Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


3/22/2007 (8 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Patrick Reilly Gives Examples and Outlines Possible Solutions

MANASSAS, Virginia, JULY 21, 2004 (Zenit) - Over the last five years, hundreds of inroads made by advocates of "the culture of death" have been documented at Catholic colleges.



Catholic Online (

3/22/2007 (8 years ago)

Published in College & University

That is according to a new study by the Cardinal Newman Society. The phenomenon of such advocates on campuses has prompted the U.S. bishops' conference to ask Church-related institutions to refrain from honoring those who act in defiance of Church teachings.

Patrick Reilly, the president of the Newman Society and co-author of the report with the group's Erin Butcher, shared with us how the culture of death is infiltrating Catholic campuses and what can be done to stop its advance.

Part 1 of this interview appeared Tuesday on Catholic Online (

Q: What were the most common examples of "the culture of death" -- inroads made by advocates of abortion, contraception, premarital sex and physician-assisted suicide -- that your study uncovered at Catholic colleges?

Reilly: The most common problem is speakers and honorees.

We documented nearly 200 incidents of inappropriate speakers and honorees since 1999, but because our research was based primarily on published reports available in college newspapers and on the Internet, we are certain that the actual number of inappropriate speakers and honorees is much higher than 200.

This is why the recent U.S. bishops' statement calling on Catholic institutions to refrain from honoring those who act in defiance of Catholic teaching means so much to our members, especially students who have been struggling to improve campus culture.

Frequently these speakers and honorees are pro-abortion politicians. We found at least 17 visits and lectures by former President Bill Clinton at Georgetown University.

What's worse, Catholic campuses often host pro-abortion politicians for campaign events. In the current presidential campaign, Marquette University and St. Anselm College hosted debates consisting entirely of pro-abortion candidates.

Other campaign appearances included John Kerry at Georgetown in January 2003 and again last April, for a major speech laying out his economic plan; Dennis Kucinich at Sacred Heart University; Howard Dean at St. Anselm and Georgetown; Dick Gephardt's daughter at Boston College; Gephardt and Kerry at Clarke College; and Wesley Clark at Rivier College.

Of course, speakers and honorees are not the only concerns at Catholic colleges. Several host and sometimes sponsor pro-abortion student clubs, such as the Reproductive Choice Coalition at Boston College law school, and Hoyas for Choice and Georgetown Students for Choice at Georgetown University.

Internship and service opportunities can be a problem, such as the Planned Parenthood "clinic escort" position promoted by Nazareth College's campus ministry. Several college Web sites refer or link students to organizations including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority Foundation.

We discovered that Georgetown's Web site referred students to local abortion clinics, the College of Santa Fe provided "emergency contraception" to students, and many colleges covered contraceptives in employee health plans.

Q: What in your study's findings surprised you the most?

Reilly: The Cardinal Newman Society has dealt with most of these problems over the past decade, so nothing was particularly surprising. But after pulling our research together, I was struck by the extent to which problems at Georgetown University dominated much of the report.

Perhaps Georgetown's several campus publications and extensive Web site allowed for more thorough research than at many other colleges, but it is troubling to find scandals so numerous at the United States' oldest Catholic university with a charter from the Vatican.

I also find deeply disturbing the presence of culture of death advocates among the faculty members, trustees, administrators, and staff members of Catholic colleges. Here not only are Catholic colleges guilty of following social trends, but employees of the institution itself are actively working against the Church on some of the most important issues of our time.

Daniel Maguire, a former priest and outspoken dissenter on sexual morality and abortion, teaches theology and ethics at Marquette University.

Georgetown faculty members have included board members of organizations that are leading the fight for physician-assisted suicide, as well as employees of Planned Parenthood.

Sheila Smith, president of Mount St. Clare College -- now renamed Franciscan University in Iowa -- in 2001 and 2002, had previously been a pro-abortion candidate for U.S. Congress and Illinois lieutenant governor.

Pro-abortion politicians, most of them "retired" from politics, also find a refuge in Catholic colleges.

These include Carol Moseley Braun teaching management at DePaul University, Geraldine Ferraro sitting on Fordham University law school's board of visitors and teaching public policy at Georgetown, and Leon Panetta teaching political science and sitting on the board of trustees and law school board of visitors at Santa Clara University.

Q: What are some solutions to ensure that Catholic colleges uphold their Catholic, pro-life mission?

Reilly: At a minimum, Catholic colleges and their employees should not contribute to the culture of death.

This means carefully screening prospective employees and representatives of colleges, banning inappropriate campus speakers and honorees, providing campus health and counseling services that are consistent with Catholic teaching, monitoring college Web sites and materials distributed on campus, and refusing to cooperate with organizations that advance the culture of death -- such as referrals to Planned Parenthood.

As with individual Catholics, something more is also expected of Catholic institutions: They should be proactively building a culture of life. Colleges can begin with their own campuses.

This means providing counseling and health services that promote chastity, adoption and motherhood, providing comprehensive and well-promoted services for pregnant students, seeking honorees and lecturers who model pro-life activism and behavior, and otherwise finding ways to be visibly and persuasively pro-life in all official actions and commitments.

Colleges struggling with this issue can look for advice from institutions that are consistently Catholic. A few examples include the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Thomas Aquinas College, and the Catholic University of America, but there are several other good models.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More College & University

Religion and Science: The Evolutionary Controversy

Image of

By Kyle Jorstad, Grove City College

Catholic Online welcomes scholarly submissions for consideration, contact Abstract: Though members of the scientific and atheistic community alike often tout science as the downfall of religion, theories regarding Darwinian evolution ... continue reading

Do you love America? What these college professors were caught doing on camera will shock you! Watch

Image of The Constitution codifies many liberties, including the right to shred the Constitution itself.


It should be no surprise that America's colleges and universities are overrun with anti-American liberals who lack all respect for the country and the principles upon which it is founded. In an age where political correctness has run amok, students are indoctrinated by ... continue reading

Catholic Colleges: Tackling Student Loans Ethically


By Caitlin Bootsma

It's almost an assumption in today's world that students will take out a staggering amount of debt to be able to attend a four year university. And, with college costs rising faster than the rate of inflation, 18 year olds are signing themselves up for increasingly ... continue reading

Franciscan nun becomes first woman head of a pontifical university Watch

Image of Sister Melone is an alumnus of the university set up in 1890 in honor of St Anthony, a 13th century saint from Spain known for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of the Bible.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education made history last week when it nominated a Franciscan nun as the first woman head of a pontifical university. In a position held usually by priests, Sister Mary Melone will become the rector of the Pontifical ... continue reading

University of St. Thomas Graduates First Nursing Cohort in 25 Years

Image of University of St. Thomas Nursing Graduate, Elizabeth Ciocco

By Darnell Miller - University of St. Thomas

This May 27 nursing students, including Elizabeth Ciocco, will be the first nursing students to graduate from the University of St. Thomas in nearly 25 years.  Ciocco joins 298 undergraduates and 739 graduates at the University's 64th Commencement ... continue reading

University of St. Thomas Honors Research Goes 6 Feet Under

Image of Honors Program students consider the issues of death and mortality in the Contemporary Seminar research presented at UST's Research symposium.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

A few hundred people have undergone cryopreservation procedures since 1962, having their bodies cooled to sub-zero temperatures, with the hope that one day they may be brought back to life using highly advanced technology. It's the kind of issue-along with assisted ... continue reading

What the devil?! Bill Gates wants your college info so he can tell you what classes to take Watch

Image of Bill Gates could do so much more if only he had your privacy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It might be easier to compose a short list of people and agencies that don't want to spy on you. Adding his name to the long list, Bill Gates has proposed tracking the lives and careers of college graduates as an ongoing means to assess college value. Of course, they'd ... continue reading

Two Cardinals, a Theologian and a Historian to Lecture at the University of St. Thomas

Image of N.T. Wright, one of the world's leading Bible scholar.

By Darnell Miller, University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas is fortunate to have four outstanding speakers giving lectures on campus in the month of March. These speakers include N.T. Wright, one of the world's leading Bible scholars; Thomas Cardinal Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto; Dr. Andrew ... continue reading

Women Succeed in UST Engineering, CUA is New Partner

Image of Kendall Niemann is a UST cooperative engineering student studying at the University of Notre Dame.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

In the male-dominated field of engineering, it can be difficult for women to succeed, but last year, all four graduates of the University of St. Thomas cooperative engineering program were women, and three of them were Hispanic. Dr. Sheila Waggoner said she is proud of ... continue reading

Mardi Gras King, Queen Exemplify UST Mission

Image of University of St. Thomas Mardi Gras King and Queen, C.J. Miller and Meredith Smith.

By Vivian Cabrera - University of St. Thomas

The ideal Mardi Gras king and queen should embody the University's mission to educate leaders of faith and character. With the crowning of C.J. Miller and Meredith Smith The ideal Mardi Gras king and queen should embody the University's mission to educate leaders of ... continue reading

All College & University News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • GRAPHIC IMAGES: Islamic extremist shown being BLOWN UP while making ...
  • Daily Readings for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • St. Andrew: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • CRYBABY KILLER: Islamist State fighter breaks down in tears after ...
  • MIRACLES DO HAPPEN: Days-old baby girl buried alive pulled to safety ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More