Greg Kalscheur in the Boston College Chronicle

The Boston College Chronicle has a nice profile (on pages 7 and 8) of newly-tenured Associate Professor of Law (and eminently Reasonable Mind) Gregory Kalscheur, S.J. In it, we learn (among other things) that Fr. Kalscheur has been holding out on us, for example by neglecting to inform us that BC’s Law Student Association conferred its Faculty Excellence Award on him in 2006.

Law students are not normally considered a particularly reverent lot, nor is Civil Procedure normally considered a particularly engaging subject, so the teaching award is pretty remarkable. Could it be that it’s the seminar on Catholic Social Thought that is generating the excitement? That would be even more remarkable. Whatever the explanation, it seems clear that both Greg and Boston College are doing a lot right.

[Editor’s note and update: Reasonable minds had some surprising comments on this rather short and seemingly unprovocative blurb. The issues under discussion outgrew this particular thread, so comments below have now been closed and the discussion has moved here.]

10 Responses to “Greg Kalscheur in the Boston College Chronicle”

  1. Timothy Peach Says:

    Granulous, that sounds great, but I have it on good authority that BC is doing a lot WRONG when it comes to protecting its Catholic heritage… much of it along the same lines as our Alma Mater’s increasingly clear choice to be “relevant” rather than right.

  2. Mark Grannis Says:

    I have a confession to make, Tim: I’m also doing a lot wrong. Fortunately, the people who wish me well tend not to fixate on them. I’m encouraged to think of that as an expression of genuinely Christian charity. And that thought encourages me to try to take the same attitude toward others whenever I can manage it.

    This is just a wild guess, but I’ll bet the number of saints has always lagged considerably behind the number of Christians. It’s an awfully good thing for all of us that many people have always been willing to call themselves Christian without managing to live up to every tenet; otherwise Christianity would have died out quite a while ago.

  3. Timothy Peach Says:

    That’s a point well made on the personal level, my liege. And I would venture that in terms of coming up short, I have a comfortable lead over you.

    The comment rings hollow at the institutional level. Boston College has a solemn duty to be a beacon in the darkness, but they are now like one of those energy-efficient bulbs that glows pale and eerie when you turn it on.

    My wife decided, for the best intentions, to rebulb our whole house with those stupid things, and now I can’t see anything until 5 minutes after I turn the lights on. I don’t care that the light will be adequate once the stupid things heat up — I probably won’t be in the darned room in 5 minutes.

    This global warming thing drives me crazy. Do you have any idea how filmsy the science is? The Russians are already predicting a major cooling cycle, and 2007 is now verified as the globally coldest year since 1966. I’m all for energy conservation, and I’m with McCain (in principle) in thinking that if we are wrong, at least we leave our kids with a cleaner planet. But not at disproportionate expense, and not if I have to go blind in the process.

    Speaking of McCain, have you seen the new ad? What do you think of the clip from his POW days? Is that grandstanding, or just drawing attention to his great service to our country?

    As for the Russians, I can’t understand why ANYONE would pay any mind to Putin’s hysterics over including the Ukraine in NATO, or to putting purely defensive missile systems in Eastern Europe. What is he fighting for — the right to re-establish the Soviet Union?

    Did they ever figure out exactly who poisoned the Ukrainian president by the way? I just saw him in a clip with Bush — he looks better, but you can still see the effects of the dioxin in his face.

    Bush is a Christian, by the way. How are you doing today on forgiving him for his failure to live up to every tenet?

  4. Greg Kalscheur, S.J. Says:

    “I have it on good authority that BC is doing a lot WRONG when it comes to protecting its Catholic heritage… much of it along the same lines as our Alma Mater’s increasingly clear choice to be “relevant” rather than right….Boston College has a solemn duty to be a beacon in the darkness, but they are now like one of those energy-efficient bulbs that glows pale and eerie when you turn it on.”

    Forgive me in advance for the length of this post, but since I’m missioned to serve at Boston College, and since I almost certainly wouldn’t be a Jesuit if I hadn’t gone to Georgetown, I guess I feel compelled to respond to this in some way. There are certainly many things that can and should be criticized at both BC and Georgetown, and I have been known to speak some crticial things about both institutions from time to time, but I would like to know more, Tim, about what specifically gives rise to your critique. I devote a fair bit of my time and energy to thinking about what it means to be faithful to a Jesuit mission in higher education today. In many ways, I think we are at a critical moment. We need to find effective ways to share with the people who come to join our faculties a rich sense of what it might mean to be a great university that is enriched and enlivened by engagement with faith, the Catholic intellectual tradition (in all its varied streams), and Ignatian spirituality.

    There’s a lot of work to do on that front, but I think a lot of good work is being done. I think BC is taking pretty seriously its solemn duty to be a beacon in the darkness. A lot of institutional resources are devoted the Church in the 21st Century Center. I don’t know, Tim, if you are at all familiar with its work, but my sense is that this specific commitment by BC to serve the Church has given a lot of people hope in the midst of considerable darkness. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been serving as the chair of a C21 subcommittee devoted to trying to promote deeper engagement with the Catholic intellectual tradition in the BC community. Just last week we had a great program discussing the bishops election year document on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. If you were to check out the university calendar, you’d see many, many programs that are in one way or another connected with the C21 effort. Last year the Provost here launched a major effort to focus efforts on promoting faculty engagement with the Catholic intellectual tradition. I think important things are happening on this front at BC, and they shouldn’t be casually belittled.

    At the Law School, both this year and last, I’ve been able to teach a seminar on Catholic social thought and the law. There are several other law schools around the country that offer similar courses, but I still think it’s a distinctive offering. Students in the seminar wonder why they haven’t been exposed to this material before — that’s an important question, but I’m just glad that now that they’ve come to the BC Law School at least a few students get exposed to this important dimension of their faith so that they can bring it to bear on their thinking about the law and how they want to live their lives as lawyers. Over the last 4 years at the law school, we’ve offered once each semester a retreat that introduces students to the basic dynamics of Ignatian discernment. I think that provides significant light in the midst of the stresses and anxieties of law school.

    When I began to think about whether I should go down an academic path in my life as a Jesuit, I had a lot of questions about whether life in Jesuit higher education in general, and in a law school in particular, would allow me to be the kind of Jesuit that I wanted to be. In the highly secularized world of legal education, would I find the space to speak to people about Jesus with the kind of explicitness and directness that I wanted to be part of my life as a Jesuit? There are definitely times when I find academic life exceptionally frustrating, and many of those frustrations are associated with the ambiguity, complexity, and challenges that come from trying to figure out what it should mean to embody Jesuit mission in the life of the university today. But my experience as a Jesuit law professor over the last five years has been fundamentally consoling — I think there is more light than darkness; put another way, I think God’s Spirit is very much at work in the midst of this complicated institution, and the challenge is to follow where God is leading. I am in a place where significant pastoral conversation with students is a regular part of my life and is seen to be part of the mission of the institution, where lots of faculty have a commitment to the human formation of their students, where a lot of students (if not all) appreciate the fact that I will talk about the relationship between law and morality in a constitutional law class or suggest in civil procedure that you should think about who you are becoming as a person as you prepare responses to discovery requests, where our mission statement actually mentions God, human dignity, justice, and commits us to training good lawyers who lead good lives — and we actually take all of that seriously enough to sometimes fight about what it might mean in practice.

    A few years ago, as the Society of Jesus in the US was in the early stages of a lengthy apostolic planning process, I wrote a letter to my provincial that talked about the evangelization of culture as an urgent need that demanded explicit attention. I argued that as Jesuits in the US today, the most urgent need that we could address was the need to find a way to speak the Good News in a culture where many people don’t find a relationship with God at all relevant to their daily lives. I suggested that the most important thing the Society of Jesus might do in the US today was to serve as a religious voice of integrity, thoughtfulness, and nuance in a culture where faith tends to be either polarizing or marginalized. I think we are actually doing something in response to that need — often haltingly, with mistakes and inadequacies — at places like BC. In the light of God’s love, why don’t we try to pay attention to how the Spirit is at work in the midst of confusion and ambiguity and questioning that are an inherent part of the effort to more deeply appropriate truth that is the heart of univeristy life. I don’t know exactly what God has planned for these universities as we go forward, but my sense is that God is hard at work in them right now in pretty amazing ways, affecting the lives of lots of students and faculty in ways that might not take place in other settings. Let’s follow where the light of the Spirit. There are, of course, ways in which the light is sometimes obscured, but there is quite a bit of grace shining through nonetheless.

  5. Timothy Peach Says:

    God help me, here I am insulting Jesuits left and right.

    My brother, who is my primary source of secular drift data on BC (he was an assoc prof there for a few years, and is very connected in the Catholic univ circuit), once told me a story of a fellow student who was once asked in class (in a philosophy discussion of constancy and change) which of the four seasons he preferred. The student, a grim, medieval conservative, replied, “All of them are drudgery, and it would have been better had I never been born.”

    I guess that’s a bit how I feel now, having invited a hailstorm of reprisal on my thinly-girded keester.

    I’m going to work hard to provide a thoughtful response here in due course. For the moment, I want to make one thing ULTRA clear — the derogatory BC comment was about BC. I don’t know you , Father, and would have no way of knowing what your influence on BC’s Catholic character would be. If Granulous says it’s super positive, it must be. He’s a sophist, but a fabulous judge of character.

    What I need to develop is more self-control. For example, holding my tongue responding to something which was hardly the substance of the original post. Hopefully my eventual response will be evidence of progress on that front.

    With due embarassment,

  6. Andrew Peach Says:

    Father and Mark,

    As Tim’s little brother—the brother who did not finish first in his class at Georgetown, who did not break the school’s two mile record, and who does not now earn a salary in the neighborhood of Thailand’s GDP—I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy watching him eat crow on-line. He shoots from the hip, and sometimes the gun goes off while it is still in the holster. But as sheer familial duty requires, I should say something in his defense.

    I am now an associate professor of philosophy at Providence College, but I also taught at Boston College for two years in the PULSE program. Aside from the pay, my experience there was excellent; I made wonderful friends with whom I regularly keep in touch, and the program I was in, brilliantly run by Dave McMenamin, is a national model for how to run a service learning program.

    So, for starters, neither I nor my brother, despite his ranting, wishes to disparage the Jesuits. Our father was an altar boy at Woodstock Seminary in Granite, Maryland; my son is named after a Jesuit; we both attended Georgetown and had many Jesuit mentors and friends, and I also taught at a Jesuit high school, Gonzaga, for five thoroughly enjoyable years.

    However, it is not a stretch to state that, on the undergraduate level at both Boston College (quite apart from the law school about which I know nothing) and Georgetown, the Jesuit and Catholic mission of the schools might be on the ropes. Let me make a point or two, and I’ll leave it at that.

    First, it is not entirely clear what makes a college Catholic, but my perception at BC and GU was that orthodox Church teachings were rarely center stage and that the progressive, liberal, or heterodox views were usually the most prominently displayed. Sure, there was a nod now and then to the official Church teaching, but they were peripheral voices. Boston College, for example, recently offered a prestigious endowed chair in theology to a professor who testified in front of the Massachusetts legislature that a ban on gay marriage cannot be justified on the basis of Catholic social teaching. Of course, a plurality of views is healthy and necessary for any college, but the endowed chair for the rebel seems to be the order of the day in both places.

    It is also safe to say—though I would be very pleased to be corrected in this regard—that not a single moral theologian at Boston College wholly agrees with the magisterium’s teaching on homosexuality or birth control. Not one.

    In regard to the Church in the 21st century, I think you will find the same pattern: Throw a bone to Mary Ann Glendon and George Weigel while the rest of the series is something like a liberal or progressive echo chamber.

    Here is what a student at BC wrote in their newspaper, The Heights:

    “BC is an incredible institution because it remains faithful to the Jesuit ideals of ‘men and women for others’ and social justice for the greater glory of God—not because it follows church doctrine to the letter.”

    Here, in a laudatory way, this student expresses her gratitude to BC for not being Catholic; for this student, somewhere along the line being “Jesuit” became something different and other than being Catholic.

    Another student writes, in regard to the Lesbian and Gay Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Association:

    “The school is wishy-washy. It can lead certain members of the community on, to the point where they think they can have a dance, but it can’t go all the way because its conscience is hampered by some vague notion that it must, in some way, resemble a Catholic school. The message BC sends is that it is not proud of what the church teaches. … The fruits of this can be seen in the confused Catholic students around campus who do not know their faith because they are not being properly guided.”

    And finally, in regard to our alma mater, Georgetown, here is what a student wrote in The Hoya:

    “It’s difficult to point to the precise moment when Jesuits at Georgetown began to seem irrelevant. … On a symbolic level, Jesuit ideals began to depart when the Jesuits moved from their old residence in the traditional heart of campus to a newer one far away from the center of activities. And their old building is left to rot into oblivion in much the same way the memory of their significance decays today.”

    Of course, everything I have said or pointed to in this overly long blog is only anecdotal, though I could give a dozen more anecdotes that illustrate the same point. And other views could be marshaled in defense of a different view. Again, though, I have no wish to impugn the Jesuits; I am a philosophy professor because of the influence of Jesuit Tom King, former Jesuit Alan Mitchell, Jesuit Robert Spitzer, Jesuit Otto Hentz, Jesuit colleague Lucien Longtin, and the list goes on and on. But as much as I would like to, I can’t write my brother off as a kook. In fact, what he says is more true than false.

    P.S. Father, I am giving a talk at BC on voluntarism Thursday night, April 10th. If you are around, maybe we could meet. Best, Andrew.

  7. David Fitzgerald Says:

    Since we’re dealing in anecdotes….

    There’s an old chestnut often quoted in law schools, “hard cases make bad law.” The church’s teaching on sexuality is nothing if not a hard case. Since most adults struggle with it throughout their lives, I don’t find it in the least bit surprising that college students (or university professors) also struggle with it. I’m paraphrasing, but Fr. O’Donovan once articulated the dilemma facing Catholic universities and the teaching on sexuality as how does one allow liberal exploration of a question when the outcome is already determined? Teaching students how to engage the questions, to enter into the narrative, if you will, strikes me as the mission of any university, Catholic or not.

    If the Church’s teaching is true it has nothing to fear from persons who are equipped to generously and humbly engage the texts dealing with profound moral questions, even those that run counter to truth.

    I think the anecdotal evidence bears this out. Poll any parish in the country and I am certain that you will find that the majority of those between the ages of 20 and 50 who attend Mass regularly will have attended Catholic colleges. I think that matters because while those Catholics may not agree fully with all magisterial pronouncements (and certainly none of us can say that we actually live in accordance with those principals) they do try to live their faith in the world and bear witness to it. That’s important.

  8. Timothy Peach Says:


    Is there any point in me stepping up and handling this one given I’ve got a refined mind with my same last name certainly better prepared and less likely to exaggerate ahead of me in line?

    You do realize the slippery slope nature of your initial statements, yes? Is there any apostasy you CAN’T substitute for “teaching on sexuality” in that paragraph?

    More importantly, is it necessary to embed the apostasy in the upper echelons of the faculty to permit discussion of the idea? No one on this thread has said students shouldn’t debate the Church’s position on homosexuality. No one on this thread has said that students aren’t permitted to debate the legality of abortion.

    The Church isn’t, and needn’t be afraid of, debate on matters it has settled. What, literally, in God’s name, does that have to do with putting the fox in charge of the henhouse?

    If you come to my parish, you will find an amazing number of young people, and at best, a representative number of college graduates. I can absolutely assure you that access to a nominally Catholic education that presented radicalities as a la carte options had nothing to do with their showing up on Sundays.

    These are people whose parents are believers, but who have had every opportunity in our secular society to opt out. What they find, when they show up on Sunday is, of course, a powerful sense of community, but also, a powerful sense of permanence and the commitment to the truth, the consequences in attendance and treasure be damned. People are showing up because something transcendent is available and it informs their ordinary lives, and certainly not because they feel like someone is bending to their whims.

    In this ordinary ex-urban church, I recently had the pleasure of hearing one of the most eloquent defenses of priestly celebacy I have ever heard. It was so moving and compelling that I could not stop myself from confronting the priest with his excellence afterwards. He was borderline aghast and sheepish in his acceptance of the compliment. Serendipidously, a Georgetown roommate of mine (who ought to show up on this thread and add his two cents) was in attendance and had the exact same reaction.

    Catholicism is powerful and enduring specifically because of its commitment to the truth through climates of opinion. I truly believe we are weathering a transient storm on abortion, as an example, and the Church’s steadfast demand that we not appease supporters of this “unspeakable evil” will, in retrospect, be seen for the divine courage it is. I could not be more certain of that.

    To circle back and conclude — it is not necessary to dress up in the opponent’s uniform to permit him to play on your field.

  9. David Fitzgerald Says:

    I had a theology professor who said that the trouble with moral theology is that people tend to think the way their grandparents lived is the way it has always been. Priestly celibacy is a fine example of this. Not sure why the mystery of the gift of priestly celibacy as practiced in the Roman church needs “defending?” Is it really under attack? Certainly, as with all transcendental mysteries, we could use some mediatating on and explanation of it.

    Be that as it may, the notion of “permanence” around the concept of priestly celibacy is ephemeral at best. My Church history may be a bit rusty here but it was not until the 12th century that bishops began to codify in nascent canon law the idea that those in holy orders should remain celibate. Further, I do not think that the requirement for priests to be celibate became universally authoritative in the Roman church until the Council of Trent in the 16th century. To be fair, the monastic orders always, in principal (whatever the actual practices of the monks and the abotts on their way to Matins at 2 am!), encoded the practice in their rules since the early middle ages and the ascetic Church fathers, and even St. Paul, found the discipline of celibacy useful in the pursuit of a holy life. However, throughout that long expanse of time, there was ambiguity around the necessity of the discipline of celibacy. Certainly, as canon law became formally codified the Roman church could have chosen (as the two other great apostolic traditions, Orthodox and Anglican did) to not require celibacy from those in orders. There are, as no doubt the homilist you referred to made clear, excellent pastoral, scriptural, ecclesiological and spiritual reasons why those under holy orders should practice the discipline of celibacy. For now, the Roman church has accepted those arguments as authoritative. There are, as the history of Christianity in the west that I have wholly inadequately and maybe innaccurately summarized above makes clear, also arguments on the other side.

    The point is that I think we fall into serious error (maybe even “apostasy” to use your word) if we argue that Christianity generally and Catholicism in particular is about adherence to a set of unchanging and fixed precepts of dogma and canon law. That is not, in my view, “commitment to truth through climates of opinion.” At the heart of the faith is the mystery of the Risen Jesus who has inaugurated the reign of God. That “truth” of course has implications for how we are to live in order to fully realize the kingdom of God in situ. Those implications are examined in the theological disciplines generally and moral theology in particular and in the codification of certain principles of religious law. It is the special charism of the episcopacy to determine, at any point in time, how one concretizes the implications of the creed in their moral lives.

    That apostolic authority must be (must be because Jesus as priest and king exercised his authority this way) exercised with humility and with an ear always to where the Spirit may be speaking. One of the principal organs which may house the voice of the Spirit are professional theologians and their students who are struggling with the same mysteries the bishops are. Their work and struggles adds to the corpus of resources that the magisterium should draw on in fixing the parameters of, for want of a better word what I will call the Christian life. As such, the theology faculties at Catholic universities are a resource for and not, in the end, a challenge to the authoritative voice of the bishops.

    As a matter of fact, Humanae Vitae, as I understand it, came within a hair’s breath of coming out the other way. Also, Thomas Aquinas had some very interesting thoughts on when the soul animates the matter after conception which may be useful to recall when discussing the theology of life. Unearthing and appropriately classifying all of this is the proper work of historians and theologians who are free to question and, yes, even push the normative parameters of debate. Without that freedom of enquiry, I fear that our Church will end up on another slippery slope, at the bottom of which stands the pathologies (and heresies) of all religious fundametalism.

  10. Timothy Peach Says:

    Presented without comment:

    Bishop Crossed
    Holy Cross College Continues With Planned Parenthood Event
    by Gail Besse

    WORCESTER, Mass. — A clash over whether Holy Cross College deserves to be called Catholic intensified when its president defied the bishop’s call to stop a Planned Parenthood/NARAL-affiliated “Preventing Teen Pregnancy” conference on campus. In spite of the college president’s assurances that the school has no affiliation with the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy and that the location of the conference on campus does not mean the college was participating in it, the Register learned that the college is referring students to Planned Parenthood.

    The controversial forum went on as scheduled Oct. 24 despite a forceful Oct. 10 warning from Worcester Bishop Robert McManus that the Jesuit-run school risked losing the right to “continue to be recognized as a Catholic institution.” The forum for health care professionals was held in space rented by the Alliance. It included workshops by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, an advocate of abortion, same-sex “marriage,” cloning and tax-funded human embryonic stem-cell research, received its leadership award.

    Jesuit Father Michael McFarland, the college president, said in refusing to revoke the contract, “The location of the conference in no way indicates participation by the college in the event.” He cited the school’s “mission of engaging with the larger culture.”

    But Bishop McManus pointed out a Catholic institution “conducts its mission and ministry in accord with Catholic Church teaching, especially in cases of faith and morals.” The complicity of letting the event occur on campus created scandal as it fostered the perception that the administration “supports positions contrary to the fundamental moral teaching of the Church,” he added.

    “To deny Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice a forum in which to present their morally unacceptable positions is not an infringement of the exercise of academic freedom but a defensible attempt to make unambiguously clear the Catholic identity and mission of the College of the Holy Cross,” said the bishop.

    He made clear the stakes were high, saying “it is my pastoral and canonical responsibility to determine what institutions can properly call themselves ‘Catholic.’” According to Canon 808 of the Code of Canon Law, a diocesan bishop has that obligation: “No university, even if it is in fact Catholic, may bear the title ‘Catholic university’ except by the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.” And integral to a college’s Catholic identity is “fidelity to the Christian message in conformity with the Magisterium of the Church,” according to Pope John Paul II’s 1990 apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae (On Catholic Universities).

    Holy Cross spokeswoman Ellen Ryder said Oct. 22 that the majority of reactions the college has received supported the president’s decision.

    Wheat and Weeds

    But more than 800 people wrote opposing it, according to, a website organized by concerned alumni. One who swung into action was philanthropist Raymond Ruddy, who offered to pick up the $10,000 cost and all legal fees involved in canceling the event. Ruddy, a 1965 graduate who now heads the Gerard Health Foundation in Natick, Mass., made the offer in an Oct. 1 letter he sent to Fr. McFarland and Bishop McManus.

    Because Catholic Charities of Boston belongs to the Alliance, Ruddy also shared this letter outlining his concerns with Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley and other archdiocesan and agency officials. Asked whether there were plans for Catholic Charities to resign its Alliance membership, spokesmen for both the agency and Cardinal O’Malley declined to respond.

    Alliance spokeswoman Patricia Quinn said Holy Cross has held the forum in past years. She speculated that more attention might have been paid to it this year because of the consortium’s “higher profile.” The Alliance actively lobbied against abstinence education in public schools, and with Patrick’s help, defeated the state’s chance to receive a $700,000 federal grant. Quinn was “surprised by the controversy.”

    Emily Turner, co-chairwoman of Holy Cross Students for Life, didn’t buy that claim. “We’re talking about human lives here,” she said in an Oct. 8 e-mail to Father McFarland. “It’s not by accident that Planned Parenthood will be here — and what a triumph it will be for them to be able to say, once again, that they made it on to supposed pro-life territory.”

    In his Oct. 8 response, Father McFarland said Turner was viewing the Alliance “simplistically” and cited Catholic Charities’ affiliation with it.

    The 19-year-old Louisville, Ky., sophomore and a small band of her peers displayed a “cemetery of the innocents” near the forum. She said in an interview, “It’s one thing to say, ‘Don’t pull up the wheat with the weeds.’ It’s another thing to invite a poisonous vine to infiltrate your field and strangle the fruits of your labor.”

    Although Holy Cross denies any affiliation with Planned Parenthood, the school’s website does list that agency’s Worcester phone number as a referral for testing for sexually transmitted diseases. The U.S. bishops’ 2001 Application of Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the United States says, “It is important for Catholic universities to implement in practical terms their commitment to the essential elements of Catholic identity, including the commitment to provide health care in conformity with the Church’s ethical and religious teaching and directives.”

    Jesuit Superior General Peter Hans Kolvenbach was once quoted by Father Richard John Neuhaus as saying “For some [Jesuit] universities, it is probably too late to restore their Catholic character.” The campus newspaper barred an advertisement about an Oct. 23 counter-forum held at Worcester’s St. Paul Cathedral. That forum, “Preventing Teen Pregnancy: the Catholic Approach,” was organized by alumni, the diocese and the Cardinal Newman Society, which seeks to renew Catholic higher education. Dawn Eden, director of the Newman Society’s Love & Responsibility Program, detailed how chastity offers a better solution than condoms. She outlined steps Catholic colleges should take to promote Catholic values on sexuality.

    “Obviously, bringing Planned Parenthood and a pro-abortion politician to campus is not the way to do this,” Eden said. The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities declined comment on the controversy, but the Massachusetts Catholic Action League labeled the event “a callous insult to faithful pro-life Catholics struggling to protect the unborn.” League Director C.J. Doyle said it “remains to be seen what action” the bishop and cardinal with take. “It seems that the leadership of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts is in for a time of testing.”

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