Friday, November 20, 2015

China's Deplorable Religious Practices...an Observation

Every so often, we get a letter or email that just screams to be published on this Blog.  This one is a Letter to the Editor of The Observer at Notre Dame.  It relates to Notre Dame doing business with and setting up trade with Communist China.  The author has given us permission to print the letter so folks, here it is complete.

 
Letter to the Editor 
<http://ndsmcobserver.com/author/letter-to-the-editor/>  |
 Thursday, November 19, 2015
 

China’s deplorable religious policies

| Thursday, November 19, 2015
It was with great sadness that I learned last week Notre Dame will allow select mainland Chinese factories to manufacture Notre Dame licensed goods, on a pilot basis, so long as these factories meet certain rigorous labor standards. I realize this decision may be but a prelude to a more ominous one on whether to link up with China’s Zhejiang University (more about that if the day comes). But these labor standards, met or not, are only one issue when it comes to China. The fact is, there’s much more at play here as to who we are as a University and as a community.
China’s unelected government, for example, blocks its citizens’ access to Facebook, Twitter, as well as to the Bloomberg and New York Times websites (among others). Activist Liu Xiaobo, who won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, is serving an 11-year jail term for subversion. And of course, whether it’s building artificial islands in the South China Sea, selling arms to Iran or enabling North Korea, many Chinese policies run directly counter to U.S. objectives.
But perhaps most troubling for Notre Dame should be that China does not allow true freedom of religion. Specifically, Catholics can only legally worship through the state-sponsored Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association’s network of approved churches and risk arrest, or worse, if they’re caught at any of China’s many underground real Catholic churches. As the Wall Street Journal, also censored by China, reported in 2014, “Authorities launch periodic crackdowns involving church demolitions, beatings and imprisonment of worshipers or priests at underground churches.” What’s more, the so-called “Patriotic” Church doesn’t recognize the primacy of the Pope and the Chinese government (not Rome) appoints Chinese bishops.
We can’t change China, as that change has to come from within. But how can the world’s leading Catholic university, one that also prizes human rights and open debate, let products bearing its name be made in a country that forbids the true practice of that faith, limits free speech and jails peaceful dissidents?
I thought Notre Dame was about more than cutting costs or finding a more efficient supply chain. Maybe not.

Sean King
MBA class of 1999
Nov. 4  

Comments are welcome.
Tim M 
Jesus Is Lord!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Should Notre Dame University go to Communist China?

The Following essay was published in Spero News.  It was written by an Attorney by the name of James Thunder.  He really does generate some thunder.  If you think I was tough on University of Dayton, wait till you read what he has to say...it also agrees with our take on U of Dayton and ND!!!


Should Notre Dame University go to Communist China?

politics | Sep 14, 2015 | By James Thunder


The government of the People’s Republic of China (I call it the politically incorrect “Communist China” to remind us of reality) and Zhejiang University (ZJU) have invited the University of Notre Dame to partner in establishing a small liberal arts college of 1,000 students on the Chinese mainland and to staff it, in part, with Notre Dame faculty.
 
The invitation was extended with full knowledge that Notre Dame is, indeed because it is, Catholic. Notre Dame is currently considering how it will respond to this invitation. The principal documents upon which this essay draws are a White Paper dated October 3, 2014, and the minutes of a “Town Hall” meeting of university faculty on December 5, 2014, discussing the White Paper.
 
Here are my conclusions and then I’ll give you the reasons for them: The University of Notre Dame should not partner with Communist China in establishing a liberal arts college in China because Notre Dame is insufficiently Catholic in its motivation, because Notre Dame will be insufficiently Catholic in the formation of curriculum and in providing faculty for the college, and because the Communist Chinese will not be able to tolerate a faithful Catholic presence on the mainland.
 
My background at Notre Dame is a driving impetus for this essay. I graduated from Notre Dame with a double-major in theology and government, the latter with a concentration in political theory. This course of studies immersed me in the Western canon. My courses included “The American Founding” under Professor Walter Nicgorski, “Chinese Political Theory” under the late Professor Gerhard Niemeyer (1907-1997), and “History and Historians” under the late Professor Matthew Fitzsimons (1912-1992) in which my class presentation was on U.S.-Chinese Relations during World War II.
 
In the spring of 1971, I obtained funds and recruited a teacher and students to start a Chinese language program for credit to start in September. During the summer of 1971, President Richard Nixon announced that he would visit the People’s Republic of China. Notre Dame has taught Chinese continuously since September of 1971.
 
No Catholic or Catholic institution could receive an invitation like Notre Dame received without bringing to mind two principal Catholic missions to China. The first was the effort of St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), a Spanish Jesuit, who, on his way to China, died on December 3, 1552, on Sancian Island within sight of the mainland. The second was that of Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), an Italian Jesuit, born two months before Xavier’s death, who obtained the respect of the Chinese emperor for his abilities in science. Fr. Ricci’s attempts at inculturation of the Faith with Chinese practices met with great controversy, called “the Chinese rites controversy.” There is no doubt that, under the right circumstances, a Catholic institution today would want to plant itself on Chinese soil and become part of the fabric of the Chinese people.  
 
Digital Scan from Villanova University
 
Fr. Matteo Ricci, left, wearing clothes appropriate to a Chinese scholar, and convert Paul Xu Guangqi, a mathematician, from Athanasius Kircher’s China Illustrata (1667). 
 
There are two questions. The first is whether Notre Dame, as a Catholic university, should do business in China at this time. If so, the second is whether Notre Dame, as a Catholic university, can do business in China.
 
Should Notre Dame, as a Catholic University, Do Business in Communist China at This Time?
 
Whether Notre Dame should do business in Communist China at this time is, first, a moral question. Notre Dame must evaluate the Communist Chinese continuous, long-lasting, violation of human rights. If doing business in Communist China would be wrong because it would legitimate, or appear to legitimate, Communist Chinese violations, then it should not only end its consideration of the invitation to establish a liberal arts college on the mainland, but might well reconsider ending or altering its current activities in China. If we take off our rose-tinted glasses, we plainly see that these Communist Chinese are bad guys. Let me list some ways:
 
First, there is the prosecution of the Catholic Church, begun when the Communists took power in 1949 and continuing to the present. See here.  Let me name names rather than deal in abstractions. I have inserted an Appendix that names some of the bishops, priests and laypeople who have been imprisoned – many released and re-imprisoned – many of them in their later years in life – some dying in prison. Lest the reader think these accounts can be dismissed as history, see the entry for Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang who died in prison in early 2015 after being held in secret for 14 years. The Communist Chinese prosecution extends, of course, to our Protestant brethren.   
 
When Father Thaddeus Ma Daqin, of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the government-approved Catholic Church not in communion with the papacy or any part of the Catholic Church outside of China, was consecrated a bishop for the Association’s diocese of Shanghai in 2012, he surprised the congregation – and the Communists, by announcing that he would recognize the papacy. (He may have been one of those many  members of the Association, including clergy, who are secret members of the underground Catholic Church which is in communion with Rome.) For that “indiscretion,” he was arrested, stripped of his title, and ordered into re-education, along with the priests and nuns of Shanghai, as currently as this past June and this month (September). See Breitbart
 
Protestant and Catholic Christianity, both government and underground, grow in China. The government churches grow visibly. From the point of view of the Communists, this poses a threat. Between January and August of 2014, officials of Zhejiang Province, the province in which the Notre Dame college would be located, destroyed 68 churches, including, according to Notre Dame Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures Lionel Jensen, the Jiangbei Cathedral that the Chinese government itself had celebrated as a tourist attraction.
 
Again, it is important not to deal with abstractions, so I have included a photo of this one example. More images of the destroyed churches are available on the Web. All of these churches were operated by the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the building of the churches had been sanctioned by the government – until the government changed the rules on allowable width, and some such things in the building code, and applied the new rules retroactively, tearing down or torching churches not in conformity with the new rules. Another 30 to 40 government-approved Protestant churches were destroyed. The current head of China, Xi Jinping, was a longtime Party boss in this same province. Note that this destruction of churches is not only a current issue of religious freedom, but also a current issue of property rights, and the rule of law. 
 
         
Above is the Government Catholic Jiangbei Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Nangbo, Zhejiang Province, (2005).
 
 
Above is the Government Catholic Jiagbei Sacred Hearth Cathedral after government destruction in 2014. It was built in 1872.
 
Starting in 1999, and continuing to the present day, tens of thousands of followers of Falun Gong have been imprisoned, many tortured and killed. In the West, we would regard Falun Gong as non-religious and apolitical, but Communist China regards any mass organization not sponsored by the State as a threat. See the personal accounts and graphic images of torture on FalunInfo.net 
 
One systematic violation of human rights is coercive abortion. This forced one-child policy was first brought to light a generation ago by Steve Mosher, then an American graduate student in China, who is barred from returning. He is currently head of Population Research Institute and regularly issues reports on this and related issues. Here is a link to a Life Site News story, and graphic image, of a 7-month old killed forcibly in the mother’s womb. To our everlasting shame as Americans and as Catholics, Vice President Joseph Biden, a supposed Catholic, said, on Chinese soil in 2011, that he “understood” China’s policy because the Communist Chinese had adopted it to deal with China’s (supposed) overpopulation.
 
This summer of 2015 Communist China embarked on a campaign to detain more than 200 human rights lawyers. See this link to one of many articles on the subject. One of the lawyers detained, Zhang Kai, represented the Christians whose churches had been destroyed. See here. The American Bar Association, which had opened an office in Beijing in 2004 to administer programs “to strengthen the Chinese bar, so that it can effectively advocate for citizens’ rights and for the rule of law” has remained mute about this Communist campaign for fear that the Chinese government would close its office. R.E. Precht, “A Moral Dilemma for the ABA,” Washington Post, Sept. 7, 2015, p. A17.   
 
Chinese lawyer Zhang Kai, arrested after trying to represent the Christians whose government-sanctioned churches had been destroyed by the Communist Chinese.
 
In May, 2015, the Communists proposed legislation, the “Foreign NGO Management Law,” to suppress the introduction of Western values into China. It is based on a 2013 document identifying “seven unmentionables”: Western constitutional democracy, universal values, civil society, neoliberalism, Western media, “historical negation,” and questioning the meaning of Chinese slogans such as “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
 
Not only would the legislation affect cultural, educational and technical exchanges, it would bar foreigners from entry who have offended the Communist Chinese in such a manner. See Ira Belkin, executive director of N.Y.U. Law School’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute, and Jerome A. Cohen, the institute’s co-director and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, “Will China Close Its Doors?,” N.Y. Times, June 2, 2015,  And also see Editorial, “Blacklisting Scholars,” N.Y. Times, July 18, 2014. This year, 2015, Minister of Education Yuan Guiren ordered universities to “never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes…[R]emarks that slander the leadership of the Communist Party of China” and “smear socialism” must never appear in college classrooms.” Jim Sleeper, “Innocents Abroad? Liberal Educators in Illiberal Societies,” Ethics and International Affairs
 
Would Communist China allow the teaching of Dante (above), St. Patrick, Saints Cyril and Methodius,
Nazi doctors and the protection of human subjects, Martin Luther, Thomas More, Plato?
 
Returning to the topic of Chinese violation of religious freedom, Notre Dame Provost Thomas G. Burish said at the Town Hall that Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the President of the university, had not, but would be, consulting with “religious leaders.” Those appointments had not been set up as of the December 5, 2014 Town Hall, and the leaders with whom he would like to meet could not be identified. Religious leaders whom I believe should be consulted would include:
 
the superior of the relevant province of the Congregation of Holy Cross – since this matter deals not only with the mission of Notre Dame but also the possible deployment of priests and brothers of the Congregation to Communist China;
 
the local bishop -- of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend;
 
the Vatican congregations dealing with higher education and China;
 
the Cardinal and retired Cardinal of Hong Kong; and
 
notably the underground Chinese Catholics. 
 
Since the Land O’Lakes declaration of 1967, however, the university has prided itself as independent of the local bishop and the Vatican, ignoring now for 25 years Pope St. John Paul II’s document on the right relationship between Catholic colleges and the Church: Ex Corde Ecclesiae (1990) It would be quite out of character for Fr. Jenkins and Provost Burish to consult their bishop, the Vatican, or the Hong Kong hierarchy on this Chinese issue. For example, they have shown no inclination to consult the local bishop with respect to, among other things:
 
the staging on campus of the Vagina Monologues;
the honoring of the extremist pro-abortion President Obama in 2009;
the recognition of same-sex marriages in 2014; and 
the provision of contraceptives for students in 2014.
 
I cannot think of a single instance in his ten years as president that Fr. Jenkins has refrained from a plan based on criticism that his plan was not consistent with Catholic teaching.
 
What about the underground Catholic Chinese? Is it likely that Fr. Jenkins would expend much time or energy to engage, directly or indirectly, the underground Catholic Chinese on the prospect of the university partnering with Communist Chinese in establishing a liberal arts college on the mainland? Indeed, the Notre Dame administration may argue that there is simply limited time to consult -- although the Notre Dame administration made the time to consult on the issue of academic freedom with the University of Michigan, Duke University, New York University, and the University of Dayton. At the Town Hall, Provost Burish tried to hurry things along by stating, “I think [our internal conversations at Notre Dame] will have to come to an end sooner rather than later, because from China’s point of view[,] if we don’t go forward[,] they will have to look for another partner.” The schedule has been:
 
April 2013: Vice Minister of Chinese Ministry of Education visited Notre Dame.
 
October 2013: The Ministry of Education informed Notre Dame about ZJU’s International Campus.
 
April 2014: ZJU visited Notre Dame.
 
July 2014: ZJU and Notre Dame signed an agreement to explore a joint academic enterprise.
 
Between July and September 2014: ZJU visited with ND campus architects and academic space planners and Notre Dame’s facility campus in London, and the Chinese invitation was issued to Notre Dame.
 
October 3, 2014: White Paper distributed.
 
December 3, 2014: Town Hall meeting with faculty.
 
Spring semester 2015: as of October 2014, this was the target date  for Notre Dame’s decision on whether to move forward.
 
Fall 2017: as of October 2014, this was the target date for starting the school in China.
 
Notre Dame is part of the Church. Notre Dame is an arm of the Body of Christ with Christ as its Head. And that is why Notre Dame should care so deeply about how the other parts of its Body are mistreated by Chinese authorities. It would be wrong for anyone in the Free World, and certainly Christians, not to consider what these witness for the Faith would say about the Chinese invitation to Notre Dame. 
 
Let’s try a thought experiment. If your brother was imprisoned without cause, would you agree to occupy an office next door to his jail and agree to provide a service to the captors? If the prison of the Christians were abutting the property of the proposed Notre Dame college, would it make a difference to Notre Dame? What if the jail were a mile away? How far would the jail have to be before it would be “out of sight, out of mind”?
 
Let’s try a second thought experiment. What if Communist China were imprisoning activists on issues such as homosexuality or climate change or polar bear cub hunting or air pollution in Beijing? How would Notre Dame evaluate this Communist Chinese proposal? Not well I presume.
 
If a business opens operations in China, it must concern itself with the issue of human rights abuses. If a public or private university opens operations in China, it must concern itself with the issues of human rights abuses and academic freedom. If a Catholic university opens operations in China, it goes to another level. It must concern itself with human rights abuses, academic freedom, and the persecution of its brothers and sisters. As Jesus asked Paul on the way to Damascus “Why are you persecuting Me?,” the Catholic university must say to itself, “These people are persecuting us, the Body of Christ.”
 
As I reflect on, and pray about, the matter, however, I believe that a conversation with the suffering Church of China would show them supportive of Notre Dame opening a liberal arts college in China. They would favor it -- as long as it was done for the right reason. The right reason would be to save souls (yes, I hear someone say this is quaint, old-fashioned theology that assumes there is sin, hell, and a need for salvation and a savior), or to bring the Chinese to Jesus Christ, or to be “fishers of men.” (Luke 5:10). The suffering witnesses to the Faith would be offended, however, if Notre Dame did it for some secular glory. They, and all devout Catholics throughout the world, would perceive any affirmative response by Notre Dame to the Chinese invitation to be a gift to the Chinese people.
 
The current Notre Dame administration – Fr. Jenkins and Provost Burish, both of whom obtained their bachelor’s degrees from Notre Dame -- is incapable of viewing things in this manner and these men cannot be rehabilitated. They, and other officers of the university, see the invitation as a chance for Notre Dame glory, a chance for Notre Dame to keep up with, if not eclipse, its secular “preferred peers.” (See George Weigel’s recent essay on this in First Things, Aug. 12, 2015) Only if these men are replaced with a Catholic president and a provost sympathetic to the Catholic mission of the university would Notre Dame be in a position to bring the gift of liberal arts education to the people of Communist China. 
 
--Notre Dame Cannot Proceed at This Time Because It Has the Wrong Motivation
 
So, let’s take a moment to examine Notre Dame’s motivations. The proponents of this deal provide only reasons of secular glory to move forward. The rationales provided in the White Paper are:
 
partner “with one of China’s leading research institutions;”
 
“play a creative and innovative role in the advancement of higher education in a country of critical importance to the world’s future;”
 
“advance Notre Dame’s global academic reputation;”
 
“promote worldwide Notre Dame’s unique and successful blend of teaching, research, and service;” (I note, first, that all “research institutions” blend teaching, research and service, and second, Notre Dame’s “blend” would be promoted worldwide when Notre Dame advertises about what it would be doing in China to a world audience.);
 
and
 
“offer opportunities for Notre Dame faculty and students to gain valuable experience teaching and studying in China.”
 
It is clear from the White Paper that Notre Dame would undertake this project to promote itself in the eyes of the world, to help its faculty, to help its American students -- not to help the Chinese people, not to promote the Faith or to bring souls to Christ. I suppose that the reference to reforming higher education in China is some acknowledgement that the Chinese people will benefit. I discuss below the prospects of this. 
 
What does Notre Dame’s “Catholic character” have to do with Notre Dame pursuing the establishment of a liberal arts college in China? The White Paper answers that it “guides scholarship, teaching and service toward promoting global peace and social responsibility.” Really. Seriously. Is this different from any other American university having only domestic American ambitions? So, the author of the White Paper, the person in the Notre Dame administration responsible for shepherding this entire process, J. Nicholas Entrikin, Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization, is either totally incapable of articulating why a Catholic university should continue investigating this proposal or didn’t think the readers of his White Paper, the faculty of the university, would care. Indeed, only 50 of Notre Dame’s 1,000 faculty members attended the Town Hall. 
 
Perhaps the poor turnout reflected a belief that the administration had already decided to move forward. Although Vice President Entrikin denied this to be the case, he stated at the Town Hall that “clearly a school of global affairs indeed has to be global.” That is, if Notre Dame has a School of Global Affairs then, ipso facto, it has to have foreign outposts. Indeed, Notre Dame had announced on October 3, 2014, two months before this Town Hall, that the university was establishing the Keough School of Global Affairs, its first new school or college since 1921. The founding dean, R. Scott Appleby, stated at the time:  “Notre Dame is poised to join the distinguished company of select universities that have been pioneers in international education and global outreach.” See Notre Dame news here. Even prior to this, Notre Dame had already decided to have “global gateways” in, among others, London and Beijing. See Notre Dame news here. (There was some question at the Town Hall as to whether the proposed liberal arts college in Haining, 30 miles northeast of Hangzhou and 75 miles southwest of Shanghai, would replace the planned Beijing “global gateway.”)
 
Vice President Entrikin noted at the Town Hall that two other Catholic universities had programs in China. Neither is as extensive as the proposal being considered by Notre Dame. One is Loyola University of Chicago’s Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. The other is the University of Dayton (UD). It is instructive to see the degree to which Notre Dame’s White Paper tracks the language on the UD webpage.. Excerpts follow and I have boldfaced some language. 
 
     The University of Dayton China Institute has elevated the University of Dayton into the realm of global American universities. In one of the fastest-growing innovation centers in the world, our engineers, scientists and students are collaborating with Fortune 500 companies in Suzhou Industrial Park, securing venture capital and bringing technology to the market. We are expanding faculty and student exchanges and fostering growth of academic programs in China.
 
     In the Marianist tradition, we’ve always graduated students who combine competence with character and community-building skills. Yet graduates also need a more international perspective to compete in today’s job market. We are providing the world with American, Chinese and international graduates who can excel in their professions and collaborate in the workplace — locally and globally.
 
     We've spent years forming strong ties with top universities in China. The University of Dayton has established partnerships with China Jiliang University, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing University, Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Shandong University, Shanghai Normal University, Soochow University and Zhejiang University. A growing number of students are completing study abroad programs in China. Faculty teach at the Institute in our academic programs and serve as visiting scholars at our partner institutions. In 2012, a group of faculty spent a year studying Chinese culture, politics and business through the University’s Faculty Global and Intercultural Study/Travel Program. They visited the cultural sites they studied and worked on individual research projects.
 
     The University of Dayton now enrolls more students from China than any other country outside the United States. The China Institute is another step toward the University's globalization.
 
     Beyond bringing more Chinese students to campus, the opportunities for expanding faculty and student exchanges and delivering education in China are significant. We envision that the University of Dayton China Institute will:
 
     • Foster more faculty exchanges;
 
     • Create more student exchanges;
 
     • Provide leadership training to executives in the Park;
 
     • Offer certificate programs and other curriculum;
 
     • Offer gateway programs to Chinese students, who will have the opportunity to enroll in undergraduate and graduate programs on campus.
 
Marianist Perspective
 
     In China, the Catholic population is on the upswing, within close proximity of our China Institute, there is a Catholic church by the Yangcheng Lake in the Park.
Priests in the archdiocese of Nanjing desire in-service training in theology and philosophy that we can provide. We would also welcome Chinese priests in our classrooms and as ministers to our Chinese students.
 
      The archdiocese operates the Ark-Nanjing Special Education Center with support from the local government. Some students have autism. Others have Down syndrome. All have special needs. We see an opportunity for faculty and students in the School of Education and Health Sciences and students in our service-abroad programs to make a difference in the lives of these students.
 
     Service opportunities abound in China, where religious communities often take a leadership role in running medical clinics, helping rural communities get clean water and providing legal aid. In the summer of 2011, University of Dayton engineering students worked on a wastewater treatment project on the outskirts of Shanghai.
 
     We believe building community begins with building relationships, one at a time. That’s a mission that resonates in every corner of the globe.
 
Observe that the references to a Catholic church building, to the Archdiocese of Nanjing, and to Catholic priests are references to the Communist Catholic Church. Clearly, UD is establishing relationships with the government Church, not the underground Roman Catholic Church. 
 
All of the above-quoted language by the University of Dayton (UD) shows that its Chinese venture is about UD, and its glory, and its faculty, and its American students. Yes, there’s the conventional reference to service. How realistic is it that American students are working with Chinese children having special needs, or on Chinese clean water projects, or . . . legal aid?!!
 
University of Dayton campus
 
Can Notre Dame, as a Catholic University, Do Business in Communist China?
 
The questions under this heading are whether Communist China can deliver on its promises and whether Notre Dame can deliver on its.
 
The Chinese want Notre Dame to help establish a liberal arts college because -- the Communist Chinese explicitly state -- Communist China, from 1949 to the present, 65 years, has no tradition of educating students in the liberal arts. Its focus has always been on engineering, science, mathematics.
 
Notre Dame’s liberal arts college would be one of six colleges on the Zhejiang Haining International Campus. ZJU is in discussions with the University of Edinburgh for biochemical sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for engineering; Imperial College of London for information technology, Wharton, Northeastern and Harvard regarding MBA, and Cornell and University of California-Davis regarding agriculture and life sciences. 
 
The Notre Dame college would be residential, with instruction in English, and have 1,000 students, 70% Chinese and 30% international. There would be 10 majors in science, social science, the humanities, and the arts. The majors have not yet been selected. The faculty to student ratio would be 1:10, so there would be 100 faculty, the majority of whom would be Chinese. The others, from Notre Dame and other countries, would be “visiting” faculty and lecturers. Notre Dame would help design the curriculum. 
 
Let’s ask an elementary question. What Chinese or international students, including those from Notre Dame, would be interested in attending such a school? Looking first at the international students, the general trend is that the number of American students studying in China is dropping.   
 
Furthermore, international students, being fluent in English if not additional languages, can go anywhere in the world to major in the liberal arts. Why would they go to China? There is nothing in the documents I have reviewed to see how much of the content of the courses at the liberal arts college would be Western or Chinese. Given the lack of interest in the liberal arts by Communist China for 65 years, it would be unlikely that there are Chinese faculty capable of teaching either Chinese or Western humanities. Perhaps the Chinese faculty would only teach science and mathematics. What would prompt a non-Chinese person to leave his or her country to enroll in a four-year program in China that is not focused on the Chinese language, to major in liberal arts that is obtainable in their own country…to be taught by Chinese faculty who have no tradition in the liberal arts?
 
And what about the interest of Chinese students? If they are fluent in English, as required by this proposed college, why would they not attend school in an English-speaking country?  Since higher education in China for decades has not incorporated the liberal arts, what would prompt a Chinese to undertake such a program – in China or elsewhere? How would a Chinese student with a major in the liberal arts, particularly with courses under foreign influence, fare in his or her career? 
 
At this juncture, it is worth noting that the Chinese constitute the largest group of foreign alumni of Notre Dame. Did any of them major in liberal arts? If so, what prompted them to do so and how did they fare upon returning to China? How many returned to China? 
 
I guess I’ll proceed on the assumption that there would be 700 Chinese and 300 foreign students willing to enroll. I turn to the question of whether the Chinese could deliver on their promises. It is difficult to believe that the Chinese academic personnel who have been in conversations with Notre Dame are on the same wave-length as Communist Chinese government officials. Vice President Entrikin said at the Town Hall that Notre Dame is dealing with the academics, not the government, but his White Paper is replete with references to the Chinese government: “China’s national interest…is motivating the national, provincial, and local governments to invest in the development of new higher education and R&D campuses with foreign partners.” He then cites New York University-Shanghai and Duke-Kunshan.
 
Moreover, it is the local Chinese government paying $616 million to build the ZJU campus. Whatever the Chinese academics give can be taken away by the Chinese government. In fact, as we see from the description of the church destruction campaign (in the very province in which this liberal arts college would be sited), what the government has given the government can take away.
Would Communist China allow the teaching of Palestrina (above), Augustine, Aquinas, Shakespeare, the law of war? 
 
It is inconceivable that a liberal arts program would not reflect Western values, organically developed from Christianity. And any program in the humanities would implicitly reject Communism. So the Communist Chinese government would, sooner or later, reject a liberal arts college fashioned by the University of Notre Dame.
  
Our analysis could end there, but I turn to the question of whether Notre Dame, for its part, could deliver on its promise to construct a curriculum for, and to teach, liberal arts, particularly the humanities and social sciences – music, art, history, architecture, government, theology, philosophy, literature, anthropology, sociology, psychology -- in Communist China. To be sure, Notre Dame is doing some business in Communist China already. Notre Dame and Chinese officials have visited each other’s countries. Notre Dame has semester and/or full-year abroad programs for the Chinese language in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong (and Taiwan).
 
Notre Dame has summer programs in China in business and culture, in engineering, in music, in architecture, and in the Chinese language. Indeed, Notre Dame plans on expanding its current 40 study abroad opportunities world-wide to 160, with fewer semester- and year-long programs in favor of full summer, partial summer, and January term program – because fewer students want to be away from its South Bend campus for periods as long as a semester, much less a year. (“The Meeting Minutes of the College Council, College of Arts and Letters [of the University of Notre Dame], November 11, 2014,” available online.) 
 
These current endeavors are, and future endeavors of the same type would be, short-term, narrow in scope, and easy to cancel. This is far different from a four-year program with 10 majors in liberal studies for 1,000 students in residence.
 
While the White Paper states the hope that Notre Dame could have an impact on China, that it could help reform higher education in China (a hope expressed by the Chinese academics themselves), the White Paper admits that the Chinese do not know what liberal arts education is about. Provost Burish at the Town Hall said: “When [ZJU] President Lin [Jianhua] came to campus and when [Notre Dame Dean of Arts and Letters] John McGreevy and I met with him…He has some concerns because he doesn’t understand exactly what a liberal arts education is.” Dean Appleby was part of this conversation: “[I]t occurred to me then and now how radical the liberal arts are when you place them in a setting which is not used to questions that are so directly raised about virtue and moral formation and spiritualty.” Vice President Entrikin added an observation about theology. Theology was “a topic of interest to [the Chinese visitors …T]hey have questions about it: Is [theology as a course or a major] proselytizing? Is this academic? What is the nature of this?” On the question of having religious practices on the Chinese campus, Vice President Entrikin stated that ZJU needs time to think it through.
 
Theology Professor John Cavadini asked at the Town Hall if the Chinese college would have a chapel and, if so, who would be allowed to attend. And he asked if theology would be taught. He asked “if we’ll be able to be ourselves in China.” On its campus in South Bend, Notre Dame is a residential community in which every residence hall has a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament reserved in it. (See L. Cunningham, The Chapels of Notre Dame (2012).) Counting the chapels in the residences, plus others on campus, there are 57. Chapels are so important to Notre Dame’s conception of itself that it has chapels at the university’s facilities abroad -- in London, Dublin, and Jerusalem. Even when the campus had many fewer buildings in 1934, Father John O’Hara (1888-1960) (later president of the university, bishop and cardinal) saw it as a “City of the Blessed Sacrament,” rivaling the Vatican. So, why hadn’t the question of chapels arisen before the Town Hall? Was it too much to think about during the eight months between the visit of the Chinese delegation in April 2014 and the Town Hall of December 2014? Or was it not on the radar of Provost Burish and Vice President Entrikin?
 
Notre Dame takes pride in having 85% or so of its undergraduates living on campus. Thus, those evaluating the Chinese proposal must like the prospect of the Chinese college being residential. But Notre Dame has always had priests, and in recent years, nuns, and devout laity, as live-in rectors in its residence halls. In addition to serving as members of the faculty and in the university’s administration, it is one of the ways in which members of the Congregation of the Holy Cross are “present” to the students of the university. Yet, the Chinese proposal would have only Chinese administer the student residences. Relevant to this question is the job notice for “Specialist for Residence Life” for the Kean University site in China, quoted in Elizabeth Redden, “Chinese Communists Preferred,” Inside Higher Education, July 23, 2015: “Membership in Chinese Communist Party is preferred.” 
 
Notre Dame Business Professor Anne Tsui, who had spent 15 years recently in Communist China at its universities and had spoken to a friend, a dean of one of its universities, about this Chinese invitation, said that Notre Dame could assume that the Chinese have “done their homework” on the university and, to answer Professor Cavadini’s question, wanted Notre Dame “the way we are, the way we educate our students, the way we teach values, the way we teach service to society…”
 
    
  Credit: U.S. Army Military History Institute
 
American soldiers attached to a Chinese division send a message from the field. 
 
Would Communist China allow the teaching about the American military in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theatre during World War II? 
 
 
I must say that the homework would appear to be a bit thin since the Chinese weren’t sure about the nature of liberal arts generally and the nature of theology specifically. I observe that, if the Chinese had done their homework, they learned that this current administration has major disagreements with Catholics and Catholic teaching. They have learned that there are Catholics and Catholic institutions that do not adhere to papal teaching. And so, while the Chinese realize that Notre Dame is not under the thumb of the American government, they also know that Notre Dame has an estranged relationship with a number of members of the Catholic hierarchy, priests and faithful. The Chinese might favorably compare the Catholicism of Notre Dame to the anti-papal Catholicism of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. 
 
I have already listed some ways in which the current administration is unCatholic. There is more. These are questions of the faculty and curriculum. Concerning faculty, there is a falling percentage of faculty who promote, or are at least sympathetic to, the Catholic mission of the university. It is not a question of whether a faculty member is a baptized Catholic. The university has always been blessed with a number of faculty who, while not Catholic, are sympathetic to its mission and promote its mission.
 
I had at least two non-Catholic theology professors. One of them, a Methodist, was quite vocal about loving being at a university where questions of God and faith and truth could be discussed. A non-Catholic member of the faculty spoke at the Town Hall. Professor of English and of the (Great Books) Program in Liberal Studies Henry Weinfield, a professor at Notre Dame for 23 years, stated that “it seems to be ludicrous that Notre Dame should establish a college of sorts with China when the Vatican is essentially excluded from China. That seems to me ludicrous and self-destructive and in a way ridiculous.” He did not receive an answer. (Some faculty members have found this Chinese proposal so objectionable that they have resigned from the Committee deliberating on it.)
 
Given this state of affairs, are there enough faculty members who could represent Notre Dame, as a Catholic university, in developing the partnership with ZJU?
 
Next the curriculum. The university is currently engaged in its periodic reexamination of its curriculum. We will see what happens this fall, but if the university cannot infuse its curriculum for its students on the Notre Dame campus with its Catholic mission, it could not do so for students in Communist China. Notre Dame cannot give to the Chinese people what it does not give on its home campus. It cannot say in China what it does not say in South Bend. If it is not truly Catholic in South Bend, it cannot be truly Catholic in China. Notre Dame cannot reap where it does not sow and if Notre Dame sows sparingly it will reap sparingly. (2 Cor. 9:6.)
 
One test is the university’s requirements in theology and philosophy. In the 1960’s, four three-credit courses were required in theology and four more in philosophy. Then it was diluted to two of each. Then it was diluted as to content, so that the university no longer required courses having Catholic content.
 
We would expect a Catholic Notre Dame to unabashedly explain to the Communist Chinese that Catholics teach the liberal arts to enable students to seek the truth and that Catholics fully expect that the truth thus sought will eventually be the person of Jesus Christ. Neither Notre Dame personnel nor the Communist Chinese should misunderstand me. I am not talking about indoctrination or prosyletizing, but we believe that people who seek truth, beauty and goodness will eventually find Jesus Christ. Can the Communist Chinese tolerate such an orientation?
 
The current Notre Dame administration has much in common, however, with the American culture and the Communist Chinese government. Neither the American culture nor the Communist Chinese government are sincere seekers of the truth. Only a university – administration and faculty – that acknowledges that there is a huge chasm between its truth-seeking mission and the surrounding secular American culture could also see a disjuncture between its truth-seeking mission and the Communist Chinese culture.
 
Here are some specific questions I have:
 
1. Shall Notre Dame include the following disclaimer on the Net and in all literature “Not Affiliated with the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association”?
 
2. Since almost all Chinese students are lone children, with no siblings, aunts, uncles or cousins, what is Notre Dame’s experience with how they relate to college residential life?
 
3. Vice President Entrikin stated at the Town Hall that Notre Dame was told by American universities in China that, as long as a topic is academic, it can be discussed in the classroom. But even if this is true, does it extend to hallways, auditoria, conferences, in residences. Can the Chinese, students or faculty, at this projected college approach Notre Dame faculty, and Catholic students from around the world, like Nicodemus by night, or by day, to inquire about the truth?
 
4. Notre Dame wouldn’t want to be “in your face” but it must insist on celebrating the Feast Day of the Chinese Martyrs on the Universal Church Calendar. And Notre Dame should not countenance classes or exams on Christmas or Easter or any Sunday.
 
5. Would this project affect any programs in, or travel to, Taiwan?
 
6. Should Notre Dame insist on allowing crucifixes in faculty offices, faculty residences, in the rooms of individual students?
 
7. Should Notre Dame insist on allowing Catholic/Christian professors to start class with short prayers, like that of the late Government Professor Edward A. Goerner (1929-2012): “Send us, O Lord, the Holy Spirit among Whose gifts are wisdom and understanding.”?
 
8. Will members of the underground church be barred from enrolling? Will members of the official church be barred? Encouraged to matriculate?
 
9. Will there be conferences, symposia, lectures? And will these be open to the public?
 
10. Will religious residents and visitors be allowed to wear Roman collar and habit?
 
11. Is the truth of a statement determined by statistical methods? Is philosophy confined to formal logic? Would a faculty member be allowed to argue for the truth of the statement, rather than simply the truth that it was said, in President Kennedy’s Inaugural that “the rights of man come not from the generosity of the State, but from the hand of God”?
 
12. Can Notre Dame’s interest in educating minorities of people of low income be maintained in China? See New York Times here.  
 
13. Do the Chinese expect foreign educational institutions to behave in China the way the Chinese Confucius Institutes behave outside China?
 
14. Will Notre Dame try to curry favor with the Communist Chinese by relaxing or ending its boycott of Chinese-made goods for its official apparel? See Bloomberg News.  
 
In conclusion, the University of Notre Dame should not partner with Communist China in establishing a liberal arts college in China because Notre Dame is insufficiently Catholic in its motivation, because Notre Dame will be insufficiently Catholic in the formation of curriculum and in providing faculty, and because the Communist Chinese will not be able to tolerate a faithful Catholic presence on the mainland. 
 
Spero columnist James Thunder is a Washington D.C.-based attorney.
 
Appendix
 
CHINESE CATHOLICS IMPRISONED
 
This is a list compiled in 2007 and updated this month.
 
The annual report for 2015 of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has a chapter devoted to China.  See here: USCIRF  Its “key findings” were:
 
In 2014, the Chinese government took steps to consolidate further its authoritarian monopoly of power over all aspects of its citizens’ lives. For religious freedom, this has meant unprecedented violations against Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, and Falun Gong practitioners. People of faith continue to face arrests, fines, denials of justice, lengthy prison sentences, and in some cases, the closing or bulldozing of places of worship. Based on the alarming increase in systematic, egregious, and ongoing abuses, USCIRF again recommends China be designated a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). The State Department has designated China as a CPC since 1999, most recently in July 2014.
 
The website of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, last updated in 2011, states that “almost all underground bishops are either in jail, under house arrest, hiding with or without arrest warrants, in labor-camps, or under severe surveillance.” http://www.cardinalkungfoundation.org/ar/PrisonersofReligiousConscience.php. The Foundation has not provided more detailed information since 2011 because of the difficulty in tracking the constant imprisonments, releases and reimprisonments.
 
Lest the reader think these accounts can be dismissed as history, see the entry for Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang who died in early 2015 after being held in secret for 14 years.  
 
Cardinal
 
Ignatius Cardinal Kung Pin-mei (Shanghai; 1901-2000; imprisoned 30 years) 
 
 
Bishops (37 are listed)
 
Agostino Zhao Jingnong (Gansu; died 2004 at age 95 not in prison; imprisoned 13 years) 
[Hong Kong Sunday Examiner, 1/16/2005]
 
Aloysius Jin Luxian (1916-2013; Shanghai; imprisoned 1955-1982; consecration as bishop later 
recognized by Vatican) [UCANews 4/27/2013]
 
Andrew Hao Jinli (1916-2011; Xiwanzi, Hebei; imprisoned in 1958 for 10 years, then in a labor 
camp until 1981) [Zenit 3/10/2011] 
 
Augustine Hu Daguo (1921-2011; Shiqian, Shihtsien, Guizhou; imprisoned or in forced labor, 
1958-1968) [Zenit 2/27/2011] 
 
Cosmas Shi Enxiang (1921-2015; Yixian, Hebei; imprisoned 1957-1980 and 1989-1993; arrested 
April 13, 2001 and held secretly until his death) [Zenit 2/2/15; AsiaNews 2/9/15 
 
Joseph Fan Xueyan (1907-1992; Baoding; imprisoned 1958-1969, 1978-1979, 1980-1987; 1990-
death; tortured before death) [Zenit 5/10/2005; N.Y. Times 4/25/02; AsiaNews 2/9/15 
 
Joseph Fan Zongliang, S.J. (1918-2014; Shanghai; imprisoned 1955-1978). Times of Oman.
 
[http://timesofoman.com/article/31745/World/Shanghais-underground-Catholic-leader-dies:-Cardinal-Kung-Foundation]
Francis Han Tingpi (Hongtong, Shanxi; died in 1992 at age 83 not in prison; imprisoned 21 
years) [1/3/92 report]
 
Francis X. Ford, M.M. (1892-1952; Meizhou, Guangdong; arrested and killed)
 
Giuseppe Zheng Changcheng (Fuzhou; died 2006 at age 94 not in prison; imprisoned 28 consecutive years)
 
John Han Dingxiang (1937-2007; Yong Nian, Hebei; arrested about Dec. 1, 1999; whereabouts were unknown for one year; died in prison Sept. 9, 2007, at age 71) [Zenit 10/22/07; L.A. Times 9/12/07]
 
Joseph Meng Ziwen (1903-2007; labor camp 1951-1971) [Washington Post 1/18/07]
 
Han Qian (Siping, Jilin; arrest warrant issued; in hiding as of 2007)
 
Hao Jinli (1916-2011; Xiwansi, Hebei; under strict surveillance as of 2007; date of death from 
http://www.gcatholic.org/hierarchy/china/bishops-all.htm)
 
James E. Walsh, M.M. (1891-1981; Kongmoon (now called Jiangmen); imprisoned 1959-1970)
 
James Lin Xili (1918-2007; Wenzhou, Zhejiang; imprisoned 1955-1971, arrested in 1999 and 
under house arrest or hospitalized until death) [Independent Catholic News 10/5/09] 
 
James Xie Shieguang (1917-2005; Funing (or Mingdong); imprisoned 1955, 1958–1980, 1984–
1987, 1990–1992) [BBC Report 8/27/05; The Age (Australia) 8/28/05]
 
James Zu Zhimin (Baoding; imprisoned 1997 and held secretly to current) [Zenit 2/2/15] 
 
John Chen Shi-zhong (1917-2012; imprisoned mid-1950’s-1981) [AsiaNews 12/17/12]
 
John Gao Kexian (Yantai, Shandong; arrested October 1999, died at age 76 in prison Jan. 24, 
2005, where he had been since the 1990s) [Hong Kong Sunday Examiner, 1/16/2005]
 
John Yang Shudao (1919-2010; Fuzhou, Fujian; imprisoned 1955-1986, 1988-1991, 2001) 
[AsiaNews 8/3/10]
 
Julius Jia Zhiguo (Zhending, Hebei; age 75 in 2011; as of 2011 had been arrested 14 times; 
government threatened to take over his orphanage because of his loyalty to the pope) [Zenit 7/14/2010 and 1/13/2011])
 
Leo Yao Liang (1923-2009; Xiwanzi, Hebei; imprisoned 1956-1984, 2006-2009) [Zenit 
1/12/10; N.Y.Times 1/5/10]
 
Li Lifang (or Difen) (d. 1992 in prison; Angua, Hebei; died in prison) [Zenit 5/10/05; 
date of death provided in AsiaNews 2/9/15
 
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Beijing-hides-the-body-of-bishop-Cosma-Shi-Enxiang:-too-dangerous-33415.html]
Li Si-de (b. 1928; Tianjin, Hebei; confined to top of a mountain; living in primitive conditions as of 2007)
 
Ma Zhongmu (Ningxia; under strict surveillance as of 2007)
 
Mattia Chen Xilu (1928-2008; Kinghsien; imprisoned or in forced labor 1959-1979) [Zenit 
1/30/08]
 
Matthias Tuan In-min (died 2001 at age 92; Wanxian; 10 intermittent years in cotton and battery factories, and an additional 10 years in reform labor camps and indoctrination schools until 1979) [Zenit 1/12/01]
 
Michael He Jinmin (Ningbo, Zhejiang; died 2004 at age 87 not in prison, after 20 years in prison and labor camps) [Hong Kong Sunday Examiner, 1/16/2005]
 
Nicholas Shi Jin Xian (1921-2009; Shangqui; imprisoned two years; re-educated in a brick factory three years) [Zenit, 9/17/09]
 
Peter Li Hongye (1920-2011; Luoyang; imprisoned  1955-1970) [AsiaNews 4/26/11]
 
Peter Liu Guandong (1917-2003; Yixian, Hebei; paralyzed; under strict surveillance as of 2007; date of death from http://www.gcatholic.org/hierarchy/china/bishops-all.htm)
 
Peter Zhang (1915-2005; Hanyang, Hubei; imprisoned and in labor camps 1955-1979) [Independent Catholic News 10/05]
 
Raymond Wang Chonglin (1921-2010; Zhaoxian (Xingtai); imprisoned 1957-1979) [AsiaNews 
2/3/10]
 
Su Zhimin (Baoding, Hebei; arrested Oct 8, 1997; whereabouts unknown since arrest, as of 2007)
 
Thomas Zeng Jingmu (b. 1920; Yu Jiang, Jiangxi; released from jail May, 1998, after serving 30 months; previously imprisoned 1958-76 and 1981-89) [Zenit, 10/31/00; 11/27/07]
 
Zhao Duomuo (Xuan Hua, Hebei; in hiding, as of 2007)  
 
Priests
 
Gao Jinbao (held in a cage and refused water, then transferred to an undisclosed location) [Zenit 
7/29/07]
 
Guo Ergrang (Baoding, Hebei; arrested 2001; in county prison; 10 hours per day in small cage, 
as of 2007)
 
Huo Junlong (Baoding, Hebei; arrested Aug 6, 2004, as of 2007)
 
Jiang Sunian (Chancellor of Wezhou Diocese, Zhejiang; arrested Sept 25, 2006; no visitors allowed; due to be released Aug. 2007)
 
Liang Aijun (held in a cage and refused water, then transferred to an undisclosed location) [Zenit 
7/29/07]
 
Liu Deli (Yixian, Hebei; in jail since 1998, as of 2007)
 
Lu Genjun (Baoding, Hebei; arrested 1990, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2004 and Feb 17, 2006; whereabouts unknown since last arrest as of 2007)
 
Ma Shunbao (Baoding, Hebei; in jail since March 31, 2002, as of 2007)
 
Ma Wuyong (Baoding, Hebei; in jail since Aug 6, 2004, as of 2007)
 
Pang Guangzhao (Baoding, Hebei; arrested July 1, 2003; since released; not allowed to administer sacraments, as of 2007)
 
Shao Zhumin (Vicar General of Wenzhou diocese, Zhejian; jailed since Sept 25, 2006; no visitors allowed; released May 2007 due to illness that left him deaf; hospitalized, as of 2007)
 
Sun Jigen (to be ordained June 29, 2011 as coadjutor for the Diocese of Handan. The 43-year-old bishop-designate was taken away by police the Sunday prior to his ordination. Two priests of the diocese who were asked to meet with Religious Affairs Office officials regarding the bishop-designate have also disappeared). [Zenit July 1, 2011]
 
Wang Wenzhi (Yong Nian, Hebei; jailed since Dec 11, 2005, as of 2007)
 
Wang Zhenhe (Baoding, Hebei; imprisoned five years from March 1999; released; not allowed to administer sacraments, as of 2007)
 
Wang Zhong (held in a cage and refused water, then transferred to an undisclosed location) [Zenit 7/29/07]
 
Yan Jianwei (Baoding, Hebei; arrested Nov. 12, 2005, as of 2007) 
 
Yen Shuangzi (Baoding, Hebei; in jail since July 2003; 10 hours per day in small cage, as of 2007)
 
Zeng Zhongliang (Yujiang, Jiangxi; arrested) [Zenit 11/27/07]
 
Zhang Chunguang (Baoding, Hebei; imprisoned four years from April 2000; released; not allowed to administer sacraments, as of 2007)
 
Zhang Zhenquian (Baoding, Hebei; in jail since Aug 2004; 10 hours per day in small cage, as of 2007
 
Laity
 
Catherine Ho (member of Legion of Mary; arrested 1955 with 100,000 priests and other laity for membership; imprisoned for 22 years) [CNS report]
 
Fan Fubin (seminarian; Baoding, Hebei; arrested Nov 12, 2005; whereabouts unknown, as of 2007) 
 
Gu Xianggao (teacher in house-church group; beaten to death May 24, 2004) [Zenit, July 31, 2004]
 
Hua Huiqi (unofficial house-church leader; arrested and beaten, March 5, 2004) [Zenit, July 31, 2004]
 
Jiang Zongxiu (married woman; Guizhou; Protestant; beaten to death July 5, 2004, for handing out Bibles) [Zenit, July 31, 2004]
 
Li Yutao (seminarian; Baoding, Hebei; arrested Nov 12, 2005; whereabouts unknown as of 2007) 
 
Wang Bin (seminarian; Yujiang, Jiangxi; arrested) [Zenit 11/27/07]
 
Wang Yongliang (seminarian; Baoding, Hebei; arrested Nov 12, 2005; whereabouts unknown, as of 2007) 
 
Wang Chunlei (seminarian; Baoding, Hebei; arrested Nov 12, 2005; whereabouts unknown, as of 2007. 

Thank you for reading this article.  Please take it to heart as it is a very scary approach to the new version of "catholicism".  (Not capitalized for a reason.)

Jesus Is Lord!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How the Supreme Court Abolished Article V of the Constitution

We have recently published an Article by Dr. Robert Gagnon about the Supreme Court and it's decision on "Gay Marriage."

 This particular article was published in The American Spectator on August 14th and Dr. Gagnon has graciously given us permission to Post the article here.  We are very grateful for this honor...all of his writings are worth reading, even if you disagree with him. (Why would any True Christian do that?)

As you can see from the title of this Post, it is truly heady stuff.  Comments are welcome, but will be monitored for language and content as always. 

How the Supreme Court Abolished Article V of the Constitution
Who needs amendments if the Lawless Five are on your side?
By Robert A. J. Gagnon – 8.14.15

On July 31 at the American Bar Association’s International Human Rights Award Luncheon, former Justice John Paul Stevens declared that, while the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment establishes a right to “gay marriage,” it does not protect an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.
Now when it comes to the issue of “gun rights” I have no personal dog in the hunt (so to speak). I’m not a gun owner. In most circumstances I wouldn’t recommend keeping a gun at home because I think statistically a gun kept at home is more likely to be used on someone in the home than on an intruder (though I wouldn’t want an intruder to know that I don’t have a gun at home).
Still, I marvel at Stevens’ ability to reject an application of the Fourteenth Amendment to a right clearly enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution (viz., “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” in the Second Amendment) while affirming its application to a supposed right not elsewhere even remotely alluded to in the Constitution (viz., the right of a person to marry a person of the same sex).
As Harvard-trained lawyer Brian Troyer commented, “You need look no farther to see that liberal jurisprudence has nothing to do with law or the Constitution except in the instrumental sense that when liberal judges pronounce their judgments on these issues they invoke the document as their excuse for imposing their personal policy preferences.”
In Obergefell v. Hodges Justice Kennedy, writing for the bare majority (Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan), based the case for the oxymoron that is “gay marriage” on the “due process” and “equal protection” clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. So far-fetched was the connection that its effect was to dumb down intelligible words that have an historical context to the subjectivity of a Rorschach inkblot test or a reading of tea leaves.
The text of the Constitution now means anything that five SCOTUS justices want it to mean. That, in turn, has the quite serious effect not only of tarnishing the Court’s reputation as impartial jurists but also of eradicating Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which specifies how the Constitution may be amended: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution… which… shall be valid… as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states….”
What did Kennedy and the four other lawless justices see in the Fourteenth Amendment? Its first paragraph states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” According to the Lawless Five, “gay and lesbian persons” are being denied a “fundamental right” to marry someone of the same sex whom they love.
This rationale overlooks the obvious. Everyone has a right to be married under the definition of what marriage is. “Due process” and “equal protection” for all citizens of the United States are not denied when persons who do not meet the definition of marriage are not allowed to redefine marriage to conform to their desires. The definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman preceded the Fourteenth Amendment and those who framed and passed the Fourteenth Amendment did so with the understanding that it in no way, shape, or form had changed that definition.
Had the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment the slightest inkling that it would make inevitable the imposition of “gay marriage,” they would have either scrapped it altogether or written in it a clause safeguarding against such abuse. Had the legislators in both Houses of the U.S. Congress and the legislators of the states had any notion that the Fourteenth Amendment would make same-sex marriage inevitable they would surely have voted against it.
Marriage is a union based on true sexual counterparts. This is not an arbitrary or narrowly sectarian concept. It is a natural law consideration, recognizing the obvious holistic complementarity between the sexes in terms of anatomy, physiology (i.e., procreative design), and even (to a large measure) psychology. For millennia a male-female prerequisite for marriage has been the single most uniformly held, cross-cultural aspect of marriage.
Logically speaking, homosexual intercourse is a self-dishonoring enterprise. It treats the sex of the participants as only half intact in relation to the sex that they already are, as though two half-males make a whole male or two half-females make a whole female. Contrast the salutary logic of a heterosexual union, where the two halves of the sexual spectrum unite to form a single sexual whole. Homosexual attraction is either narcissistic (arousal for the distinctive features of one’s own sex) or self-deceptive (failure to recognize that one shares in common the sex-distinctive features that one desires).
Moreover, it is the logic of the duality of the sexes that leads to a limitation of duality of number. It is also the logic of embodied otherness that rules out secondary forms of sameness like adult incest. A person who rejects this definition of marriage, this significance to sexual differentiation, has no basis for limiting marriage to two persons at any one time or to persons who are not close kin.
It is perhaps ironic that Justice Kennedy emphasized that “the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals.” If there is no significance to a duality of the sexes for sexual union, there can be no significance to a duality of number, for the duality of number is predicated on the duality of the sexes.
Science provides further confirmation of the wisdom of a male-female prerequisite for marriage. It is easy to grasp that the disproportionately high rates of measurable harms that attend homosexual unions are due, ultimately, to the absence of a true sexual complement, not to societal “homophobia.” Quite simply, the kinds of harms correspond to expected patterns of sexual differences.
Homosexual male activity in particular is characterized by relatively high numbers of sex partners and a relatively high rate of STIs. Homosexual female activity in particular is characterized by exceptionally low relational longevity (lesbian unions don’t last even as long as male homosexual unions on average) and higher rates of mental health problems.
What’s the mystery? Men are generally more inclined than women to seek opportunities for more sex. So don’t expect monogamy and low health risks to arise as the norm from a sexual union of males. Women have a higher set of relational expectations for meeting needs for self-worth and security that puts added stress on the relationship. So don’t expect relational longevity and mental well-being to arise as the norm from a sexual union of females. Sans a true sexual complement to moderate the extremes of a given sex and to fill in the gaps, what we get in “gay” and lesbian homosexual activity is predictable.
A handful of unelected lawless justices have acted as legislators—worse still, as amenders and thus violators of the Constitution—by imposing their ideology on the Constitution. If they can legislate so brazenly from the bench, they can just as easily claim that the restriction of marriage to two persons or to non-kin is a deprivation “of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” and a denial of “the equal protection of the laws.”
Those who applaud the decision of these Lawless Five have given them and all future SCOTUS justices the right to define marriage as they see fit, without any inhibition based on previous universally understood definitions grounded in natural law. Indeed, those who sing the praises of the Lawless Five have given them and future justices the right to read virtually anything in the Constitution, turning this Republic into a tyrannical Oligarchy of unelected officials.
Even to give women the right to vote required the Nineteenth Amendment. It couldn’t just be imposed on the country by unelected jurors. Even the abolition of slavery, the right of due process for freed slaves, and the right to vote by freed slaves required the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.
Yet now SCOTUS justices can rewrite the Constitution to include anything they deem fit by appeal to nothing more than their own ideology. Even if you support “gay marriage,” be alarmed. Be very, very alarmed. The Lawless Five just abolished the whole concept that amending the Constitution requires a super majority in the two Houses of Congress and among state legislatures. It now only takes Five Lawless Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States to amend the Constitution. So help us God.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

"HERESIES AT NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY"

With all the news centering on the murder of "Babies Born Alive" by Planned Parenthood, some of the other news is being neglected...such as this story from James Thunder.  This is an ongoing series from him so we are including all his links to earlier posts for your edification..

Please take the time to read at least this Post as we have secured his permission to put it up in it's entirety. Here is the LINK to the original article with the other parts linked...just in case our attached links don't work.  God Bless people like James Thunder. 

Heresies at Notre Dame University

 

religion | Jul 19, 2015 | By James Thunder

Let marriage be honored among all
and the marriage bed be kept undefiled,
for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.
Letter to Hebrews 13:4
 
In part I of this series [See here], I described what I called the Unisex Heresy, consisting of the antibiblical belief that gender is of no consequence. I also identified same-sex marriage as one of many manifestations of this heresy. In part II of this series I described what I call the Deceptive Mercy Heresy according to which Jesus makes no demands of us and makes no judgments. In part III I observed that bishops and priests often promote heretical views – at least until the views are defined as heretical.
 
With this as background, let’s examine the case of the Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., a priest of the Holy Cross Order and the president of the University of Notre Dame. Notre Dame is not the only Catholic college or university which has recognized same-sex marriages. Creighton, St. Mary’s College (South Bend, Indiana), Boston College, Georgetown, and Marquette are others, but Notre Dame might be the best known.
 
Last October, within hours after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a lower court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the state of Indiana to become effective, Fr. Jenkins recognized as married for university purposes couples of the same gender whom any state had recognized as married. Although no federal or state law required it, he granted spousal privileges to “married” gay couples -- in the form of health insurance for employees, and, for students, the privilege of residing in married student housing (in which heterosexual married couples with young children live). Fr. Jenkins said he believed in the Church’s teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman. He said he wanted to be compassionate toward those who have historically been marginalized. He wanted to form Notre Dame into a loving community. (See the detailed reports and analyses link #5, #6 and #7 below.)
 
Three months later, on January 30, after having a full opportunity to weigh this latest anti-Catholic action of Fr. Jenkins, the university Board of Trustees, which includes seven clerics, re-elected Fr. Jenkins to a third five-year term. The press release announcing this re-election noted Fr. Jenkins’ efforts that people not be demonized. (See link #8 below.) How exceedingly peculiar that a priest, or any lay Christian, is praised for not demonizing people. What is happening on the Notre Dame campus or in the American academy at large that makes this a singular achievement worthy of a press release to the American and international public? I suggest that it implies that the Church’s teaching that homosexual behavior is gravely immoral is a demonization. Or, in the context of Fr. Jenkins’ bestowal of an honorary degree on President Obama in 2009, that the Church’s teaching on the grave immorality of abortion was a demonization.
 
 
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President, University of Notre Dame
 
It is important to observe what Fr. Jenkins did not say about his recognition of same-sex marriage – either in the initial October 9 announcement via email from the university’s Human Resources Department or in his personal October 16 statement in reply to the local bishop’s commentary published October 14. (See link #9 below.) First, he did not say that the Church’s teaching, that marriage is between one man and one woman, extends to all peoples everywhere, by virtue of natural law. By his silence on this point of such great import, and by his action in recognizing same-sex marriages, he implies that the Church teaching extends to Catholics only. (Actually, he would have it extend only to Catholics who believe in the teaching. For, surely, Father Jenkins will not deny spousal benefits to gay couples who call themselves Catholic and who “marry.”)
 
Second, Fr. Jenkins was silent on the Church’s teaching that homosexual behavior is gravely wrong, and cannot be legitimated by a supposed marriage. Again, his silence on such a matter of great import is stunning. He could also have addressed the issue of whether, in the terms of Catholic moral theology, his recognition of same-sex marriages did or did not constitute “formal” or “material” “cooperation with evil.” (See link #10 below.) Fr. Jenkins, an ordained priest, trained in philosophy and theology, is not ignorant of these concepts. Instead, he is rewarding and encouraging gravely immoral action. If university staff obtain a state-recognized marriage, they receive additional compensation. If students obtain a state-recognized marriage, they receive housing privileges.
 
As I stated in part III of this series, an individual may pay lip service to Church teaching but act in a way to belie this claim. Thus, Fr. Jenkins’ recognition of same-sex marriages is premeditated, continuous, obstinate in the face of pastoral counseling by his bishop, and obstinate in the face of critique by baptized lay Catholics. (For a critique by baptized lay Catholics, see an article by three Notre Dame professors in link #11 below.) This is evidence of Fr. Jenkins’ rejection of truth in favor of heresy. In fact, Fr. Jenkins favors four heresies:
 
The first is the Unisex Hersey described in the first part of this series. The second is his omission in defending the truth of the universal validity of the Church’s teaching on marriage, which in context is evidence of his heresy. The third is his omission in defending the Church’s teaching on homosexual behavior, again evidence of his heresy. And the fourth is the Deceptive Mercy Heresy described in the second part of this series.
 
You may recall the saying that “the way to hell is paved by good intentions.” Fr. Jenkins’ supposed compassion toward “married” gay couples is uncontaminated by truth and moral analysis. We should expect that this compassion of his will cause him to include in university health plans in vitro fertilization (artificial insemination), abortion, embryonic stem cell therapy, and sterilization.for employees. Fr. Jenkins also included these, although not required by law, for students.. (See link #12 below.)
 
Upon what basis would the compassionate Fr. Jenkins, who wants gay couples to be a part of the loving university community, refuse to bless the unions of gay couples -- and to do so at the campus’ Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes or in its Basilica of the Sacred Heart or in the many residence hall chapels? Upon what basis would he deny the use of university facilities and university food services for same-sex weddings? Upon what basis would he deny them Communion? After all, he doesn’t want to marginalize them or demonize them.
 
 
By his actions, omissions, and statements, Fr. Jenkins implies that the Catholic Church wants to marginalize persons with homosexual desires, that it wants to demonize them. No, no, and again no! The Church wants their salvation. But, as I have recently described in an essay on this webpage the question of Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics, our role model, Jesus, combines truth and compassion. (See link #13 below). The teachings of the Church are not derived from animus, notwithstanding the opinion of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the Windsor case of 2013.
 
As the chief executive of an educational institution, Fr. Jenkins should be a model of right-thinking and right-behavior for all of the students – and for faculty, staff, alumni, and benefactors. Instead, he has adopted these heretical views and acted on them. In doing so:
 
He has taken money from students and benefactors to pay for benefits and privileges for people engaged in grave sin.
 
He has encouraged same-sex couples to make, or persist in, an immoral commitment.
 
He has demonstrated that, in the future, an individual who has made an immoral commitment will not be barred from holding high academic posts.
 
He has encouraged same-sex couples to adopt children and to utilize third-party reproduction to create children and to bring them up intending that they be without either a mother or a father.
 
He has led students to believe that the Church is wrong about marriage and homosexual behavior. He has instructed them, in a very powerful way – by his example, that Catholic priests can accept or reject the Church’s teachings, and do so with impunity.
 
He has forced heterosexual couples, and their young children, to recognize as married the gay couples with whom they reside in university married student housing. While he tries to show compassion to gay couples, he shows no compassion to those married students who desire to adhere to the Faith and to rear their children according to the Faith.
 
He has forced university employees, who work in the areas of health benefits and housing, to implement his heretical policy. Moreover, if he were to provide chapels, facilities and food for same-sex weddings, he would force employees engaged in other services, including sacristans belonging to Campus Ministry, to make those arrangements, too. (Do not think that he would tolerate conscientious objection by university employees. He wouldn’t allow peaceful protest to his bestowing of honors on President Obama in 2009. Instead, he allowed the arrest of 88 individuals, including an elderly priest praying the Rosary on his knees. And he fired university employee Bill Kirk.)
 
By his re-election as president, he has led his religious superior in the Congregation of the Holy Cross (C.S.C.) and the 40-plus member Board of Trustees, which include priests and a bishop, into their support for his heretical and gravely immoral acts.
 
Fr. Jenkins’ actions are a “theological scandal,” defined by The Catechism of the Catholic Church as “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil…[A]nyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged.” (Sections 2284, 2287) Our duty, as bishops, as priests, and as laypeople is not to remain silent when Catholic universities, under heretical administrators, recognize gay couples as married, but to act on the words of Pope St. Felix III (d. 492):
 
Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men—when we can do it—is no less a sin than to encourage them. 
 
Neither Fr. Jenkins nor we should subscribe to the view of a senior faculty member who told then-Father/Professor Joseph Ratzinger that it was good of God that many remained outside the Faith in good conscience because, if they accepted the Faith, it would be more than they could handle. Rather, we must listen to then-Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedix XVI, who, in 1991, criticized this view:
 
What disturbed me was the notion that it harbored, that faith is a burden which can hardly be borne and which no doubt was intended only for stronger natures – faith almost as a kind of punishment, in any case, an imposition not easily coped with. According to this view, faith would not make salvation easier but harder. Being happy would mean not being burdened with having to believe or having to submit to the moral yoke of the faith of the Catholic Church. The erroneous conscience, which makes life easier and marks a more human course, would then be a real grace […] Untruth, keeping truth at bay, would be better for man than truth. It would not be the truth that would set him free, but rather he would have to be freed from the truth […] Faith would not be the good gift of the good God but instead an affliction. If this were the state of affairs, how could faith give rise to joy? Who would have the courage to pass faith on to others? Would it not be better to spare them the truth or even keep them from it? ...
 
(See link #14 below.)
 
Let me publicly implore Fr. Jenkins to apply to the problem of the recognition of supposed marriages of gay couples the view of his own Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Enrollment, Don Bishop, Class of ’77, spoken in the context of the university’s “legacy” policy whereby the university sets aside a portion of each incoming class for sons and daughters of alumni. The report in the autumn 2014 issue of Notre Dame Magazine was that Mr. Bishop acknowledged that “Notre Dame ‘takes a hit’ for maintaining its legacy presence among those closely watched numbers, categories and selectivity in higher education. ‘We’re confident in what we want to become rather than how others perceive us’…And what Notre Dame wants to become, Bishop contends, is uniquely itself …” Yes, Notre Dame should be willing to accept criticism for not recognizing same-sex marriages. Notre Dame should “take a hit” and aspire to be what it claims to be, uniquely: Catholic.
 
Let us all, bishop, priest, and lay, take St. Augustine’s words in his Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love  to heart:
 
[In Sodom and Gomorrah,] crimes were not only not punished, but were openly committed, as if under the protection of the law. And so in our own times: many forms of sin, though not just the same as those of Sodom and Gomorrah, are now so openly and habitually practiced, that not only dare we not excommunicate a layman, we dare not even degrade a clergyman, for the commission of them. (Book LXXX)
 
Spero contributor James Thunder is an attorney and syndicated columnist. His Master's thesis at the University of Virginia was "Aquinas on Marriage."
 
LINKS
 
#1. Pope Francis, April 15: Zenit
 
 
#3. Vatican