A Defense of the Jesuits at Notre Dame

Writing in The Observer, the student newspaper of the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame junior Sarah Morris offers a defense of the Jesuits:

The tendency to distinguish “real” Catholics from Jesuits often goes hand in hand with what New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has dubbed a possible “schism” between “adherent” and “progressive” Catholics that is brewing on the horizon. As Douthat and Fr. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit scholar and author, discuss in an excellent dialogue recently published in America Magazine, the labels of left-right/liberal-conservative can often be reductive when discussing varying ideologies within the Catholic faith. However, most would agree that it is fair to place Jesuits on the progressive side of things. This leads to the unsurprising conclusion that the large number of conservative-leaning Catholics at this University may find significant discrepancies between their idea of Catholicism and the Jesuit “brand.” Yet, it must be recognized that such discrepancies are not dogmatically based but rather matters of focus.

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J Cosgrove
4 years ago
This is from the Notre Dame opinion piece
The Jesuit order’s emphasis on higher education and social justice does not make it any less Catholic than groups that emphasize issues like abortion or gay marriage.
This is a false dichotomy. What does emphasis on higher education have to do with abortion and gay marriage. It seems to imply that Jesuits are in favor of abortion and gay marriage. Is Ms. Morris in favor of abortion and gay marriage? She surely could not be a spokesperson of anything Catholic if she is. Also just what is "social justice?" I have not seen anyone really define it in any meaningful manner. So are the Jesuits focused on some nebulous concept while real Catholics do not care for this vague imprecise policy. I have asked the following question many times on this blog without an answer: "Is something socially just, if it hurts the poor," Then there is this statement
His comments strongly reflect the Jesuit tendency to focus on broader means of carrying out the Gospels through promoting “global justice, peace and dialogue” instead of honing in on ultra-specific issues that affect much smaller percentages of humanity (more than three billion people live on less than $2.50 per day.
Here is a headline from a blog a couple weeks ago:
It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and one you probably never heard about
http://www.aei.org/publication/greatest-achievement-human-history-one-probably-never-heard/#.VFeCIDpyBTI.twitter And what is this greatest achievement? It is that the world poverty rate fell by 80% from 26.8% in 1970 to 5.4% in 2006. The reason is capitalism which the pope has been especially harsh on and has nothing to do with any social justice efforts by the Jesuits. I think Ms. Morris should get her priorities straight.


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