An assessment of US Catholic colleges well before the Councilhttp://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/an-assessment-of-us-catholic-colleges-well-before-the-council/
I have seen many Catholics, who have at least some awareness of the crisis in the Faith, struggle with comprehending how the revolution that struck the Church in the 1960s seemingly came out of nowhere. The fact is, it didn’t – the revolution had been growing in fits and starts for 150 years, at least, prior to the Council. Generally, revolutionary sentiment and error existed just below the surface. In the early 20th century, the revolutionaries, fired by inordinate zeal, attempted to prematurely break out into the open, but were crushed by Pope Saint Pius X and a still overwhelmingly orthodox Church. The revolutionary simply went back underground, continued to grow and influence more and more, so that, by the late 50s, the Church was nearly, if not quite, a seething cauldron of error and proto-revolutionary sentiment under a patina of orthodoxy. At least, that was the case among the institutional Church – the academics, religious, priests, bishops, etc. Many were fully gone over into heresy and revolutionary sentiment, while many others were too weak to resist. All that was needed was a spark, and the Council was that spark.How did the revolution continue to advance even under official bans and lay opposition? One key breeding ground was the university.
Most the key leaders of the 1960s revolution came out of academia. There they had been coddled and protected, allowed to “experiment” with heresy and error, for decades. As evidence of that, read this critique of the American Catholic (ahem) university in the 1940s, from a book whose title I will reveal at the end of the post:
In the American Catholic college……the apostasy was more implicit, and took the form of a wholesale aping of secular standards.The Catholic colleges did not say outright that man is in the world for the achieving of his own ends, that he is the alpha and omega of all things.
They did not say, as the teachers in secular colleges, that man’s eternal destiny is only an idea that some theologians and philosophers like to play with; that it is the notion which made for the backwardness of the dark ages and the superstition of the Middle Ages’ that it is, in fact, the reason why Catholic countries today are without modern improvements, such as bathtubs and showers! [They may not quite have done so then, but they do today!] But the courses in the Catholic colleges were, nevertheless, completely secularized. The religion course was in a compartment all by itself, and its presentation was dull and mediocre, without fire, and it communicated its message not at all to the other courses in the curriculum. These courses seemed to be set up only with an eye to making the student, later on, a rich man or a power in some field where his scientific prestige or political aggrandizement would redound to the glory of the college. Even a mediocre student could, for the most part, be assured of a good job upon graduation. And every student could be sure that he would look like and be like every other college graduate of every other college in America, whether Catholic or non-Catholic. That he was totally unaware that his Faith was the most exciting thing in the world, and that the full living of it would change the world, seemed not to matter to anyone………. [All of these are not just valid criticisms of Catholic colleges today, but almost all Catholic schools from pre-school on up. Catholic schools are not ordered towards producing superlative Catholics, but nominal Catholics, at best. They are ordered to produce high achievers and important men of the world - both of which often make right practice of the Faith very difficult. But we can see this problem has been with us for some a long time.]
………We had no need to ask ourselves for how long this state of things had come to pass in Catholic education. The answer was right before our eyes, across the street in Harvard Yard. Twenty four Jesuit priests were studying that year at Harvard…….The Greeks have a saying, “Send you son to school to a slave, and he will become a slave.” We might add, “Send your priests and nuns to secular schools, and they will become secular teachers – in Catholic schools!” [and that is precisely what happened, especially after Council, which precipitated the most dramatic decline in religious life in recorded Church history. Ever before the Council, there was a push from the highest levels of the Church for religious to receive secular education. And those religious proceeded to become thoroughly secularized, and then secularized their entire orders! This is still ongoing today, perhaps due to lack of an alternative. Even some of the most conservative/orthodox religious orders (but not traditional), especially active orders, send their members to secular colleges so they can teach, or whatever. Some require degrees before acceptance. Thus there is still a great deal of exposure to radical secular thought, even if many of those so exposed are relatively inoculated against it by a strong faith. One wonders if some of that secularism does not creep into the practice of their religious life, however. Note the early involvement of the Jesuits, which order over the course of the 19th and 20th century turned elite education into something of an idol.]
…….None of the secular colleges have knowledge according to the pattern which a priest should be teaching. It is easy to see the harm that comes to the Faith of the priests in these universities.……
……It would fare better for Catholic colleges, it seems, if they had, on their faculties, more Cure’s d’Ars, and less PhD’s. The times in which we live are badly in need of saints in the priesthood. And we are supplying, at the present, a conforming, course-taking, liberal clergy!
Thus……the failure of Catholic colleges in the post-war period in America. The inroads of liberalism had disequipped them for the strong religious leadership of their own people……..
It must be stressed that this thorough denouncement of Catholic education came from people with direct experience of it, 70 years ago. This was decades before the scandal of Land O’ Lakes and the formal surrender of the American Catholic college to leftist dogma. In a very real sense, and save for a handful of exceptions, Catholic colleges chose secular dogma and worldly accolades over Jesus Christ and their own sanctification through marginalization and anti-Catholic bias. To say it very clearly, Catholic academia, and most primary/secondary schools, have chosen to embrace the dogmas of this fallen world in order to gain the world’s approval and to be a “player” along the same lines as all the other secular universities. Thus, they are just as far gone into leftism and amoral indifferentism as the worst secular colleges. But, at least at a secular college, the errors are presented straight up, and not under the devastating deception of being somehow “Catholic” and in line with the Faith.
Oh, the book. The excerpt is from The Loyolas and the Cabots, by Catherine Goddard Clarke. Yes, she was part of the sad tale of Father Leonard Feeney, but there is a great deal to recommend in the book in spite of that fact. I left the “announcement” until now because I did not want to bias your reading above