No serious Catholic should ever give another dime to St. Benedict’s and St. John University.
“According to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Catholic theologians must take into account “new sciences and theories,” so that “morality may keep pace with scientific knowledge.” (1) It is in light of this guidance that many theologians have allowed insights of psychology and sociology to inform their theology, and they have concluded that homosexuality is natural, and that same-sex unions are compatible with Catholic faith. Indeed, theologians long ago argued that pastors might appropriately bless same-sex unions. (2)”
Vatican II: the gift that keeps on giving
So what you’re saying is: you’re just as illiterate at interpreting Vatican II as the libs are.
Before Vatican II, the parents of un-baptized infants could not receive funeral rites and were believed inadmissible to heaven (remember Limbo – that non-doctrinal catch-all designed to cut off dialog re this issue of basic Christian decency) (Oh, and don’t say that if the parents intended baptism exceptions were made, as in reality this was VERY rare – the norm being the denial of funeral rites).
Before Vatican II, the Church did not recognize the science of psychology as valid. Therefore, when someone suffering from mental illness committed suicide, they were denied the rites of the Church and (supposedly) heaven itself. After 1962, that un-Christian practice was ended for all time.
Before Vatican II, if you didn’t receive “extreme unction” (extreme anointing), you were cast out of heaven for all eternity. This not only DID NOT comport with the practices of the early (pre-Plagues [hint hint:]) Church, but it violated the sacred scripture upon which the practice of anointing the sick is based (James 5:14 – Is anyone among you sick* He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord.).
Before Vatican II, the ideas of the Catholic Church about heaven and hell were NOT based on the Bible but upon the work of Dante and Michelangelo and Hieronymus Bosch.
Before Vatican II, people believed that Latin was the historic language of the liturgy, NOT realizing that the liturgy was originally translated into Latin because Latin was the “vulgar” or vernacular tongue (remember the Vulgate Bible?), the language of the common people. In other words, the Mass was originally translated into Latin SO THAT PEOPLE COULD UNDERSTAND IT. (Now, where we’ll likely agree [and our Church agrees, too] is in our assessment of the quality of the original [ICEL] Vatican II vernacular translations – an issue resolved by the deep scholarly work of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship [begun in 2001 under a Pope none of us would characterize as a “lib”] which has led to a literal and true translation of the old Latin Mass [this while referencing the even more ancient Greek and Aramaic texts].) It is important to remember that the first Christians celebrated Mass primarily in Aramaic and Greek and that even the original Latin Mass was a polyglot experience (the word “Eucharist” is Greek) and that the Roman Canon (influenced heavily by the Eastern Churches, by the way) did not appear until the 6th century.
Before Vatican II, the Church was closed and in a fighting posture relative to the Reformation. John XXIII proposed that we cease the war, that we open up a dialogue with Christians of all denominations, and that we do the same with the leaders of other religions. Knowing your Bible well, you know that this is a MUCH more Biblically-based position – that the notion of interfaith warfare would’ve been anathema to our Master, the Son of God who preached to us of The Good Samaritan.
The notion that our beloved Church should be closed, barren, barred to all but the ideologically and doctrinally pure is a false and wholly un-Christian thing. We must let in Light – let God shine out of Christ’s Mystical Body into a world bereft of true Love.
And I am sorry to disappoint you, but our politics shall be utterly IRRELEVANT in this Mission – such terms as “lib” or “conservative” or “moderate” being too small for Jesus, too small for the Message of radical Love and and forgiveness that would cleanse our world prejudice and war and poverty and the destruction of sacred life (from “womb to tomb”).
Vatican II, you see, is NOT a political document. There is nothing liberal or conservative about it. It is Christian. It is a revisiting of our ancient Faith – one that celebrates our sacred traditions by enlivening them in the light of our full history.
If I have been in any way rhetorically combative, please forgive me. I know that I am a broken vessel, a typical human being. I also know that there is much that you could teach me about the many wonderful traditions that we allowed to lapse in the period of confusion that followed Vatican II. I am told that the teaching of the catechism was stronger prior to 1965. I happen to believe that we have filled those gaps over the past two decades.
In sum, I believe that we are on the right path and that instead of fighting one another we would profit most by standing shoulder to shoulder in the defense and evangelization of our Faith.
Do you have any actual documentation for all of these absurd assertions?
Most of them came from Pope John XXIII’s original instructions to the council. I’m not real sure the council succeeded in fixing any of them at all, and so I disagree with Nicholas on many of his points.
Near as I can tell, Vatican II was a pastoral, not a doctrinal, council, and that people read whatever they wanted to hear into it, thus destroying the very pastoral intent of the council. We’re coming back around with recent ultramontane reforms of the reformation.
You read an awful lot into my comment. You are correct; Vatican II, as well as the rest of the faith, is much bigger than “liberal” or “conservative.” However, those labels are useful in discussion as long as they are known as non-comprehensive.
It is James, not I, who is disparaging Vatican II by what renegades have done in its name. There are many who speak of what “people think” about Vatican II; I propose those people educate themselves as to what the documents actually teach (including yourself re: the place of Latin in the liturgy).
In other words, it is not Vatican II that has given us the statements from St. John’s faculty. It is the fallen human who runs away with the actual teachings of the council the gives us these.
Apologies for reading too much into your comment.
We are entirely agreed as to the fact that Vatican II – much like any other Church document – is easily co-opted by folks with an agenda.
I guess I’m just frustrated with divisions in the Church – with the sense that (from either end of the spectrum) it feels as if a sort of political correctness is often asserted.
I’m of the mind that neither political party here in the United States is dedicated (in whole or in part) to the Message of Jesus Christ. Both are secular institutions given entirely to secular aims.
I suppose I believe that Vatican II may well represent a hope for the opening up of our Church and our Faith – an opening that culminates in the healing of schisms by way of our ongoing ecumenical work, and in the growth of the Catholic Church proper.
You were kind to be so gentle with your reply. I am way too given to polemics. For this I humbly apologize.
Blessings to you and yours,
The ones I know about from my Pre-VII years:
“Pre-Vatican II . . . un-baptized infants could not receive funeral rites and were believed inadmissible to heaven
What “unbaptized infants”? Pre-Vatican II Catholic parents, as well as parents of other denominations, carried their infants to the church for baptism within a week or so of birth. And in the meantime, it was common practice that if an unbaptized infant seemed sickly, for Mom, Dad, Doctor, or nurse, to baptize him or her on the spot. Just in case.
Before Vatican II, if you didn’t receive “extreme unction” (extreme anointing), you were cast out of heaven for all eternity.
Difficult to credit, since several martyrs and apostles of our modern age are known to have died alone and without the Sacraments.
“Before Vatican II, the ideas of the Catholic Church about heaven and hell were NOT based on the Bible but upon the work of Dante and Michelangelo and Hieronymus Bosch. . . .” Not so. The ideas of the Church about Heaven and Hell were based primarily on the sayings of Jesus. As recorded in the Bible.
“Before Vatican II, people believed that Latin was the historic language of the liturgy, NOT realizing that the liturgy was originally translated into Latin because Latin was the ‘vulgar’ or vernacular tongue (remember the Vulgate Bible?), the language of the common people.”
I’m sorry to introduce the expression howler here, but I must. The hierarchy and the literate laity knew perfectly well that the earliest liturgies were conducted in the Greek and Aramaic languages. Latin came later. Latin became the accepted universal language of the Church during the Middle Ages for the same reason that Latin became the universal language of law, medicine, history, the sciences generally, the arts generally, and scholarship generally, throughout the West: Everyone spoke it, or could at least understand it.
“Before Vatican II, the Church was closed and in a fighting posture relative to the Reformation. John XXIII proposed that we cease the war, that we open up a dialogue with Christians of all denominations, and that we do the same with the leaders of other religions.”
False dichotomy. You can continue the conflict with your opponent, while conducting dialogue. Let the dialogue take place among the wise and the learned, not among the simple and the unlettered, who are easily misled. I think it was wise that the Church waited until significant numbers of Catholics throughout the First World had become literate and had had opportunities for a good Catholic education before encouraging a widespread dialogue with other religious traditions. Her doing so may have helped to reduce the number of Catholics wooed away from their Church by evangelizers from other faiths, as we see unfortunately unfolding today in Catholic countries throughout Central and South America. Because these were and are simple people living close to the land, often without the language of theology and philosophy at their command, without books, they were and are vulnerable to the purveyors of false doctrines presented as “dialogue.”
We today see what has been the continuing tragic results of “dialogue” for far too many Catholics and former Catholics who are not extremely well-grounded in their faith.
First step is getting our facts straight, before becoming rhetorically combative.
St. John’s: my alma mater. Took me years to recover from that high-priced heretic factory (thank you, J.R.R. Tolkien).
I’ve never given them a dime, and never will.
Same here, Sean. It kills me, because I have so many happy memories associated with going there, but they are completely blinded by the world and its lies. Anybody know of a CSB/SJU alum association dedicated to returning the colleges to their Catholic roots?
what they need is a Bishop with the guts to tell them to clean it up or shut it down (not that the alum association wouldn’t help.)
Even back in the mid-80’s when I wasn’t even Catholic or particularly Christian, I remember the talk was that St. Cloud State (the state university in town) was more Catholic than St. John’s/St. Benedict’s…and I believe that St. Cloud State was a member of the infamous Top 10 Party Schools around that same time.
When were you there, Jeff? I was class of ’87. I have a lot of happy memories from there too, especially from playing rugby, and some very solid frienships that continue to this day. A few of the professors, I remember with great fondness (most notably, James T. Murphy (RIP), government, and Fr. Alexander Andrews, history). But the place is so far out in left field it barely even qualifies for “Catholic in name only” status. And reading that statement from the profs, it appears to have only gotten worse: still sealed tight in a “spirit of Vatican II” time capsule (as opposed to an authentic implementation of Vatican II) that no fresh air or original thought can enter. If there were a CSB/SJU alum association dedicated to returning the school to its Catholic roots, I’d happily be a dues-paying member.
Dave, that’s what I hear too: that the bishop (diocese of St. Cloud) is a spineless wonder who won’t lift a finger to discipline the school, which is the same as it’s been for successive bishops going back decades. Plus, the abbot is a powerful figure in his own right who can pretty much thumb his nose at the bishop with impunity, unless the Holy See intervenes.
Sean, Your analysis seems 100% on the level to me. The good news (if you can call it good) is that since the abuse scandals associated with St. John’s in previous years came to light, I think their donations are down. The other good news is that St. Cloud is due a new bishop any time now, and given Benedict XVI’s batting average, things are looking pretty good. I don’t envy whoever has to step in there, though. Due to the same factor (succession of spineless bishops), the priest shortage there is growing fairly acute.
Then let’s pray that our beloved German Shepherd sends a good shepherd to the St. Cloud diocese.
I graduated in ’01 Sean. I wonder how many alums agree with us on this. Time to pray for a change there…if I understand history correctly, it’s not unheard of for monasteries to reform, but it would be very difficult to combine that with faculty reform.
HI Sean! I went there for my freshman year (late 90’s). Did lots of Johnny things. I wasn’t Catholic when I was there, but my spidey sense told me that things were ‘off’… Enough so that I was compelled to transfer after my freshman year. Since then, the stories have come pouring in regarding that place. I’m always like, “That makes so much sense now!…So THAT’S why they…NOW I get it…” And so on.
I had some of those profs on that list. Really nice folks…but yeah–totally the opposite of a Catholic school.
I tell you one thing. At the time, while I wasn’t Catholic then, I loved the Great Hall, and I hated the new spaceship church. It was just weird to me, even then.
I guess I’m a visionary. Even though I receive their solicitations (living just 40 miles away), I’ve faithfully not given them a dime for almost 25 years already. They’ve always been terrible. St. Cloud needs a new bishop to come clean it up. They’ve had weak ones since I can remember.
“So what you’re saying is: you’re just as illiterate at interpreting Vatican II as the libs are.”
50 years after the Council, it continues to be invoked by countless heretics in the pay of the Church to justify their Modernist ideas. And they continue to do so with impunity, to the destruction of the faith of countless millions and a resulting mass apostasy. Perhaps the Council was not a positive event?
50 years after Nicaea, Arianism was stronger than ever. Was Nicaea a positive event?
I am very much a Vatican II Catholic, but I’ll admit the rad-trads have a point that misinterpretation of the council’s documents has largely resulted in a negation of the positives the council brought.
Having said that- almost everything the radtrads rally against, are indeed misinterpretations- the very ones that led to the widespread lack of faith that prompted the council to begin with. The council may yet succeed at refuting these errors, but will not do so as long as the generation formed by the error is still alive.
It is traditionally held that it takes about 100 years for a council to reach its full fruition, for the exact reason you describe: those caught up in the spirit of the age need to all die off before the teachings can be examined objectively.
“50 years after Nicaea, Arianism was stronger than ever. Was Nicaea a positive event?”
It certainly was because it was the *council* that condemned Arianism in unambiguous terms. 50 years later, Arians weren’t invoking the council to force their Arianism on the Church.
Yet every Modernist has been using Vatican II’s authority to devastate the Church. And our shepherds have mostly either encouraged this or allowed it to continue with impunity.
Modernists also twist the Bible out of context to make it support their positions. There is no stopping willful people from twisting any text to fit their desires. The blame rests with the shepherds, not the council.
I love that, for a rad trad, VII is both a pastoral council that is not binding and proclaims no doctrine, and also one that provides an “authority to devastate the Church”. Truly, the Council is all things to all people.
All that says is Arians have more honour and intellectual integrity that Modernists.
You’re drawing the wrong conclusions, man!
Dave, councils are called to *clear up* ambiguities, not introduce them—they’re *supposed* to be the interpreters. By that standard, Vatican II was a horrific failure. The topic of this post is only the latest of a mountain of evidence for this conclusion.
Read the writings, and they WERE clearing up ambiguities. That the modernists are often in dispute with the council, and with post-conciliar documents like Humanae Vitae, is not proof that the council documents were wrong.
Modernists haven’t been disputing the council over the last 50 years, they’ve been *invoking* it—with almost no consequences from the hierarchy (much of which have been using the council for same purposes).
That JPII and that B16: Total Modernist Heretics. Meanwhile, outside the cramped bubble of Rad Traddery in First World Suburbia, the Church has grown 7000% in the global south. But Traddery cherishes the virtue of despair and shuns the grave sin of Hope.
I see your point. But in fairness to the trads, they do a lot of mission work. There are lots of black faces at the SSPX seminary…more so than a regular VII seminary. There are sedevacantist mission churches in Africa and southeast Asia, etc. Point is, it’s not just a hobby for the privileged. There are real, reasonable concerns by ordinary folks about the continuity of (some of) the teachings in the VII documents, and while some among them are liable to say extreme things, their heart is in the right place.
Despite the fact that I’m virtually the only practicing Catholic left in my entire extended family, and that my diocese is in a state of collapse while my bishop is selling books by the likes of Richard McBrien, Hans Küng and John Shelby Spong out of his cathedral, you’ll find me at an vernacular Ordinary Form Mass most Sundays. Rad trad, my foot!
But why discuss when you can name-call, demagogue, mock, misrepresent, create strawmen, and feel all righteous about it? It’s the Mark Shea way. For shame.
“But why discuss when you can name-call, demagogue, mock, misrepresent, create strawmen, and feel all righteous about it?” Pot, meet kettle.
Oftentimes, both sides of an argument deserve each other.
Always the voice of reason!!! Er, almost always anyway. 😉
You are the expert there.
Ivan, are you mad?
“I love that, for a rad trad, VII is both a pastoral council that is not binding and proclaims no doctrine, and also one that provides an “authority to devastate the Church”. Truly, the Council is all things to all people.”
I hope this wasn’t a deliberate misinterpretation of my words. It was a pastoral council, but modernists have turned it into a superdogma and used ambiguous statements in the documents to devastate the vineyard. The council was a failure because the hierarchy allowed this particular hermeneutic of the council to spread and fester, so that 50 years later *143* faculty members at a Catholic institution can invoke the council to justify pseudo-marriage between two men! Whatever good the council did has been far outweighed by the destruction wrought by the domination of this hermeneutic of the council across wide swaths of the Church, allowed by a negligent hierarchy. Why is that so hard to understand?
Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from. But why was this particular hermeneutic allowed to spread and fester? Most of the Bishops who sat back and did nothing during the late 60’s and early 70’s when this nonsense spiralled out of control were appointed before or during Vatican II. The root of the problem must be even earlier.
Why is it so hard to understand that it’s a faulty line of reasoning to say that because people have abused V2 or done bad things in its name, V2 is therefore A Very Bad Thing? Anti-Catholics love to use this line of reasoning against the Church, to say that because people have abused the Church teachings or done bad things in its name, the Church is therefore A Very Bad Thing. I reject the first for the same reason that I reject the second, because it’s a non sequitur.
Ivan, You make a reasonable point. Perhaps, instead of invoking the anti-Catholic, we invoke the non-Catholic who doesn’t have an axe to grind. We find a few folks who aren’t Catholic, but who are otherwise charitable and reasonable people and don’t hold ill will to Catholics. We then ask them first to read the Catechism of the Council of Trent (free on google books), and then ask them to read the documents of the second Vatican Council (also free through the Vatican website).
Me thinks that many such neutral, non-biased readers would say, “You know, these two sets of readings don’t match up. I find a few discrepancies…”
Now, the neo-conservative Catholic could respond, “Well, you just don’t know enough about this to see that they are entirely in continuity.”
But one wonders if this is a reasonable response…
At any rate, I encourage readers to do the test for themselves. The documents are all free on the interwebs. Take a Saturday afternoon and do some cross checking.
I’m not saying I think VII is a sham. I’m just saying that one can be completely reasonable in saying, “This doesn’t add up.”
You could say the same about the Bible, that it is filled with discrepancies or even seeming contradictions. Every man is not an expert, which is why a guide or a commentary is often needed to explain that which at first glance confuses or concerns. That’s why Benedict XVI’s hermeneutic of continuity is so important to understanding the councils over the centuries.
I have no idea what a neo-conservative Catholic is. I know of only one type of catholic, the faithful Catholic who is both orthodox and loyal to the Magisterium and the Pope.
By invoking the term neo-conservative, I’m just using standard trad vocab. A neo-conservative Catholic is a Catholic who thinks that total continuity is found between VII documents and previous documents and that the post-VII liberal Catholic crowd is misinterpreting VII documents.
As to those documents. It is true that you could say the same thing about the bible’s lack of perspicuity. Perspicuity is a dangerous, protestant heresy. But the documents that *interpret* the bible should be perspicuous. Or at least reasonably clear, no?
We should not need expert interpreters to interpret the interpretations.
I should be able to trust the Magisterium. I should not need experts to tell me what the Magisterium teaches. If the Magisterium itself is esoteric, then all bets are off.
I think this is pretty overblown. There are a few points of arguable discontinuity between, say, Trent and Vatican II, on issues related to religious freedom. There are a few other scattered points one could bring up, but if one actually reads the documents, they are overwhelmingly clearly in continuity. Keep in mind that the language is different between the 16th and 20th centuries. Not as many anathemas being thrown around, etc. but these are differences in style and historical environment.
The Magisterium is a living office, not a text. A given text may be an expression of the Magisterium, but it is not the Magisterium itself. The Magisterium is more like the Supreme Court. ..and the Magisterium, like the court, is always clarifying itself. Text is inherently open to interpretation.
Hi Dave, You make some reasonable points! I think that one could reasonably disagree, however, that there are only a few points of discontinuity. Indeed, one could argue, as many traditionalists have, that the continuities are severe and ubiquitous. But that argument has been had elsewhere and the issues beat to death. Perhaps instead, I’ll ask this. Why the NEED for an update in language in terminology and style? As a former Lutheran, I was a pretty typical 8th grade Lutheran kid in getting drilled on passages from Luther’s Catechism, the Augsburg Confession, passages from Chemnitz’s critique of the Council of Trent, and other sundry, 16th century documents of the Lutheran confessions. Should not the Council of Trent and other ‘old fashioned’ texts work for us Catholics as well? No one from my Lutheran school days would have denied the ‘living tradition’ of Lutheranism; yet they would have found it crazy to catechize the young in anything other than the original authoritative confessional documents. Why should Catholicism be different? Or is the analogy a poor one, since Lutheranism is a heresy?
No, it’s not a poor analogy. I, too, was brought up Lutheran, and understand your points (although my Lutheran church was apparently not staunch or thorough enough to teach us about Chemnitz – lol). The Council of Trent does still work, as a matter of fact, as does the Council of Nicaea, for that matter. But it is also true that, though the doctrine of those councils is usually clear, the tone and language sometimes needs to be “translated” to modern ears.
Lutheranism and Catholicism do differ somewhat in that there are no “original” founding documents as such in Catholicism. Although the New Testament comes close, the NT books and letters were not intended as catechetical writings. Closer still would be the original creeds, which are still used by both of our churches.
The Church, unlike the Lutheran confession, has an authoritative, living, teaching office. The Church teaching does not morph into its opposite, but it does not stagnate either. It develops more fully, as Blessed John Henry Newman pointed out so admirably his work. At times, the developments can appear to be in discontinuity with earlier teachings, and this requires study, just as apparent contradictions in the Scripture require study.
Councils of the Church can be best understood as the teaching of the Magisterium in reaction to a certain heresy and/or needs of the Church in a new historical situation. All of the councils statements are valid and indeed essential to learn, but if you are asking why there is such a difference in language, or why a new council was necessary at all, I would respond that the people of the 20th century were working from a completely different mindset than those of the 16th century, and needed to be approached in a different way.
Obviously, things went off the track badly after the Council, and I cannot but blame the bishops for that.
Fair enough, Dave. Your point about Newman is well worded. But I always wince when I hear about how people in the 20th century were working from a completely different mindset. Really? I suppose you mean merely 20th century *Catholics*. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten a thing out of the very 16th century Lutheran documents I mentioned earlier. Cheers.
Well, I don’t mean that the language from 5 centuries earlier is unintelligible, but clearly there are substantial differences between the way people think now as compared to 450-500 years ago.
Since then, we’ve had any number of revolutions (scientific, industrial, etc) and influential philosophies (mostly, but not completely, harmful) which have changed the way we think.
Thanks for the conversation!
Btw, The website that this statement comes from…what a train wreck.
SJU graduate of 2011, here. Many of my friends have been waving this aloft like it’s a banner of freedom — all I see is moral confusion. But I agree, until the school radically shifts direction (not likely to happen, as the school spins even further from the monastic community), it’s not getting a dollar from me.
Don’t just stop donating; write and let the alumni association why you aren’t donating.
Nate hits the nail on the head, the crux of why Vatican II was a failure. The Bible is public revelation, and public revelation needs to be interpreted by the Magisterium. Ecumenical councils are part of the Magisterium, and if they are murky and opaque, introducing confusion instead of clarifying, then they have failed their purpose. Instead of addressing the threat of modernism (the “synthesis of all heresies” in St. Pius X’s words), the event (and to a certain extent the texts) of the council were hijacked by modernists who then invoked its authority to force their program on every aspect of the Church’s life. The extraordinary event of an Ecumenical Council was used as a vehicle to turn what was a slowly growing cancer into a devastating conflagration.
Vatican II is very much a creature of its time, and frankly I hope it fades in influence so heretics can no longer keep appealing to it to justify themselves and (most importantly) so popes and bishops stop appealing to it to justify their reluctance to lay down the law and restore order out of the chaos.
143 professors at a Catholic institution! Think about that. It would be scandalous if we (and the growing non-Carholic world) weren’t already so used to decades of such outrages.
143 profs, yes. It should scandalize, but in this day and age, it’s just same old same old.
AS to the murkiness of the documents. I don’t do computer things, but I bet someone could, in the spirit of the Sokal Affair, design a pretty good ‘Vatican II Document’ generator. Someone needs to take this idea (http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/) and do with with Catholic VII double-speak.
Dunno. I HOPE it’s not possible to do that.
Perhaps it is time that every organization, academic, social or poltical, which insists on calling itself Catholic or in the “Catholic Tradition”, must be required to pin or add to its Title/Name and provide on demand in writing, a reference to the source(s) of its CURRENT authority to call itself Catholic: namely the Papal, Bishops’ Conference or Diocesan document granting this privilige. This would be along the lines of the Nihil Obstat. Such documents must be renewed/reconfirmed every three years, following a triennial assessment of the INDIVIDUAL organization’s fidelity to the Maguisterium, by the issuing authority. It may also be wihdrawn at any time during those three years if the relavant organizations starts to go awary and refuses any direction by the Authrity concerned. Under no circumstances is such a document to be issued “generally” to, say a Monastic Order. The Jesuits have demonstarted that such a general “approval” may be used to covber a lot of individual exceptions.
So well may Jon O”Brien call his organization “Catholics for Choice”. It would be meaningless and will no longer be able to mislead people as to its authenticity, if it cannot provide documentation of its right to be called catholic. PS Every University or College of higher learning, Catholic, Catholic in name only or otherwise has the right to call itself in the Cahtolic Tradition since the Catholic Church was the originator and developer of the concept of institutes of higher learning. The academic gown and academic hoods are a throw back to the monk’s robes and their cowls.