"It shouldn't take pagan sailors to rouse Jonah to obey God. And it shouldn't take the Federal Government to tell Catholic Colleges to actually be Catholic. But if that's what it takes, if God has to shame them into it, so be it."
That's the reaction of Msgr. Charles Pope on the Archdiocese of Washington blog, after reading our press release "Feds Tell College: You're Not Catholic."
If you haven't heard yet, a federal agency decided that (Catholic) Manhattan College could not prevent faculty from unionizing on the basis that it is a religious institution. Despite acknowledging that the College is recognized as Catholic by the New York Archdiocese, the National Labor Relations Board reviewed College statements and course content, finding "that the purpose of the College is secular and not the 'propagation of a religious faith'."
Monsignor Pope put this unfolding drama into the context of Salvation history, noting that oftentimes God uses the most unlikely tools to bring His People back to Himself. The Monsignor writes:
"The fact is that the Church is to be a light to the world, but it sometimes happens that we fall short and God must allow the world itself to rebuke us. The Christian community is supposed to be self-correcting. It is an embarrassing truth that it sometimes takes Caesar to tell us to give to God what is God's, to be more serious about our Christian walk, and to be true in our claims to be Catholic."
For Monsignor Pope, there is a very important moral lesson about the modern state of Catholic higher education:
"But the moral lesson in these cases seems to be that we had better get our own house in order. Certain 'Catholic' Colleges may go on for a while gleefully dissenting and ignoring Church mandates, but in the end they are going to be called to account by Caesar who will say, 'Either give God what God is due, or stop pretending and pay the taxes that every other secular organization pays and observe the requirements every other secular entity does.' In other words, decide what you really are and do so quickly."
"For the state to respect the rights of Catholics, Catholicism has to be intelligible. Hence these dissenters also endanger the religious freedoms of those who are faithful. Yes, we need to get our house in order."
We encourage you to read all of Monsignor Pope's essential commentary here.