Gonzaga U Caves

Gonzaga U Caves December 3, 2012

A reader writes:

Sadly, it appears that GU will comply with the HHS Mandate without even a fight.   I spoke to Melissa in Human Resource at Gonzaga today and she confirmed December 1, 2012 Gonzaga will cover contraceptives, sterilizations and plan b drugs.  This devastating news comes out at the same time Cardinal Dolan said as Catholics we will fight the immoral HHS Mandate.

As Catholics, we will be called in the days ahead to stand up for our Catholic faith and it will be difficult.   Remember what our Lord said about being “lukewarm” and have courage.

If you feel called to email or make a phone please do.  Above all please keep Dr. McCulloh and Bishop Cupich in your prayers.

President Thayne McCulloh, D. Phil

Most Reverend Blase J Cupich
Mary Cole, Executive  Assistant to the Bishop


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  • Sue

    I am not surprised that Gonzaga University again went astray of Catholic teaching and ignored USCCB President’s and the Pope’s urgings by not standing up to the HHS Mandate. Like Judas Iscariot, Gonzaga is like a one in 12 sell out. I can’t imagine how Gonzaga is even considered representative of Jesuit teaching or philosophy, much less Church teachings and our religious freedom as Americans. How does supporting the HHS Mandate fit into the “Greater Glory of God?” if anything, it is a lost opportunity to glorify God. If/ when Catholics who stand up to attacks on religious liberty result in fines, imprisonment, martyrdom, Gonzaga won’t be on the list at first. And if/when a new Nazi-like government rises, the new Holocaust of the unborn will easily extend to the aged, mentally ill, etc., and Gonzaga University folks will avoid potential martyrdom at the new Dachau. We already have enough North American Martyrs, anyway. And what good did they do by getting themselves killed for Heaven’s sake? Oh, that’s right, inspired our first Native American Saint, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. Well, I mean, it’s tough enough to get people to commit to the archaic notions of obedience, celibacy/chastity, so why put more of a pinch on vocations/enrollments? So disappointed by Gonzaga University leadership, again. Praying for mercy on their souls and the souls they may well be complicit in denying life to by supporting the HHS Mandate. May the Lord have mercy on us all — Not an alumni nor sending my children to Gonzaga

    • Rich

      As a Gonzaga alumnus (which through your use of the plural “alumni” is proof you are not a Gonzaga graduate) I applaud the University, and Dr. McCulloh, for the choice it made. Sue, your words and vitriol both offend and frighten me. As a Jesuit educated Catholic, I recognize and embrace other beliefs and faiths – rather than merely “tolerate” them. Gonzaga teaches people of many faiths, and even those without religious beliefs. In its effort to Educate for Life, Gonzaga reaches many different people and through its educating philosophy and the varying learning opportunities it offers, often brings young adults into the Catholic faith. It saddens me that the Catholic Church’s numbers are dwindling, donations to the Church are down, and Catholics are ceasing to practice their faith in the Catholic community. It is only through the Community that Catholocism can survive and flourish; but when the Community contains as much hate as is shown in this (and other) comments, it is no surprise that the Catholich Church is in its current state. Additionally, I would be proud if either of my two children attended Gonzaga, just as I would be proud if they attended any other Jesuit university. I trust that what a school offers (not forces upon) in benefits to its entire student body will not otherwise influence the values I instill and foster in them.

      • Steve

        The Bride of Christ can only survive through the (C)ommunity, eh? Wow. You got quite an education at Gonzaga. Keep burning the incense to Caesar. St. Aloyisius pray for us. For the Greater Glory of God as bestowed by the state.

  • Kirt Higdon

    I’m not so optimistic that GU will be only one in twelve. Aside from pursuing court challenges which will take forever to go nowhere, I expect the Church in the US to cave in general. There might be a courageous lay Catholic or two willing to go to jail over this or lose his business, but I’ll be amazed if any bishops are so willing.

    • midwestlady

      When we get right down to it, I’m not sure either way. I’ve seen so much in the past 25 years, I don’t know what to expect of the USCCB. Gonzaga’s decision doesn’t surprise me one bit though.

  • Max

    A house divided can not stand. You cannot on the one hand do absolutely nothing to teach the flock, including powerful elected Catholic politicians, that contraception and abortion is bad and on the other cry like spoiled little brats because that same flock, politicians and all, has a different view on that issue – and in fact consider it “basic health care.” Lat the weeds grow in your garden and then cry when you have no harvest. Great plan there.

    • Confederate Papist

      Is this sarcasm, or are you telling us to shut up and take it?

      Just for arguement’s sake, I will consider it the former and say; the bishops, I think, were expecting exemptions in total and not what we presently have. I could be wrong.

      If your statement reflects the latter, I would say; ain’t gonna take it and will fight it, no matter what.

      • rjolly

        I think Max is stating his frustration with an amazing lack of leadership on the Bishops part over several decades that allowed the situation to come this far. It also angers me that the Bishops did not seem to have a problem with it being foisted on private catholic businessmen, but then raised hell when the mandate included Catholic institutions.

        On the plus side this does give an opportunity to the Bishops to start excercising some moral courage/authority. We will see if that happens or not.

  • kenneth

    I’m just bemused to learn there is really such a place called “Gonzaga University.” It sounds like one of those sorts of places a man might be tempted to invent while forging credentials on his resume….. They may have caved just to get themselves on the radar screen of the general public!

    • “I’m just bemused to learn there is really such a place called “Gonzaga University.”

      apparently you don’t follow NCAA basketball!

      • Mike Petrik

        Exactly right. Perhaps Kenneth is not an American.

        • kenneth

          No, just not a “real American”! Not much of a sports guy for better and worse. If somebody feeds me beer and pizza and insists I sit down in front of their giant TV some afternoon, I won’t resist much, but I can’t have more things that I need to track on a daily or weekly basis.

  • For those who are interested, I called Gonzaga today to follow up on this. I did reach a Melissa in Human Resources, was transferred to someone in Benefits and eventually spoke with someone in their public relations office (I’m afraid I’ve already forgotten the name of that department). The long and short is that they are preparing a statement about the HHS mandate and are hoping to release it shortly.

    The woman I spoke with in that office even offered to e-mail me a copy when it is approved, which I have taken her up on. The indication was that this would probably be released within the week. In the meantime, prayers for courageous witness from Gonzaga is certainly warranted! We still have some reason to be hopeful that they will witness well.

  • B.E. Ward

    I’ll say it, just because no one has yet..

    Why Gonzaga, Seattle U, Georgetown, etc. etc. etc. are still allowed to call themselves Catholic is.. troubling.

    • midwestlady

      The word “Catholic” is in the public domain now. Good luck trying to control it now. Longer approval with signatures, yes you can control that. But the word “Catholic?” Not any more.

  • Sus

    While I don’t agree with the HHS Mandate, I’m keeping in mind that just because there is a benefit offered, doesn’t mean that people will use it. People still have free will not to use contraception.

  • Kelly Franklin, Doctoral Candidate in English

    I can see what you’re saying, Sus. And you’re right: people have the free will to use or not to use contraception.
    But I think the bigger concern is that the HHS mandate makes Catholic employers and organizations PAY for someone else’s contraception: it is, in a sense, taking the free will out of the question. It will make Catholic colleges, charities, orphanages, etc., pay for contraception and abortifacients for their employees, which constitutes participation in evil.
    It also doesn’t make a lot of sense from a civic perspective: many people from a variety of standpoints are concerned that this constitutes an overstepping of the bounds of Federal Power–that the Federal Government ought not have the right to dictate that organizations participate in something they consider to be a moral evil. God Bless!

    • rjolly

      Let me first state that I think the HHS mandate is both unconstitutional and immoral.

      However, I’m not sure to what degree someone would be culpable of sin if forced to pay for a plan which provides for contraception or abortion (child murder). After all, Jesus stated that Jews should pay taxes to the Romans even though those taxes went to fund immoral activities (along with the legitimate things a government should do).

      I think that this is an example of God letting us have the government we want (we being the majority of voters, not any one group or individuals). If we desire to not have God as the foundation of our government then we will have something else- which will always degenerate into something which enslaves us. In the meantime those who still accept God as the supreme authority will have that loyalty tested. We live in interesting times.

    • Will

      If you get technical, many states and companies have had these benefits for years. So taxpayers and stockholders have been paying these benefits.

  • Advocate

    True, but it also so means that a Catholic university in the Jesuit tradition is paying money to participate in an insurance program that provides abortion and contraceptive coverage. Money is fungible, so participation in the insurance program is participation in abortion and contraception.

    So much for being a prophetic witness against the currents of the zeitgeist. Cowards.

  • Will

    Is there confirmation directly from the university?

  • Caroline

    What actual control do bishops have over these institutions? Aren’t they all corporations with maybe token priests or nuns on their boards and payrolls? I would imagine a bishop could hit the priests and religious with canon law and its consequences, ultimately to find another job, but over the laymen running the institution, what power does a bishop really have?

    • midwestlady

      Bingo! You get the gold star. Yes, most of these are corporations run by lay boards. The religious orders who once founded them are all but defunct, the average age of their members usually being far older than retirement age. This is retirement income for them. In addition, there was a big push in the latter half of the 20th century to transfer the approval and oversight of these congregations to apostolic status instead of diocesan status, making them international and harder to regulate. This means that the bishops can’t touch them, but the bishops of course aren’t going to tell you that. The bishop, even the USCCB, has far less influence in some of these things than they are leading you to believe they have. That’s one of the more interesting “moving pieces” of this mess.

  • midwestlady

    Did you expect Gonzaga not to cave? Nothing about this surprises me. There will be more, unfortunately.

  • Jgillen

    Unfortunately many of the people in Spokane that I used to think were good Catholics, that taught my children’s CCD classes, are now proud to have voted for Obama and gay marriage. Some work or worked at Gonzaga. I guess I am dissapointed but no longer surprised.

  • BobRN

    No one should be surprised that a Jesuit university would give example that Catholic moral teaching is optional, and it doesn’t sound like many are. Of course, the enemies of the Church will use this to buttress their position, and I wonder if it will influence decisions by the courts. It’ll be harder for any Catholic institution or individual to claim that the HHS mandate is a strike against their religious freedom with the example of so-called Catholic institutions jumping on the HHS bandwagon.

    I fear the time is approaching when the Church will be divided actually. In deciding where we’ll worship, we may someday have to ask the position of such and such parish on matters of grave moral teaching: does this parish support gay “marriage”, abortion “rights” etc…, or is it faithful to Catholic faith and morals? Frankly, we’re almost there.

  • FrMichael

    Let’s face it, a large percentage, perhaps a majority of the vulnerable institutions– colleges, hospitals, and social services– are CINOs. When it comes to the almighty buck vs. being in communion with the Church, many are going to take the buck.

    It’s not like AmChurch has been in the business of raising saints the past forty years.

    God have mercy on us!