Cleansing Fire

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About Damn Time – Louvain Seminary to Close

November 20th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

From Whispers in the Loggia:

“After 154 years of forming men for the priesthood of Jesus Christ for service in the Church of the United States and serving as a residence for graduate and sabbatical priests, religious, and lay people, the American College of the Immaculate Conception in Leuven, Belgium will close at the end of this formation year in June of 2011. The seminary has served the Church in the U.S. and other parts of the world faithfully, steadfastly, and zealously throughout its existence.

The criteria cited by the Apostolic Commission responsible for the Study, directed by the Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations were: small enrollment numbers; the significant challenges in peer formation in a small seminary environment; the shortage of priest faculty; and a small number of sending dioceses of the 178 Latin Rite dioceses in the United States.”

Praise be to God!

Louvain has gained a negative reputation over the past couple decades due largely in part to accusations of rampant militant homosexuality and a progressive faculty. Rochester Catholics will probably remember Louvain from the account given in Goodbye Good Men involving a local priest (whether or not it is true is debated). As a result of the seminary’s poor reputation, few American bishops have chosen to send their seminarians to Louvain. Of course the Diocese of Rochester  is one of the rare exceptions, and one must wonder why…

The Diocese of Rochester currently has one seminarian attending Louvain: Michael Costik. It would appear that his stay there will end this June, and that he will need to find a new seminary to finish out his final year(s) of priestly formation.

In my opinion, the loss of Louvain is a step in the right direction toward restoring the integrity and orthodoxy of our seminaries.

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12 Responses to “About Damn Time – Louvain Seminary to Close”

  1. avatar Mike says:

    Alice von Hildebrand wrote on this topic in the July-August 2003 issue of the New Oxford Review. While her remarks applied to the entire Catholic University of Louvain and not specifically to its American College of the Immaculate Conception, they are eye-opening nonetheless.

    Students registering for living quarters at the University are given a pamphlet titled “Questions: Some Answers,” which they are told to peruse. Here is a brief summary of it:

    – Homosexuality has always existed. But thanks to scientific advancement, new discoveries in the area of sexology now enable us to re-examine the question with a fresh approach.

    – The question of homosexuality, we are told, is very complex. The use of homosexual stereotypes does not do justice to the issue, and are often contradictory. Homosexuals are described as both effeminate and aggressive.

    – To ask whether one is homosexual because one has had a negative heterosexual experience can be counteracted by asking: Is one heterosexual because one has had a homosexual experience that was disappointing?

    – In order to demonstrate that heterosexuality is “normal” but homosexuality is not, the theory has been advanced that most adolescents go through a period of homosexuality, characterized by narcissism. According to this theory, those who mature overcome this stage whereas homosexuals are those who remain “stuck” in it, and therefore homosexuals must be helped to outgrow this stage of persistent adolescence. However, according to the pamphlet, to ask whether homosexuality is normal or natural is inadequate when one realizes that what characterizes human beings is their capacity to do things that are not “natural,” such as “eating with a fork, knitting a pullover, making motors, riding a bicycle, and cleaning one’s behind with flowered toilet paper,” which “un-natural practices” are nevertheless fully endorsed by society. (I would note that this pamphlet confuses acts that are morally relevant and those that are not. It does not bode well for the teaching of ethics at Louvain.)

    – A common objection to homosexuality is that something about it just “does not click.” But why isn’t the same objection made about heterosexuality? Why create a “hierarchy” among different types of sexuality?

    – Homosexuals are accused of thinking about nothing but sex. But what about heterosexuals? Are they any different? Homosexuals are also accused of being unfaithful. But are heteros always faithful?

    – Another major argument leveled against homosexuality is that homosexual unions are inevitably sterile. But heterosexual couples can also be sterile. (This leads to the endorsement of allowing homosexual couples to adopt children.)

    – People speak of the complementarity of heterosexual parents (male and female). But this complementarity can also be found among homosexuals.

    – Why condemn homosexuality when it can lead to “so much happiness”? There are couples who “blossom” in a homosexual relationship. Why condemn what for them is a source of so much joy? A young homosexual declares, “for me, homosexuality is happiness.”

    – A traditional argument leveled against homosexuality is a misreading of the biblical text concerning Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the pamphlet, today we know that these two towns were destroyed, not because they were practicing a “horrible vice” contra naturam, but because they had gravely sinned by refusing hospitality to those who needed it. Homosexuality is a prohibition that need no longer be observed by Christians, just like the eating of pork. (A dreadful confusion is made here between the moral law and a positive law which is indeed subject to change — e.g., the prohibition of meat on Fridays, which was abolished by Pope Paul VI.)

    That these arguments are spread at a Catholic university is amazing. One is reminded of the prophetic words of Chesterton: “He who abandons the supernatural will inevitably fall into the un-natural.”

    When he became Primate of Belgium in 1983, Godfried Cardinal Danneels opened, for the benefit of homosexuals, the Center of Welcome for One and All at the Catholic University of Louvain. When asked by a group of young people what he thought about homosexuality, Cardinal Danneels answered: “The question is not what one thinks about it; it is simply a fact. To be homosexual is a natural disposition, just as being heterosexual. One chooses neither one nor the other. The question is rather: ‘What do I do with it?’ I know excellent priests who are homosexuals; I also know excellent priests who are heterosexuals. Celibates are not ‘nothing’ — that is, ‘neuter.’ We are always one or the other. But it cannot be denied that homosexuals are deprived of certain dimensions of existence: the distinction between man and woman, between parents and children. This clearly distinguishes them from heterosexuals. But this is no reason for excluding them….”

    When asked whether he thought that a child adopted and raised by homosexuals would be less happy than one raised by heterosexuals, Cardinal Danneels responded: “A heterosexual marriage is richer because it can procreate its own children. [But] a lesbian couple can have children, thanks to artificial insemination, though this is a technical act. Psychologists will tell us whether this can create a problem….”

    Note that the Cardinal, who received a Doctor Honoris Causa from Georgetown University in March 2003, carefully sidesteps the moral issue of whether homosexual practices are morally licit.

    Two faculty members of the University of Louvain (Olivier De Shutter and Jean-Yves Carlier), together with six professors of the Free University of Brussels (which is anything but Catholic), published an article in Le Soir (a newspaper of socialist tendencies) defending the thesis that “marriage” between homosexuals should be allowed. But they never raise the issue of morality. (Just recently, Belgium passed a law allowing homosexuals to “marry.”)

    At this point, readers are entitled to ask with deep grief: Is the Catholic University of Louvain still Catholic?

    In a later article (October 2003) Dr. Heldebrand detailed Louvain’s considerable heterodoxy in the areas of abortion, cloning, in vitro fertilization, and euthanasia.

    Why, indeed, is any American diocese sending its seminarians to be formed at a college that is an integral part of such a university?

  2. avatar Nerina says:

    WOW! Quite an excerpt from Alice von Hildebrand. Woe to that Cardinal. He’ll have much to answer for.

    I join with Dr. K. and saying “it’s about damn time.” The scandal and confusion sowed in that place is incalculable.

  3. avatar benanderson says:

    yes, mike – great quote! and thanks for sharing the news drk.

    Why, indeed, is any American diocese sending its seminarians to be formed at a college that is an integral part of such a university?

    I think the quote answers that question.

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    The American dioceses are sending their seminarians to this corrupt place because the bishops are either homosexual themselves, or are in support of dissest. Plain and simple.

  5. avatar Louis E. says:

    Is the North American College in Rome clearly more orthodox?

  6. avatar Dr. K says:

    From what I hear it’s much better than Louvain.

  7. avatar Mike says:

    FWIW, according to this photo the Class of 2010 at the North American College in Rome numbered 41, while CARA states that the American College of the Immaculate Conception at Louvain was expected to graduate 3.

  8. avatar Dr. K says:

    By their fruit…

  9. avatar Anonymous says:

    This blog will fade into obscurity while the alumni of Louvain continue to serve and serve well the American Church. Wish I could have seen you attempt to handle exams with Jan Walgrave, Jan Lambrecht, Robrecht Boudens,Piet Fransen,Frans Neiryncx, Joel Delobel,Raymond Collins, Willi Onclin, Frank DeGraeve and Reimund Bieringer, among many others. Could you have used that knowledge to ground your care for God’s people. Do you care for God’s people or do you care about telling them what to do from a distance?

    By the way, how is your koine Greek?

  10. avatar Dr. K says:

    Do you care for God’s people or do you care about telling them what to do from a distance?

    Why don’t you practice what you preach, hypocrite?

  11. avatar Hopefull says:

    Assuming from what you wrote that you must be an expert in koine Greek, I am asking you, Anonymous 15149 for your exegesis on John 21:15, please.

    When Christ asks Peter “Do you love me more than these?” what is your take on whether it means:

    Do you love Me more than these love Me?

    or

    Do you love Me more than you love these?

    Please refer to the specific cases and tenses in the Greek as the argument for which version you believe it means; i.e. from the koine, not from someone else’s translation. Thank you! I just haven’t been able to figure it out yet.

  12. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Anonymous is touting intelligence, I think. I suppose these professors display much intelligence and their courses are challenging, so one can be proud of passing a sort of intelligence marker if one passes these courses.

    Wisdom and goodness are superior qualities to intelligence. To be intelligent and unwise or intelligent and corrupt, dishonest, immoral, evil and/or hateful is a very destructive combination that serves no one but the self/ego. However goodness and wisdom combined with any level of intelligence is good for everyone.

    I hope Anonymous will serve us with his superior intelligence and give us an answer to Hopeful’s question. I don’t know any koine Greek at all, and I’d like to know from an expert!

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