Campus of Georgetown University in Washington. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)
Catholic Education and
Studies in Advanced Relativism | Connor Malloy | CWR Blog
“Is the faith tangible," asked Benedict XVI in 2008, "in our universities and schools?” The answer is overwhelmingly negative.
“The danger of a dictatorship of opinion is growing, and anyone who doesn't share the prevailing opinion is excluded, so that even good people no longer dare to stand by (such) nonconformists. Any future anti-Christian dictatorship would probably be much more subtle than anything we have known until now. It will appear to be friendly to religion, but on the condition that its own models of behavior and thinking not be called into question.” — Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1996
Visiting a Catholic campus this past summer, I passed a class meeting outdoors on that sunny afternoon. A student was presenting to her classmates on the topic of “leadership.” She was confidently expressing to them how she exemplified leadership in her life: “When I speak, I make sure I speak in a way so that people listen. Even if you don’t know what you’re talking about, just speak like you do know and loud enough so that people will believe you.” Was this young woman knowingly spouting examples from Relativism 101? So convincing was she that I fell for her ruse: I believed everything she said in those few seconds I was within earshot.
For those involved in Catholic higher education as students, administrators, faculty and parents this is a unique academic year, one in which the persuasion of the Catholic vision is met with increasing blank stares and uncomprehending minds. What is a Catholic university today? Is the use of the word “Catholic” a mere marketing tool, a brand to attract prospective students from certain economic backgrounds?