Catholic and Jesuit identity: The stormy petrils lose this round at Santa Clara University…

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on delicious
Share on digg
Share on stumbleupon
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on print


Despite the Siren song of the stormy petrils, a Bay Area News Group article reports that the Board of Trustees of Santa Clara University (SCU)—a Jesuit university—has upheld its decision last year to terminate elective abortion healthcare coverage for employees beginning January 1, 2015.

In a statement issued February 14, Board Chairman Robert Finocchio wrote:

In making the decision, the President carried out this duty. The decision was not a decision of condemnation or of exclusion, but rather one that flows from the University’s identity and mission as a Jesuit, Catholic university.

In his statement, Finocchio merely reiterated what the Board had  stated previously when Fr. Engh announced the Board’s decision last fall.

As was entirely predictable, Fr. Engh’s announcement didn’t set well with SCU’s Faculty Senate, which objected strenuously. Members claimed that the Board’s new policy sent several messages: the Board doesn’t value diversity (not all employees support Church teaching), the Board doesn’t value inclusivity (having excluded faculty leaders from the process), and the Board was imposing Catholic doctrine on employees (many are not Catholic).

Addressing the protests, Fr. Engh announced a delay in the benefits change until January 2015. The extra year, he said, would allow the Faculty Senate to review the new policy and study options beyond SCU’s healthcare plan.

That said, in this round, the decision has been made. The Board didn’t reverse it, despite the Siren song of the stormy petrils.

Isn’t it refreshing to read that members of the Board of Trustees of a Catholic university are upholding their sacred trust? Would that members of the boards of every institution of U.S. Catholic higher education had as much spine!

Come to think of it: Why do so many of Board members live in mortal fear of and cower before the stormy petrils who charge them with not being diverse and inclusive as well as with imposing Church doctrine on employees? Or, is the real truth that many Board members actually side with the stormy petrils?



To read the Bay Area News Group article, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

More to explorer

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I have not yet adequately expressed the more than anxiety that I feel at the ever increasing scope given to the Fourteenth

PopeWatch: AntiChrist

Sandro Magister minces no words:   While the controversy rages on in view of the synod on the Amazon, which in reality


Good video featuring noted Civil War historian Allen Guelzo on Reconstruction.  Once Lincoln was assassinated Reconstruction was probably doomed.  He wanted to


  1. This is not about contraceptives. This is about normalizing fornication. This is an assault and offense against God, in the same way that gay-rights and/or so called unnatural marriage is about normalizing sodomy.
    Persons who do not use contraception or practice sodomy are being dragged into the mele without their informed consent and/or knowledge and are being abused to make a case for the legal imposition of vice.
    The innocent opposition is being scraped from the womb. Justice is being twarted and the wrath of God is being scorned.

  2. It is a Catholic University. By what logic did they expect it to be Catholic and something totally opposed to being Catholic at the same time. I worry about the quality of the intellects represented on the Faculty senate.

  3. “By what logic did they expect it to be Catholic and something totally opposed to being Catholic at the same time.”

    Because they think Catholic means something different than you and I do. Dealing with the same thing now in a Catholic hospital in which I work. Had to push and cajole to get some Catholic teaching into a course on bioethics. The book they use teaches abortion as a licit approach to prenatal problems, etc. etc.

  4. In due course. At this point, given the bishop, I am not sure that he would intervene. As it stands now, I’ve already caused some consternation with my stands so far. So will take it step by step.

  5. We must ask how did the Board of Trustees of Santa Clara University (SCU)—a Jesuit university—ever come to offer elective abortion healthcare coverage for employees in the first place.

    And we must be pleased as angels in Heaven that the current Board has repented, then chose to go and sin no more (at least after 2015).

  6. Exactly Micha – why dd they ever have such coverage in the first place? I suppose better late than never on getting rid of it.

  7. “Objective Truth/Church Teachings vs. Liberal ideology Faith and the power of prayer ” and someone standing up and speaking the truth, so often obliterated, and speaking the truth and speaking the truth.

  8. “Board doesn’t value diversity (not all employees support Church teaching)”

    But of course every one supports diversity over Church teaching! This reminded me of the cartoon of Moses, who, having received the 10 Commandments, is shown with his face lifted to heavens saying: “so I guess diversity is not a priority ?”

  9. Kevin, Mary

    Yes I have two l’s in my name as oppose to Philip who has only one. I do appreciate the decade (especially as I will be on retreat this weekend in part to discern further what to do) and I suspect Philip also will.

    Thanks for your comments.

  10. I’m very proud of my alma mater. Santa Clara has shown leadership to all Catholic colleges and universities.

  11. When my brother attended medical school at a well known Catholic university in the mid-1970s, he was dismayed to find that medical ethics was offered as an elective and not as a required course. What was sown in the 60s and 70s at so-called “Catholic” colleges and universities has now come to fruition. Santa Clara’s example, I hope, will be emulated by other Catholic institutions.

  12. L – That’s the one I owe you Phillip. Yesterday I was very busy and it was my promise to offer up a decade that brought me to the rosary. So your prayer became my blessing. Funny how those things work out.

  13. Tell me please if I am missing something here! I have in front of me the January 16 issue of the National Catholic Register in which there is an article re: SCU/Fr. Engh “taking a stand.” Under the paragraph, “Reason for Change” it states: The SCU president explained that the university’s health-care representatives and insurance informed his administration that they are not required by California’s Dept. of Managed Care and Insurance to provide “elective abortion.” However, he noted, the university will ‘continue to cover therapeutic abortions, contraception and other forms of reproductive health care …”. Is there more than one SCU or Fr. Engh?! Help me understand why you are all celebrating their catholic identity?

Comments are closed.