The following comes from a Feb. 6 posting on the site of the Cardinal Newman Society.
Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles recently held a campus-wide Mission Day in order to foster appreciation for the university’s Catholic identity, according to The Los Angeles Loyolan. However, Loyola professor Dr. James Hanink expressed concern to The Cardinal Newman Society that the university has merely taken a cosmetic approach to its Catholic identity and failed to address recent scandals that endanger the University’s mission.
“Mission Day is an opportunity each year for faculty, staff and students to deepen their understanding and appreciation of LMU’s Catholic Identity and Jesuit-Marymount heritage,” Father Robert Caro, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry, told the Loyolan. The reported theme was “Jesuit, Catholic Higher Education: Why It Matters in a Pluralistic World”. According to the event description, the day featured an interfaith celebration of the school’s mission, discussion sessions, and a keynote address from Dr. Christine Firer Hinze, a professor of theology at Fordham University.
Loyola philosophy professor James Hanink however voiced his concern to the Newman Society that the University’s official approach to its Catholic identity is merely a cosmetic façade, stating that Hinze was “chosen to put a happy face on our institutional schizophrenia.”
Fr. Caro told the Loyolan that Hinze was “recommended as a warm, engaging and insightful speaker by people who had heard her present at meetings organized by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities or other professional conferences.”
Hinze once decried the Vatican’s efforts to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and declared that the intervention “delegitimize[d] or obscure[d] the witness and voices of thousands of pioneering and faithful churchwomen, women who bravely followed the council’s call into risky modern frontiers.”
The Cardinal Newman Society reached out Fr. Caro for comment on the state of LMU’s Catholic identity, but no response was received by time of publication.
According to the University’s mission statement, LMU is “institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism.” Hanink noted though that “in recent years only about half the students have been Catholic and perhaps most of the faculty and administrators have not been Catholic.” Hanink also pointed out that LMU “refuses to collect the data from faculty and administration,” making it unclear how many Catholics the University employs in order to maintain its Catholic identity….