WRC opposes the Catholic mission
Not peace, but the sword
Unfortunately, the issue of the Women' s Resource Center again confronts the University.
Again, we find the shelves of the center littered with material from radical feminist organizations such as NOW heralding support for legalized abortion, the ERA and a smattering of other left-wing causes. The Center has been reprimanded in the past for having material from local abortion clinics explaining the prices and details of a variety of abortion procedures. They were supposed to remove the offending "value-neutral" material on the subject of abortion. Yet, the NOW pamphlets remain.
I am inclined to think that no one associated with the WRC is malicious; quite the contrary, I am sure that they approach their work at the center with good intentions. But on the issue of abortion, THEY ARE WRONG. It is an affront to the Catholicity of the University that pamphlets from NOW, or any other viciously pro-abortion organization, should be placed on the shelves of a Resource Center that has the recognition of the University, and the tacit legitimacy that that recognition entails.
What should a young woman (or young man) think if he or she should enter into this University recognized enclave in LaFortune and find advertisements from NOW advocating abortion, and other causes that are decidedly hostile to Catholicism? Does the University approve of such material? Does the University feel that such advertisements are beneficial to the spiritual growth of its student body?
Consider a pamphlet entitled "Together we can CHANGE THE WORLD." NOW writes, "We organize record-breaking crowds for protests on issues such as violence and abortion rights." They add, "We're putting the squeeze on hatemonger Rush Limbaugh by targeting advertisers and convincing the Florida Citrus Commission to cancel his one million dollar contract. `We organize, organize, organize to fight the right wing.'" NOW continues by quoting Roman Catholic pro-abortion former Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, "Your [NOW's] early endorsement and money were key to my decision to run. Your continued financial support and campaign expertise were a strong foundation for my campaign."
Pretty incendiary stuff for a group (the WRC) that defines itself as a "welcoming environment with books, people, and information directed towards women and all they encompass; we embrace a diversity of races, classes, ages, political beliefs [emphasis mine], lifestyles, and physical abilities" (A Pastiche of Perspectives, Women's Resource Center Newsletter, November, '97). This is a farce; the WRC exists as a clearinghouse for left wing, sometimes pro-abortion propaganda, with only token references to positions or beliefs on the opposite end of the spectrum. Attacks on the "right-wing," on so-called "hatemongers," coupled with glowing references to ethically-challenged pro-abortion Catholic politicians like Moseley-Braun is not a constructive way to encourage greater respect for the inherent dignity of women. The WRC will no doubt point to the fact that they have material from the great pro-life group The Women's Care Center. Indeed, this is laudable. Yet, it is offensive that material from pro-life and pro-abortion organizations should be placed on the same pedestal in a center existing at a Catholic University, with the explicit recognition of the administration of that Catholic University.
Therefore, I ask that the University exercise its pastoral responsibility by investigating the WRC. Upon finding the offending material, they ought to remove it and discipline the center in some way. The probation and reprimand given them two years ago has not succeeded in removing the pro-abortion bias latent in the material within the WRC. A new, constructive arrangement must be made. The University should, after placing sanctions and reasonable limitations on the scope of the information available in the WRC, challenge the center's directors to participate more fully in the Catholic mission of the University of Notre Dame, by preaching a new ethic of dignity and respect for human life.
Sean Vinck is a junior PLS major. His column runs every other Tuesday.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer
All Viewpoint Stories for Tuesday, November 16, 1999