The student-led petition at Loyola presents an opportunity for us to consider what sort of values a Catholic institution of higher education ought to instill in its students; this is a good thing. It is an opportunity for Loyola’s Catholic leadership to acknowledge and reaffirm the truth that we humans are a fallen lot—that good and evil inevitably run through all of our hearts; to reaffirm the need for our culture to be elevated by grace; to remind young people that our quest for justice must be tempered by mercy and humility; and to explain, in Christian charity, what in O’Connor’s life and art is truly honorable and what is not.
Given that so many of the Church’s pusillanimous bishops kept the faithful from participating in the miracle of the Eucharist for so many weeks, it seems fair to wonder if they really believe in that miracle.
I am Jesuit-trained, but a good many Jesuit schools today seem more concerned with being in step with intellectual fashion than with matters eternal. My faith in the institutional church is challenged regularly by those who have somehow managed to be put in charge of it.
The Loyola studes might want to read O’Connor before passing judgment on her. They might remind themselves of something Jesus — whom they presumably worship — said:
Do not judge others, or you yourselves will be judged. As you have judged, so you will be judged, by the same rule; award shall be made you as you have made award, in the same measure. How is it that thou canst see the speck of dust which is in thy brother’s eye, and art not aware of the beam which is in thy own? (Knox Version)