Well, word has it that the University of Notre Dame is contemplating opening a satellite campus in China.

Hmmm, how will Notre Dame get along in a country that isn’t committed to a culture of life, doesn’t really respect free speech or differing opinions, and doesn’t really agree with the Vatican on much? Oh wait.

OK. That’s just snark. I’ll admit it.

But The College Fix
has questions raised by notable faculty.

Fr. Bill Miscamble, professor of history, argued that it was wrong for Notre Dame as a Catholic university to pursue the discussion any further. Citing the Chinese government’s persecution of the underground Catholic Church in China, as well as the state-sponsored People’s Church, he argued that Notre Dame’s involvement might “indicate that somehow or other, Catholics in America are tolerant of vast human rights abuses.”

John Cavadini, professor of theology and director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life, posed questions about the possible restrictions that could be placed on Notre Dame in China.

“I wonder if we’ll be able to be ourselves in China,” Cavadini said at the December meeting. “Can we have a chapel there in which Mass is celebrated and in which there are no restrictions on who can come to Mass? Or are we going to censor ourselves and the Holy Mass? I wonder if Catholic theology will be taught and will be available and open to all students.”

And Fr. Bill Dailey, a law lecturer, said that in the last three years, at least one-third of all those seeking asylum in the United States were from China. He noted that there is a list of countries with which Notre Dame would never consider such a proposal, noting in particular those led by Kim Jong-un or Bashar al-Assad.

“What is the concrete evidence that China should not be on that list?” Fr. Dailey asked. “There seems to be reams of concrete evidence that they belong on that list, that they belong on that list emphatically.”

But John McGreevy, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said at the conclusion of the forum, “I tend to think of it more as opportunities for our faculty to become globalized than what we’re going to do for liberal arts education in China, but that might be significant too.”

While acknowledging the importance of questions about academic and religious freedom, McGreevy said, “I think engagement is a much wiser long-term strategy for Notre Dame than what I might call a puritan strategy, that is, we can’t engage in China in any serious way.”

Hmmm. This “engagement” you speak of, sounds a lot like the “dialogue” that Fr. Jenkins is always referring to which actually doesn’t mean dialogue in any way, but actually just means acquiescence.

I’d feel a lot better if say a Catholic institution like Franciscan University at Steubenville went to China.