Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Monday, August 28, 2006

More on Georgetown

Thanks to Rob for linking to the story about Georgetown's move against several outside Protestant ministries and organizations.  (I assume, by the way, that Georgetown's campus-ministry office has similar policies with respect to outside Catholic ministries and organizations, like Opus Dei and Regnum Christi).

On the one hand, I am sympathetic to the idea that a Catholic university -- one that takes seriously, in a consistent way, its responsibilities with respect to the development and formation of students -- might want to oversee and centralize, through its own campus-ministry office, the pastoral and services provided to students on campus.  Is Georgetown such a Catholic university?  I don't know. 

It seems worth noting that the decision at issue appears to have been made -- or, at least, executed -- by the University's Protestant ministry staff.  Jody Bottum, in the First Things post to which Rob links, adds:

Still, there was something odd going on last year when Campus Ministries demanded that the evangelical groups sign a statement promising not to “proselytize nor undermine another faith community.” And there was something even odder when it was done in the name of the school’s Catholic tradition—by the Protestant chaplains in the official Georgetown office.

The problem, of course, finally boils down to this: The evangelical groups represent only a few hundred students, but they are strongly pro-life and opposed to homosexual marriage. The mainline Protestant employees of Campus Ministry find such things embarrassing, and so they kick the evangelicals off campus, employing the power of the officially Catholic chaplain’s office and the rhetoric of the school’s Catholic identity.


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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