"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Monday, November 26, 2007

When regress is progress

The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, has decided to sever its de jure relationship with the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The occasion for its doing so is apparently the impending replacement of the diocese's moderately liberal bishop, Harry Flynn, with his impeccably orthodox and outspoken co-adjutor, John Nienstedt. One can safely infer that the University's trustees didn't want its style cramped—especially that of its theology department. Thus does another venerable Catholic institution accelerate its descent into secularization.

Still, this coming-clean has a positive side. A few years ago Archbishop Michael Miller, secretary of the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, said this during a lecture at Notre Dame:

For [the pope], the measure of an institution can be judged by its Catholic integrity. If [secularization occurs], it might be a matter of truth and justice that such an institution is no longer upheld. [Pope] Benedict [XVI] and others may believe that if a Catholic institution is no longer motivated by a Catholic identity, it is better to let it go.

From that standpoint, UST's regress can and should be seen as progress. For it's usually progress to let it be known where you stand and do not stand. In this case, the progress allows the truly Catholic institutions to be seen all the more clearly as such.
blog comments powered by Disqus