Thursday, April 2, 2009

I thought I went to a Catholic school?

What is the deal with Catholic universities today?

My Jesuit college in Mobile, AL has a nice student newspaper. Even though they tend to devote more pages to sports than current events, it's still a great improvement over what my high school called a newspaper. At least, I thought it was.

Today, after I had finished a history quiz by writing an essay on Pope Gregory VII and King Henry IV and the struggle of the Church verses the State in Medieval Europe, I stumbled across the latest issue of our newspaper.

I turned right to the editorial page, because opinions are my favorite.

To my shock and disgust, there was an opinion written about euthanasia - and no, trust me, it did not at all fit with the Catholic Church's teaching on the subject. It was a very pro-euthanasia article. Not only was that, in itself, highly offensive to me, but I also had to sit there and read about how Terri Schiavo was a perfect case for euthanasia gone right.


First of all, it is all too clear that the writer did not do her research when it came to poor Terri. Although this opinionated writer claimed Terri was an extreme case who needed extreme measures to be kept alive -that is very much not the case. Terri Schiavo was not euthanized by the removal of a complicated machine that was keeping her heart, lungs, or brain functioning. No. She was killed by starvation. She was denied BASIC medical treatment - the support of food and water in a hospital. Food and water? Are those really "extreme measures" to keep someone alive? Really?

That is most definitely NOT the perfect story in support of euthanasia. It is, however, the perfect case to show how far-reaching a pro-euthanasia society can go. Although Terri expressed no want of death and her family was overwhelmingly supportive of her future care, the culture of death ultimately won. A woman was killed. She was not "put down for mercy's sake." The impact of her death is most notable on her family's website. They continue to fight for the rights of the ill and dependent and should be commended for their courage and true compassion. I have no doubt that they would be completely offended by the comments of that article.

Secondly, the article said absolutely nothing about the other side of the debate. In particular, it did not mention any of the Church's teachings on the subject - even though it was in a Jesuit school newspaper. Shouldn't all good articles at least acknowledge that there is an opposing side?

How far gone are our Catholic universities? Free speech in the newspaper in one thing, but at least have some sort of balance of opinions. If not that, at least acknowledge the existence of the USCCB.

Are the Catholic universities dying? Are their mission statements really so worthless to the student body that an anti-Church article can be so freely published without any counter?

At least we aren't Notre Dame.

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