Cardinal Dolan warns fellow bishops ‘we have to prepare for tough times;’ mentions civil disobedience as possible strategy

News release from USCCB
March 2, 2012

WASHINGTON — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York voiced dismay in the Administration’s handling of the church as the White House and the church seek to work out religious freedom problems found in a mandate in the new health care reform bill.

The mandate drew church ire when it required that all employers, including religious ones, pay for contraceptives – including abortifacients – and sterilization for employees despite church teaching against them.

He also promised to provide educational materials to parishes and to pursue legislative and judicial efforts to restore respect for religious freedom in the nation.

Given church concerns about religious freedom, Cardinal Dolan wrote, “the President invited us to ‘work out the wrinkles.’ We have accepted that invitation. Unfortunately, this seems to be stalled: the White House Press Secretary, for instance, informed the nation that the mandates are a fait accompli (and, embarrassingly for him, commented that we bishops have always opposed Health Care anyway, a charge that is scurrilous and insulting, not to mention flat out wrong.”)

Cardinal Dolan also said, “The White House already notified Congress that the dreaded mandates are now published in the Federal Registry ‘without change.’ He added that “The Secretary of HHS is widely quoted as saying, ‘Religious insurance companies don’t really design the plans they sell based on their own religious tenets.’ That doesn’t bode well for their getting a truly acceptable ‘accommodation.'”

Cardinal Dolan also described a recent meeting at the White House between bishops’ conference staff and White House staff, and said “our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom — that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption — are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for ‘working out the wrinkles.’ Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the ‘enlightened’ voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America.”

“The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.”

Cardinal Dolan also said, “We will continue to accept invitations to meet with and to voice our concerns to anyone of any party, for this is hardly partisan, who is willing to correct the infringements on religious freedom that we are now under. But as we do so, we cannot rely on off the record promises of fixes without deadlines and without assurances of proposals that will concretely address the concerns in a manner that does not conflict with our principles and teaching.”

He added that “Congress might provide more hope, since thoughtful elected officials have proposed legislation to protect what should be so obvious: religious freedom. Meanwhile, in our recent debate in the senate, our opponents sought to obscure what is really a religious freedom issue by maintaining that abortion inducing drugs and the like are a ‘woman’s health issue.’ We will not let this deception stand. Our commitment to seeking legislative remedies remains strong. And it is about remedies to the assault on religious freedom. Period.”

Cardinal Dolan added that “Perhaps the courts offer the most light.”

Cardinal Dolan warned the bishops that “given this climate, we have to prepare for tough times. Some, like America magazine, want us to cave-in and stop fighting, saying this is simply a policy issue; some want us to close everything down rather than comply (in an excellent article, Cardinal Francis George wrote that the administration apparently wants us to ‘give up for Lent’ our schools, hospitals, and charitable ministries); some, like Bishop Robert Lynch wisely noted, wonder whether we might have to engage in civil disobedience and risk steep fines; some worry that we’ll have to face a decision between two ethically repugnant choices: subsidizing immoral services or no longer offering insurance coverage, a road none of us wants to travel.”

Cardinal Dolan added that “we know so very well that religious freedom is our heritage, our legacy and our firm belief, both as loyal Catholics and Americans. There have been many threats to religious freedom over the decades and years, but these often came from without. This one sadly comes from within. As our ancestors did with previous threats, we will tirelessly defend the timeless and enduring truth of religious freedom.”

To read Cardinal Dolan’s full letter to his brother bishops, Click Here.


Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 12:19 AM By Clinton
A description of the conference said, in part, “Our Catholic heritage charges us to ‘defend the goodness, dignity, and freedom of each person, and to foster sensitivity to social and ethical concerns,’ What a bunch of mumbo jumbo! Being Catholic means you serve God and Him alone, not catering to the whims of people who are obstinate against the teachings of the Church. The truth and the call to holiness will always be a stumbling block for many. Another sad example of a so called Catholic university that has apostasized from the Faith. How Abp. Alemany must weep for the school he founded.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 1:33 AM By Dan
I don’t know where this college is, but what an insult to the Blessed Mother to have her name associated with such feminist evil. If the bishop of the diocese knew of the event and did nothing, he shares in the blame. Do these people think that God does not judge?

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:08 AM By MIKE
This is what happens when Bishops do not require all Catholic Colleges within their Diocese to use the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” as a required text. CCC: ” 2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish. God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.”

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 4:48 AM By Gabriel Espinosa 
Reason to murder my unborn children number six: “I’ll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise.”

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:03 AM By St. Christopher 
One can only pray for women like Amy Richards — imagine, killing two of your own pre-born children due to the supposed horror of one day needing to buy “big jars of mayonnaise.” Also, think of the failure of Catholic bishops to confront the thinking supporting such actions. Failure to embrace Humanae Vitae and to instruct parishioners that birth control was sinful, sex was for marriage, and abortion is forbidden, has lead to a general population thought process that all of this stuff is generally OK (as long as you are a “good person”). Ms. Richards will surely meet up with the effect of, and punishment for, her sins at a future date, but she is clearly not alone. In fact, she is a sister-in-spirit to Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University Law student (and activist) that expects society to pay for her birth control expenses while she is a student, due to the heavy burden of these costs on her budget. Yet, where the bishops in all of this? Starting to stand up to President Obama is one response, but they need to do so much more to earn their “leadership of the flock” stripes.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:14 AM By respectlife
Its amazing that we have lived to see the day that Catholic education is no longer “Catholic”. These universities are wolves in sheep clothing (so-to-speak). They should be disassociated with the Catholic church if they do not follow Catholic teachings. Its no wonder that we as Catholics have lost all credibility from government and the mainstream media when Catholics advocate for freedom of religion in regards to the health care mandate. Catholics in this day and age are no different than the general public when it comes to morale values. We should be the leaders and example for others to follow. May God have mercy on us all..

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:05 AM By James Lafferty
Please consider adding an action item to articles such as these. Too many Catholics (including the Bishops) are spectators in the political process. The president of St. Mary’s should be hearing from Catholics across America and contributors who will no longer finance this nonsense.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:08 AM By AA
And there is the poster child for the disgusting obsession with self. I use the term “child” intentionally – a woman knows how to sacrifice. I’m utterly disgusted she would kill two of her children for such selfish petty concerns. What does she tell the one that got to live? Mommy had to kill your sisters so we could continue to live in this great walk up and eat at trendy cages? I’m sure the hollow lonely noise will haunt the poor lucky one who got to live with this beast.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:15 AM By MacDonald
“My immediate response was, I cannot have triplets.” God help her elderly parents when THEY need care and she applies the same logic. Or if she had a handicapped child who was too needy.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:43 AM By Marie
Why don’t they shut down these colleges that do not obey Catholic teachings or present a contract to those they hire that if they permit a known pro-choice person to talk they are fired and loose their jobs?

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:50 AM By Camille
Our Blessed Mother, Mary, must weep at the thought of a college named for her, bringing the anti-women people onto the campus to present their opinions on how to be the best woman one can be.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:16 AM By hosemonkey
This truly exposes what abortion is all about. Two children were murdered because they were “inconvenient.” Two children were murdered because she did not “want to buy mayonnaise in big jars.” God help us. I wonder what her surviving child thinks about the fact that Mom had her siblings executed because they were “inconvenient?” And this person is invited to speak at a “Catholic” college? Amazing.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:21 AM By JMJ
Miss Richards is a very sick woman and just what does the Bible call those like her and those that use her services? Ask Rush Limbaugh? The description of the conference would be very humorous except that it is not as it is one big lie. How can this place be called St. Mary and where is the Bishop? Everyone that is in charge of this fiasco should be publicly excommunicated and now!! I don’t know which one of the St. Marys is being insulted by this, but, I will pray that all of the St. Marys in Heaven, especially, our Blessed Mary will intercede to the Holy Spirit for their conversions and repentance. +JMJ+

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:36 AM By Claire
excommunicate all who is pro- abortion and claim to be a Roman Catholic. Leave that soul in the Hands of Our Heavenly Father. We can’t afford to have souls like this sort continue to influence our young and lead them into “Sin” and thought it was the right thing to do. ” He who leads one of these little ones into sin~ it is better to hang a mill stone around his neck and be thrown into the sea….”

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:52 AM By Susan
Regardless of her professed faith, this woman acted as God by choosing which of her 3 children would live based on how it would affect HER life. What a selfish and sick mindset! If she was so worried about her lifestyle being compromised she should have aborted her sexual promiscuity. Making these children pay with their lives for her mistake is a sick and twisted thing. Imagine how the surviving child will feel when she/he realizes that mommy is a murderer.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:05 AM By A Lady
I wonder how the surviving triplet feels about his/her mother killing the other two….

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:21 AM By Juergensen
More fruit of the tree of half a century of Amchurch episcopal malfeasance.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:27 AM By Marie
Both St. Mary’s College in Moraga and Holy Names University in Oakland, are steeped in the secular world (as well as the flesh and the devil, to coin a phrase). Both of these colleges are in the Oakland Diocese technically under the direction of Bishop Cordileone………. Remember a few years ago when a St. Mary’s women’s soccer coach was mauled to death by two vicious dogs in San Francisco? The victim, an avowed lesbian, was honored at a huge production Mass at St. Mary’s, with her female “partner” honored as one would honor a widow. As for Holy Names, remember the seminar put on there which included the notorious Fr. Jim Schexnayder, supporter of the Catholic sodomite lifetyle. Holy Names also gave former Catholic priest Matthew Fox his start, as well as introducing his personal witch, “Starhawk”. Parents, I would cross these colleges off your list of potentials colleges for your children.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:32 AM By Catherine
God is merciful. The day will come when Amy Richards will be shown the terrible consequences of her incredibly ugly and selfish words. When Amy said, “Thats easy for you to say, but I’d have to give up my life,” she was not taking into account the devastating effects of her horrible choice. Amy actually did give up a very important part of her life when she allowed two of her children to be murdered as if these siblings were bargaining chips for convenience. She gave up a life of interior peace. You can be sure that Amy Richards is interiorly haunted by her choice to execute two of her children. The reason we know this fact is because Amy keeps frantically searching for public forums or using any “Soapbox” to convince herself and others that what she did was not so bad. Why isn’t the local bishop putting a stop to this? The local bishop should invite Amy for a meeting. Amy needs help and the day will come when she reaches out to God for forgiveness for the terrible choices she has made. It might come in the form of her child asking her, “Mom, why did you choose to kill my brother and my sister? I would have loved to have had both of them in my life.” The greatest scandal is a Catholic College named St.Mary’s is providing the forum that perpetuates the evil soapbox instead of confronting it with God’s Divine Mercy.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:38 AM By Catholic Joe
The scandal isn’t that she spoke. The scandal is that these school is allowed to carry the name Christian, the name Catholic, the name of God on their website description. St. Joseph’s Alumni Office just honored a lesbian couple for best story for a couple meeting in college. The list goes on & on…Instead of highlighting scandal after scandal, we should demand that these schools stop calling themselves Catholic. All this is beyond shocking and religious administrators just look the other way. The saddest thing is that no one’s really held accountable and there is no punishment or punitive actions are levied by anyone. Which is it: A fruit of Vatican II or a fruit from Land O’Lakes?

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:46 AM By Fierce

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:53 AM By Maryanne Leonard
I am a Catholic pro-life feminist woman, in that order, and I am shocked and dismayed beyond words, though not surprised, to know that the school I nearly attended has so betrayed Catholics, the pro-life cause, feminists and women. There are so few fine Catholic colleges left! But thank goodness the few there are happen to be the finest among the lot, Thomas Aquinas College being the first to come to mind. Yes, a smaller but holier Church does seem to be in our future, and sad to say, that may be a truly good thing. I think we need to contact these so-called Catholic colleges and protest their choices and let them know we’re praying for them to come home to the Catholic Church.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:58 AM By GloriaDei
James Lafferty’s suggestion is excellent. The local bishop and school administration’s addresses could well be amended to articles such as this. Additionally, all St. Mary’s alums (those who survived the brainwashing) should contact the Development Dept. to make their voices heard.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:11 AM By Canisius
@Maryanne Leonard, no more endless “dialgoue its time for ultimatums, cut out the heresy or lose the Catholic affiliation

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:51 AM By Dan Gorman
Whoever is running St. Mary’s is guilty of scandalizing the young students in his or her charge. As presently administered, St. Mary’s should change its name: it is not a Catholic college.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:35 AM By FrMichael
Holy God! Even by my jaded sensibilities this is horrifying! I remember when this article came out originally and how incredibly self-centered the mother was. I had no idea that she was Catholic, much less to be honored by a Catholic college in the future. I do believe that we needed a much larger earthquake on the Hayward Fault than a 4.0, and it needs to be centered on Moraga next time!

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:50 AM By Sandra
What a selfish, selfish, human being. We must take a scalpel to our Catholic Universities and either cut away the claim to Catholicism or remove those that do not adhear to The Church’s teaching. This is such a scandal and I feel so very sorry for the students there. When dear Lord will our Sheperds take action?

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 12:47 PM By Tota Tua
made me physically ill to read this. typing through tears. Now mad that St Mary’s is allowed to keep “Catholic” affiliation.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 1:18 PM By Denise Riggio
The real scandal here is the Bishop of the diocese that still allows the name ‘Catholic’ to be applied to St. Mary’s. Why should we contact the college? what do they care? the college isn’t Catholic. It’s the Bishops job.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:08 PM By Lynceus
As reported last year by California Catholic Daily: in the May 3, 2011 edition of The Collegian (Saint Mary’s College student-newspaper), graduating co-editor Michael Bruer identified the school as Catholic “in name only,” given the school’s “blatantly anti-Catholic programming, speakers, and organizations.” A “Jewish/Buddhist” professor then disparaged Bruer in the May 10 issue. The same professor was graphically self-outed as a sodomite in the 2004 anthology “Kings and Queens: Queers at the Prom” — but SMC hired him the next year. The same professor directed the school’s presentation of “Angels in America” in November 2010, and he wrote in to the “Tradition, Family, Property” Catholic site to defend V-Monologues showings at Saint Mary’s. (This year’s two performances of V-Monologues, both scheduled for April 28, are announced in a link on the same St. Mary’s “Women’s Resource Center” page that announces the “Wo/men’s Conference 2012” keynoted by Amy Richards.) In 2009, the professor was reported in the student newspaper as having directed a “musical… called ‘Totally f**ked,” which “began with a wedding scene of various homosexual couples.” The article reporting the event which included the professor’s play is entitled “Get with It, traditional marriage is so yesterday.” As the Cardinal Newman Society reported, St. Mary’s once again hosted a “Lavender graduation” celebration last year. Saint Mary’s College was dedicated originally to the Mother of Our Lord. Today, the place is a corrupt, degenerate caricature of “Catholic” education. It’s “Catholic in name only,” as Michael Bruer observed.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:46 PM By Elizabeth
I know all of you are as upset as I am over this sad situation…. Please call the President of St. Mary’s: Brother Ronald Gallagher (925) 631 – 4203 And please be charitable when calling! P.S. The Bishop of Oakland was not aware of such an event was going to take place.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:56 PM By Teri D.
Action to reinstate the Catholic identity of Catholic colleges needs to start at the top. No more “American Catholic Church” and the dissent such a mind-set fosters. This is no different than treating gangrene: cut away the rotting flesh, heal the limb, and restore the health of the organism. As for Ms. Richards, how can she possibly believe that human sacrifice (for that is abortion’s real name) is a good thing, for her personally or for our society. Abortion did not mark progress for or bring prosperity to the civilizations of the ancient Romans or the Aztecs. Where are they now?

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:10 PM By Dana
There are many sociopaths with a story to tell_people with no remorse or conscience going about doing terrible acts who can relate their experiences without a qualm. What is truly shocking and utterly unbelievable is that a supposedly nice Catholic college actually pays one to tell her story to all these young college students, giving this scary person a voice, credibility and unless she works for nothing, cold, hard cash! Why not just invite Charlie Manson? It would be probably be more interesting, and just as anti-life, anti-social, and anti-Christ. Why do parents allow this sort of thing to go on? These permissive, scandalous schools would soon change their tune if the fat tuitions they charged were at risk.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:11 PM By Mike
I attended St. Mary’s College in the early 1980″s and this is nothing new. The college was not really Catholic then, simply a private college for mostly well-to-do kids from Bay Area culturally Catholic families. The drinking, partying and sex were prevalent. Yes, you could get birth control on campus even back then. Many of the professors were very liberal and proud of it. Many of the Christian Brothers caused scandal every single day. It was sad the and it is sad now. Faithfully Catholic parents would never send their children to such a place.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:15 PM By Abeca Christian
Dana good choice of words, I agree with calling them sociopaths! Fits well with them.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:19 PM By Mark from PA
Marie, I feel sad that you would be upset by a funeral Mass for a woman who was mauled to death by two dogs. Her family and friends were surely in great pain at this loss. How heartless that someone would be more bothered by this woman’s funeral than by her tragic death. In regard to Amy Richards, if she only wanted one child, wouldn’t it have been better to give 2 of them up for adoption if she did not have the resources to raise 3 children? I am sure she could have found someone who would gladly raise 2 babies.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:49 PM By Dana
Well, Mike, if that’s the case, then shouldn’t they have to change the name of their school? Aren’t there laws against false advertising? It is under the jurisdiction of the De La Salle Christian Brothers and I think they are in the diocese of Oakland. It’s not far from where a friend of mine lives, but I can’t remember seeing the campus.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 4:02 PM By Curt Flood
If only Amy had attended St. Ignatius College Prep and University of San Francisco, The Society of Jesus would have provided her a better foundation.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 5:00 PM By lisag
Did you read in the article, I, I, I, I, I. It is all about her. Not her babies, Not her male friend. Her! Her self image. What a great Catholic model for women!

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 5:15 PM By Abeca Christian
Marie I keep getting brochures in the mail for my daughter for Holy Name and St. Mary’s, you are right, they sound bad. So I just throw them in the trash, we go by what the Newman Guide tells and there isn’t many good Catholic choices unfortunately in California, the good one’s that I know are St. Thomas and John Paul the Great!

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:56 PM By k
Just read the NYT article. Shaking my head. Can’t believe there are people like this in the world. Thanks for the heads up on college.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:07 PM By Maryanne Leonard
Canisius, neither you nor I have control over what colleges and universities are allowed to use the word Catholic in their names to describe themselves. We can, however, directly protest to the presidents of the universities and the fund-raisers, we can denounce their decisions publicly and to people in positions of influence, and we can pray, and let it be known that we are praying, for the return of our Catholic colleges to Catholicism. Raving to one another is nothing more than releasing emotion; we must take definitive action or watch our Catholic colleges implode to the purposes of evil, and our children and society along with them. This is our watch, and we must take effective action, not merely express our outrage to one another and make heated demands on this site to one another that are outside the purview of the website, however much most of us would agree with those sentiments. Action is always better than fuming.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:53 PM By Maryanne Leonard
Abeca, did you mean Thomas Aquinas College?

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:09 PM By Kenneth M. Fishe
I remember when we picketed at St. Mary’s because two rabid pro-abortion feminist Demoncrat Congress women were speaking there, Loretta Sanchez Brixey, and her even worse sister who also was not really a Sanchez but I believe a Davenport. How can anyone, after reading this, even wonder why the Church in America is in such a mess? Gomez is the much wrongly ballyhoed Archbishop over this wayward Institution! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:23 PM By Kenneth M. Fishe
Upon further reading, I realize that this St. Mary’s is not the St. Mary’s of Loyola/Marymount where we picketed the Sanchez sisters, but the same principles apply. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:39 PM By Ygnacia
Thank you for posting this article, but that this information were to get out to alumni and others that would pull their funding. The more people that know the better – I see no difference between them and any secular college in the state of California.

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 7:55 AM By BETH
Maryanne L., the Bishop of the Diocese in which the various Universites/Colleges are located does have the authority to deny them the right to use the name “Catholic” in their title or advertize them as such. This is also true of Hospitals or any other organization. Everyone should contact their Bishop when a University or organization violates Catholic teaching but documentation must be provided versus hearsay. It is fraudulent to use the name “Catholic’ when they do not adhere to Church teachings as defined in the CCC. Action is always better than fuming.

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 8:20 AM By Suzanne
I am in the process of applying to St. Mary’s for their teacher credential program. This is disheartening! One reason I chose St. Mary’s was that is was a Christian based institution. Now I am faced with a difficult decision. Graduates of the program are sought after in the educational field. So do I go to a school that doesn’t profess or adhere to Christian values or one that professes Christian values but fails to follow those values? This college is in the my diocese (Oakland) and I am very disappointed in Bishop Cordileone for not speaking out against this. With the attack on the Church regarding the HHS mandate and incidents like this it is time for bishops and laity to speak up. Maryanne you are right about raving to each other and not actively doing anything. About a year ago a friend (who is a fellow Catholic) and I started discussing our concerns about what is going on in our Churches and Catholic institutions. We talked about starting up a group called Concerned Catholics to do something about these situations. After the HHS mandate we realized our meeting was providential and the time was right.

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 9:12 AM By Elizabeth
I am disheartened by how easily the blame is shifted to Bishop Cordileone without knowing the facts. The cry, “Where was the bishop?” is so easy to make, but where were we? The bishop cannot possibly know everything that is going on unless we tell him. I found out about this conference about four days before it happened thanks to the lone voice of a courageous woman who started to spread the news, in less time. I was able to register for a table there to bring the message of The Gabriel Project to the students and other attendees. Word about this event started spreading quickly through email, and I heard that when the bishop did find out about it, he called the school. I don’t know what happened in that conversation, but we should not judge the bishop because we don’t know what he is doing. I do know that Bishop Cordileone is a wonderful bishop, very pro-life and outspoken, and I trust that he is doing what he can. I was very grateful at how quickly he responded given what’s on his plate lately. Additionally, I heard that at least one major donor also called the school. We the flock need to keep our thumb on the pulse of what goes on at so-called Catholic institutions and then take action to protest through calls, letters, raising awareness, showing up, writing to the bishop, withholding funding, etc. I would also like to say that while the speaker’s story is sickening, it was not the topic of her speech that day. (No excuse; she shouldn’t have been invited no matter what the topic, but I just want to clarify.) I did show the NYTimes article to one of the organizers who read it in front of me with a heavy look on her face. She hadn’t known about it. Let’s raise awareness in a charitable way. All of the players here are human beings. Some are misguided, some are very busy and deserve the benefit of the doubt (like the bishop). Some have an agenda, it’s true. Well my agenda is to make inroads into the school where I can. The students deserve it.

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 9:52 AM By Abeca Christian
well it began with the proper way to receive is standing up, disregarding the traditional way that has always been in kneeling, and now, you can kneel now if you want too. Too much back and forth…

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 10:04 AM By Maryanne Leonard
Following my own advice about taking action versus posting rants to one another, thanks to Elizabeth’s earlier posting, I found it easy to call the President of St. Mary’s, Brother Ronald Gallagher, at (925) 631 – 4203. He didn’t answer, but I did leave a respectful message asking him to call me to explain why he had allowed this particular pro-abortionist woman to speak. So far, I haven’t heard from him yet, but I am hopeful it is because thousands of you have bombarded the college with (also respectful and courteous) messages, and that he will return my call after he has returned all of those messages. (May I dare hope that you have called too?) Although Elizabeth tells us that Bishop Cordileone did not know of this well in advance, perhaps (courteous) phone calls to his office could also be interpreted as taking positive action versus ranting to one another. I’ll look forward to reading your post on CCD about what happened when you called either or both offices. Please do call!

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 10:14 AM By MIKE
We laity all have an obligation to report (with documentation) all heretical or schismatic things that take place on Catholic property – to the Diocese Bishops asap. Beth’s posting is correct.

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 11:07 AM By Abeca Christian
I just received another postcard from Saint Mary’s College of California. They advertise “It’s an Attitude”. Nothing mentions quality Catholic education. It does brag about it’s sports programs it says “We might be one of the smallest NCAA Division I schools in the Country, but we still know how to kick butt.”. They do compare themselves with David meets Goliath. Part of their postcard advertisement.

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 11:16 AM By Abeca Christian
Suzanne I share in your disheartened heart. I think that St. Mary’s has been this way for a long time way before Bishop Cordileone came there. So I don’t think the whole blame falls on him but I do hope he cleans house though but don’t hold your breath, in my area we have USD (Catholic University of San Diego) and it’s not Catholic even though many have a crooked view of what being Catholic is. My friend once said it is better our kids attend a secular college or even a Christian one than a bad heretical one because at least they can expect whatever goes since it is not a Catholic one but when they attend one that is liberal and hardly Catholic, just in name only, then they assume, well they allow it, so it must be OK. To much confusion it brings. The cost is also very high to go to any popular Catholic University. I bet you if we did a survey on campus on from any of these liberal Colleges, the survey would show that many are pro-choice, pro-gay etc. I’m just guessing.

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 12:13 PM By k
abeca, those surveys exist and you are correct. Pro-choice attitudes and attitudes favoring same sex marriage increase after attending those kind of colleges.

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 12:46 PM By Dottie
All Colleges involved in sports are required to carry insurance for student participants. This is a requirement of the NCAA. Do you think this will include insurance for voluntary sterilizations, abortafacients, contraceptives, etc.? With OBAMA in office you bet it will !

Posted Thursday, March 08, 2012 12:33 AM By Ygnacia
Here is a quote from an alumni regarding this article, from a forum that I frequent: “How did I know that it would be my Alma Mater? Hmmm.. can’t say I’m surprised. They have a scholarship named after a Planned Parenthood director. And when I went to school there (pre-conversion) I had a teacher call and set me up with an internship at Planned Parenthood for a class assigned volunteer job for a semester. “

Posted Thursday, March 08, 2012 5:30 AM By San Diego Catholic
The Provost at St. Mary’s is the cause for all of this – she was a notorious anti-Catholic during her time at the University of San Diego…She led the gay community takeover of the school by leading the Rainbow Coalition (Irvine Foundation money to bring gay rights–including gay marriage) and helped to drive out pro-family, pro-life faculty. Now that she has the power of the Provost’s office at St. Mary’s, things have gotten much worse there. she will continue to destroy that school. She has said in public that the Church has no right to infringe on academic freedom. This will continue as long as she has that powerful office. Bishop Cordileone needs to begin to pay attention – he did not do anything about USD and now that is continuing at St. Mary’s. I am grateful for his strong public witness for life and traditional marriage but he needs to pay attention to his own schools.

Posted Thursday, March 08, 2012 7:55 PM By GaelGirl
I would like to preface this comment by stating that personal attacks on me and my words will serve no purpose. I am a full-time, full-tuition paying student at Saint Mary’s College of California and have attended this conference every year. While there seems to be a lot of hateful words being said about Saint Mary’s in regards to the Wo/men’s conference, this conference is a beautiful arena for dialogue. The Wo/men’s conference offers the community of Saint Mary’s and the surrounding areas a safe and peaceful place to engage new thoughts and celebrate diversity. I am incredible proud to call myself a Gael, and incredible proud to call this campus home. I find it very difficult to accept any of the criticism that has been written on these comments because none of you actually attended this conference. So therefore, all of your comments are coming from a place of assumption. One reason I love Saint Mary’s so much is because it offers me a platform to think freely and learn about many different viewpoints. Ignorance serves no place on this campus or any college campus. I find it incredibly insulting that as outsiders you feel the privilege to comment on the doings of my college and comment on the events that happen on my campus. I pay for this education, and I pay for the events that happen here, and I am very proud of the diverse events offered.

Posted Thursday, March 08, 2012 10:02 PM By HappyConvert
First of all I want to say that, regardless of the difference in our perspectives, I think you were courageous to write to this forum. And you definitely deserve a respectful response, so I will do my best. I can understand, Gael, that you find it stimulating to “learn about may different viewpoints,” and enjoy “diversity,” but the point that you don’t seem to catch is that, in the areas of faith and morals, these are not the mandates of a Catholic college. The effort of the people who have been writing here in protest is toward maintaining the Catholic identity of St. Mary’s, which is based on its fidelity to the teachings of the Church. That may not be to your personal liking, and you may be paying tuition to be there, but I believe this is as true for you as it was (and is) for Amy Richards: This is not about YOU, Gael–your desires, your preferences, or even your personal set of values. It is hard for young people to understand this, when the prevailing world ethos is me, me, me–what matters to me. If you are a Catholic, you are part of a family that is much greater than your own self, and your self-definition; forgive me if I question where your sense of pride (“I am very proud of . . .”) is coming from. Look deeper than what satisfies you in the moment, and I believe you will come upon God’s eternal values that go beyond that kind of statement. Nobody is denying you the right to think and act as you choose; we are all given free will by our Father. But any college that has been given the privilege of being allowed to call itself Catholic has certain responsibilities, and apparently St. Mary’s is failing miserably in fulfilling those. In my book, that trumps any other consideration. The Church is in the trouble that it’s in because so many Catholics want to change the Faith to fit their own image, so to speak. In sum, I don’t think it’s that complicated: a college that supports a secular mindset should be a secular college, period. Blessings to you, Gael

Posted Thursday, March 08, 2012 10:59 PM By Abeca Christian
The devil loves diversity.

Posted Friday, March 09, 2012 5:53 AM By k
GaelGirl, this woman took the lives of two people so that she could be unfettered in dialogueing with you.

Posted Friday, March 09, 2012 7:54 AM By Larry
GaelGirl: Anyone who reads the Gospels all the way through (i.e. from the first verse of Matthew to the last of John) is impressed by the number of times Jesus warns his listeners of Hell–that is, of a condition of eternal remorse and self-recrimination that awaits those who do not repent of their sins in this life. After that, the reader is impressed by how the Lord emphasizes that the damned will be surprised to learn of their eternal fate–(they thought they were good and holy people!) There’s one story that particularly shakes me (and I have to paraphrase because I don’t have the exact text in front of me) where the damned say, “but Lord–did we not cast out demons in your name and prophesy in your name and do good works?” And the Lord replies, “I never knew you. Leave me.” What shakes me is that He is talking here about people involved in the Church: bishops, priests, deacons, brothers, nuns, laymen involved in various parish projects, etc. He’s talking about people like you and me and the others we see in Church on Sundays. So then you have to ask yourself: “if I’m not a good and holy person just because I THINK I am–then what IS the standard?” The Lord’s answer: “not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven–but he that does the will of the Father.” From there, we deduce two things: my will is not necessarily the same as the will of the Father, and: there must be some way that we can be SURE of learning the will of the Father, so we don’t find ourselves among the eternally lost. That way is through Catholic Church teaching, because the Lord also told Peter: “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church–whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven–whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven.”

Posted Friday, March 09, 2012 10:16 AM By Dana
Amen, Larry & Abeca! So glad I was raised in a time when diversity was just a word that had a place in the dictionary but no one ever used it. (not if they wanted to avoid being looked at askance) So unutterably boring just seeing it on the page, let alone hearing people actually using it in their daily speech, daily writing, daily television punditry, daily daily daily….zzzzzzz oops! Where was I?

Posted Friday, March 09, 2012 12:19 PM By Rama Evart
A Catholic college (St. Mary’s, Moraga, CA.) should not host forums, meetings, classes, entertainment, etc. that represent ideas contrary to the Catholic faith. Young hearts and minds are being formed here. Let us represent the Catholic faith, particularly at our Catholic colleges, and preserve our faith and traditions for the future. May all the saints, and particularly Our Blessed Mother Mary, protect this college named for her, and all the Catholic colleges to return to & uphold the beautiful traditions of the Catholic faith, and to follow the principles laid out for us by the magisterium of the Catholic Church. “St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle…” Students & faculty & staff, you have the Blessed Sacrament in your midst in your beautiful chapel. Pray to Our Lord to guide you in the right way, and to give you His strength to follow His divine will.

Posted Friday, March 09, 2012 1:16 PM By Catherine
k, Regarding your 5:53 AM post to GaelGirl…A Masterpiece! A Gem of Wisdom! A Magnum Opus post in a few very well chosen words!

Posted Friday, March 09, 2012 6:40 PM By ProudGael
I am currently a sophomore at St. Mary’s College, a proud third wave feminist, an officer of the Gay-Straight Alliance, and a Catholic. I am writing today to defend St. Mary’s College. Growing up Catholic was particularly hard because I disagreed with the pro-life, heteronormative ideals of the church. During high school, I broke away from the Catholic Church because of close-minded thoughts fostered by individuals within the church, many of which are represented in the article and following comments. St. Mary’s College brought me back to the Catholic Church. St. Mary’s College allowed me to explore and embrace my feminism, which has become an essential part of my identity. The St. Mary’s community, combined of both professors and students, has allowed me to engage in dialogue in a safe and inclusive space. The St. Mary’s Community is also supportive of the LGBTQIA community which is also something very important to me. I have never found such a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive community within the Catholic Church. As for the Women’s Conference this past weekend, it is an important event for fellow students, a safe space to engage in dialogue, and a peaceful place to share new thoughts. As GaelGirl said it, “One reason I love Saint Mary’s so much is because it offers me a platform to think freely and learn about many different viewpoints.” Ignorance is not welcomed on our campus, should not be tolerated on any college campus or within the Catholic Church. I challenge you to rethink what you have written in your comments and engage in a new kind of open-minded dialogue with yourself and others.