In 1990 Pope John Paul II, troubled over the decline of traditional religious views on Catholic campuses, published Ex Corde Ecclesiae, an apostolic constitution that aimed to define and reestablish the identity and mission of Catholic institutions of higher learning.
Among the document’s many provisions was a call for Catholic universities to foster ”fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church.”
Most Catholics would probably tell you it was a fine idea… that never materialized. In fact, three decades later, it’s safe to say the opposite happened: Catholic institutions of higher learning largely shed traditional Church teachings in their new embrace of the social justice creed.
”Rather than embrace the good, the true, and the beautiful, many of the schools have adopted the politically correct fads of secular universities,” wrote Anne Hendershott in a 2017 City Journal article.
Whether one views this development as a good thing or a bad thing depends much on one’s beliefs. But good or bad, most would agree that the results are often farcical.
A case in point can found in Washington state, where a controversy has erupted at a Catholic college “Seattle University”that permits an annual drag show. Via the Seattle Times:
The photo of the Seattle University student performing at a drag show in a low-cut, sparkly leotard was well lit and captured the performer mid-pose.
The editors of the university’s student newspaper The Spectator say it’s a good photo, one that they don’t regret putting on the cover of last week’s edition.
That puts them at odds with the university’s president, who called the photo ”obscene,” and at least one professor, who admitted to removing every copy of the newspaper from the stands at three separate locations on the Capitol Hill campus.
”At the time we didn’t even discuss or imagine that the photo would be problematic to anyone who saw it,” said Nick Turner, editor-in-chief of The Spectator and a senior journalism major. ”Our first line of thinking was that it was a good photo.”
From a journalistic standpoint, Turner is clearly correct. The photo (depicted below) is quite good, something worthy of an album or movie cover.