Recent example: Loyola Law School's hosting, this June 15-17, of the judge who forced the capital punishment-by-dehydration-and-starvation of Catholic housewife Terri Schiavo last year for her heinous crimes of being disabled and being targeted by her adulterous spouse.
New example: The Minneapolis Star Tribune (click on this post's title) reported yesterday that Catholic seminarian Ben Kessler, 21, has had to apologize publicly because in his honors graduate address to his fellow 2006 graduates of the University of St. Thomas (in St. Paul, Minn.) on Saturday last he called students' use of contraception selfish, upheld the school's anti-cohabitation policy for faculty members and denounced a recent campus food fight.
Kessler, who hopes to be a priest, is a student at St. John Vianney Seminary on the St. Thomas campus. He was a star defensive tackle on the St. Thomas football team and compiled a 4.0 grade average to win Academic All-America football honors.
Kessler's apology came in a statement released by the university -- which leaves no doubt that they forced him to make the apology. Last Saturday, he bravely continued with his speech despite members of the crowd booing, crying (!), calling for him to be thrown off the stage and, when he ripped contraception, actually walking out.
A university spokesman, said the news story, claims that previous honorees "typically" congratulated the graduates and wished them well. Father Dennis Dease, the university's president, "said in a prepared statement Monday that he accepted Kessler's apology and that he regrets that graduates, families and guests were offended."
Father Dease added, "I have shared my sentiments with Mr. Kessler that it was not appropriate for him to use the commencement exercise as a venue to express his opinions on several issues [but it is important for everyone] "to treat one another with respect as we speak and as we listen, regardless of how controversial an issue may be."
Which "issue" and "opinions" do you suppose Father Dease meant were "controversial" -- food fights, or timeless Catholic doctrine against fornication and contraception? No word on whether he -- or Minneapolis-St. Paul Archbishop Harry Flynn, who was at the commencement -- has used the whole occasion to reiterate and defend these Catholic doctrines.
Seems the Archdiocese of Los Angeles might not be the only one in which the words "Humanae Vitae" are never heard.
Let us hope -- and pray -- that no seminary or diocesan officials now deem Ben Kessler "too judgmental," "rigid" and "non-pastoral" to continue toward the priesthood. One thing is for sure -- he has learned that a prophet is without honor in his own country.