Marquette mission derailment likely to continue under new management
After a short and disastrous tenure as Marquette’s Vice President of Mission and Ministry — during which occurred high points in the university’s Catholic identity such as Pride Prom, pro-gay Mission Week and the dumbing down of the school’s core curriculum — Fr. Thomas Krettek, S.J. has left Marquette. The search is now on for a new Vice President, but in the interim, Marquette has filled the void with another Jesuit — Fr. Fred Zagone, S.J. Based on a Marquette Wire article introducing Fr. Zagone in his new role, the disaster is likely to continue unabated.
A quick aside. Given that the entire Catholic Church is currently aflame in what is likely the worst crisis in her history, it may seem preposterous to continue criticizing little Marquette University for its various violations of Catholic identity. But, we submit, the betrayal of the Church’s academic institutions is very much at the root of her current crisis.
Catholic universities — born from the heart of the church — were once core to the Church’s radiant presence and influence in the world. They were the archives, incubators and promulgators of the Catholic intellectual tradition which transformed and elevated human civilization. Their apostasy and perversion over the last fifty years has contributed significantly to the apostasy and perversion of the entire Church. Through the advocacy of outright heresy and/or, at best, a sentimentalized caricature of the Catholic faith, they have scandalized and deformed generations of young Catholics, producing relativistic worldings rather than soldiers for Christ. Is it any surprise then that corruption and sin now abound where holiness and virtue should?
Which brings us back to Marquette’s interim Vice President of Mission and Ministry. To be clear, there are no allegations of corruption, outright heresy or wrongdoing with Fr. Zagone (sad, one feels the need to make such a clarification these days). Our concern is in the area of “sentimentalized caricature of the Catholic faith.”
“I really hope to help shape us into one of the best Catholic universities in the land,” says Fr. Zagone in the article. Well we like the sound of that. Keep going!
A colleague of his, quoted in the story, then shares that Father Zagone “is very eager and wants to ensure the Catholic identity is maintained.” Well that’s just great. We really … wait. “Maintained”? That would imply it exists in the first place. Uh oh …
Another colleague adds, “As a sincere, Jesuit leader, Zagone can help communicate that faith doesn’t just mean Catholic.” Ah. Here we go. Wait for it …
“Catholic means universal,”,Zagone said.” AND there it is — the semantic trump card of the pseudo-Catholic movement: Catholic means universal. In other words, anything goes. Indeed, small c “catholic” does mean universal, which the dictionary defines as “of, relating to, or characteristic of all or the whole; applicable everywhere or in all cases; general; affecting, concerning, or involving all.” But large C “Catholic,” as in the Catholic faith, is universal only in the sense that all human beings are called to follow Christ. Actually, following Christ, however, requires much more than merely showing up and doing your thing. (See Matthew 16:24.)
“So by emphasizing our Catholic nature,” Father Zagone continues, “we are in fact embracing and bringing in people of all faiths or people of no faith.” What is not clear here is what he means by “bringing in.” Bringing in people … to the Church so they can follow Christ? Evidently not. “My hope is that whatever their faith is, they can have the best, strongest faith journey that’s possible,” Zagone explains.
The article concludes, “There are signs of the university’s Jesuit roots across campus, such as the St. Joan of Arc Chapel and the Marian Grotto being built behind the chapel. Zagone said these ‘signs need to be internalized by people to help build our faith and help us to be better people … our purpose is to strengthen faith.'”
Fr. Zagone appears to be a younger Jesuit, so it’s likely he is merely spouting the very incoherent rot he was taught in seminary and is sincere in his statements … which is what makes them all the more tragic. Lost on the purveyors of the church of One-Faith-Is-As-Good-As-Another-Since-We-All-Go-To-Heaven-Anyway (except Hitler and Trump) is that this philosophy negates the very reason for having any faith at all, particularly the Catholic faith with all its apparently on-again, off-again restrictions on sexual activity. Who needs it? Thus, is it any wonder rational people, particularly rational young people, are abandoning the Catholic faith — and all faiths — in droves?
Young men and women deserve the truth: CATHOLIC truth i.e. Jesus Christ. They are free to reject Him. But those of us who call ourselves “Catholic” are NOT free to misrepresent Him. The feel-good pablum of “Catholic means universal” and “whatever their faith is we want their faith journey to be strong” is spiritual poison which renders Catholicism meaningless and nicely ushers souls down the road to Hell.
We recognize that not all students and faculty at Marquette are Catholic, nor do we suggest that they should be. But if the very office presumably charged with promulgating the Catholic mission for which the university was founded is unwilling to do so, what is the point of the office … or the university?
Can’t wait to see who they hire as full-time VP. We hear Cardinal McCarrick is looking for work.