A little bit Catholic? - Catholic Courier

A little bit Catholic?

To the editor:

I read with interest the (August) article, “Colleges weigh Catholic identity,” by Mike Latona. I find it shameful Nazareth College has not changed its name to reflect its secular identity and sadly ironic St. John Fisher College struggles to remain faithful to its founding charter.

To retain the name Nazareth, significant to and honored by all Christians, is both misleading and inappropriate for a proudly secular institution. The situation is disturbing in light of quotations by faculty and administration who seem contented their institution rejected its Roman Catholic affiliation, let alone identity many years ago.

Ironically, St. John Fisher College’s namesake, who in 1491 received a Master of Arts from Cambridge University and was both Chancellor of Cambridge and Bishop of Rochester (England), was in 1591 beheaded for his faithfulness to the Roman Catholic faith.

Other Roman Catholic institutions successfully resolved the dilemma facing St. John Fisher College. For example, Seattle University, a 115-year-old Jesuit institution proud of its Roman Catholic identity, continues to make theology and philosophy courses core requirements for all its undergraduate students.

For heaven’s sake, an institution of higher education can’t be a little bit Roman Catholic; it either is or isn’t. In the United States, we have the tremendous freedom to publicly live our Roman Catholic faith. Let’s do so — whether as institutions of higher education or individuals.

Patricia M. Ary

Daventry Circle


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