Showing posts with label Mary Daly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Daly. Show all posts

Friday, January 15, 2010

Catholic Dissenters Define "Catholic" Education

At least they're dying out at a prodigious rate, but Gnosticism, like Modernism of old, is as old as the pyramids.

Catholic Educators who Aren't Catholic

In an editorial eulogizing the late Mary Daly, the Boston Globe lets the cat out of the bag. Daly “came to describe herself as a ‘radical lesbian feminist’ and a ‘post-Christian,’” the Globe notes. How, then, did she justify her position in the theology department at Boston College: a nominally Catholic school? The Globe has its answer:

Daly was one of many scholars who, through their efforts to use their positions at Catholic universities to pull the church leftward, tacitly acknowledged its central role in the lives of the faithful, and its vast influence in society at large.

Exactly. Like all too many of her colleagues in Catholic theological circles, Daly used her academic post not to build up the faith but to tear it down—or, to be more accurate, to exploit it for other purposes. At a time when St. Josemaria Escriva was urging his followers in Opus Dei to turn the ordinary work of the secular world to the purposes of the Church (that is, their sanctification), leftist professors were encouraging students to turn the work of the Church to the purposes of the secular world (that is, their politicization). The Globe editorial puts it differently, but the message is recognizably the same:

Daly was in the thick of a vibrant debate within the Catholic world over how to respond to the social changes of the era.

In academic life, Daly and her allies had ample opportunity to influence the world: to “pull the Church leftward.” They not only trained the next generation in their classrooms, but by controlling the levers of academic power they determined who would be given the appropriate credentials—the PhDs—to teach the following generations as well.

For years, a fifth column has been active in Catholic academic circles. By the 1970s, the damage they had done was evident enough to a few perceptive Catholic scholars, who began founding a new generation of Catholic colleges and universities explicitly devoted to the teaching magisterium of the Church. But at established schools like Boston College, Notre Dame, and Georgetown, the subversion continues.

The influence of these “post-Catholic” scholars extends beyond academic life, too. The Boston Globe is not ordinarily interested in theology; the editorial tribute to Mary Daly was obviously written by someone who had drunk deeply from those intellectual streams. (Notice the awkward use of the adjective "vibrant," a dead giveaway that the author is a liberal Catholic.) Nancy Pelosi can cite professors at Catholic schools to justify her political stands.

The treason of Catholic scholars is not news. What is new, in the Globe editorial, is the candid acknowledgement that some Catholic theologians are motivated not by a different vision for the good of the Church, but by a cynical desire to exploit the Church for the sake of their favored social causes. They acknowledge the Church as a potential force for social change, not as the Bride of Christ, the Mater et Magistra. They are opportunists, not Catholic theologians.

Still, rest assured that they will continue cashing their paychecks, and miseducating our children, for as long as we afford them the opportunities.

Link to Catholic Culture...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Boston College Feminist Dies

Mary Daly was a force for changing attitudes and diminishing the importance of the Catholic Faith at this Jesuit school. The editorial remarks about her contribution to the "vibrant debate". It's difficult to surmise from reading the article or assessing some of her positions just how her contribution was "vibrant", but the article is correct in that it identifies her presence as a sign that Boston College is a liberal institution. How it is that a woman whose very presence championed the normalization of homosexuality at a Catholic institution is a very curious indicator, but that she did it is still further proof that this allegedly Catholic and Jesuit institution is far removed from the namesakes that inspired the brick and mortar to house generations of the surrounding flower of youth the Irish-Catholic community of Boston had to offer.

One Jesuit commenter, "aidan01" wrote:

As a male seminarian taking classes at B.C. in the eighties I recall that men were banned from Daly's class. Of course none of us were interested in trying to set up a private tutorial with her. We all thought Daly was a joke of a human being, and that B.C. had been corrupted by liberals and didn't have the spheres to boot her to the curb. Mary Daly was a sign of the decline of Boston College's standing in the Catholic World.

Years later, as a cynical move to impress a radical feminist professor, I cited one of Daly's works in a paper. To make sure the Prof. questioned my motives I also cited Mary Ann Glendon, the very conservative Harvard Professor, and former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. Interestingly, Daly and Glendon agreed completely in their blisteringly negative critiques of Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree", but Glendon was particularly cutting, and sounded even more "feminist" than Daly. Even the Professor was surprised by that. But, imagine my surprise when I couldn't put Daly's book down, even after writing the paper.

As strange and alienating as Mary Day was to many, she was a serious thinker and her ideas are worthy of consideration. [Really?] While reading her work did not push me to abandon my own thinking, or my faith, it did bring to light for me a perspective on the Church and Society that was illuminative and insightful. She was a very accomplished scholar, somewhat off the deep end, but she had insights that cannot be dismissed lightly, and she conveyed them with a wicked sense of humor. Mary was very funny, and when I think about her I have to smile because, although it kills me to admit it, her work contributed something significant and meaningful to my life.

It's hard to take seriously the author's previous statements about Daly being a "joke of a human being" and then going on to praise her for her talent as a scholar and her contribution, but it highlights the point of confusion. No doubt, despite the Jesuit's contention that Boston College did not damage his faith, he seems to suffer from that lack of integrity which comes as a result of not really believing in anything with any conviction. His attitude plays into the rationale that the presence of instructors like Daly enrich the experience in a spirited dialogue when most of the students graduating from Boston College don't have the fundamentals to know the Catholic Faith which is supposed to be the reason behind the College's existence in the first place.

Saying she was right about things doesn't address whether she should have been at a Catholic College in the first place, or whether or not she helps the students do anything more than realize the pure vanity of religion in the first place. The only thing we suspect she was right about was her opposition to the evils of co-education.

Requiem for a feminist - The Boston Globe