Government Watch / Politics / Pro-Life

End the Truce: The High Court Leak and the Challenge to Catholic Institutions

AMAC Exclusive – David P. Deavel

Virginia church catholic

The recent leak of Justice Alito’s drafted opinion overturning Roe v. Wade has not only exposed the hollowness of the American Democratic Party’s pretended commitment to “norms” (Joe Biden won’t even condemn the leak or the doxing of the Justices’ home addresses) and “democracy” (the end of Roe means that abortion supporters actually have to argue to voters why the killing of innocent human life in the womb should be allowed). It has also exposed yet again how although Catholic teaching on this topic—which follows the actual science—has not changed, the situation New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has referred to as “the truce” still obtains in American Catholic life. For the good of both Catholic life and American life, this truce must end at some point.

            What is this truce?  Douthat described it in a 2016 essay as a kind of unstated and unofficial agreement of Catholic bishops to continue to officially uphold Catholic doctrines and the natural law in public while often tolerating “disagreement, relativism, and dissent” in “the everyday life of Catholicism.” This situation, ongoing since the late 1960s, has meant that, though there are many thriving and vibrant Catholic parishes, even some ordinary parishes bear the marks of trendy social thinking. Much worse, many Catholic educational and charitable institutions function effectively as secular liberal strongholds. Apart from some excellent and thriving colleges and universities such as the University of Dallas, the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Belmont Abbey College, and the University of Mary in North Dakota, Catholic higher education institutions are by-and-large de facto secular and even anti-Catholic even if they sprinkle a bit of Catholic language about “human dignity” and “the common good” over their products and have “offices of institutional mission” on campus.

In an article in the Jesuit periodical America asking whether colleges and universities that no longer have members of the religious orders that founded them even present, one vice president of mission at a small college founded by Dominican sisters reflects on the questions at the heart of the “expression of the mission and Dominican Catholic identity of the institution.” “What does it mean to work with faculty to center justice, antiracism, and culturally responsive education? What does it mean to center, for the whole college, a culturally responsive ministry? What does it mean to be an inclusive college environment that is welcoming and serving of all students, particularly historically underrepresented students?”

            Nothing about Jesus. Nothing about his Church or her teachings about faith and morals that are meant to illumine human existence. This academic bureaucrat’s notion of “Dominican Catholic identity” has nothing to do with either St. Dominic or the Catholic tradition. It is pretty much identical to every other critical race theory-inflected mission at secular colleges.

            And you can bet that the “justice” and “inclusiveness” doesn’t reach to children of any color in the womb. A search of that college’s website finds only one reference to “pro-life” in a news article about an athlete who was part of the pro-life club—at her high school.      

One might think that Catholic universities and the orders that founded them would say something about the possibility that the youngest humans might now be protected in law. But almost all of the biggest ones and most of the smaller ones have nothing to say about it. They are happy to pontificate on race and “gender” but not on the evils of abortion. Likely because most of their own administration and faculty don’t think it is an evil.

Georgetown University, founded by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the oldest Catholic higher educational institution in the United States, has for many years claimed the title Catholic even though it now functions largely as a leftist citadel whose professors can publicly wish for the violent death of Brett Kavanaugh supporters and express desire to castrate the corpses and feed them to swine with little repercussion. A search of its website and the social media feeds for its law school indicate no word at all on this momentous leak. On May 2, the day the opinion was leaked, Georgetown’s Twitter feed highlighted the school’s Lavender graduation ceremony for “LGBTQ and ally undergraduate and graduate students.”

The Jesuits themselves, an order of priests that long ago went woke and whose numbers have been cratering, have said nothing on their websites or social media feeds. One bright spot, however, is that a youngish Jesuit priest named Sam Sawyer published an article in America celebrating the decision and unambiguously affirming the justice of protecting unborn human life. Though the article is not perfect (its “explanation” of why Americans who support abortion might be distrustful of this decision is filled with a great many one-sided left-wing political talking points), it at least affirms the truth about abortion.

Would that the order itself (which famously allowed the pro-abortion Massachusetts Congressman Robert Drinan to remain in the order despite his voting record) or any of its 28 colleges could get to that point.

Yet it’s not just the Jesuits or their institutions. It’s a great many Catholic institutions from universities to grade schools to charities in which being pro-life (among other things Catholic) is merely tolerated and not celebrated since those who have charge of things are quite often not pro-life themselves.

Catholic bishops have by-and-large abdicated their duties with regard to politicians who vote over and over for pro-abortion policies (among other things taught as grave evils by the Church). One might forgive them for not taking more action since Pope Francis seems averse to holding politicians accountable for their behavior. But with regard to Catholic institutions themselves, they have the capacity to stop the truce. When supposedly Catholic institutions do not have the integrity to make hiring and policy decisions that reflect a truly Catholic institution, bishops can deny them the right to call themselves Catholic.

I became a Catholic twenty-five years ago this month, and I’ve found that many American Christians, even if they do not agree with Catholics enough to become one, respect the Catholic Church for her consistent teaching and her witness and look to her for partnership and even leadership in promoting the kind of society that they want to live in.

When Catholic institutional walk doesn’t match Catholic moral talk, they are less inclined to join her in worshiping Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. They are also saddened that America is losing a potent force for making this country great. They don’t want the Church to make a truce. They want her and all her institutions to fight for what is right and good.    

David P. Deavel is editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, co-director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy, and a visiting professor at the University of St. Thomas (MN). He is the co-host of the Deep Down Things podcast. Follow him on GETTR @davidpdeavel.


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Diane M. Watson, M.Ed.
11 days ago

Personhood is not just a Catholic perspective. Prior to Roe vs. Wade a doctor in the Boston area was on trial for ending the life of a child seven months in the womb who would have lived had the physician not brought about death through a surgical procedure not labeled an abortion. He lost his MD and did 2 years in prison. The trial was in the paper daily circa mid to late 1960’s.

WILLIAM MCKENZIE
13 days ago

Although right on abortion, Roman Catholic doctrine is definitely not to be generally accepted by any means. It is rife with blasphemies and anti-biblical tenets.

Becky
14 days ago

Tired of all the lunatic drama… If Roe vs Wade is overturned at the fed level — where it NEVER should have been — it will simply be returned to the states to decide. This would be the Constitutional way of law. Unless specified in the Constitution as being assigned to the federal government, law making belongs to the states.

Barb304
15 days ago

If Roe v Wade is overturned not only will babies continue to die but a lot of Mothers will die with them! Why, you say? Because we will see the return of illegal abortion! GOD BLESS the USA

Judy K.
15 days ago

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Father of all, the bible says. Catholicism is a Cult. God’s Word states that true religion is visiting the fatherless and poor widows, And that charity covereth a multitude of sins.
We are warned throughout the Scriptures to not be deceived. ‘Study the Scriptures, to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed.’
‘ In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.’

Walt
14 days ago
Reply to  Judy K.

Listen lady I was born and raised Catholic……I don’t belong to a cult so you have been deceived….but God loves you anyway

D.P.
15 days ago

One can accurately say, from this article and others like it, that overall, Christianity is no longer the Scripture-based religion it once was in this nation. For the most part, nearly all main line orders of this faith have sold out to secular thought. Hypocracy is rampant in most supposed “Christian” higher education institutes, and religious orders. This has to do with money and power over and above faith and righteousness. While there remains enclaves of true Christian practice and doctrine, they are slowly being eroded from without and within. Christianity in America is for the most part, in name only when it comes to the official practice and process, while individual believers still may hold to the truth of God’s Word and will. The numbers tell the story….as church attendance declines, giving drops and actual practice of the faith falls away. But this is not new…..by simply reading the history of both Christian and pre-Christian activity, the cycle of faith verses heresy is long standing. The Bible is one prime example, as read, of how people fail, rise again, fail again, rise again and so on. Organized religion, in particular Christianity, has been overtaken by secular humanist thought, evolutional theory, and false teaching and idolatry toward materialism….making it no different than any other organized order in the end. The “faithful” know this, bemoan it, but know that God is still master of all, and in the end, He has overcome all things. So, you truly faithful, stay in the Word, keep your prayer life alive, share the good news of Christ as Savior, and trust God above all others. Your individual faith matters more now than ever!

Jon VANDER SCHOUWl
14 days ago
Reply to  D.P.

Money and power ALL about the dim party!

Casey C Matt
15 days ago

What received no coverage here was the plan, still on the table by the EU with US support trying to sanction the Orthodox Christian Churches in the East. Thankfully the eastern European countries where the Orthodox faith is followed refused to go along with the satanic attempt but folks, that is the sort of stuff we are financially being ruined by at the ORDERS of our own government.

Morbious
15 days ago

Many Christians Used To respect the catholic church because of its unwavering opposition to abortion and homosexuality. That respect has been diluted as the church veered leftward. The terrible scandals didnt help either. This is a loss for all of us because the church used to be pretty hardcore in its moral demands. A member was, once upon a time, obliged to recall his sins weekly, go to confession, do penance on Saturday then attend mass sunday and receive communion. Then, in a state of grace try his best to avoid sin during the next week. In short, the church was a strong force for social cohesion. Leftism destroys everything it touches.

Kay
16 days ago

Since this leak, I have never heard so many women stand up and cheer because they have 3, 4, 5 abortions. Guess they could not afford 50cents for the pill. Biden is a hypocrite as a Catholic he should be denied communion. He is satan in sheep’s clothing

Vonniequirk
16 days ago

I left the Catholic “church” many years ago. I did not want to be associated with hypocrites!

Joanne
15 days ago
Reply to  Vonniequirk

Aren’t we all sinners, even hypocrites? God calls sinners to his church. If we are not all sinners, then we do not need a savior.

Mario Capparuccini
15 days ago
Reply to  Joanne

We are all sinners, and often hypocrites. But, there is a difference between a person who repents and looks to the shed blood of Jesus for his/her forgiveness as opposed to those filled with outrageous arrogance, like Biden, who trumpet their rebellion and spit in the face of Our Lord.

Leo 1001
16 days ago

Biden is smart – for a change. He’s not going to comment on speculations!

I don’t blame him. This is all about getting bent out of shape over nothing.

Boz
16 days ago
Reply to  Leo 1001

and it is Iefties who are the ones getting bent.

Walt
14 days ago
Reply to  Leo 1001

Nothing to you perhaps!

legally present
16 days ago

Catholic charities in the Rio Grande Valley are one of the BIGGEST promoters of illegal entry into our country. So I’ve lost ALL respect for the Catholic religion, they are not the only ones aiding and abetting illegal alien entries into our country, but are the largest ones in the valley. Killing 73 MILLION babies in the womb is OK, and allowing Millions of illegals is also OK. WHY is my question?

John King
15 days ago

Go back

Stephan
16 days ago

Christian or for abortion, you can’t be both. One excludes the other.

I chose life, and Jesus.

Shirley
16 days ago
Reply to  Stephan

Bravo, Stephan.

Ted L.
15 days ago
Reply to  Stephan

AMEN! Just like you can’t be Christian and against the death penalty. Jesus said “an eye for an eye.” God’s vengeance must not be hindered.

Ken Westenkirchner
16 days ago

This country is headed for trouble..we have always turned to our basic foundational values focusing on Judeo-Christian values which have served us very well to make us the most powerful nation in the world. Our leaders in religion

Bob
16 days ago

Apostasy is nothing new. Scripture, where Christ followers MUST begin, reveals God recognizes the child in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5 says He’s the one actually forming the baby). Let the heretics be recognized and labeled as such, and by all means given no weight.

HocasPocas
14 days ago
Reply to  Bob

God also informs us in his word that he knew us even before we were born, when we were just a twinkle in our mother’s eye. He has a special place in heaven for all his innocent children whose lives are being taken. I wonder what the guilty are going to say when they reach the throne of and have to confess what they done. We all will be confessing our sins on judgment day.

Larry Wilkens
16 days ago

I understand, I’ve been part of the catholic church for 38 years I feel decieved by the leadership. I’m leaving going to a bible believing WELS. God will be their final judge all we can do is point out their error about life.

K
16 days ago

When it comes to Doxing Anyone, I believe that is essentially a call for harassment and threatening to the people that the Reprobate Minded Progressive Left have called to happen. It’s despicable that some Leftist has done this to the Supreme Court Justices!!!! It’s time for “WE THE PEOPLE” The Legal Citizens Of The United States Stand Up For What Is Truthful And Honorable! Prayers for Father God, Jesus Christ Protect All Of The Supreme Court Justices, Their Families And Homes. What has happened to the United States is all on the Reprobate Minded Donkeys, Biden, His Puppeteer, Chuckles Harris and all of this administration!!!! They are destroying the United States from what Father God intended it to be!!!God Bless The United States And Hold Up Her Constitution!!!????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Linda
17 days ago

I am a Catholic and I can’t understand why anyone would want to abort a baby. There are many things on the market to prevent having a one. Our so called democratic party here have no respect for life because if they did abortion would not be allowed, especially up to the birth of the child.

Sarah S.
16 days ago
Reply to  Linda

Linda, I think as long as abortions are so easy to get, girls will decide that it is too much trouble to do something to prevent conception. Unthinkable to me, but so many things these days are.

MariaRose
15 days ago
Reply to  Sarah S.

Not just the female makes that decision to not use prevention to avoid pregnancy, so why is the burden left only the woman to bear the decision. I totally agree that prevention should be the better answer, but I have yet seen any increase in access to goo reliable birth control, and don’t give me the excuse about how easy it is to get condoms because you leave out the why they are not used enough—when men take responsibility for the consequences as much as they blame the women for getting pregnant, we might get a better solution to keep women from having unwanted pregnancies.

D.P.
15 days ago
Reply to  Linda

Dearest Linda……consider this…..abstinance is the ONLY method of “birth control” God prescribes.
ANY other means is contrary to the fifth commandment against taking life….including chemicals, condums, mechanical means, surgeries, et al. The scriptures are clear….life begins at conception.
God alone has the power and wisdom to take that life……man, since the fall, has never been able to be what God desired….to be perfect and holy. This is not about politics or parties…..it’s about the fundamental sinful nature of all humanity.

MariaRose
15 days ago
Reply to  D.P.

And we all know how well abstinence prevents pregnancy whether wanted or unwanted. Women need a better method of not getting pregnant.

D.P.
15 days ago
Reply to  MariaRose

And you can lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of men…..who are less than righteous, selfish and blind…..not willing to be responsible for their actions…two people are always involved….and both need the same self control and moral base….that’s been the problem since the first failure of Adam in the garden…..

Jeff Noncent
17 days ago

The leak of the Supreme Court should tells us they are not in charge that’s the reason why Joe Biden did not say anything about the leak and it shows whose during the dirty work for the Democrats and the Republicans and that is the Devil himself but it shows us that God is not fooled either

Tom
17 days ago

Why hasn’t the Pope excommunicated Joe Biden for his push to legalize abortion. The pope’s Inaction in this situation makes him and the Church complicit with Biden in promoting abortion.

Anthony
17 days ago
Reply to  Tom

The Pope is a socialist and supports Joe Biden

Ken Westenkirchner
16 days ago
Reply to  Tom

The pope is a weak politician who plays to the loudest crowd

Shirley
16 days ago
Reply to  Tom

The Pope should be ashamed of himself. How dare he reprimand us?

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