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Online Edition

Vol. VI, No. 4: June/July 2000

Adoremus Fifth Anniversary - June 29, 2000

In the News . . .

The US bishops' recent announcement of Vatican approval for their plan for implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae may prompt Catholic students, parents and university professors to hope the implementation will be serious and timely -- here are some reasons why:

Student paper confiscated at Villanova

At Villanova University in Philadelphia, an administrator confiscated the entire run -- 2,000 copies -- of a conservative campus student newspaper that had printed a picture of an aborted fetus and lampooned a liberal professor.

Villanova director of student development Tom Mogan said he ordered the confiscation not for any of these reasons, but because the publication did not have a faculty advisor. But Chris Lilik, the 20-year-old editor of the Conservative Column, said that the paper receives no funding from the university and that he lays it out himself in his dorm room.

Mark Goodman, a lawyer at the Student Press Law Center in Arlington, Va., told the Philadelphia Inquirer that it was a "thorny question" whether the university had a right to confiscate the paper.

Georgetown punishes critic of feminist play

A Georgetown University student columnist who criticized a radical feminist play in the student newspaper, The Hoya, was summarily fired and personally attacked in university publications.

Columnist Patrick Swope, a self-described "token conservative" columnist, wrote in an October 19, 2000 column in The Hoya :

What do you get when you glorify of the rape of a minor, promote lesbianism, insult heterosexuals and attack men? Answer: An event by the Georgetown University Women's Center.

Shortly afterward, Swope was fired from the column. The paper's editor later admitted that his column was the reason.

The event was the performance of a play, The Vagina Monologues, which debuted in 1997 and has since been performed on hundreds of college campuses and community theaters. Critics complain that the play promotes lesbianism, sado-masochism, and sex between children and adults.

A recent Internet search turned up over 1800 websites devoted to promoting or discussing The Vagina Monologues . Celebrities such as Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Anjelica Huston, and Alanis Morisette have lined up to perform in the play, which has won an Obie drama award and been nominated for several others. Its author, Eve Ensler, received a prestigious Guggenheim Foundation arts grant for 1999.

The Vagina Monologues has received effusive praise in big-city dailies and university newspapers for fighting "violence and rape" against women. After critics pointed out that all the male characters in the play were violent or uncaring, Ensler added a scene in which a sympathetic male character helps his partner "love her body".

In his column, Swope pointed out that since one scene shows a 13-year-old describing her seduction by an older woman in favorable terms, the play itself may actually promote statutory rape.

Swope has received support from critics of political correctness in the academy, including political science professor Alan Kors, author of The Shadow University, a book criticizing "politically correct" censorship on campus; Salon columnist Camille Paglia; Accuracy in Academia; and the National Association of Scholars

Meanwhile, at Gonzaga

A Planned Parenthood representative invited by the "Women's Studies Club" at the Jesuit Gonzaga University in Spokane to speak in April was cancelled by university president Father Robert Spitzer at the last minute.

He explained that because the student group inviting her "seemed to have taken every step possible to avoid detection", he only found out about it hours before the event.

The Women's Studies Club, the group that invited the speaker, did not include required information on pamphlets. Mike Quieto, a senior at Gonzaga and the Women's Studies Club member who invited the Planned Parenthood representative, argued that the mandated process "takes too much time" and that members of the club had "chalked the boards" with the information.

In an email circulated to Gonzaga faculty, Father Spitzer responded to critics who thought he acted too "precipitously". He said, I denied Planned Parenthood access to this campus not because of what they say, but because of what they do. They are one of the largest abortion providers in the United States and have an aggressive political agenda to promote this. The Catholic Church interprets abortion as "the killing of an innocent." According to this interpretation, I consider Planned Parenthood's actions to be blatantly contrary to the Catholic and Jesuit character of the University and to its mission.

Old "Sarumonies" in Aberdeen

A Catholic Mass in the Sarum Rite was celebrated in Scotland's third oldest church. It is only the second Catholic Mass to be celebrated in King's College Chapel, Aberdeen, in almost 500 years.

The British Daily Telegraph reported (April 3, 2000) that the Roman Catholic ordinary of Aberdeen, the Right Reverend Mario Conti, marked the quincentenary of King's College Chapel, the oldest building of the University of Aberdeen, by celebrating Mass according to the ancient Sarum Rite. That medieval rite was a consolidation of the rites of the Anglo-Saxon communities of England prior to the Norman invasion of 1066, with some usages common in the Norman rite. (It was named after Sarum or Salisbury, whose new Norman bishop promulgated it after the Invasion.)

The Mass marked only the second time since the Scottish Reformation in 1560 that Mass was allowed to be celebrated in the historic structure.

The last Mass was celebrated in Kings' College chapel five years ago, to mark the five hundredth anniversary of its founding by Bishop William Elphinstone in 1495 under a Bull issued by Pope Alexander VI. It took Bishop Elphinstone five years to raise enough money to lay the foundation stones, and another five years before 42 students arrived for training Bishop Conti wore borrowed period vestments and used authentic chants, which he said had taken "a fair bit of practice at home".

For three hundred years during the "penal years", when Roman Catholicism was officially banned in the British Isles, the building had served as a furniture store.

On May 4, 2000, the 150th anniversary of the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy in England and Wales was celebrated. On September 29, 1850, Pope Pius IX re-established the structure of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, with the Bull Universalis Ecclesiae.

No rock music at Mass, say Italian bishops

ROME (CWNews.com) - The Italian bishops' conference on Monday issued a new list of music approved for use at Mass, dropping all music influenced by contemporary styles, often referred to as "rock and roll".

Choir directors and music ministers now have a list of 360 songs from which to choose, with a heavy emphasis on traditional music. The list is a result of a four-year process by the bishops' conference to reclaim the Church's musical heritage.

"The congregation is upset. Whenever innovations are made, someone always stops me and asks me why rock songs will not be selected", said Ezo Cervasi, 45, the choir director for the San Eustorgio church in Milan, said.

But supporters said the list will allow the Church to recover "many traditions such as Gregorian chants, which were eliminated from churches in the 1960s and 1970s and replaced by guitar music". Vittorio Messori, a journalist and author of books of interviews with Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope John Paul II, said: "Singing banal songs like 'How Pretty It Is to Love Oneself', hymns to pacifism, to save the earth, or whatever else is politically correct or afflicting a majority of Christians simply cannot compare with the intensity of feeling inspired by a rendition of ' Ave Maria de Lourdes '".

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