Rorate Caeli

K is for...nothing
Just what Europe needs: in Louvain, Catholic not even in name only

The largest and historically most prestigious University in the Low Countries, the University of Louvain (the Dutch-speaking university, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Flanders, from which most French-speaking aspects were transferred to a smaller sister-university in Wallonia in 1970) is about to change its name - and more. From Flemish student newspaper Veto (excerpts):

"KU Leuven - University of Leuven" [in English]. This is probably the new name of the university. A consensus has been reached in the university to keep the K, but to remove all references to the name Catholic. The proposed [new] mission statement of the university also includes independence from the Church and proactive openness.


Although final decisions on the identity [of the university] are to be taken only by the University Board meeting of December 22, President Mark Waer has made clear that "the line has been drawn." ...

The position of the five bishops within the Board will be placed under pressure ... . The acknowledgment of Archbishop Leonard [of Mechlin-Brussels] as Chancellor of the university would remain, but he would no longer sit on the Board

All references to the Catholic character will be removed from the name. ... Internationally, in order to avoid confusion about the identity of the university, the present document recommended the subtitle "University of Leuven." [sic, in English]. ... The interest of KULeuven is to associate its independence from the Church with a more proactive diversity policy. It would seem that a broad focus for the different groups at the university is necessary. President Waer argues for a broader interpretation of the hitherto compulsory course "Religion, Meaning and Values." "The students, who are the leaders of the future, must be open to and confronted with different views." Waer suggested that the RMV course be replaced by one on "Man and worldviews", where Christianity is just one of the different worldviews represented.

These conclusions, likely to be adopted by the end of December, are the result of a broad debate within the university. ... "More than 500 people participated actively in this process," said Waer.

It remains to be seen if Our Lady, Sedes Sapientiae, will be removed from the University seal...

[Tip: http://www.standaard.be/artikel/detail.aspx?artikelid=DMF20111205_099

32 comments:

Knight of Malta said...

Sounds similar to the stories of Gonzaga, Georgetown, Notre Dame, etc., here in the States.

St. Mary's in Kansas is still Catholic. I hear good things about Thomas Aquinas. But these are rare springs examples in a dry desert when it comes to Catholic education.

Vatican II is a gift that keeps on giving...

Barbara said...

"Religion, Meaning and Values."
"The students, who the leaders of the future, must be open to and confronted with different views." Waer suggested that the RML course be replaced by one on "Man and worldviews", where Christianity is just one of the different worldviews represented."

This is the utterly depressing mindset that is taking over Europe and is none other than "the spirit" of "the antichrist. "
It is also a reaffirmation of an excellent comment by Prof Basto on the state of Catholic education. (see thread on Catholic girls in mosque). From first-hand experiece, I concur with everything that he wrote.

The continuous politically correct silence of most Church leaders continue to baffle me - and is starting to anger me! What are we lay supposed to do when they won't lead?

As the Italians would say "siamo alla frutta" (we are nearing the end). Of course this is just a quip to express our worry and concern, for the future is in Our Lord's hands. But looking around and hearing day after day similar stories of rejection of Him and expanding secularisation, one begins to wonder. Siamo alla frutta?

Christine said...

The Seminary at Louvain closed this past June:

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2011/06/at-louvain-green-door-is-closed.html

I assume that's why it's being rebranded as a secular university.

New Catholic said...

No, that is not exactly why: that was the American seminary, the American College of the Immaculate Conception. But certainly both matters are related in a "worldview" sense: times are changing.

Loyolakiper said...

A priest last year told me that the University lost its Catholic standing and hence its name... Is this not correct?

New Catholic said...

It is not correct. The Archbishop of Mechlin-Brussels is still the Chancellor of the University, it is still a Catholic university - and no Bishop has declared that it is not Catholic.

LDS said...

This university has lost its Catholic identity for many years. Now the change just made the title of the university reflect the fact.

GQ Rep said...

I used to be a Highschool teacher (up until a year ago), in addition to another job which on occasion took me overseas, and to Mexico many times. Reluctantly, I gave up teaching, and now spend alot of my time in NY City, LA, and when the job calls for it, overseas. So I have seen over the last 6 years, much of the "Catholic" world.

Sometimes I might sound too harsh, brash, or opinionated. But I;ve seen everything in my travels, and can speak from experience that from the SPIRITUAL sense (the system of belief, the traditions, the teachings, the very essence of the Catholic Faith which bound us tightly as a community within the larger global community) is DEAD. Which is why this decision/change from Louvain (or Leuven) is to me at least, no surprise at all.

I have seen literally hundreds of once great Motherhouses of nuns (mostly in Canada, France,Belgium, and Netherlands) which were built for 300+ nuns (the Motherhouse of the Religious of the Good Shepherd(or Sisters of the Good Shepherd) in France is a HUGE institution which could house 1,000 nuns!!! ) either closed, for sale, or turned into apartments, schools, or hotels. Some Motherhouses built for 300+ have as few as half a dozen very aged nuns wandering around looking bleak, but still defiantly femminist and holding to the views which destroyed their own Orders. The disaster which befell nuns after Vatican II fell heavilly on Orders of friars and monks and priests/brothers as well.
You might as well write off the Christian Brothers (FSC) in Europe-especially in Ireland and France.
So too the Jesuits---there's less than 600 Jesuits left in Italy, and barely 300 in France! Think of all the magnificent Jesuit basilicas and schools in both countries. Most are either run by 2-3 aged Jesuits (when in the 1950's some had communities of as many as 60!), or have been turned over to equally aged diosecean clergy...or sadly to these so called "new Movements", which are bizarre "Orders" in the Spirit of Vatican II. They are not really Catholic at all.
Practice of the Faith is dead in all of Western Europe, except where there are strong SSPX presence. They are the only Catholics left who love our Faith and our tradtions in Europe.
That might sound biased, but I've been there... and seen it. For the most part it's only traditional/traditionalist Catholics who still go to Mass and produce vocations!
So after saying all that, this article about Louvain is no surprise.
I don't want any of you to be looking at the Catholic Church thru "rose colored glasses" and hoping against hope for a change.
Believe me, this Pope is not helping the situation, and a change for the better for the Catholic Faith with this "Council for the New Evangelization" created by the Pope ain't gonna happen.
'Cause they are still bringing out Vatican II.
So even though this story of Louvain is sad, tragic, and even pathetic, don't be surprised by it, or more to come, even in your own dioceses.
I'm not a sede-vacantist but I have seen the world and seen everything there is to see regarding religious Orders, Masses, Catholic practice etc.
The hope of the Church sadly, is not with the current Vatican leadership. The hope of the Church is with the SSPX and the good and holy priests and religious members of or affiliated to them.
Whatever your religious leanings (traditional/traditionalist, conservative, or (hopefully not),progressive/liberal, pray for the Catholic Church. It is gone in Europe except in small places of Faith, and for the most part is being very badly served by it's hierarchy and authorities from the top on down.

Savonarola said...

Perhaps the universities feel, like many churchpeople, that since the leadership of the Church is now taking it back to old style inward-looking exclusive sectarian tribal "Catholicism," they no longer want to call themselves by the name, seeing that Catholic should mean all-embracing, universal and inclusive - what the Church was starting to become once more before the leadership began to abandon the vision of Vatican II.

Gratias said...

What a waste. In this age of technology and knowledge Catholic Universities could have been an vehicle of propagation of the Faith. We created the initial system of Pontifical Universities. Now all that infrastructure is let go to waste in the name of aggiornamento.

Carl said...

This is _far_ different from the case at Notre Dame in the US. There, the theology department has gained strength in many areas after the darker years under McBrien. The Center for Ethics and Culture is going strong, as are the new pro-life initiatives. Notre Dame is a very complicated situation; Louvain is a complete turn away from the Church.

dominic1955 said...

At leeast the person posting such foolish things about "sectarian" Catholicism picked an apt pen name, one of a crazy heretic monk...

Ivan Kamenski said...

Another success of Vatican II. Let us all sing the praises of this council (to some jaunty Haugen-Haas melody, of course) and let us never again question any of its gloriously infallible pronouncements, which corrected 1995 years of the history of the Church (1962+33). Let us cast out of the Church anyone who dares to question even the punctuation of these eternally true documents!

Signore Savonarola, the secularization at that institution began long before the 'vision of V2' (its acuity being approximately 6/60) was 'abandoned,' (if only!).

GQ Rep said...

"Perhaps the universities feel, like many churchpeople, that since the leadership of the Church is now taking it back to old style inward-looking exclusive sectarian tribal "Catholicism," "

NOPE. That's not it. Even with Vatican II and the liberal disaster and wholesale discarding of the Faith and tradition that followed it, we were lucky in some respect that the Popes of their time did not cave into modern thinking regarding some issues of very fundamental importance to us as human beings== The sanctity of traditional marriage ( and conversly, the impossibility and even evil of homosexual "marriage" or unions ), the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception and the grave sin of abortion, the sin of pre-marital sex, the sin of contraception etc, the dignity of the family and the roles and responsibilities placed on man and woman regarding it, etc., etc.

These people at Louvain, and other "Catholic" institutions of learning (like a university in Peru which has gone so far as to slander the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima and deny him a seat on its board which was always held by past Archbishops) reject all of the above. They are against traditional marriage and for homosexual unions. They are for abortion and contraception etc. They are for women priests,married priests, homosexuality and gay unions. Everything the Catholic Church has taught against as wrong..and even evil.
They have become completely secular and are Catholic only in name.
It's not that they see the Catholic Church going backward and retreating from Vatican II (which would actually be the right path to follow), rather these people just don't want to be Catholic....at all. They reject not only the traditions and beliefs of the Church, but also fundamental principles that have been natural (and sacred) to human societies uptil the present time.
These institutions have been totally corrupted...originally Vatican II being the impetus. But now they are far beyond even that.
Sad as it may seem, and despite the great heritage lost, it is better to see these people go, rather than to remain under the umbrella of the Catholic Faith and yet teach and spread beliefs and practices totally opposed to what the Catholic Church teaches.

Most communities of USA and European nuns as well as many of male religious in that they are no longer Catholic, should have been as honest as this and done the same.

oostveen said...

We call it in Dutch "schijnheilig" which means hypocritical

LeonG said...

The "razing of bastions" so-desired by the conciliar liberal modernists, continues apace. Soon nothing will be left.

JKE said...

"Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out."

-Emperor Claudius, I Claudius

Fortiter Pugnem said...

Knight of Malta,

I used to live very close to St. Mary's (I assume you mean in Leavenworth) and while it may retain it's name, it is not very Catholic. There are rumors, of wickens and gazing balls, and facts, of dormroom immorality and habitless nuns. So yes, while St. Mary's is still the Catholic University of St. Mary's, it is disgracefull to use that name. Just FYI.

Andrew said...

Its very sad and tragic that so many Catholic schools are turning their backs on their Catholic faith and heritage.

There is hope. Check out the Cardinal Newman Society web site. They have all sorts of great resources on how to keep universities Catholic, and advice on how to pick a solid Catholic university. They even have a directory that can be downloaded that reviews solid Catholic schools (it was presented to the Holy Father recently).

This group is excellent and we must support these solid Catholic universities.

www.cardinalnewmansociety.org

Fr. A.M. said...

This is very sad indeed. The question is, how will Archbishop Leonard and the Belgium bishops respond ? And will the Church still grant degrees, such as a licentiate ?

Athelstane said...

Certainly this is a sad day, in light of the many Catholic scholars and clerics who fought so hard over the centuries to give Louvain life as a Catholic university.

But credit to the university leaders for honesty. They know they're no longer a Catholic institution, and have not been for quite some time. At least they're finally acknowledging it formally. The facade was frankly more dangerous and debilitating - and yes, more deceptive.

Lee Lovelock-Jemmott said...

Funny enough, , Belgium has just 'formed' its 'francaphone' led coalition with Belgium's first gay prime minister, yet another facet of how the clergy has lost its grip on Belgium and how Belgium with its Catholic identity diluted byall sorts of maladies from within and without has dying a slow death through and through.

John L said...

'The sanctity of traditional marriage ( and conversely, the impossibility and even evil of homosexual "marriage" or unions ), the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception and the grave sin of abortion, the sin of pre-marital sex, the sin of contraception etc, the dignity of the family and the roles and responsibilities placed on man and woman.'

These are all parts of the natural law that have nothing specifically Catholic about them. Believing them and practising them are necessary for salvation, but not sufficient; you can be completely devoted to all them and still go to hell if you do not have the Catholic faith. In fact, the presumption is that someone who upholds all these things but does not have the faith - who rejects even one tenet of the faith - will be damned. The idea that the popes have somehow been upholding Catholicism by teaching these natural moral truths is ultramontane nonsense.

GQ Rep said...

"These are all parts of the natural law that have nothing specifically Catholic about them. Believing them and practising them are necessary for salvation, but not sufficient; you can be completely devoted to all them and still go to hell if you do not have the Catholic faith. In fact, the presumption is that someone who upholds all these things but does not have the faith - who rejects even one tenet of the faith - will be damned. The idea that the popes have somehow been upholding Catholicism by teaching these natural moral truths is ultramontane nonsense."


John L.:

I wasn't even remotely suggesting that the most recent Popes (including the present) have been upholding Catholicism by teaching natural moral Truths such as the evil of homosexuality and gay "marriage/unions, abortion,contraception andd pre-maritial sex. I was just expressing my gratitude that the recent 4-5 Popes (who religiously have been abyssmal leaders) still had the moral backbone to stand up against the tide and condemn moral evil.
They could have gone the other way and been like the Episcopal Church, and other Protestant groups and condoned any and all of the evils mentioned. There has been great pressure from the world to do so. But they have upheld time honored natural moral Laws that have guided human society for thousands of years, even before Christianity.
Even in the times of the ancient Greeks, even though homosexuality was widespread and it's practices "tolerated" it was still deemed extremely disordered. The same in ancient Rome and Egypt.
Even before Christianity, it was seen as frustrating Natural Law.
So all I was doing was being thankful for small favors that the Popes have not yielded to mdoern pressures.
The day a Pope (God forbid) condones homosexual unions, or contraception (which Benedict XVI ALMOST did with a misinterpreted remark about condoms), they I think you can say that in addition to liturgically etc, the Catholic Church has departed so far from it's tradition as to no longer deserve the title "Roman Catholic Church", but has instead transformed itself into a totally new creation.
I'm only 31, so I worry sometimes that I may live to see something like that. But I hope not.

Lee Lovelock-Jemmott said...

It's heart-warming to see so many Catholics out there however who are so orthodox and catholic in their life's still, though we are constantly been harrassed by the minions of flesh and the Devil's Horde. I'm currently in my last year of university and the amount I have garnered from this website, other websites and truly catholic friends has given me a clear three way path I can take and in each of them, one of my top priorities would be re-evangelizing and evangelizing heathens. So to this website and its contributors and the commentators, thanks a bunch and continue zealously in defending the one True, Holy and Divine Faith . Deo Gratias.

Gratias said...

The Vatican.va site contains many treasures. If you want to learn about Galileo and the Church read the article "Galilei, Divine Man" by Antonino Zichichi in: the Fourth-Hundredth Anniversary of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Acta 17, pp.81-105, 2004.

Just Google "Pontifical Academy of Sciences" and many interesting books pop up.

Catholic Encylopedia also has good entries on Galileo Galilei.

Savonarola said...

Sectarianism is a state of mind: being as Catholic as the Pope does not stop you being sectarian in your attitudes and mentality.
For the record Savonarola was the victim of corrupt Church politics, supported by the Medicis so long as it suited them, then when he was taking the Gospel too seriously for their liking and challenging their power the Church stepped in conveniently to do their dirty work for them by putting him to death on trumped-up charges. Yesterdays' heretic is so often today's hero of the faith.

spero said...

DOM GUERANGER writes for the Feast of St. Ambrose (in petition to the saint):

"Remove our prejudices, O thou great lover of truth! and crush within us those time-serving and unwise theories, which tend to make us Christians forget that Jesus is the King of this world, and look on the law, which equally protects error and truth, as the perfection of modern systems. May we understand that the rights of the Son of God and his Church do not cease to exist, because the world ceases to acknowledge them; that that to give the same protection to the true religion and to those false doctrines, which men have set up in opposition to the teachings of the Church, is to deny that 'all power has been given to Jesus in heaven and on earth;' that those scourges which perodically come upon the world are the lessons which Jesus gives to those who trample on the Rights of his Church, Rights which he so justly acquired by dying on the Cross for all mankind; that finally, though it might be out of our power to restore those Rights to people that have had the misfortune to resign them, yet it is our duty, under pain of being accomplices with those who would not have Jesus reign over them, to acknowledge that they are the Rights of the Church.
And lastly, dear Saint, in the midst of the dark clouds which lower over the world, console our holy Mother the Church, who is now but a stranger and pilgrim amidst those nations which were her children, but have now denied her..."

CFD said...

"For the most part it's only traditional/traditionalist Catholics who still go to Mass and produce vocations!"

The Catholic Church currently has about 120,000 seminarians. The vast, overwhelming majority of them come from all-Novus Ordo parishes and from dioceses and countries where the TLM is completely forgotten, or is only a term for something unknown and unexperienced.

Even in France, which has the most number of traditionalist seminarians in percentage terms, the traditionalists count for only about 20% of the all seminarians from that country, and that is including the SSPX seminarians.

The TLM continues to be a tiny, marginal phenomenon almost everywhere in the Catholic world. Granted that this is due partly to the hostility and modernism of much of the clergy and hierarchy, it is also due in great measure to the loss of the sense of Tradition in pretty much all of the Catholic world.

As long as people here want to pretend that the vast numbers of Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo is Asia, Africa and the Americas don't actually exist and that the Church can be restored without them, there is no hope for Traditionalism to extend beyond the ghettos to which it is currently confined.

Brian said...

It is only fitting that a Catholic university officially fell from the Truth.

It was largely the work of professorial periti (hungering for acceptance from their non-Catholic Religious Studies collegues) that got us into this mess in the first place.

Peccator Miserabilis said...

There is a real campaign going on in Belgium against the Catholic Church. Last week, 300 priests signed a petition to ask for married priests, lay people to lead the liturgy and woman priests. Now this. Poor Flanders! But this is the result of the seeds that were planted by those "great" reformers in the 1960's, such as Bishop De Smet and Cardinal Suenens, and later on Cardinal Danneels.

Hidden One said...

There is a problem. Many problems. Oh no! What are we doing to fix them?