By James Bascom
Will Madonna restore its Catholic identity?
On Wednesday, March 7, 2012 TFP Student Action joined a group of faithful Catholics, including alumni and former benefactors of Madonna University, in a prayerful protest of the leadership of the Felician Sisters over their selection of Fr. Michael Crosby, OFM Cap. to lead a weeklong retreat for the sisters residing in Livonia, Michigan.1
Fr. Crosby is well known as an outspoken advocate of a host of positions at odds with the Catholic doctrine, particularly in the areas of priestly celibacy,2 homosexuality,3 and the hierarchical nature of the Catholic Church.
Lining the public street adjoining the entrance to the university, local Catholics recited the rosary, sung hymns and braved high winds while displaying signs that read: “God’s Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman.” “Fidelity: Yes -- Dissent: No,” “Fr. Crosby is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and “Restore Madonna’s Catholic Identity.”
Pro-Homosexual agenda at Madonna
Madonna University, sponsored by the Felician Sisters, has been beset by an onslaught of pro-homosexual advocacy over the past several years. Sr. Nancy Marie Jamroz, C.S.S.F., Ph.D., former VP for Student Services was publicly supportive of the so-called “safe zones” for homosexuals, manifested by the placement of rainbow triangles throughout the campus4 and other initiatives aimed at the acceptance of homosexual behavior. She was succeeded by Dr. Connie Tingson-Gatuz in the fall of 2009 following her election as a Provincial Councilor.
Dr. Tingson-Gatuz publicly represented Madonna University at the 20th Annual Conference for LGBT Equality held in Detroit, Michigan5 and has likewise been involved in several quasi-political organizations that advocate same-sex “marriage.”
President Sr. Rose Marie Kujawa, C.S.S.F., Ph.D. was supportive of the “safe zones” initiative in speaking to several concerned alumni, but later denied previous knowledge when faced with public criticism.
Dr. Ernest I. Nolan, Provost and VP for Academic Administration, charged with faculty hiring and oversight presides over a faculty rife with individuals with views and lifestyles at odds with Church teaching as demonstrated by Professor Frances Fitzgerald who authored an editorial in The Madonna Herald asserting that dissent is at the heart of Catholic education. Fitzgerald was rebutted by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand's "Gratia Confusa" in the January 10, 2010 edition of The Wanderer. Dr. Nolan gave a presentation in 2004 entitled “Homophobia in Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out.”6
Many graduates of Madonna University are questioning how these realities reconcile with an institution that claims to adhere to the instructions of Ex Corde Ecclesiae.7
A graduate of Madonna University offered the following commentary: “I am deeply troubled by what seems to be a fixation of promoting lifestyles that fall outside the Magisterial teachings of the Church in the name of diversity, inclusion, justice, and the like.
“As a Catholic institution, Madonna University and its sponsors should proclaim the moral truths of the Catholic faith. As an institution sponsored by a congregation now affiliated with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), currently under a doctrinal assessment by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), it is alarming to see how secularism and dissent are eroding both the Felician Congregation and its sponsored institutions. It is a particular tragedy when one takes into account that both the Felician Sisters and Madonna University had initially avoided the destructive fate that had consumed numerous institutes and institutions in the 60s.”
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Footnotes1. http://www.michaelcrosby.net/itinerary.php [back]
2. http://www.michaelcrosby.net/books/rethinking_celibacy.php [back]
3. http://www.sanfrancisco-catholic.com/rohr_catholic_retreat.pdf [back]
4. In September of 2008, The Madonna Herald reported the following: "You may have noticed the "Allies" symbol, an upside-down pyramid with colored stripes. It's taped onto a number of doors throughout the university. It designates "safe zones" at Madonna. Why do we need safe zones here? Here is why: Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) students, faculty, and staff have not always felt welcome at Madonna. The goal of the Safe Zone Subcommittee is to reach out to this group. We want to provide the safety, acceptance, and care that every member of the Madonna community has a right to expect. Sr. Nancy Jamroz, Vice President of Student Services and a member of the Safe Zone Subcommittee, states, "We want all of our students to know that our Franciscan values emphasize respect for the dignity of each individual. GLBT students have not always been treated with respect." [back]
5. http://www.michiganliberal.com/diary/11702/ [back]
6. http://ww2.madonna.edu/nolan/Curriculum%20Vitae.htm [back]
7. http://www.madonna.edu/pdf/Support/ae.pdf pg. 4 [back]