Friday, November 13, 2015

Is it "intolerant" to stand against evil?

When you challenge an institution with evidence that it is not being faithful to its mission, and you receive little more than silence, or ambiguous statements that the issue is "complex" and requires ongoing "dialog", don't be surprised if you feel you are passing through a valley of shadows. And then you will often see what institutions are naturally inclined to do when challenged: circle the wagons; proclaim institutional integrity; refuse to publicly address the problem; change the topic; obscure the issue with appeals to "dialog" and "tolerance" (as if anyone is suggesting otherwise); stonewall, marginalize, or attack the challengers.

I pray that SMC will never do any of these. I pray that SMC will take this opportunity to look deep inside, examine its policies, programs, and practices, and correct whatever is opposed to the letter and spirit of its Catholic mission and its founders' vision. All in a courageous, optimistic way, with a spirit of authentic renewal. This would reinvigorate the mission of SMC and its community in a very powerful way.

I congratulate and encourage the Catholic and pro-life women of SMC to continue their efforts to renew the Catholic spirit of their school. You will have to remain solidly grounded in the truth, persistent, and very very tough: "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." (Mt. 10:16) Tough, without losing your Christian peacefulness, humility and genuine kindness toward those who disagree with you. For institutions almost never reform without a fight.

SMC should be a place where all students are free to learn and to believe as they choose, and to dialog openly with faculty and each other... but where there is no ambiguity in the school's faithful pursuit of the good, and in its unequivocal opposition toward institutions that openly promote evil.

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