Double Standard

CANADIAN BROADCASTING COMPANY, March 6 — The University of Saskatchewan student newspaper The Sheaf published a cartoon depicting Jesus engaged in bestiality only weeks after refusing to print the cartoons mocking Mohammed out of respect for Islam.

The cartoon ignited a storm of protest on and off-campus, CBC reported.           

University President Peter MacKinnon decried the newspaper’s double standard regarding religious sensitivity and said the cartoon “does nothing to advance the understanding or debate for which universities should be distinguished.”

No Hearing

ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 7 — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider a challenge to a statue on the campus of public, tax-supported Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., that some felt was insulting to Catholics.

The sculpture, titled “Holier than Thou,” included a plaque with a denigrating statement about the sacrament of reconciliation. It showed a scowling clergyman wearing an oddly shaped miter. It was not meant to be a permanent feature and was removed in 2004.

The suit was filed by a Catholic student and faculty member. It argued that, by allowing public money to be used for works that deride one group but not others, the university was in violation of the Constitution’s establishment clause.

Robert Muise, an attorney who defended the suit said, “university officials admitted that they would never permit an anti-Jewish, anti-black, or anti-gay/lesbian statue on campus.”

Aggressive Iona

THE DAILY NEWS, March 3 — Iona College has raised $82 million for scholarships and new construction, including the 44,000-square-foot Hynes Athletics Center that opened in February and is designed for student recreation and intramural sports.

Iona has also built student housing in favor of a larger on-campus population, and “sought to raise its profile through … the aggressive pursuit of more prestigious accreditation,” reported the New York tabloid.

The goal is to attract higher-caliber students to the Irish Christian Brothers’ school in New Rochelle, N.Y.


THE BOSTON GLOBE, March 7 — Organizers of a pro-abortion panel discussion at Boston College admitted that they misrepresented themselves as members of the Boston College Democrats because they knew their group would not get permission to use campus space.

“The students … in essence, were being duplicitous in trying to sponsor a pro-choice event at a Catholic institution,” Jack Dunn, the school spokesman, told the Globe.  

The panel discussion featured a Planned Parenthood official and three pro-abortion faculty members. It drew some 80 students.

Jesuit-run Boston College does not recognize pro-abortion groups but has at least three pro-life groups dedicated to supporting life. It recently observed “Respect Life Week,” with students participating in a series of vigils against abortion.

Borrowed Lines OK’d

SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, Feb. 28 — Father Richard McBrien has been cleared by Notre Dame University of a plagiarism charge claiming that he appropriated material written by Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara for use in his own syndicated column.

John Cavadini, chairman of Notre Dame’s theology department, reviewed the charges and spoke with Father McBrien. He found some “unattributed” material but concluded its use was unintentional.

The complaint against Father McBrien was made by the Virginia-based Cardinal Newman Society.