Thursday, October 11, 2007

Holy Cross College defies Bishop

Following up on the post just below this one, Holy Cross College president Reverend Michael C. McFarland, S.J., has decided to turn down the request of Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus to cancel the college's plans to allow representatives of Planned Parenthood and NARAL to use its space.

(I don't know how long the whole story in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette will be available...I think it might be a subscription-only site.)

Here's the thing. Even though it would leave a horrible taste in my mouth, I could at least attempt to understand a response something like:

"Gee, Excellency, you're absolutely right, we goofed up big time, yes sirree, but jeepers, if we cancel now, at this late date, these jokers are going to sue us for a zillion bucks so let's say we make a statement that we definitely don't approve of these guys but we're backed up against the wall and so we're forced to let 'em use the space but they'll never get to use it again and what's more we're going to give the rental money to the diocesan pro-life apostolate, what d'ye say?"

But the college seems actually proud of what they're doing!

Though he said that he appreciated the duty of Bishop McManus to uphold church teachings, Rev. McFarland said the school would honor its arrangement with the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. He said the alliance is an organization of 50 schools, social service agencies and health care groups dedicated to providing services for pregnant and parenting teens.

“Beyond the contractual obligation, it is important to emphasize that the college believes a meeting of adult professionals pooling resources, engaging in a dialogue and exchanging information is a beneficial way of grappling with pressing issues related to the health and well-being of Massachusetts teenagers and children,” said Rev. McFarland. “As an institution of higher learning, we are dedicated to the open exchange of ideas. As a Jesuit college, Holy Cross is committed to its mission of engaging with the larger culture on even the most problematic and divisive of moral and spiritual issues.”