The Jesuits at Saint Louis University are incrementally severing all ties with the Catholic Church and guess who’s calling them out on it? Archbishop Raymond Burke called into question today public comments made by St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus who loudly proclaimed his support of abortion on demand and stem cell research.
Majerus (who was educated by Jesuits) made his comments at a campaign appearance for Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday night. During an interview with the Post-Dispatch today in Washington, Burke who is attending the March for Life, called into question the coach’s words.
“It’s not possible to be a Catholic and hold those positions,” Burke said. “When you take a position in a Catholic university, you don’t have to embrace everything the Catholic church teaches. But you can’t make statements which call into question the identity and mission of the Catholic church…I’m confident it (the university) will deal with the question of a public representative making declarations that are inconsistent with the Catholic faith.”
A spokesman for the university, Jeff Fowler, unsurprisingly took the side of the highly paid coach over the lowly paid Archbishop by saying that Majerus’ comments were not related to his role at the university.
So according to that logic Majerus could, I assume, talk extensively about beating tennis players with a swastika as long as he didn’t mention basketball players.
This seems to be another step away from Catholicism for SLU. Last year, St. Louis U. celebrated a legal victory that affirmed it is not controlled by the Catholic church or by its Catholic beliefs. And yes they did celebrate.
The school was able to convince the Missouri Supreme Court that they were hardly Catholic at all in order to receive $8 million of taxpayer dollars to build a new arena. Hey look, Judas only got a few silver pieces. The Jesuits got $8 million. Inflation?
Opponents of the public funding of SLU’s arena said the state prohibits public funding to support any “… college, university, or other institution of learning controlled by any religious creed, church or sectarian denomination whatever.”
SO SLU went about proving they weren’t controlled by the Catholic church or its dogma. The debate came down to two words: “control” and “creed.” Does the guiding mission of a Catholic university align with the specific system of religious faith espoused by the Catholic church? And if so, does that system of faith control the actions of the university?
In a 6-1 decision, the court said SLU “is not controlled by a religious creed.” You gotta love that, right? And the Jesuits are proud of that to boot.
So the good Jesuits at SLU proved to the court that the Catholic Church had no control over them in order to build the arena. Did anyone really expect they were going to rein in their coach who wins games in order to fill the arena?