Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Week 21 in Catholic Media, 2014

May 22nd, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Here’s another quick lap around three prominent “Catholic Colleges” lest we forget that this misuse of the name Catholic demeans all schools trying to BE true to the Faith.  We start with Georgetown’s Scandals, which the Vatican finds “well founded.”



Vatican says ‘Exorcist’ author’s complaints about scandals at Georgetown U are ‘well-founded’

BY KIRSTEN ANDERSEN,  May 14, 2014, LifeSiteNews

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 2014 ( – Approximately one year after filing a canonical lawsuit against Georgetown University for what he described as “23 years of scandals and dissidence” at the Roman Catholic institution, Exorcist author William Peter Blatty has finally received a response from the Vatican, in which the archbishop tasked with overseeing Catholic education admitted Blatty’s concerns were “well-founded.”

Blatty filed his petition last June on behalf of himself and 2,000 Georgetown alumni, parents, students, faculty and other concerned Catholics, accusing the school of failing to comply with Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the 1990 Apostolic Constitution for Catholic universities that demands church-affiliated institutions of higher learning promote and defend Catholic doctrine.

Blatty urged the Vatican to either force Georgetown to comply with Catholic teaching on matters of faith and morals, or strip it of its Catholic identity.  In a response letter …  Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, said his office was unable to take direct disciplinary action against the university.  However, he said that Blatty’s concerns were “well-founded” and warranted further investigation.  “Your communications to this dicastery in the matter of Georgetown University … constitute a well-founded complaint.

Attorney Manuel Miranda said the petition submitted to Pope Francis was “more than 200 pages and contains more than 480 footnotes, 99 appendices, 124 witness statements, and a commissioned 120-page institutional audit of Georgetown. We have documented 23 years of Scandals and dissidence, more than 100 Scandals in the most recent years alone.”

At the time, Blatty said the scandal that pushed him over the edge was the invitation of then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to speak at Georgetown’s graduation.   Blatty said….“It grieves me that Georgetown University today almost seems to take pride in insulting the Church and offending the faithful.”


Notre Dame refuses to recognize pro-marriage student group


NOTRE DAME, IN, May 15, 2014 ( – Notre Dame’s administration and student leadership is under fire after denying official recognition to a student organization dedicated to promoting the traditional view of marriage, although it has an officially sanctioned group for homosexuals.  Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), which aims to promote the benefits of traditional marriage for children, was created in January 2014.  In a petition to the Notre Dame leadership, it “call[ed] on the University administration to make a clear stand in support of the true definition of marriage and to take serious and sustained action to improve the public understanding of this natural institution.”

Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said SCOP’s application to become an official student club was turned down by “the Club Coordination Council (CCC), a student group” which “recommended against approving SCOP because its purpose closely mirrors that of other recognized student clubs on campus.”

But critics say the Catholic university discriminated against the group, which aims to promote the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage.  In a statement to LifeSiteNews, Notre Dame alumna Arina Grossu, who heads the Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity, said she “urge[s] Fr. Jenkins to overrule [the CCC’s] decision and make a clear stand on Catholic teaching.”

“Notre Dame, …   has a responsibility to proclaim the beauty and truth of Catholic teaching on marriage and the family,” Grossu said. “Further, all children have a right to be raised by their mother and father.  Notre Dame must stand up and be a beacon of light and truth in this darkened cultural environment where natural marriage, family and children are threatened.”

A cursory look through Notre Dame’s official list of clubs and student organizations turned up only one group that focuses on marriage in a similar fashion to SCOP, called “Rodzinka: Little Family.” No student groups were found to focus on the harms of pornography, and most groups that focused on helping children did so in a social justice sense.   Hundreds of students signed a petition opposing SCOP’s mission, especially its focus on children.

Bradley says that “without presuming to delve into the minds of the voting CCC members or impugn their motives,” he does believe the anti-SCOP petition played a role in the rejection. “The anti-SCOP petition was littered with misrepresentations of SCOP’s own mission and goals, and badly maligned SCOP’s purpose. The voting members of the CCC almost surely were aware of this effort.”

Bradley told LifeSiteNews that he thinks the Students Activities Office and CCC “both misunderstand SCOP’s mission and purpose, and rejected our group on those mistaken grounds.” Bradley said that he has “spent four years here occupying the circles comprised of members of any group on campus whose mission would most closely align with SCOP’s,” and based upon this experience believes no group is close enough to SCOP’s mission to be considered redundant.

Critics of the CCC decision have pointed to the acceptance of what Brown calls “the establishment of a student organization for LGBTQ students and their allies.” This took place in 2012.  “Due consideration is to be exercised so as to avoid any political or social activities that might compromise Notre Dame’s Roman Catholic allegiance and commitments,” the plan said.

Notre Dame is no stranger to events and groups that disagree with Church teachings on sexuality. The play The Vagina Monologues was held on campus from 2002-6, and again in 2008.   Likewise, the Notre Dame Queer Festival was launched in 2004. By 2009, the festival was gone.

A November 2013 panel discussion on campus brought an admission from a member of the University Counseling Center that she is bisexual. Dr. Maureen Lafferty, who is also a Notre Dame professor, also said that “folks who are bi, they sometimes have a special angle on multiple identities, the fact that we are very interesting people.” Lafferty’s personal biography on the campus website says her interests include “spending time near water and/or at home with my partner and our furry family.”

Another panelist, Dr. Jan Poorman, was reported to have told students that when it comes to transgender issues, the Church “must rethink what we say about the immorality of those medically necessary procedures and processes that people feel must undergo oftentimes without even knowing all the medical reasons underlie the sense that they do not belong in their bodies.” Poorman also indicated there is a spectrum of human genders.  Poorman is the Director of Formation and Field Education in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology.  Last year, the Gay & Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame & St. Mary’s (GLAND) applied for status as an official alumni association of Notre Dame. In a document for members, it says it hopes to “influence” the issue of non-discrimination policies on campus “better…from the ‘inside.'” The group also supports same-sex “marriage.”


Catholic Boston College to honor John Kerry, Cardinal O’Malley urged to withdraw 

BOSTON, May 15, 2014 ( – The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today criticized Jesuit administered Boston College for its decision to confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on U. S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who has also been invited to serve as the university’s 2014 Commencement speaker. The League is also urging Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, to repeat his 2013 decision to withdraw from the commencement because of the honoree’s advocacy of abortion.

In … Catholics in Political Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”  Secretary Kerry is a supporter of legal abortion, the public funding of abortion, partial birth abortion, abortions at military hospitals and buffer zones limiting free speech around abortion clinics. He has also endorsed contraception, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, physician assisted suicide, same gender marriage, federal gay rights legislation, the distribution of condoms to minors, family planning programs as part of U.S. foreign aid, and taxpayer financing of both Planned Parenthood and the U. N. Fund for Population Activities.

As a U.S. Senator, Kerry received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. As a presidential candidate in 2004, Kerry was endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and promised, if elected, to appoint only those jurists who agree with Roe v. Wade to the U.S. Supreme Court.  In August 2003, Senator Kerry publicly criticized Pope, now Saint John Paul II in the pages of the Boston Herald. Kerry accused the recently canonized pontiff of “crossing the line,” of violating the American separation of church and state because of a Vatican exhortation to Catholic political leaders to oppose same gender marriage.

“Few American politicians have managed to compile John Kerry’s record of prolonged, sustained, and pervasive opposition to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” said Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle.  “Last year, Cardinal O’Malley withdrew from the BC commencement and criticized the choice of Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny as the graduation speaker because the cardinal said Kenny was ‘aggressively promoting abortion legislation,’” he added. “Nothing in Kenny’s position on abortion begins to remotely compare however with John Kerry’s 30 year, wide ranging, career long, lockstep support for Planned Parenthood and NARAL.”

Doyle, an alumnus of Boston College, said of his alma mater, “Three weeks after the canonization of Saint John Paul II, the Jesuits at Boston College are honoring a political figure who launched a demagogic, intellectually dishonest, cheap shot attack on that saint while he was alive and infirm, and the man created Archbishop of Boston by that saint is, reportedly, participating in the proceedings. It’s really quite appalling.”

And thus concludes the quick lap through Georgetown, Notre Dame and Boston College — for this week.

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