Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cardinal Burke denounces "Catholic in name only" Colleges

This new from the Cardinal Newman Society:

Too many "Catholic in name only" colleges and universities have embraced today's "secularist dictatorship" instead of fighting it, warned one of the Vatican's top-ranking Americans in a frank assessment of Catholic higher education.

"[T]he Catholic university which is true to her identity will help students to be strong in giving an account of their faith in their vocation in life," said Cardinal Raymond Burke.

He said that students should be prepared to confront "the secularist dictatorship which would exclude all religious discourse from the professions and from public life in general."

Cardinal Burke is Prefect of the Vatican's highest court and Ecclesiastical Advisor to The Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education, a division of The Cardinal Newman Society.

[Click here to support the Society's fight against secularism in Catholic universities.]

His address was delivered on December 4 at The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, a faithfully Catholic college in New Hampshire that is recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. Cardinal Burke lauded the college for its "noble and critical efforts to promote authentic Catholic higher education in our nation."

You can watch or read Cardinal Burke's complete address at The Cardinal Newman Society website here.

"In a society which is marked by a virulent secularism," Cardinal Burke said, "...the service of the Catholic university is more needed than ever.

"How tragic that the very secularism which the Catholic university should be helping its students to battle and overcome has entered into several Catholic universities, leading to the grievous compromise of their high mission."

Cardinal Burke said that the true Catholic university will teach students "to overcome the prevalent and utterly destructive error of our time that somehow faith is contradicted by reason."

But any Catholic college or university "at which Jesus Christ alive in His Church is not taught, encountered in the Sacred Liturgy and its extension through prayer and devotion, and followed in a life of virtue is not worthy of the name."

"According to the ancient canonical wisdom, corruptio optimi pessima est, 'the corruption of the best is the worst,'" Cardinal Burke said. "Sadly, we have witnessed the truth of the axiom in so many Catholic colleges and universities in our nation, which once gave pride of place to their Catholic identity and the Catholic life of the campus but now are Catholic in name only, usually qualifying their Catholic identity by another name, for example, calling themselves a Catholic university in the Franciscan or Jesuit tradition."
I wonder which universities the Cardinal might have in mind?


  1. "Too many "Catholic in name only" colleges and universities have embraced today's "secularist dictatorship" instead of fighting it, warned one of the Vatican's top-ranking Americans in a frank assessment of Catholic higher education."

    Great, Cardinal Burke, but the statement lacks punch without a list naming the CINO institutions. Parents who are working very hard to give their children a Catholic education do not have time nor any interest in reading vague statements from the Vatican. We need thunderbolts, the kind that wake people up. We need and have needed for the past 25 years AT LEAST a headline in the Chicago Tribune saying, "Cardinal Declares DePaul University No Longer Catholic." We need a headline that says, "Vatican Orders The Congregation of the Holy Cross Out of Notre Dame, Declares It Not Catholic!" Until that moment of truth the unconscionable defrauding of Catholic parents and their children will continue.

  2. I agree with Lee. It's especially shameful that Notre Dame is prosecuting a pro-life priest for holding prolife signs and protesting (peacefully) Obama's address at Notre Dame, where NO Proabortion is to be given a public platform as he was. These so called 'Catholic' institutions are taking money under false pretenses.

  3. ”I wonder which universities the Cardinal might have in mind?”

    It might be easier to ask which universities the Cardinal didn’t have in mind, Father. Unfortunately, I suspect it would be a short list…

  4. Agree with the Cardinal's comments. I could name one from personal experience. It was a constant battle.


Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


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