REPORT CARD: Bishop McManus Chastises Holy Cross for Defense of Blasphemous Theologian; and More…

Bishop McManus chastises Holy Cross, blasphemous theologian

Amid blasphemy by the chair of New Testament studies at the Jesuit College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., comes real hope—from the courageous student who exposed the scandal, and from Worcester’s Bishop Robert McManus who publicly chastised both the College and the professor.

It was student Elinor Reilly (no relation to the Newman Society’s president) who brought attention to the writings of Professor Tat-siong Benny Liew in her report in The Fenwick Review, a faithful and conservative voice at Holy Cross.

Liew, she reported, claimed Jesus was a “drag king” with “queer desires.” Liew reportedly theorized that Saint John’s references to Jesus and water “speak to Jesus’ gender indeterminacy and hence his cross-dressing and other queer desires.”

And there’s more…

Jesus washing the apostles’ feet, was, according to Liew, “suggestive,” and “even seductive.”

“What I am suggesting is that, when Jesus’ body is being penetrated, his thoughts are on his Father. He is, in other words, imagining his passion experience as a (masochistic?) sexual relation with his own Father,” Liew has written.

Crux also reported:

In one article, Liew said the centurion who approaches Jesus to heal his servant was actually speaking about his lover and described the relationship as “pederastic.” Liew said the biblical author affirmed the relationship, adding this “may also be consistent with Matthew’s affirmation of many sexual dissidents in her Gospel.”


There are no words, other than asking why this person is entrusted with teaching theology to young people.

Enter Bishop McManus with a statement released on Good Friday:

I am deeply troubled and concerned to hear that someone who holds an endowed chair in New Testament studies at the College of the Holy Cross has authored such highly offensive and blasphemous notions. Such positions have no place in the biblical scholarship of a professor who teaches at a Catholic college and who, as such, should be supportive of the college’s Catholic identity and mission.

The College’s president, Father Philip Boroughs, S.J., was yet another defense of the indefensible under the protection of a deeply flawed “academic freedom”:

I know Professor Liew to be a dedicated teacher and an engaged scholar. He is a man of faith, and he and his family are active members of a church community. Academic freedom is one of the hallmarks of a liberal arts education. Scholars in all disciplines are free to inquire, critique, comment, and push boundaries on widely accepted thought. However, I strongly disagree with the interpretation of John’s Gospel, as described in the Fenwick Review, and I find it especially offensive in this most sacred of all weeks in the liturgical calendar.

Bishop McManus, to his great credit, would have none of that! He wrote:

Academic freedom certainly plays a critical role in the intellectual life of a Catholic institution of higher learning like Holy Cross. However, how that academic freedom is exercised, particularly in the fields of theology or religious studies, cannot provide cover for blatantly unorthodox teaching. Clearly the biblical conclusions that Professor Liew has reached in his writings are both false and perverse.

…Holy Cross has a duty to, at least, ask Professor Liew if he rejects the biblical positions he penned some 10 years ago or if he supports and defends those positions today. If he disavows them, then he must state so publicly, so as not to create confusion about the nature of Christ. If he does not, then it is my duty as the bishop of Worcester to clearly state that such teaching is a danger to the integrity of the Catholic faith and, in prudence, warn the Catholic faithful committed to my pastoral care that such unorthodox teaching has no place in a Catholic college whose mission is to promote and cultivate the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Archbishop Zani celebrates the importance of Catholic education

Speaking at a symposium organized by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, said that education is an integral part of “the salvific mission of the Church.”

More specifically, he said Catholic education has a role regarding sexual education in order to integrate it into the “complete fulfillment of man.”

Archbishop Zani also said that the Congregation is preparing a document on “gender theory,” that will be made public in the near future. Pope Francis has criticized schools which take part in “ideological colonization,” and “a world war …against marriage.”

Aleteia has the full story.

Siena College professor can’t stand conservatives

A professor at Siena College, Jennifer McErlean, whose faculty page specifically highlights her dedication to “the ideals of Franciscan service and community-building,” recently resigned from the College’s committee on civil discourse, because she abhorred the thought of working with conservative college students. She said they make her “miserable,” according to The Washington Examiner.

So much for “dialogue” and “tolerance,” huh?

In an email to a student who leads the Turning Point USA chapter on campus, McErlean said that dealing with conservative students is no longer tolerable in “civil discourse.”

Since she resigned, McErlean was pleased that she was free to protest an upcoming Turning Points USA event with conservative speakers Roger Stone and James O’Keefe.

McErlean is also a founding member of the campus Gay/Straight Alliance, which “recognizes and supports all gender and sexual identities” in opposition to Catholic teaching.

Ontario Catholic school board continues to stand for life

LifeSiteNews is reporting the good news that, despite highly publicized protests from a teachers union, a petition from students, and a packed house at their latest marathon meeting, a Catholic school board is continuing to stand firm in its decision to ban school donations to any charities that violate Church teaching on the sanctity of human life.

The Halton Catholic District School Board in the Ontario region, which oversees 33 Catholic schools, held a four-hour meeting in which 19 groups and individuals voiced their support or their derision of the policy. The board did vote to send the policy to “all stakeholders as well as all parents and staff” for review so the issue is still sadly alive and will be discussed at a future meeting.

Because of the vote to prohibit donating any money to schools that directly or indirectly support abortion, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research, 70 charities were removed from the eligibility list.

Student’s lawsuit suggests Catholic identity is discriminatory

A former student at St. John’s University in New York has filed a lawsuit against the Vincentian institution for failing to investigate her discrimination complaint, according to the Washington Post. The student, identified as “Jane Doe,” claims that the university didn’t properly investigate a complaint allegedly made by her roommates that she “inappropriately” touched them.

She said her roommates invented their allegation only after she revealed her homosexuality, and her lawsuit implies that the University was biased against her, simply because of Catholic teachings against homosexual behavior. The lawsuit states that an advisor told her she should not be surprised, because St. John’s is a Catholic institution.

The plaintiff claims that St. John’s let the “damaging accusations” stand until her accusers chose to drop them. She is asking for unspecified damages and a court order forcing the University to change its policies.

The implication that illegal discrimination is inherent to Catholic identity is worrisome, as is the request that a court decide policy for a Catholic university.

Georgetown newspaper calls for recognition for pro-abortion club

The editorial board of The Hoya, a student newspaper at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has called upon the Jesuit institution to recognize a pro-abortion group on campus, claiming that the university “should prioritize free speech over religious policy.”

What don’t they prioritize over religious policy?

The editors wrote that the university should “protect the free exchange of ideas” and formally recognize H*yas for Choice, a pro-abortion club which was briefly recognized about two decades ago before losing its recognition shortly after.

Recognizing the club would allow it to meet on campus and make it eligible to receive funding from the university.

The editorial compared the pro-abortion club’s plight to Love Saxa, which came under fire on campus for its support of traditional marriage. “Last semester, the university decided to continue funding Love Saxa, a pro-traditional marriage group defined in the eyes of many by institutional bigotry,” they wrote. “The group drew broad criticism from students who found its mission homophobic.”

Nine years later, Notre Dame to honor Mary Ann Glendon

The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture will honor Harvard law professor and former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon with its Evangelium Vitae Medal, which honors individuals whose efforts proclaim the gospel of life.

Glendon declined the University’s Laetare Medal in 2009, because Notre Dame was also honoring then-President Barack Obama, despite the opposition of 83 bishops.

“Mary Ann Glendon is certainly among the most accomplished women in the Church today and a worthy recipient of this year’s award,” Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins told The National Catholic Register.

This year’s Laetare Medal will go to Missionary of Jesus Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, in recognition of her service to migrants and refugees.

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