In early October, Santa Clara University, in the heart of Silicon Valley, decided it would no longer provide health insurance that pays for elective abortions. Given that SCU is a Roman Catholic school run by the Jesuits, that decision shouldn’t have been all that surprising.
Nevertheless, the editorial team at The San Jose Mercury News was shocked — shocked! — that a Catholic university acted in concert with the doctrinal content of its faith and clear guidance of the late Blessed John Paul II in Ex Corde Ecclesiae:
One week later, both sides in this argument — the Catholics and the local press — were at it again. Santa Clara University is now being joined by Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, also a Jesuit-run school, in dropping abortion coverage, and again, the Merc, as it’s known locally, is ON IT:
Santa Clara University saw a quiet protest Wednesday as some faculty members stood with signs objecting to the school’s decision to end employee health insurance coverage of elective abortions.
The decision last week, coupled with a similar one last week at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles — both Jesuit Catholic institutions — came out of a concern for their religious identity, school leaders said.
Catholic institutions are revisiting the issue after U.S. bishops’ recent battle to keep them from having to cover birth control and sterilization under the new national health insurance law. And some of their faculties reacted angrily.
Apparently, too, the faculty at SCU didn’t get the memo about the whole Catholic/Jesuit thing, and that church leaders — such as Father Michael E. Engh, S.J. (pictured), who is SCU’s president — have a commitment to uphold Catholic teaching. The school held a discussion on the subject, and a few instructors decided to skip the discussion to raise a squall of protest.