Notre Dame Professor Demonstrates What’s Wrong with Catholic Education – UPDATED

Notre Dame Professor Demonstrates What’s Wrong with Catholic Education – UPDATED December 8, 2014

(Scroll down to the bottom for updates.)

Apparently you can be a professor in the theology department at Notre Dame, and think that:

The religious teaching of complementarity holds that men and women have very different roles in life and in marriage, with men outranking women in most areas.

No.  Just no.

I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

To get you started, a few notes from the Catechism on the dignity of the human person:

Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.

More on how this works within the context of the family:

 A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated.

In creating man and woman, God instituted the human family and endowed it with its fundamental constitution. Its members are persons equal in dignity.

Specifically with respect to men and women, husbands and wives:

In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity. . .  Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God.

It’s not particularly surprising that the LA Times should flub basic Catholic moral teaching. But that a professor at a Catholic university should be the one to do it?


For a little humor . . . the co-authors of that same column are also upset about the scientist-Pope’s understanding of  human biology:

Francis has made it clear that he sees childbearing and child rearing as crucial womanly roles.

Honey, I hate to upset your notion of how this “childbearing” thing works, but I assure you, as helpful as my husband was when I was giving birth, it was the mother who was doing the one thing necessary.

And as far as child-rearing goes, the holy father is certainly not suggesting that mothers raise the children while the men go smoke at the sports bar.  Pope Francis has a few thoughts on the crucial role of fathers, too.

Summary: Parents, don’t just send your kids anyplace that slaps the word “Catholic” on the door.


I had a few comments on the light treatment I gave in my counter-arguments.  I agree.  You can read more thorough fisking of the column at Ethika Politica and at Catholic World Report.  Both articles deserve your attention.

Meanwhile, it’s to be conceded that there was a legitimate point that Baden and Moss had been trying to make.  Joanne McPortland does a lovely job of getting straight to the real arguments, with none of the confusing bluster to distract.

Finally, I have to sadly report that this is not the most egregious of Baden and Moss’s outright lying about what the Catholic Church actually teaches.  Here I walk you through their comments on an IVF-related lawsuit, in which they demonstrate a stunning ignorance of their topic.  I’m told they did in fact consult a Catholic moral theologian in writing these things; let’s just say they were cheated.  Badly.  It’s a shame, because as I point out in my comments, there does appear to be genuine scandal afoot, and not just at Notre Dame.



Image by Christoph Wagener (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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