Friday, April 06, 2007

Georgetown Needs to "Come Out"

. . . as a Catholic University, says the president of Georgetown's "Law Students for Choice" group, a group not officially recognized by the University.

(Seems she overlooked the words "Catholic" and "Jesuit" on the University's home page)

This in response to the university's refusal to fund internships at Planned Parenthood.

“If Georgetown wants to be a Catholic University it has the freedom to identify as such,” she said. “If the school wants to abide by Catholic doctrine it should do so consistently and prevent all activities the Church disagrees with. This includes prosecutors’ offices that impose the death penalty, gay rights organizations, political candidates and judges that hold positions that disagree with the Catholic church, military law organizations and human rights organizations (the majority of which support reproductive rights, as well).

“When we apply to Georgetown Law, the most you hear about the Jesuit tradition is that [the school] supports students doing work in the public interest,” she added. “If I ever knew that taking part in women’s rights issues would lead to a chilling effect, I don’t know if I would have ever considered coming here.”

Days after learning of the Law Center’s decision, Woodson approached the student group Law Students for Choice, which is not officially recognized by the university. Joy Welan, the group’s president, said she agrees with Woodson that Georgetown mishandled the situation.

“We think this is a major change from what [the school] has done in the past, and it interferes with students’ career development,” Welan said. “If [Georgetown] is saying it is instituting this policy because the church demands it, then why aren’t changes happening across the board?”

“The school has tried to be too covert about its affiliation with the Catholic church,” she added. “We want [it] to come out and be honest about what [it wants] to be.”

Read the whole story

from Georgetown's web page:

Founded in 1789, the same year the U.S. Constitution took effect, Georgetown University is the nation's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. Today, Georgetown is a major international research university that embodies its founding principles in the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff, our commitment to justice and the common good, our intellectual openness, and our international character.

So, hey, maybe they could emphasize it a bit more, but it's hardly covert!


Blogger Chris T. said...

I don't think it's very hard to understand why she's angry -- GULC will fund students who want to work for pro-war organizations, DA offices that seek to execute prisoners, organizations that treat the poor as instruments rather than as human beings, etc., but Planned Parenthood is somehow beyond the pale? That's a rather selective way of being a Catholic university. And it seems suspiciously anti-woman, since abortion is a small part of PP's work, something most pro-life folks gloss over or don't know at all.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Jason nSJ said...

I have a good friend who chose against Georgetown nursing school because of the religious education I find it hard to believe that students attend that school thinking they're attending an unaffiliated private school.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

It is obvious from the front of the Georgetown webpage that it is a Catholic university. But that does not mean the 'lived' experience on campus is one of being Catholic. For example, if you want to find where there are Catholic chaplaincy services on campus, as far as I can tell, they are buried under the "Campus and community" heading, and even then the Catholic services are mentioned as part of a group that includes various faiths in a list. If you compare this with the Creighton University front webpage, they have a separate heading for 'ministry' and such chaplaincy services are obvious.
(Note, I am not in the US and know nothing about these two universities: I am only comparing one aspect of their webpages.)

10:05 AM  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I kept looking... there was a slightly more direct route to chaplaincy - via the "Catholic and Jesuit Identity" paragraph on the frontpage, you could choose "Spirituality and ministries". Catholic then appears more prominently, but these ministries are clearly for those of many faiths.

10:14 AM  
Blogger angelmeg said...

chris t.

The death of one child can never be overlooked for any reason. No matter what good PP does they will never be a good organization so long as they are in the business of the murder of children.

Every service that PP offers can be received somewhere that does not also offer abortion services.

9:33 AM  

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