Converting at Boston College, to Atheism

On April 13, 1949, Fr. Keleher, the President of Boston College, fired Dr. Fakhri Maluf, James R. Walsh, and Charles Ewaskio from the faculty at Boston College for accusing the school of heresy against defined dogma, and supporting Father Leonard Feeney in upholding that dogma. The dogma, of course, was no salvation outside the Church.

On April 14, Fr. Keleher stated the following to the press:

“They continued to speak in class and out of class on matters contrary to the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church, ideas leading to bigotry and intolerance. Their doctrine is erroneous and as such could not be tolerated at Boston College. They were informed that they must cease such teaching or leave the faculty.”

“Their doctrine” was nothing more or less than the insistence on the Church’s own definitions on the subject, which were denied by the Jesuits at B.C. “Bigotry and intolerance” were Fr. Keleher’s words for the professors’ desire to bring all people into the Catholic Church so that they could save their souls. This desire was based on the idea that non-Catholics’ objectively false religions were not sufficient for their salvation.

Notice that even in the 1940’s, Catholic charity was being mistaken for hatred by the Church’s own clergy.

Fast forward to March 19, 2014. Writing for The Heights (“the independent student newspaper of Boston College”), B.C. senior, Stephen Sikora explains how his Jesuit education at B.C. helped him go from a doubting Methodist to an atheist.

Despite entering college as a Christian, two months from now I will graduate this Jesuit, Catholic school as an atheist. Ironically, the basis of that belief was developed in classes I was required to take based on Jesuit values and ideals — the education of the whole person through BC’s core curriculum. The Jesuits don’t teach students what to think. They teach them how to think. Above all else, that’s what college is for. And I’m grateful that I chose BC as the place to learn that.

Even the most Catholic institution in the world might graduate atheists. There are, after all, human free will and human malice that enter into this process. But it was “the education of the whole person through BC’s core curriculum,” that Mr. Sikora credits with his decision to embrace atheism. His classes were “based on [modernist] Jesuit values and ideals,” none of which Saint Ignatius would recognize as having anything to do with the Society he founded. The Jesuits after JanssensArrupe, Rahner, and Teilhard, etc., give us such “education of the whole person.”

Pray for the restoration of Catholic education. It is long overdue.