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Showing posts with label John H. Garvey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John H. Garvey. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Controversy Swirls around Catholic U of America’s New Prez

From LifeSiteNews
By Patrick B. Craine

Catholic University of America, the national university for the U.S. Catholic Church, announced Tuesday that they had hired John H. Garvey, dean of Jesuit’s Boston College Law School, to serve as their 15th president.

Announcing the appointment, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, who chairs CUA’s Board of Trustees and who led the search committee, praised Garvey as "an accomplished jurist, scholar, and teacher,” adding that he is “a man of strong faith in Christ and a very committed member of the Catholic Church.”

The move has sparked concerns among some Catholics, however, due primarily to Garvey’s record of support for pro-abortion politicians. At the same time, the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), which is dedicated to promoting the faithfulness of America’s Catholic universities, has received the news with optimism.

“Archbishop Vigneron has publicly assured Catholics that Father O’Connell’s outstanding efforts to strengthen Catholic identity will continue,” said Patrick J. Reilly, president of CNS. “I am sure that is meant to be not only a promise, but a welcome challenge to President Garvey, who no doubt understands that CUA is much different from Boston College.”

Garvey will begin his new post on July 1st and is replacing Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., who is leaving to serve as coadjutor bishop for the Diocese of Trenton.

Critics have pointed to the fact that Garvey’s law school hosted pro-abortion Rep. Edward J. Markey for a commencement address in 2007. Announcing Markey’s acceptance, Garvey praised the congressman as one of the Law School’s “most distinguished graduates.” Garvey added that Markey’s “career of public service reflects the very best values and traditions of the School.”

According to some the award was a violation of a 2004 directive from the U.S. Bishops, ‘Catholics in Political Life’, which stated that Catholic universities “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”

In 2002, Garvey’s school also hosted former Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci as commencement speaker. A talk by Cellucci at a Boston Catholic high school had been blocked by the Archdiocese of Boston in 1991, reports the New York Times, because, according to Bishop Roberto O. Gonzalez, he had been “publicly and consistently in favor of abortion.”

Garvey has also been a supporter of pro-abortion senator and 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry. According to Catholic World News, Garvey gave $250 to the Kerry Committee in June 2002, $1,000 to John Kerry for President, Inc. in March 2003, and $500 to the latter in April 2004.

There have also been concerns that, as dean, Garvey espoused an approach to academic freedom that is in conflict with Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II’s 1990 apostolic constitution laying out the identity and mission of Catholic colleges and universities.

In a 2002 letter on the Law School’s response to the sex abuse crisis, Garvey sought to abate concerns that the school “will require a certain orthodoxy.” “No school that regulates ideas can justly call itself a university,” he argued.

In September 2009, he defended a professor for his public stance in support of true marriage in a television ad. He wrote, however, that the professor’s “public statements represent his own opinions … and do not state any official position of Boston College Law School."

"We also have faculty members who hold a contrary view, which they too are free to express publicly,” he continued. “Many have done so while referring to themselves as BC Law professors. ... Others have taken controversial positions on such subjects as abortion, euthanasia, and the treatment of detainees.”

In Ex Corde Ecclesiae, John Paul II wrote that a Catholic university must guarantee academic freedom, “so long as the rights of the individual person and of the community are preserved within the confines of the truth and the common good.” He went on to lay down in a canonical norm the requirement that “all Catholic teachers are to be faithful to, and all other teachers are to respect, Catholic doctrine and morals in their research and teaching."

At the same time The Eagleionline, a student paper for the BC law school, reports that Garvey’s nomination for a high-level position at Notre Dame Law School was vetoed by “a vocal minority of faculty” over the fact that he was “too Catholic, too conservative, and too elitist.”

The paper also reports that shortly after he was hired as dean in 1999, he made the following complaint when the faculty opposed his efforts to bring on two new faculty members: “This faculty will not hire a conservative or a Catholic.”

Archbishop Vigneron emphasized that they had chosen Garvey precisely because he is committed to advancing the vision of Ex Corde Ecclesiae. The archbishop said that the committee sought someone who, “by building upon the achievements of Bishop O'Connell, will advance the mission of CUA so that it will shine out as exemplifying the nature of a Catholic university in service to the Church and to the nation.”

“We have found that person in Dean Garvey,” he continued, describing Garvey as “a man of strong Catholic faith with rich experience and a proven record as a scholar and a leader in higher education.”

“I can imagine the excitement and freedom that comes with leading a seriously Catholic institution in partnership with America’s bishops and the Vatican,” said Reilly about Garvey’s appointment.

“CUA has already turned the corner on Catholic identity and rejects practices like honoring pro-abortion politicians, hiring vocal dissidents, and hosting The Vagina Monologues,” he added. “These are the old, failed practices of secularizing universities. CUA is on a better path, and Catholics can be grateful to John Garvey for leaving a prestigious post to carry on the exciting renewal of the nation’s Catholic university.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Catholic U’s New President: Law School Dean Who Awarded Honorary Degree to Abortion Proponent

It is with bitter disappointment that we came across the following news about our alma mater. After so much improvement under Father David O'Connell, this marks a turning back. A look at the University's trustees, which include some of the worst American bishops (Gregory, Loverde, Myers and Wuerl), explains why.

From Catholic World News

John H. Garvey, the dean of Boston College Law School, has been named president of Catholic University of America. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law School, Mr. Garvey served as assistant to the Solicitor General during the Reagan administration. He has written numerous articles on legal issues, concentrating on the First Amendment.

Commenting on academic freedom and Catholic identity in a 2002 letter, Mr. Garvey wrote:

On several occasions I have heard people express concern that the Catholic identity of Boston College and the Law School will require a certain orthodoxy, or suppress unorthodox opinions, among its faculty and students. No school that regulates ideas can justly call itself a university. Indeed, it is precisely because we are committed to the search for truth in an atmosphere of academic freedom that the Law School can render a useful service to the Church and the cause of justice. It is natural that we should have a particular interest in the intersection of law and religion. (Though this is not our only focus.) But when people address that subject here they do not speak for (or against) the church hierarchy. They follow where their inquiries lead them.

In 2007, Mr. Garvey was criticized by the Cardinal Newman Society when the law school awarded an honorary degree to Rep. Edward J. Markey, an abortion proponent with a 100% 'pro-choice' voting record. “Congressman Ed Markey is one of the most distinguished graduates of Boston College Law School, whose career of public service reflects the very best values and traditions of the School,” said Mr. Garvey. “I don't believe Boston College has ever had a better friend in the United States Congress than Ed Markey.”

In awarding an honorary degree to Rep. Markey, Boston College Law School failed to heed the 2004 US bishops’ document “Catholics in Political Life,” which stated, “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

“I'm very grateful that he's an accomplished scholar, and I think he brings from his legal scholarship a lot of wisdom about the Church's place in contemporary society,” said Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, who led the search for the new president of the university, which was founded by, and is sponsored by, the bishops of the United States. “He's a very thoughtful man, very measured. He tries to bring light and insight to matters about which there's a lot of argument.”

In a 2002 Commonweal essay, Mr. Garvey said that he assented to Catholic teaching on the immorality of divorce but disagreed with Pope John Paul’s statement that “professionals in the field of civil law should avoid being personally involved in anything that might imply a cooperation with divorce.” However, by the conclusion of his article, in which he quoted additional papal remarks, Mr. Garvey appeared to be in agreement with the Pope.

In a 2000 essay on Mario Cuomo-- the New York governor who supported legalized abortion-- Mr. Garvey concluded, “The point is that most of us, not just Catholics, see nothing wrong with relying on authority to decide moral questions. And if that is so, there is no reason to disqualify religious authorities.”

According to federal election records, Mr. Garvey made three donations to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, whose support for abortion led 14 bishops to state during the 2004 presidential campaign that they would deny him Holy Communion. In June 2002, Mr. Garvey donated $250 to the Kerry Committee; in March 2003, he donated $1,000 to John Kerry for President, Inc.; and in April 2004, he donated $500 to John Kerry for President, Inc.

Mr. Garvey succeeds Vincentian Father David O’Connell, who has been named coadjutor bishop of Trenton.

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