Dear Church Militant: We Read Books with Explicit Homosexual Content at FUS

Dear Church Militant: We Read Books with Explicit Homosexual Content at FUS January 13, 2019
Athenian Artwork of Pederast Courtship. Source: Louvre Museum, Wikipedia Commons

 

My freshman year at Franciscan University of Steubenville, I was required to read books that contained graphic sexual content, including graphic homosexual content.

 

I had never been exposed to such content in literature before. My father had decided that his children needed to be homeschooled so that we would be protected from content such as this, content that might destroy our innocence. I was raised with fear of the corrupting power of books with any kind of sexual content. If I was concerned, I’d give a book to my mother first to read and approve.

 

Imagine my shock freshman year when I learned what the term “buggering” was from Aristophanes’s The Clouds. Picture my discomfort when we read Plato’s Symposium (and fifteen other dialogues, including the Republic and Apology), all in my freshman year in Honors 102 under Dr. Michael Sirilla, a professor I loved and respected, head of the theology department masters program. These works are rife with explicit homosexual content, including pederasty (sexual acts between adult men and young boys). I distinctly remember Dr. Sirilla apologizing for this content, but requiring us to read it nonetheless.

 

These uncomfortable losses of innocence continued throughout my time at Franciscan University.

 

A dear friend in the other Honors section my freshman year cried when she was forced to read Lysistrata by Aristophanes because of how explicit and jarring the sexual content was (it has perhaps more sexual jokes and puns than any other Greek play, and pictures the men walking around with visible erections, among other things). I learned in my embryology class how homosexual sex acts are conducted, which I had never known before. I was frankly instructed in sexual anatomy and the male and female responses to sexual stimulation. I also learned in that class that semen tastes salty.

 

Yes, I learned these things in classes at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

 

My sophomore year in Honors, we read Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, in which I read passages such as: “They stuffed bitter vetch up the genital passages of their victims and drove sharp stakes into their seats.” The following semester we read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and unlike at Christendom, we weren’t warned to skip the explicit scenes.

 

My junior year, Dr. John Pilsner assigned a notoriously ribald text called Gargantua and Pentagruel by François Rabelais. Rather than avoiding the shockingly sexual scenes, Dr. Pilsner specifically assigned these parts (and skipped others). He explained that often, Rabelais used sexual, lewd, and grotesque content to reveal sacred and divine mysteries. As it’s put in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition:

The term ‘Rabelaisian humour’ can be generally taken to mean humour whose basis is any of the body parts (particularly the naughty ones), bodily noises, bodily functions, and the appetites including, of course, randy sex1.

He was a satirist and while his prose was sublime for its sheer inventiveness, he did not typically trouble himself with double entendre or any other form of subtlety. Instead, he elevated pure bawdiness to art, with a capital F.

 

I remember so many parts of this book that we discussed in that class, things I’d certainly have assumed counted as blasphemy. There was, for example, the litany to cod (cock) that represented a litany to the saints. There was the weird, grotesque scene of a woman smeared with a female dog’s scent gland who was chased through the streets, somehow representing a Eucharistic procession.

 

Is it shocking that Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pentagruel was a banned book at various times throughout history?

 

Like Sirilla, Pilsner also apologized for making us read such explicit things, but defended them as an insight into mystery. He emphasized Rabelais as one of the foremost innovative writers of the renaissance era.

 

So, dear Church Militant, Christine Niles, Laura Sirilla, Anne Hendershott, and everyone upset whose panties are in a wad that Dr. Stephen Lewis, my thesis advisor and a professor I admire very much indeed, assigned a book that contained sexual scenes: well, you’ll just have to be angry at Dr. Michael Sirilla and Dr. John Pilsner, too.

If you want to be angry that Dr. Lewis assigned The Kingdom in an advanced literature course, then be consistent. Be angry that Plato was assigned in a Great Books seminar. And if you can’t recognize how ignorant it would be to ban Plato, then I’m not sure you’re capable of the intellect needed to pursue a  liberal arts degree.

 

Universities exist  for the purpose of free exploration and education.

 

They are there to challenge our prejudices and assumptions and make us think, deeply and often uncomfortably. I was often shocked and made uncomfortable by the reading I assigned  in my classes at Franciscan University. However, as one of my favorite professors taught me, art ought to make us uncomfortable. If it doesn’t make us uncomfortable, it isn’t doing it’s job as art. Moreover, what you seem to have missed about this particular book that Dr. Lewis assigned is that Lewis was not endorsing the content. He assigned it to be analyzed in contrast to Christian depictions of biblical literature and understanding. This is vital training for a literature scholar who will likely move on to secular schools and encounter far more shocking works.

 

I am glad I read each of these works during my education. My education would have been lacking in richness and depth if it had skipped any one of them. Reading them under the guidance of Dr. Sirilla and Dr. Pilsner made me respect these works and these professors more, not less.

 

So untangle those panties, why don’t you. Or at least be consistent, for fuck’s sake.

 

Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pederastic_courtship_Louvre_CA3096_n2.jpg

About Marie Kopp
Marie Kopp is our foundress. She graduated in May with her bachelor’s degree in English writing and now wanders (a bit lost, usually) around Spain teaching English at a truly lovely Catholic school. She hopes to pursue Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) so that she can continue working with immigrants and refugees as she did two summers ago in Kansas City, Missouri. You can read more about the author here.
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  • Laura Pittenger

    Marie, well done.

  • Ancalagon

    “So, dear Church Militant, Christine Niles, Laura Sirilla, Anne Hendershott, and everyone upset whose panties are in a wad that Dr. Stephen Lewis, my thesis advisor and a professor I admire very much indeed, assigned a book that contained sexual scenes: well, you’ll just have to be angry at Dr. Michael Sirilla and Dr. John Pilsner, too.”

    The quote you posted from Laura Sirilla asserts that the text contains “sexual blasphemy.” Most of the criticisms I’ve seen focus on this aspect, and it should be obvious that the critics are concerned because of the allegedly sacrilegious nature of the text, not so much because it contains lude references.

    I haven’t read the book, so i have no idea if the complaints are legitimate, by the way.

  • Mary

    If that litany to the cod isn’t a portrayal of “sexual blasphemy,” I don’t know what is. And apparently that was okay.

  • Jim Russell

    ***So untangle those panties, why don’t you. Or at least be consistent, for fuck’s sake.***

    Another FUS alumna vulgarian here on Patheos. How many of you are there?

  • Mary

    Lulz.

  • chezami

    Totally still a Deacon Sea Lion weighs in to strain at gnats and swallow camels. A petty little Puritan who stalks people and destroys the lives of innocent people whose boots he is not worthy to lick. Your Cult Militant is a stain and a cancer on the Church. St. Louis is insane if they ever restore you to the diaconate you disgrace, you vile bully.

  • nicole

    What about song of songs in the bible. Should we remove that just for CM and the like? You know youg adults might find out that other people have sex.

    Can anybody explain this puritanical cultur to me? I just don’t get it. It is literature for heaven’s sake. If we had to remove all sex scenes from all books just imagine how poor our literature would be. Sexuality is an essential part of the human experience.

  • Dr. Sebastian Mahfood

    Wow, and I thought my publishing something like this would cause trouble. https://enroutebooksandmedia.com/childrenofslate/

  • Dorothy

    Well, presumably CM didn’t know about it until now. From what I gather from Christine Niles, it’s sources were FUS faculty members. The background to the story is the FUS faculty war. But no doubt parents will now want to know why the blasphemies of Rabelais are so important to their children’s education.

  • disqus_TJkP8Ci1Sb

    This is what I don’t understand. The Catholic Church is not puritanical. Why do we let CM and other organizations pretend it is? People are letting CM dictate how Catholics are educated, and honestly, that isn’t their job. Are we no longer reading Shakespeare? Because news flash, Church Militant, he wasn’t exactly virginal in his writing. Either we are okay with Liberal Arts or we aren’t, but that isn’t up to Church Militant to decide.

  • Jim Russell

    You are a disturbed person. You truly need help, Mark Shea. So many good and faithful people see it in you. In all sincerity, look at your recent history and do something to find healing. As to stalking, you are the bully who can’t seem to *stop* both publicly and privately stalking me with these kind of attacks.

  • Dorothy

    I’m saddened by the description of your friend crying over Lysistrata. A rough intellectual deflowering can hurt–and leave scars. There are sensitive ways of presenting these texts, and it should also be worth considering that Plato didn’t intend his work to be read by very carefully protected 17 year old girls. Although we disagree with the 5th c. Athenian belief that teenage girls who aren’t sex workers shouldn’t see plays or read philosophy, it is worth considering the feelings of sexually modest students–especially at a college where girls have been sexually assaulted by authority figures. Education should be a leading out, not a forced march or a rape. “Too bad, kids! Grow up! This is Culture, buggery, blasphemy and all! It will turn you homeschooled rubes into Paris-worthy Sophisticates!” is not a good philosophy of education. I hope student life counsellors are taking seriously the hurt of sexually modest students and not just shaming them with, “But Aristophanes is so IMPORTANT!” Yes, he is (in certain circles). But so are the students.

    I’m also astonished that anyone is forced to read Rabelais. I have degrees in Classical Civilisation, English Literature and Theology from the University of Toronto, and although of course I have read Plato and Aristophanes, I was never forced to read Rabelais—or, to my recall, any explicitly pornographic or blasphemous work. (Presumably “Ulysses” was an elective.) Nor were the mechanics of sterile sexual acts explained to me by professors. If FUS grads wonder if that’s normal—that’s not normal.

    I was 100% on the side of Professor Lewis against the anonymous colleagues who sicced the media on him until I read this post. Still sympathetic to Lewis, actually, but now wondering about the way professors use their power at FUS.

  • Jim Russell

    Mary Pezzulo–what do you think of the false equivalency that forms the core of this post? I don’t find it very compelling. Especially when the FUS administration and the teacher himself are apparently on the same page, agreeing that his inclusion of the pornographic book counted as a lapse in judgment on his part.

  • nicole

    The funny thing is pretty much throught all of the last 1000 years the catholic church was criticised for being to open about sex. Catholics always liked to have a bit of “fun”. There were monks writting about sex, and not just chastity books. There were treaties about the female orgasm for example.

    I can understand that people are critical of the liberal arts but being this puritanical is just ridiculous. Maybe those catholic colleges are just really strange but even in my technical university we constantly discussed sex and the like.

  • harveydude

    So we learn from this little blog entry that discussion about visible erections and homosexual acts in ancient Greece are on equal par with graphic descriptions of St. Mary engaged in female masturbation.

    Too bad they didn’t teach logic when Ms. Kopp was attending Franciscan.

  • Michelle McDermott

    Literature that suggests that Our Bleesed Mother most likely
    did masturbate??????
    No that’s not being puritanical, that’s called defending Catholic teaching and truth
    Sorry Nicole but that’s not literature it is blasphemous!
    People pay a lot of money and entrust their children to FU with the idea they will be protected from this trash.

  • Margaret Taylor Ulizio

    One of the most notable things in all these discussions about the Kingdom and FUS is everyone’s use of the terms “child” and “children” when referring to upper level college students. They aren’t children, they are adults. I looked at the comment section at Church Militant, and every other comment was about how FUS wasn’t protecting the children, as if a university is not more than a daycare. Do parents really think it is appropriate to monitor the reading material of their adult children? What an embarrassment. If the Catholic intellectual tradition thinks it can move forward and speak to the challenges the future will bring, it has got to do better than a bunch of parents screeching about their inability to control everything their adult children might encounter, even at a Catholic university. I have started reading the book, and haven’t hit any of the naughty parts yet (in other words there is a lot more to the book than what is being reported). Much of it so far is an autobiographical account of the author’s own religious experience, and I find it really interesting.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Kopp:
    John 14:15

    Our goal here on earth is to save our immortal souls. We do so by loving Our Lord ad Savior Jesus Christ. He told us that if we loved him then we would keep His Commandments. Two of those Commandments concern sins of the flesh. These sins include unchaste thoughts, pornography, self abuse, sodomy, adultery, fornication et al. The aforementioned are all serious or mortal sins that if we die with just one unforgiven on our souls we are damned to Hell for all eternity.

    So why would you, your professors and you University assign and study works that glorify deadly sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments? Why would you publicly defend such works. Have you no concern for your own immortal soul and the souls of others? Why the casual vulgarity of your article?

    In any case I will certainly not send any of my own to your University, nor would I allow you to teach them or even have any contact with them.

    May I suggest that you turn to Christ and reform your life?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Shea:
    Teaspoon of honey vs. Barrel of vinegar

    Why in the world would you use such language? If you believe Mr. Russell is endangering his own and other souls do you think a very public attack will change his ways?

    Calm. Calm. Calm.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Ulizio:

    No one, adult or otherwise, has the right to expose himself to literature that glorifies the braking of God’s Commandments. No University, Catholic or otherwise, has the right to expose its students to literature that glorifies the braking of God’s Commandments. Indeed we have an obligation to flee temptation. If the charges are true then I would suggest that parents and their children, adult or otherwise, flee this University for the sake of their immortal souls.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Nicole:

    Where in the Song of Songs is sexual sin presented as a positive good and indeed glorified?

    The Song of Songs concerns marital love. A love that is stronger than death.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. disqus:

    Shakespeare did not present such evils as sodomy as a positive good.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Nicole:

    Please. University has become prohibitively expansive. Many students are turned into life long debtors and wage slaves. And you tell me that all this money is specter to you can constantly discuss sex and the like?

    Perhaps the pursuit of a blue collar job without the debt and without the sexual immorality would be better option?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Sarah

    I actually read Rabelais for the first time in honours English in high school, and for the record, yes it was a Catholic school. We were reading Gulliver’s Travels (unabridged) at the time, and our teacher wanted to give us some examples of similar uses of grotesque imagery. I’d say I was pretty sheltered, and amazingly not scarred for life.

    I now have a couple of degrees in Comparative Literature (University of Alberta and University of Toronto), and I most definitely had assigned reading both as an undergrad and grad student that contained explicit material. Yes, I found some of it a bit shocking (I really should have read a synopsis before we watched David Cronenberg’s Crash), but I was old enough to realize that it was meant to be educational, not titillating, and that my hang ups were my own. There was also assigned (and required) reading that could be considered blasphemous. For example, studying modern Quebecois literature I ran into A Season in the Life of Emmanuel more than once. It’s an important text in the context of societal change in Quebec in the 60s, but it paints the Church (particularly religious) in a very unflattering and explicitly sexual light.

    If a professor knows a lot of their students have been incredibly sheltered it may make sense to preface the material for them (at least for a first year class), but that doesn’t mean that they can’t, or shouldn’t cover those texts at all. To censor literature that way does their students a great intellectual disservice.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Sarah:

    Find a single Saint, in the long history of the Church, who either assigned such trash to his students or voluntarily read ad studied it himself.

    We are put here on earth to be Saints. Saints do not read trash that glorifies sexual sin.

    Kindly reflect.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Dorothy

    I suspect I got my non-theology degrees long before you did and specialised in different periods, which would explain the lack of explicit stuff. I read a lot of Aristophanes (and acted in Aristophanes) without turning a hair or bursting into tears, but then I started university at 19, not 17, and I wasn’t homeschooled. My own Catholic school was relatively careful–oh, the gasps when we all saw Romeo’s bare behind in Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Funny, now, but also touching.

    I agree that censorship is wrong (I don’t think anyone should actually BAN Rabelais) but I think there should be more student freedom to choose the mental furniture which which one will stock one’s mind. At U of T, at least in the 90s, students had a lot of freedom in choosing courses, and within courses there was a certain amount of choice of what books you were going to read. Also, I hate the idea that sexual modesty is a “hang up.” I know for a fact that some Catholic undergrads drink themselves into a stupor to conquer their “hang ups” in order to have sex. The poor things have no idea that not wanting to have sex with strangers is good, healthy, normal and known to non-Catholics. Being embarrassed by sex scenes in Cronenberg films is a healthy sign of modesty, not a psychological problem, if you’ll pardon me for saying so.

    One thing about studying at secular universities: by the time you graduate, you don’t think obscenity or ability to wade through porn are signs of intellectual sophistication.

    You also learn that Catholics don’t “own” the Blessed Virgin Mary and that we aren’t the only sexually modest people around.

  • raphaelheals

    Thank you so much Richard!! The modernists use every excuse in the book to promote their filth. How the words in the book The Kingdom can be condoned as art and necessary are beyond my comprehension. Once one has read the words and internalized them, they can never be unread and they will trouble one as an occasion for sin for a long time. To blaspheme and eroticize the Blessed Mother of God, Mary most holy, is to tread on dangerous ground indeed.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. R:

    Our Lord and Savior did not hold a PhD. He condemned the Scribes and Pharisees who held the ancient equivalent. Yet learned men, like Aquinas and Augustine, have illuminated our Faith. The University is a Catholic invention. And the Church has always served a patron of the arts and sciences. Indeed without the Church all the ancient knowledge would be lost.

    The great tragedy here, is not Greek; but the sad fact that it is almost impossible to attend a Catholic University or Seminary without endangering one’s immortal soul because of rampant sexual immorality.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • TradMom3

    Sir,
    I believe the term “child” or “children” is being used to illustrate the point that, although legally adults, these students are still impressionable and furthermore, parent are paying for this “education”. They certainly have every right to have full disclosure about what is being introduced to their “children”.

  • Sarah

    Perhaps “hang up” wasn’t the right choice of terms, as it implies that there’s something wrong about finding certain topics uncomfortable; there certainly isn’t. On the whole I think we’re in agreement.

    Particularly for students starting out in academia, I do think the occasional content warning is appropriate, mostly they can prepare themselves for what they’re studying, not so it can be taken off the curriculum entirely. I do think there’s a benefit to needing to navigate difficult or challenging texts in a critical, academic framework, but there’s also a lot of modern literature that aims to shock simply for shock’s sake, and which gets far too much praise in academia these days.

    I started undergrad when I was 18 in the very late 90s, and grad school in the early 2000s, and while I had quite a bit of choice in what courses to take, most of the reading lists within those courses weren’t particularly flexible, even at the graduate level, so some things have definitely changed over the years. It may also be a function of the quirks of individual universities and departments.

    By the time I got to the Cronenberg while working on my MA, I largely considered it my own fault that I hadn’t done a bit of research first and got blindsided by it. By the time I got to grad school I was aware that I’d made some very different life choices than my peers, and had a different level of familiarity with/exposure to certain things. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with my embarrassment, but also considered my own morals and comfort levels to be my own responsibility, not the responsibility of my professors. For the record, it’s definitely not a film that I ever plan to see again, nor would recommend to anyone, but I understand why the prof assigned it in that particular course.

    From what I gather with the text in question that was assigned at FUS, the topic of the seminar was particularly looking at ways the secular media present Catholicism, and how faithful Catholics might respond to it, so I think in that context it seems a very appropriate inclusion on the syllabus. I haven’t read the book in question however, so take that with a grain of salt.

  • TradMom3

    Dear Ms Kopp,
    I am truly sorry to read of your experiences at FUS. The examples you cited are from the deepest pits of Hell. The fact that you are defending it in any way is of serious consequence to your immortal soul. I pray for your conversion & repentance. Please, take a look at yourself. And I mean this with true charity.

  • Ame

    I appreciate your perspective as a current student at FUS, with the maturity to understand that most of the examples you listed are legitimate uses of academic freedom to teach difficult lessons of life in the world we live in. My two contentions specifically concerning The Kingdom are 1) the sexual debasement of a woman and mother we Catholics happen to believe is a real historical person [really, would you read a book that mused on Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s or Former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s or Mother Teresa’s presumed bedroom antics as part of some illogical point about sexuality and not feel the impulse to call out on the use of another patriarchal book that jests in its sexual objectification of real women? Or at least consider it time to drop your course] and 2) the use of the defense of academic freedom without responsibility for its consequences. Ethically, one must consider whether the material is the right and just means to an end, rather than selecting because it’s sure to shock people into thinking why a person could write such things.

    Yeah, art can make people uncomfortable and it is important to be willing to engage in that discomfort as an important examination of oneself and society, but there are far better choices to achieve that goal than from an overrated author who gets lauded for the occcasional insight of the paradoxes of Christianity despite his own vile treatment of women’s sexuality. I will forever recommend Gloria Anzaldua’s “Borderlands” because no matter how provoking her counternarrative to the Church and Mary, she treats her subjects with solemnity, as the voice of the Other crying in the wilderness, struggling to be free.

  • Jerry

    Says the apostle of Francis the Merciful’s special brand of charity and compassion.

    No seriously, that comment above drips with a degree of hate and venom that is positively disturbing.

  • Dorothy

    I too think we are in agreement. What distresses me about this internecine FUS war that the rest of the world has been invited into via CM and LSN is that it has so quickly devolved into a slanging match, one side calling the other “prude” or “pervert”.

    It would help settle the dispute, I think, if the course aims, schedule and booklist were released to the public, so that everyone could see for themselves why the professor himself thought the work worth addressing. If a student honestly recalls that the professor warned the class that they would find several pages very distressing, that would be helpful too.

  • Sarah

    I’m afraid that I don’t have access to a comprehensive list of the libraries of every saint who ever lived. I suspect at least a few of them probably read Shakespeare, or Chaucer, or Rabelais though.

    I do think that there are some books that aren’t worth reading, even in an academic context, but to purge our universities of anything that even has a whiff of explicit content denies our students (who are, incidentally, adults) the ability to engage with the world in an informed and critical manner. There’s a pretty big difference between “critical analysis of a culturally or historically important text” and “glorifying sexual sin”. The stuff I had to read at university certainly wasn’t titillating, even when it did get a bit graphic. You also assume that all works with explicit content always paint that content in a morally positive light. I can assure you that they do not.

    I think the trend towards culturally insular Catholicism deprives our future writers, artists, etc. of the experience and skills they need to continue the Church’s great artistic legacy. It also makes us less and less able to be salt and light for the world, since we’re hiding from that world with our fingers stuck in our ears hoping that if we ignore it, it will go away.

  • Margaret Taylor Ulizio

    I absolutely disagree. It is an aberration to have parents micromanaging their children’s education when said children are adults. If your kid isn’t capable of handling controversial subjects by the time they are in their early 20s, then you have done a poor job as a parent. What is so pathetic about this FUS situation is how many parents are still speaking for their adult children. I have a 7th grade daughter, and when she has an issue at school we expect her to speak up for herself first before resorting to us. Upper level college students are not children, they are adults. If one of them in the course had a problem with the reading, he or she should have gone to the professor rather than running home to mommy. What have the students in the course said about their experience. I would rather hear from them, but apparently their parents won’t allow them to be grown-ups. We are all impressionable, even old people. That is no excuse for treating adults like they are infants.

  • Maggie

    For “f***’s” sake? Well apparently the author learned vulgarity at Franciscan too—Yes, a number of formerly ‘catholic’ universities were all about opening the minds of the young people, so much so that the loss of faith has been gigantic. What was it someone said–minds so opened that the brains fall out. What does it matter to gain the whole world and lose your soul?

  • Ame

    It’s a response to how the Milennials and Generation Z looks at adulthood as they grow up as digital natives without mentors that can help them discern truth and relationships in a digital age. Your generation takes for granted the milestones that mark independence and adulthood. For so many today, it’s hard to perceive oneself as an adult even with getting a job, a degree, a house, a spouse, etc. Heck, theytcan stillsbe regarded as dependents of their parents up to age 26 for health insurance. For many, it’s not until they finally have children, dependents, that they define themselves as adults. I myself have a hard time understanding this, despite demographers lumping me at the front end of the Millenial generation (I remember living in a house with no personal computer or internet) as my parents could not afford to have me as a dependent soon after I graduated from high school. It was sink or swim. But I had to learn to accept my peers when a student just a few years younger than me in grad school told a professor “I am not an adult, I’m still learning how to be one.” Academia has accepted this phenomenon over the last couple of decades, but older generations created this current digital era and helicopter parenting and dare call Millennials “snowflakes” rather than admit to the folly. You want adults to be adults? Be a mentor to them.

  • Maggie

    Reading pornographic materials is sinful even for “adults”.

  • Ame

    One final note: I would like the students to try to challenge such professor choices by discussion how, in any way, the use of pornographic material in curriculum could contribute to the culture of sexual abuse that seeped into university grounds and is being swept under the rug by certain administrators past and present.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Ulizio:

    Pornography, sodomy, bestiality et al;are not controversial subjects. They are intrinsically evil. The University, administration and professors are materially cooperating in the promotion of serious sin and in so doing endangering their students’ immortal souls as well as their own. If the University is going to promote grave evil it should first warn students and parents and stop calling itself Catholic.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Sarah:

    Neither Shakespeare nor Chaucer presented intrinsically evil acts as positive goods.

    If a Catholic University cannot purge its texts of content that promotes evil as good then it should either shut itself down or cease to call itself Catholic.

    We now have millions of young people with expensive college degrees with which they cannot find work in their fields. Yet they are burdened with staggering, lifelong debt. Worse many have lost their Christian faith and have embraced very sinful habits that endanger their immortal souls.

    We would be better off without such Universities.

    Kindly reflect.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • mparks12

    There is no equivalence between the literature she discusses and the writings ordered by Lewis. The fact that she can’t see that means that she has not been educated, which is itself reason to discount FUS.

  • Evangeline1031

    Well, the last comment reveals the poor state of mind and soul of this person writing this. Substituting “f***” for anyone other word, indicates a seething anger as well as limited vocabulary, what one might expect.
    Look, I earned my Master’s degree at a respected state university school, and I’d match my undergrad and grad education against pretty much anybody’s, and no, I didn’t graduate in the dinosaur era, but 2000. I remember reading Greek tragedies and comedies and taking philosophy, etc. At no point, AT NO POINT, during my education, was I ever subjected to the perverse, disgusting, anti-God, anti-Christian and pro-homosexual dirt they now call “education”. Even as an adult, I would have been horrified by reading pornographic material such as this. At a Catholic university? This is so appalling. Parents need to really rethink sending their children to a university that would assign pornography like this. Young people have such limited experience in the world, as we see this person defends the people who corrupted her. What an unholy mess.

  • nicole

    You don’t get what an education is for. You get educated to engage with the world not to be sheltered from it. Yes the book is blasphemy. I’m not defending it. However, have you ever spend a good 10′ talking to atheists? Trust me saying the blessed virgin masturbated is the nicest thing that comes out of some of their mouths. How should we as catholics be able to handle attacks on our faith and the blessed virgin, we need to know the other side. That is why such books need to be read. I know a few catholics who totally live in their bubbles and it is so difficult to engage with them. They do not understand how regular people think.

    I’m a computer scientist and during my uni times in the “programming” classes that we had we studied bad code, i.e. stuff you should not do. We studied absolute bs in order to know what not to do. Unis are not bubbles they are places to engage with the world and broaden your horizon.

  • nicole

    It depends where you study. I studied at one of the top 10 unis in the world and paid approx. 600$ a semester. The reason for that is that my government functions properly.

    I am not a fan of everybody going to uni. In fact i think most liberal arts degrees are useless. I prefer our system where only the “best” 10-20% go to uni and the rest learns a (often) well paying job via an apprenticeship. So even for white collar work you do not need a BA.

    As for the topic of sex in a liberal arts education. I never said that students should only or mostly learn about sex. However, sex is part of the human experience. Reading only books without any sexual content just does not work. How should a student learn about the world, God and literature without every encountering sexual content. Obviously sex should only be a small part of everything but it should be there, because it is part of human cultur. Humans have sex, talk about sex, think about sex and write about it. You can have individual works without sex but the entite western canon without sex is rather inthinkable.

    Btw i find that catholics are the ones who most often speak about different forms of sex or sex related topics. It is just amazing how many times chastits, contraception and homosexuality comes up in a conversation with other catholics. Sometimes i think catholics have no other topics to discuss. When have you last had a nice conversation with catholics about just war?

  • boredoftheworld

    That’s not cultural engagement, it’s not even accommodation it’s surrender. Nevermind the other weird stuff, this business about art that doesn’t make one uncomfortable not doing its job is driving me crazy. That may be the most soulless, human centric thought I’ve ever seen expressed.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Nicole:

    Thank you for your reply.

    We are often told via Saints, apparitions and Doctors of the Church that sexual sins more than any other damn souls to Hell for all eternity. Our goal here on earth is to win our way to Heaven. Sexual sins are great obstacle. Particularly on our sex soaked and obsessed society. Therefore we must be most careful with who and how and where we discuss these delicate matters with.

    Certainly not in a coed classroom ruled by a teacher who offers his students a steady diet of perversion.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Nicloe:

    You get an education in order to pass safely through this world to Heaven. The world is fallen.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • nicole

    Well yes but that is not enough. We are called to share the gospel with others. We (at least i) live in a secular society. How can anyone invite others to the faith if we do not understand their way of thinking? How do you want to engage an atheist if you are scandalized by every second word they say?
    We have to be able to react even to insults and inappropriate things like adults.

    Just an example during uni i taught a programming course to 6th graders. One of them decided to draw a penis on his computer. I calmly told him to delete it and go back to work. He wanted to provoke me. Had i reacted harder he would have continued. This way that never happened again.
    The same thing goes for atheists. Don’t ever get angry. They only say such things to provoke and fell superior. If you are unprepared for such things, you will have a harder time at that.

  • James

    Rather the “mindless, bitter banchee with an axe to grind.”
    The texts cite equivocating a gratuitous “odium fidei” are not contemptuous of the faith. You reveal far more of your impoverishment and that of your mentor than you realize. You might be enlisted as exhibit “A” as to why Lewis should be terminated.

  • nicole

    Respectfully i disagree. Apparitions and other private revelations are not mandatory for catholics to believe. Does the catechism state that sexual sin is what damns most souls to hell? If i’m not mistaken, the church never said anybody was definitely in hell. Lust is one of the traditional 7 deadly sins. I believe we do ourselves a huge disservice if we ignore the other 6.

    Even if a majority of the human race primarily struggle with lust. Many still have other issues and problems. Those need to be talked about as well. I’m a revert to the catholic church and honestly i never found sexual sin to be a big deal. With a strong enough will and the grace of God (almost) all sexual sin can be easily avoided.

    Why would you not discuss sexual matters in a coed class? Keep in mind the people in this class are adults. If statistics are to be trusted most of them have already watched porn. By the time you are 18 you should know how the human body functions. I’m not sure about american cultur but in my cultur we learn about sex as children in coed classes and it never is a problem. Why should young american adults not be able to handle the same thing that children elsewhere can?

    Another thing, i might be wrong about this, i doubt our culture is really more sex-soaked than others. (local) history is a hobby of mine. It appears people had always had a thing for public lewdness and sex. There are stories of school toilets/outhouses beinh smeared with sexual texts and so on. Heck go 2-3 generations back and most people had to get married, because pregnancy.

    God bless you

    P.S. I’m sorry if i said anything wrong. Sometimes it is hard to think into another cultural context.

  • ace

    Exactly! The Kingdom by Emmanuel Carrère also fails in that it hints that Luke may have invented Christ’s Resurrection and that the tradition of the Holy Eucharist might have originated with Paul during his visit to Philippi (of course, I never read the book, but rather gathered these insights from reviews – in the New Yorker and The Guardian). The New Yorker also had this tidbit: “…Nowadays an agnostic, Carrère spends the early sections of this book reviewing his almost three years as a committed Christian. What shocks him is the extremism of his faith. He was drawn to theological stringency, melodramatic all-or-nothings, and obnoxiously proud circularity…” So, it would not be too far-fetched to speculate that the author has an agenda, and makes you wonder about the professor in question as well.

  • “…art ought to make us uncomfortable.”

    I must have missed it.

    When did PORN become “art”?

    Perhaps Kopp and the other half-wits at Patheos defending pornography should put down their porn and read what the Church has to say about the topic.

    Vatican: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/pccs/documents/rc_pc_pccs_doc_07051989_pornography_en.html

    5. Among the alarming developments of these years has been the widespread increase of pornography and wanton violence in the media. Books and magazines, recordings, the cinema, the theatre, television, videocassettes, advertising displays and even telecommunications frequently offer a representation of violent behaviour or of permissiveness in sexual activity that reaches the point of being openly pornographic and morally offensive.

    6. As reflections of the dark side of a human nature marred by sin, pornography and the exaltation of violence are age-old realities of the human condition. In the past quarter century, however, they have taken on new dimensions and have become serious social problems. At a time of widespread and unfortunate confusion about moral norms, the communications media have made pornography and violence accessible to a vastly expanded audience, including young people and even children, and a problem which at one time was confined mainly to wealthy countries has now begun, via the communications media, to corrupt moral values in developing nations.

    10. While no one can consider himself or herself immune to the corrupting effects of pornography and violence or safe from injury at the hands of those acting under their influence, the young and the immature are especially vulnerable and the most likely to be victimized. Pornography and sadistic violence debase sexuality, corrode human relationships, exploit individuals – especially women and young people, undermine marriage and family life, foster anti-social behaviour and weaken the moral fibre of society itself.

    11. Thus, one of the clear effects of pornography is sin. Willing participation in the production or dissemination of these noxious products can only be judged a serious moral evil. Likewise, production and dissemination of these materials could not continue if there were not a market for them, so those who use such materials not only do moral harm to themselves but contribute to the continuation of a nefarious trade.

    14. Even so called “soft core” pornography can have a progressively desensitizing effect, gradually rendering individuals morally numb and personally insensitive to the rights and dignity of others. Exposure to pornography can also be – like exposure to narcotics – habit-forming and can lead individuals to seek increasingly “hard core” and perverse material. The likelihood of anti-social behaviour can grow as this process continues.

    15. Pornography can foster unhealthy preoccupations in fantasy and behaviour. It can interfere with personal moral growth and the development of healthy and mature relationships, especially in marriage and family life, where mutual trust and openness and personal moral integrity in thought and in action are so important.

    16. Indeed, pornography can militate against the family character of true human sexual expression. The more sexual activity is considered as a continuing frenzied search for personal gratification rather than as an expression of enduring love in marriage, the more pornography can be considered as a factor contributing to the undermining of wholesome family life.

    17. In the worst cases, pornography can act as an inciting or reinforcing agent, a kind of accomplice, in the behaviour of dangerous sex offenders – child molesters, rapists and killers.

    24. PARENTS. Parents must re-double their efforts to provide for the sound moral formation of children and youth. This includes inculcation of healthy attitudes toward human sexuality based on respect for the dignity of every person as a child of God, on the virtue of chastity and on the practice of self-discipline. A well-ordered family life in which the parents are obviously faithful and committed to each other and to their children provides the best school for the formation of sound moral values. Today, too, children and young people must be taught how to be discriminating, informed consumers of media. Parents, in particular, influence their children through the example they give in this matter; parental passivity or self-indulgence in regard to media teach false and damaging lessons to the young. Of particular importance to young people is the example their parents give of true love and tenderness in marriage and of readiness to discuss matters of concern to their children in a loving and gentle manner. It must not be forgotten that, in matters of human formation, “more is obtained by reasoned explanation than by prohibition”.6

    25. EDUCATORS. The chief collaborators with parents in the moral formation of young people must be educators. Schools and other educational programs should support and inculcate the social and ethical values that promote the unity and health of families and of society itself. Of particular value are programs in media education to develop in young people a critical attitude and properly formed skills of discernment in using television, radio and other media, so that they might know how to resist manipulation and how to avoid merely passive listening and viewing habits. It is also important that schools emphasize the need for respect for the human person, the value of family life and the importance of personal moral integrity.

    26. YOUTH. Young people themselves can help to stem the tide of pornography and violence in the media by responding positively to the initiatives of their parents and educators and by taking responsibility for their own moral decisions in the choice of entertainment.

    27. THE PUBLIC. The general public also needs to make its voice heard. Individually and collectively, concerned citizens – including young people – should make their views known to producers, commercial interests and public authorities. There is an urgent need for continuing dialogue between communicators and representatives of the public so that those involved in the communications media may learn more about the real needs and interests of those whom they serve.

    28. PUBLIC AUTHORITIES. Legislators, administrators, law enforcement officials and jurists should recognize and respond to the problem of pornography and violence in the media. Sound laws must be enacted where they are lacking, weak laws must be strengthened, and existing laws must be enforced. Because the production and distribution of pornographic material has international implications, action should also be taken on the regional, continental and world levels to control this insidious traffic. Those who have already taken such initiatives deserve support and encouragement in their efforts.7 Law and the agents of law have as their most sacred duty the protection of the common good, particularly as it pertains to youth and the most vulnerable members of the community. We have already noted some of the harmful effects of pornography and violence, and we can conclude that the common good has indeed been harmed and continues to be harmed where such materials are produced, exhibited and distributed without responsible restriction or regulation. Public authorities must feel obliged to take prompt action to deal with this problem where it already exists and to prevent it from arising in places where it may not yet have become an urgent matter.

    29. THE CHURCH AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS. For the Church, the first responsibility is the constant, clear teaching of the faith and, therefore, of objective moral truth, including the truth about sexual morality. In an era of permissiveness and moral confusion, this requires that the Church be a prophetic voice and, often, a sign of contradiction. The so-called “ethic” of immediate personal gratification is fundamentally opposed to integral human growth and fulfillment. Education for family life and indeed for responsible life in society requires formation in chastity and self-discipline. By contrast, pornography and wanton violence can blind individuals to the divine image in the human person, can weaken marriage and family life and can do serious harm to individuals and to society itself. Wherever possible, the Church must join with other churches, denominations and religious groups in teaching and fostering this message. It must also make the best possible use of its own institutions and personnel to give education and formation concerning the media of social communications and their proper role in individual and social life. Special attention should be given to assisting parents in their efforts. Thus, media education belongs in Catholic schools and other educational programs, in seminaries,8 in formation programs of religious and secular institutes, in the continuing formation of priests and in parish programs for youth and adults. Priests and Religious in pastoral and educational work should themselves be discrimating consumers of media who give good example in what they read and view.

  • ace

    Yeah, and Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” set in 1912 River City, Iowa (first staged in 1957) has the mayor’s overbearing wife accuse Marian, the librarian, of advocating the books of Chaucer, Rabelais, & Balzac and of (falsely) having had inappropriate relations with Mr. Madison, a friend of her late father, and a much older man, who left the library building to the town, but all the books to Marian.

    In the play, it’s assumed that people “know” the books are vulgar, racy, & contain sexual references, and hence would be inappropriate in their community’s library. And, in the late 50’s (when the play was first staged) and the 60’s and 70’s (before internet porn) one “knew” that Playboy and Penthouse were dirty magazines without having to buy or read them. (But now, sadly, protestors and counter-protestors fight over whether there should be a Drag Queen Story Hour at a Public Library for children of targeted ages 2-8, and the event goes on – just do a search)…

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Nicole:

    My ancestors tortured, with great bestiality, tortured the Jesuit Fathers who had come to convert them and save their souls. In the end, after enduing horrific suffering, the Jesuits were successful. Not because they were worldly; but because they were innocent.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    . Nicole:

    I pray that no one is in Hell. Even New York Yankee fans. But we know that Hell exists. We know that if we die with so much as a single mortal soul on our souls unforgiven that we will be damned there for all eternity. We know for instance that the use of pornography is a mortal sin and that not only is it the biggest draw on the internet; but it floods college campuses. We further know that the sin of sodomy is one of four that calls to Heaven for vengeance; and that college campuses are overrun with the celebration of sodomy.

    It s better, for the sake of our eternity, that we are safe rather than sorry.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Michelle McDermott

    Nicole. I have raised 6 children. I know exactly what a catholic education should look like. You dont need to expose anyone to such disgusting filth to have them understand how atheists view the world.
    It’s not a bubble at a faithful catholic university, it is a place to learn what truth, beauty and goodness are.It is a place that helps you understand what it means to be human.
    No way should a work with this type of blasphemous material be presented to any person .
    There are other sources to use that this is not necessary.
    To answer your question I had an atheist very close to me who converted to Catholicism after many conversations with me
    and she read good books I gave
    her. I prayed for her for 6 years too.But yes I have spoken and have a good understanding of how they think.

  • chezami

    You and your vicious cult have just successfully destroyed the good name of a faithful son of the Church and you have the *gall* to talk about charity and compassion? Repent, you miserable Pharisee.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Shea:
    Teaspoon of honey vs. Barrel of vinegar -2

    Again, what good does such rhetoric do? Our Holy Father Francis as asked us to build bridges and engage in dialogue. You appear insteadto be intent on waging some sort of fratricidal civil war.

    Calm. Calm. Calm.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Jim Russell

    Oh, shut *up* already, Mark. You are insufferably bullying and arrogant.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Deacon Russell:

    Calm. Calm. Calm.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Jim Russell

    Fair enough–I edited my original. 🙂 Thanks.

  • LW

    “I learned in my embryology class how homosexual sex acts are conducted, which I had never known before. I was frankly instructed in sexual anatomy and the male and female responses to sexual stimulation. I also learned in that class that semen tastes salty.”

    Marie, why is this noteworthy? Had you not been homeschooled, you would have learned this in 8th or 9th grade health class.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Deacon Russell:

    Truly thou art a gentleman and a scholar!

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Ame

    The more I think of it, the more I think Simone Weil’s writings would be richer fare for students to dive into than The Kingdom.

  • a sinner

    According to your logic, I have sinned by reading your post, because it mentions and calls to my mind those acts. You have been a near occasion of sin for me. Repent.

  • a sinner

    That applies if the material is porn- as in logging onto the internet to read bodice rippers. But if material has sinful things in it- and the reader does not subscribe or get any enjoyment from reading, but has the intent to read for understanding the nature of sin, for example, or to be informed of the dangers that in the world- how can that be sinful? By the same token, I could have sinned by reading the Church Militant site’s descriptions of the readings. Or Richard’s descriptions of sexual sins above…

  • ace

    Agree with this choice (Weil).

    But, speaking of other voices, have you read “Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8” by Naoki Higashida (A Young Man’s Voice From the Silence of Autism)? I started reading it before I looked up a YouTube on him. I’ve been around lots of people with differing disabilities, several with autism or autistic traits, BUT, watching Naoki on YouTube and thinking about and imagining how difficult it is for him to write, one letter at a time, was painful. I had to stop reading his writing and poetry for a bit while I integrated these perceptions (a way different experience than, for example, seeing and reading Temple Grandin – whose book “Thinking in Pictures” would also be a good choice).

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Ulizio:

    It is not my logic; but Christ’s: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28

    Pornography is a serious problem. Most of the internet is devoted to it. To include internet access for college campuses.

    Time to turn to Christ.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Dr. D

    This lady basically proves Church Militant right. “So untangle those panties, why don’t you. Or at least be consistent, for fuck’s sake.” She basically proves she was corrupted. She also has an anger issue with her parents for homeschooling and sheltering her. And her English isn’t that good for someone who claims to love literature. It’s sad she cannot see the difference between classics that contain homosexual themes (before Christ was born) and a modern book that focuses on perversions of the Blessed Mother.

  • Dr. D

    This lady basically proves Church Militant right. “So untangle those panties, why don’t you. Or at least be consistent, for f***’s sake.” She basically proves she was corrupted. She also has an anger issue with her parents for homeschooling and sheltering her. And her English isn’t that good for someone who claims to love literature. It’s sad she cannot see the difference between classics that contain homosexual themes (before Christ was born) and a modern book that focuses on perversions of the Blessed Mother.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. a sinner:
    1 Corinthians 6:18

    We are to flee temptation. “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Paul

    You really should know better than to write filth like that where any innocent passerby on the internet could read it.

  • Lacemaker

    Richard has quite the stick up his butt.

  • Paul

    Until reading the comments here of people such as yourself claiming to be shocked, I had no idea of the exact nature of the objectionable material. It is horrible, but you share it with embarrassing relish.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Paul:

    Please. This rubbish is regularly shoved down the throats of students at Catholic Colleges for the past 50-years. It has corrupted countless souls. It is a Christian duty to expose such evils.

    Kindly reflect.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Paul:

    The majority of the internet is devoted to pornography.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Lacemaker:

    Richard has seen the Catholic Church all but disappear in America due to sexual immorality. The danger to souls is immense.

    Kindly reflect.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • USFred

    “So untangle those panties, why don’t you. Or at least be consistent, for f**k’s sake.”

    Your parents must be so proud.

  • USFred

    And I’m so glad that you now know what semen tastes like. Worth every penny of that tuition!

  • Pollos Hermanos

    Oh go fuck yourself you papist nutter.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Pollos Hermanos

    Bigotry, such as your, is always ugly; and counter productive.

    Kindly reflect.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Pollos Hermanos

    Nah.

    I’ve been directly on the receiving end of abuse from the crackpots over at Church Militant.

    Anybody associated with that badly wigged nutball can kindly go fuck themselves.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Pollos Hermanos

    Thank you for your reply.

    I do not think that Deacon Russell has anything to do with CM.

    And Almighty God is offended by vulgarity.

    Kindly reflect.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Pollos Hermanos

    “Almighty God” has much bigger fish to fry than an occasional F bomb.

    Pretty sure he’s madder about hucksters using his name to make a buck than he is about a word that wasn’t directed at him.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Pollos Hermanos

    Thank you for your reply.

    Ephesians 4:29 ESV::
    Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Pollos Hermanos

    Weird that you think throwing a meaningless passage at me is going to make me stop.

    Your voodoo only works on people who give a shit.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Pollos Hermanos

    Thank you for your reply.

    Not weird at all. Been going on for 2,000-years. I can only bear witness. It is the Holy Ghost who converts a soul. Be open to the Holy Ghost.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Julann Roe

    “Art ought to make us uncomfortable” Drivel from the university class of people. Here’s what I think: The fine arts, all of them, should lift the soul to God. Oh, but I don’t have 5 PhD’s. So, Ms. Kopp, YOU choose to believe whom you choose. There are other, better ideas than that out there. Why not believe me? Or Gene Veith, who has written about the biblical standards of beauty?

    The Greek culture was rife with homosexuality. If a culture is promulgated with homosexuality, should a Christian or a Christian culture emulate it? Take its example as its own? No. Classical works are important, but there is literature in the Christian world just as great or greater than those written by a pederast culture. Why didn’t your professors study other works?

    You even admit that your innocence was stolen by Lysistrata, The Cloulds, etc. It’s too bad for you. Too late, now. Those professors should have been more responsible.

  • Julann Roe

    Troll. Mr. Comerford is refreshing.

  • Julann Roe

    Why learn it at all? It’s such a perversion. Should we study bestiality?

  • Andrew Sorokowski

    You cannot cultivate purity if you don’t know its opposite. You cannot cultivate Christian virtue if you don’t understand what it opposes, and why. Nor can you be firm in your rejection of pornography until you see its ugliness — indeed, its banality — in contrast to the beauty of true art. It is only by studying the classics of literature that we can learn to distinguish good literature from bad. To call Rabelais or Aristophanes pornographers is to be culturally ignorant. And that’s what a narrow education brings. Moreover, the under-educated are often the first to fall. The university is the time when one is exposed to the fallen world around us, and learns to resist it.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. R:

    Thank you.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Andrew Sorokowski

    This is an alleged Catholic University. Not a Lutheran one. (” Be a sinner, and sin lustily”). We must flee temptation not put it under a microscope and examine it in detail. (1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body)

    Your argument is yet another reason not to endanger young souls by sending them to FUS.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • harveydude

    I presume your comment was not directed at me, but at the writer who put forward such ideas.
    If it was meant for me, then you obviously don’t know what the discussion is about.

  • Andrew Sorokowski

    Sir,
    It would be good if we could insulate everyone, including ourselves, from the temptations of the world. But this has never been possible. It’s hard enough to protect children’s tender souls from vicious influences — though of course we must. So the only option is to toughen ourselves against sin — once we’re old enough — i.e., college age. Just as the best way to resist disease is to build up immunity through limited exposure, so the best way to defeat temptation is to know it for what it is. Only then can we understand its falseness, and thus defeat it.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Andrew Sorokowski:

    As noted above ( 1 Corinthians 6:18) God disagrees with you. You are we to follow: you or Our Creator?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Andrew Sorokowski

    Thank you for prompting me to look up the passage you cite, and to read the commentary “Shun Immorality, Shun Idolatry” on the facing page of my Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament (2nd Catholic edition, RSV), which I imagine our friends at Steubenville would regard as authoritative. In light of all this, I do not see why you think God disagrees with me. Nowhere do I advocate immoral behavior or idolatry. I only say: know thy enemy — the better to reject him.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Andrew Sorokowski:

    What part of “Flee from sexual immorality” do you not understand?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Neko

    You wrote:

    Substituting “f***” for anyone other word, indicates a seething anger as well as limited vocabulary, what one might expect.

    Two degrees yet no sense of irony. What has higher education come to.

  • Neko

    What agenda would that be.

    By the way, I’ve been reading the actual book, and it’s delightful. James Woods’ review in the New Yorker (he who memorably once called the Thomistic God a “vapor”) is a rave.

  • Andrew Sorokowski

    I understand it, of course, though apparently differently from you. Perhaps you have read the original Greek; I have not. Certainly one must flee from immoral activity. I think you understand it to mean that one should also flee from all mention of immoral activity. That means you would censor not only many of the classics of world literature, but even parts of the Old Testament. I would not go so far.
    That said, I think we agree that our media are polluted by immorality, and that it should not be “glorified.”
    God bless you as well.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Andrew Sorokowski:

    The only really successful people in life are Saints. We should try to emulate their lives. The Saints fled from all sexual immorality to include graphic pictures and written descriptions. We should too strive to be truly successful in life. We should live our lives as little Saints hidden in the world; but not of it.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • ottomears

    Present.

  • Semper Incipit

    “he Kingdom by Emmanuel Carrère also fails in that it hints that Luke may have invented Christ’s Resurrection and that the tradition of the Holy Eucharist might have originated with Paul during his visit to Philippi” I guess we should refrain from reading anything from the Judaizers since they believed some similar things?

  • Semper Incipit

    Wait, are you seriously suggesting that we nix Plato? Are you serious? Plato?

  • Semper Incipit

    So we should refrain from reading Protestant writings that also blaspheme the Mother of God? Good Lord you people are snowflakes. It is evident that you do not desire education at these schools but indoctrination.

  • Semper Incipit

    This is amazing. How our Catholic forebears would balk at such coddling and handholding your suggest. In times Medieval, students were sent to university at as young as 16 to be educated in the books Ms. Kopp discusses. No professor there, prior to the Reformation and the advent of Puritanism, thought of deleting Chacer because of the bawdy and explicit content therein. They did not shield students from the graphic works of Ovid, Catullus, and Hesiod.

    Rather, they guided them, showing them the virtue along with the vices. Heaven save us. The self-proclaimed traditionalists are attacking traditional Catholic education.

  • Semper Incipit

    One wonders how a cleric could be so concerned with comment sections of random blogs. Are there not enough works of God to occupy the good deacon’s time? If not, why are his services required?

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit:

    Where did I post the word “Plato”?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    Don’t be so coy Deacon. You know as well as the rest of us that the FUS administration only made that determination when your friends at CM sicked a mob after them.

    False equivalency? Let’s look at Hesiod. First, there is the blasphemy that there is not only a God besides God, but there are many. Moreover, the chief of these gods engages in numerous adulteries. This is a major, recurring theme throughout the book.

    Then there is “The Kingdom.” In it, the author spends a few pages to go on a bizarre digression about his sexual musings about Mary.

    So which is the greater blasphemy? Hesiod’s or Carrère’s? If the latter, why is blasphemy against God himself less egregious than blasphemy against Mary?

  • Semper Incipit

    You inferred them here:

    “So why would you, your professors and you University assign and study works that glorify deadly sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments?”

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit:

    Every student is different. One size fits all does not work for cloths. It does not work for education. Each text should be tailored for teh student. Also, sadly, in Catholic colleges, a student will read much attacking the Mother of God; but little if anything praising her.

    Catholic students who attend an alleged Catholic University have a right to learn about their Catholic faith.

    Do not be a bigot.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    “Every student is different.” The Western Canon is not. If you are going to market yourself as a Great Books program and a liberal arts college, you need to study Plato. Our Catholic forebears in education would be ashamed to read your comment. The founders of Bologna, Oxford, Paris, and others would hang their heads in shame to see Catholics abandon our intellectual traditions for the sake of some over scrupulous prudishness.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit:

    Oh please.

    You are so ignorant. You must be a FUS professor.

    Plato on homosexuality:

    “If we were to follow in nature’s steps and enact that law which held good before the days of Laïus, declaring that it is right to refrain from indulging in the same kind of intercourse with men and boys as with women, and adducing as evidence thereof the nature of wild beasts, and pointing out how male does not touch male for this purpose, since it is unnatural,”

    Again, do not be a bigot.

    BTW the Catholic Church invented the University. They rejected the “one size fits all” approach of FUS and; instead, used teh approach outlined in part above.

    You probably have a Doctorate in Education.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    I find it hilarious you juxtapose “You are so ignorant” with “God bless.”

    You obviously haven’t read Plato’s Symposium, which Ms. Kopp referenced above wherein Plato argues that the Athenian practice of pederasty was totes awesome. You must be also ignorant of Aristophanes’ The Clouds, wherein he rather graphically–my translation said “wide asses”–calls Platonic philosophers practicing homosexuals.

    I do not see how I am a bigot. That is rather bizarre.

    The Catholic Church invented the university. That is true. I referenced three of the most famous ones in my last post. If you knew that, I would think you would have not bothered to remind me of a fact I not only demonstrably knew, bu formed the basis for one of my arguments i.e. Catholic intellectual traditions have not catered to the prudishness of sentiment when studying the arts.

  • Semper Incipit

    By the way, please name a Catholic college you think is “doing it right.” I’ll wait.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit:

    No. You inferred. I did not.

    I did not mention “Plato”.

    Learn to read.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    University of Paris before it colluded in burning Joan of Arc.

    Do not be a bigot.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit

    Where in Plato’s Symposium is there pornography?

    Do not be an anti-Catholic bigot like Ms. Kopp.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    Ah, so none? You really think no Catholic college exists that meets your standards?

    Jokes on you. The curriculum at the University of Paris included Hesiod and Aristophanes who include explicit, pornographic content.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit:

    Please.

    The University of Paris did not have a curriculum in the 14th Century.

    Catholic students who attend an alleged Catholic University have a right to learn about their Catholic faith.

    Do not be an anti-Catholic bigot.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    So you didn’t find the bit where Alcibiades states he let Socrates have sex with him was pornographic?

    Again, how is this bigoted or anti-Catholic?

  • Semper Incipit

    “The University of Paris did not have a curriculum in the 14th Century.” Yes it did. Go look up the Trivium.

    So what Catholic colleges are, in your mind, up to scratch?

  • Richard W Comerford

    Learn to read.

    Definition of pornography
    1 : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
    2 : material (such as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
    3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

    Again: Where in Plato’s Symposium is there pornography?

    Do not be an anti-Catholic bigot like Ms. Kopp.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Definition of trivium
    : a group of studies consisting of grammar, rhetoric, and logic and forming the lower division of the seven liberal arts in medieval universities
    — compare QUADRIVIUM
    First Known Use of trivium
    1647, in the meaning defined above

    History and Etymology for trivium
    Medieval Latin, from Latin, meeting of three ways, crossroads

    1647 is not the 14 Century.

    You must be a History Professor at FUS.

    Catholic students who attend an alleged Catholic University have a right to learn about their Catholic faith.

    Do not be an anti-Catholic bigot.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    I suppose now you will say that Transubstantiation was not a reality until the term was defined. If you knew anything about classical learning that was popular in the medieval universities, you’d know the term Trivium was ascribed to the Liberal Arts of classical antiquity.

    The University of Paris included things such as Priscian’s Grammar and Aristotle’s Dialectics. Please don’t try an opine on things you clearly don’t know or understand.

    You still haven’t demonstrated how I am a bigot.

  • Semper Incipit

    Clearly you never read the Symposium.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit:

    Again: Learn to read.

    “First Known Use of trivium
    1647, in the meaning defined above”

    Catholic students who attend an alleged Catholic University have a right to learn about their Catholic faith.

    Do not be an anti-Catholic bigot.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit:

    You and the other anti-Catholic bigot, Ms Kopp, are dodging the question:

    Yet again: Where in Plato’s Symposium is there pornography?

    Do not be an anti-Catholic bigot like Ms. Kopp.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    I just referenced it. Have you not read it? Have you read Aristophanes? Euripides? Aeschylus? Sophocles? Hesiod?

  • Semper Incipit

    Learn to form a coherent argument.

  • Richard W Comerford

    No. You did not.

    Please. Please Please. Learn to read

    Definition of pornography
    1 : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
    2 : material (such as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
    3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

    Again: Where in Plato’s Symposium is there pornography?

    Do not be an anti-Catholic bigot like Ms. Kopp.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    I am not arguing with you.

    I am trying to teach you.

    Something that clearly did not happen at FUS.

    Catholic students who attend an alleged Catholic University have a right to learn about their Catholic faith.

    Do not be an anti-Catholic bigot.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    So…how do you know The Kingdom was intended to arouse? If what is written in the Symposium is not pornographic because it does not intend to arouse–it depicts erotic behavior and you would know that if you read it–then neither can the Kingdom be considered pornographic.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Read carefully.

    Definition of pornography
    1 : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
    2 : material (such as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
    3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

    Again: Where in Plato’s Symposium is there pornography?

    Do not be an anti-Catholic bigot like Ms. Kopp.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    I didn’t go to FUS. I went to TMC.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Condolences.

    Another racket.

    Hopefully you are not carrying debt with interest.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    Racket? Seriously, which colleges ARE good enough for you?

  • Richard W Comerford

    The University of Paris held that knowledge is a free gift from God and it could neither be sold or bought. The teachers and staff were paid by the King and the Church. The students paid their room and board independent of the University. Some poor students had their room and board paid for by the King or Church..

    The Jesuits hold the same view. Indeed every year they vote to make an exception to this principal and charge tuition.

    BTW according to the GAO 40% to 45% of USG assets are students loans with their accumulated interest.

    Modern education is an immoral criminal racket.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    “The University of Paris held that knowledge is a free gift from God and it could neither be sold or bought.” Citation?

    So basically you contend none are…because they cost money?

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit:

    And how much college debt do you have?

    And are you paying interest on it?

    And are you working in a job that is the same as your college major?

    And are you working?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    None.

    Zero.

    Which one?

    Search: Government Shutdown

  • Richard W Comerford

    So you attended college for free?

    And did your cohorts also?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Semper Incipit

    No, I just wasn’t an idiot.

    My classmates are pretty much working and debt free now.

    So come out with it. Where is the Catholic college on a hill?

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Semper Incipit:

    So you and your cohorts magically attended a private, 4-year undergraduate college pretty much for free?

    Amazing.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Re: Witches

    I hope this is not true. But apparently the authoress of the instant article, Ms. Kopp, identifies as some sort of witch. (See https://mahoundsparadise.blogspot.com/2019/01/stephen-lewis-defends-himself-but-what.html) as do, apparently, Dr. Lewis and his wife are also public supporters of what appears to be a witch group. Ms. Kopp is also attacking on Patheos her recently deceased father who was a devout Roman Catholicism.

    If the claims made in the above cited article are true then FUS has turned into an anti-Catholic institution.

    Pray that they are not true.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. a sinner:
    Re: Matthew 5:28:”But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    Each souls is unique and different. This is a matter you should bring up to your confessor.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Dave G.

    You might want to consider looking in the mirror when you say that. I think some major repentance needs to be in your future, too.