Archdiocesan Influence At Play In Firing of Favorite Professor?


James Pepper wrote the letter of complaint to Cardinal Rigali. Read about it here:

Why Did Catholic School Fire Best Professor? by Ronnie Paloneczky, Daily News Columnist, Feb. 24, 2011

My letter:

Dear Mr. Pepper,

Don’t you think the Archdiocese has bigger fish to fry? Why aren’t you more outraged by Roman Catholic priests who rape students? Why don’t you champion removing them from classrooms and parishes?

What do you have to say to Mr. Pepper, the Cardinal, Chestnut Hill College and the Church?

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3 Responses to “Archdiocesan Influence At Play In Firing of Favorite Professor?”

  1. Susan
    I’m enjoying your posts, but disagree in the case of Father Jim St. George.
    Ronnie Polaneczky who styles hersef as “a recovering Catholc”(more accurately lapsed Catholic) is too dumb to realize her column is the probable reason St. George’s contract was not renewed.
    Here’s a guy teaching religion classes in a Catholic college and at the same time running newspaper ads attacking the Catholic Church and its positions and trying to attract Catholics to his own private Church of which he is the one and only clergyman.
    If he were teaching at Temple or Penn that would not be a problem.
    However, Chestnut Hill is a Catholic College founded by a Catholic religious congregation. In order to be listed as a Catholic college it must adhere to certain standards spelled out in canon law. Let me quote a few of the canons for you.
    In the canons it states university, but it does include colleges also.
    Canon 808 – Even if be realy Catholic, no university may bear the title or name Catholic University without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.

    Canon 810 – It is the responsibility of the authority who is competent in accord with the statutes to provide for the appointment of teachers to Catholic universities who besides their scientific and pedagogical suitability are also outstanding in their integrity of doctrine and probity of life, when those requisite qualities are lacking they are to be removed from their positions in accord with ther procedures set forth in the statutes.

    Canon 812 – It is necessary that those who teach theological disciplines in any institute of higher learning have a mandate from the competent ecclesiastical authority.

    I think its fairly clear that St. George, who no doubt believes he is right, would not qualify to teach at a Catholic college or university. Once his views became public Chestnut Hill had little choice but to not renew his contract, to do otherwise would place it in danger of having it’s Catholic designation revoked, which would be suicide.
    Yes, the clergy abuse scandal is far worse than this, but we are talking apples and pears. St. George should have never been hired. It just shows how slipshod colleges are about their adjuncts. If you are a warm body you can teach.
    Lou

  2. Lou, I’m thrilled to have you weigh in on this site and especially this post. I have the highest regard for your opinion. Will Chestnut Hill now have to fire other professors of different faiths? Jewish, etc.

    It’s my understanding there are several Old Catholic Apostolic Churches in the area. I’m not clear on the number of clergy. I’m wading through those sites tonight.

    You’d be a wonderful teacher.

  3. Thanks Susan

    Actually most Catholic colleges do have nonCatholics on their faculty. It generally isn’t a problem, because they are hired for their expertise in their field, which usually has nothing to do with religion. It only becomes a problem when either in the classroom or in the public square they advocate positions which are contrary to Catholic teaching, as St.George very clearly was doing.
    As to Old Catholic Apostolic Churches, I think they are generally independent of one another.
    According to today’s Daily News the bishop who ordained him is e-mailing people telling them he should not be teaching in a Catholic college.
    Lou Baldwin

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