself. My 15 year old daughter will debate college age women on topics such as abortion, etc. and leaves their arguments in the dust. I would rather she goes to a public university where she knows she can question all of the liberal stuff without question than to a dubiously Catholic university where she won’t know what to trust.

    I think if the SSPX, ICRSS or FSSP ran a university level educational institution I would trust them implicitly. They have demonstrated that they will not allow anti-Catholic or luke warm Catholic teaching. The SSPX have their own canonical issues and the ICRSS and FSSP are not yet large enough to run a higher education institution, at least not one that I know of in the USA.

    My daughter is looking at UW Madison as her college of choice due to the strong academic programs. She has solid Catholic parents (we hope) an excellent Bishop and many good Priests and Religious to turn to whenever she questions something she was taught. Forming a child’s mind properly and giving them the skills the think independently and find the truth through reason will allow them to navigate most of the lies that are thrown at them in the modern world.

    We must also remember to pray for our Children daily and be good examples for them. They WILL emulate how we parents practice our faith.

  18. Supertradmum says:

    I highly recommend Thomas Aquinas College, and Wyoming Catholic. Son went to the first, as well as friends. Also know one teacher at Wyoming who is top notch.

    Why bother with these old, rotting institutions. Most have been off since the 1980s, if not before…

  19. The Masked Chicken says:

    This is a complicated issue – not the Gloria Steinem debacle – that is just idiotic, but the question of where to send one’s child to college (or, actually, help them decide, since it should be their choice, all things being equal). While there are many good colleges with a Catholic identities, they do not, often have the stature or facilities to teach certain subjects. For instance, many hard-core liberal arts Catholic colleges have very second-rate STEM programs and even music programs, both subjects I teach. The Great Book method is excellent for philosophy, but lousy for science, since old books are relatively worthless, except for the history of science, being superseded by better, more modern, more synthetic treatments. There are some good Catholic colleges I would recommend (Aquinas College, being one of them), but one has to have a good idea of what one wants to do in life. If one is properly trained, a secular college need not, necessarily, be an impediment to living one’s Catholic life.

    The large problem is that many students are already lost by the time they get to college, these days. It didn’t used to be this way. Thirty years ago, most students lost their faith (if they were going to lose it) after going away from home, but that is not the case as much, today. It is going to become increasingly difficult to be a Catholic college student in the near future, except of the most meaningless, liberal kind. There needs to be something like apologetics clubs for young people or a website where they can learn the Faith in an age specific fashion long before they go off to college. Nothing like this is in place, except, perhaps, in the home-school movement. If anyone wants to set up something like this, I would be willing to participate. Children need to hear the arguments that will be thrown against them long before they go off to college, otherwise, even on the most Catholic of campuses, they risk becoming affected by the environment. Remember, during the Medieval age, the average age of college students was, perhaps 16, and there were plenty of heresies spawned in these most Catholic of institutions.

    The Chicken

  20. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:


    My eldest is currently a student there. It’s a small universe!



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  22. dominicop says:

    What a tragically missed opportunity! Imagine how different our conversation would have been if they had invited Steinem, but then one of the good Fathers of St. Norbert were to engage her in serious debate. Then we could at least have a serious conversation concerning how to prudently decide debate partners. But this was just stupid. St. Norbert should show up and scold them.

  23. benedetta says:

    Sometimes, I really wonder about such feminist icons who came of age in a time when plastics, credit cards, and drugs were the next big things…Aside from the biographical details of Steinem’s family experience sketched out above, I do sometimes think that Freudians could have an even more remarkable insight as to so much that played out. For instance, I think that there is a connection between the rage that seeks to deny children life and the chance to breathe outside of the womb, unless some arbitrary conditions are somehow first met to who knows whose satisfaction, and, the horror so many young women must have registered at the death of their peers, brothers, fathers, lost to the Vietnam War…Obviously the generations before them were just as scarred if not more so by the war, yet this was the first one, as we all learned in middle school, which was covered in technicolor and kodachrome, and in which it was just as permissible to spit on a vet as it was to crown him with a flower garland and offer him a joint to toke with a kiss by a braless dancing hippie nymph…I think the misplaced rage, anger, and desire for vengeance or revenge upon the generation that authoritatively sent their beaux to war really is the locus for so much of the uncontrollable, insatiable demand that women and families sacrifice our youth on the secular altar deceptively labeled “women’s rights”.

    One can see currents of this in the prevailing secular humanism as a general matter, the atheist chic. Maybe they have a point, in a way — that it was, naive, or, unwise, or perhaps not the best move, as it were, of God, to entrust such profound questions such as how we are to get along with one another and order our lives together to creatures with such great capacity to reason, emote, and war, and to choose one’s moral ends…And yet, it seems to me there are existing even now a great many who still believe that we are capable of some collective goals to improve our lot, the lot of others, and for the future, to take moral steps towards this and be united in it, and, despite the accusation that it was a very bad thing for God to go ahead and give the keys to the kingdom to such undignified and even vulgar sorts of beings as we humans can be and are quite a lot of the time, it seems a lot are prepared, even on an international basis, to say right now, that the Earth is worth saving, that it is worth doing as human beings together, and with a really startling sort of optimism and even faith in one’s fellows and our capacity for good and that this can be of real concrete moral and material effect for posterity…for human beings not yet come unto existence, on whatever terms they may yet be born, that we wish to provide for their happiness and health on this place we call home at present. Perhaps the whole world isn’t in fact so very angry with God for producing such strange beings with a stunning capacity to commit evil as one would first surmise. Perhaps we may yet forgive Him all that evil we commit and be grateful He gave us life, that, even if it’s not in fact, all good, it’s not by the same token at the same time, all bad…

  24. Imrahil says:

    this was the first one, as we all learned in middle school, which was covered in technicolor and kodachrome

    It also was the first war the United States – being somewhat in cultural lead and so affecting other cultures too – lost. Ever, if I’m not forgetting something, but certainly for over a century (the U. S. of today is identical to the “Union” of the Civil War).

    Nations tend to become anti-war after a lost war, while victorious wars don’t usually have that effect.

    (Germany, after the victorious war of 1870/71, marched with jubilant songs into the First World War. Germany in 1939, though after years of dictatorial indoctrination, did not cheer – that started only for a brief time in 1940 when the glorious adversary of 14-18, France, had been defeated. But when Germany started war against Russia, people were downrightly shocked and – at least in Bavaria, which back in the days had sent auxiliary troops – started to think about Napoleon’s defeat in 1812.)

  25. benedetta says:

    Imrahil, yes, interesting point.

    Isn’t there something so obviously Greek tragedy about a generation of women refusing to birth roughly half of the next generation, in the fury we see now writ so large…and isn’t there an element of great despair and rage combined…and, on the part of the men, the streak that says that we as a people are not capable of raising children in such a place, inhabited, such as it is, by total fools, whom this God created, who may choose their own destiny, and reason expansively all throughout, so to you know what with it.

    Is it a coincidence, after all, that BXVI named his first encyclical Spe Salvi, and that the current sitting american president decided to launch his campaign for office on a book named Audacity of Hope? We as a people have superstitioned hope almost out of the scene. Still, we’ve all raged, shaken our fist at the heavens, given up on it all…and yet, it seems, some things are still eminently worth it, worth saving, worth sacrificing for, even if we are all struggling animals after our next meal and willing to get the next guy in competition for it…somehow it seems, even though we will not be around to experience it, we want to tell the next generation, such as whomever survives to live, that we have done something, for them, to leave them, something inhabitable, something beautiful, that we cared enough to accomplish that, setting aside our hatreds just for that one time…strange, no?

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