In a few months, high school and college seniors will be receiving diplomas during ceremonies where they will listen to speakers. We would hope that at Catholic institutions that those speakers would be people who exemplify fidelity to Church teaching in their lives and words. Sadly that has not always been the case during these past few decades. I and others have often stood in protest at commencements where the speakers scandalized students and others, simply by being honored despite (or maybe because of) their publicly sinful conduct.
That trend still continues. During these past two years, commencements often were canceled due to covid-related concerns, but now they are ramping up, as are the appearances of dissidents. The Archdiocese of Baltimore, via the Catholic Review, just announced two such speakers about to poison the minds of the graduates.
The first is Sister Helen Prejean, who will address graduates of Notre Dame of Maryland University on May 22 at the Baltimore Convention Center. She will be delivering her address virtually, but the plug needs to be pulled on that public address system when she speaks. I have written quite a bit on her over the years. Her heretical position on the death penalty is NOT her only problem. I am considering a picket of that event, urging attendees to walk out during her prattling.
Then there's Anisya Thomas Fritz. She is a bit of an entrepreneur. There's nothing wrong with that, but she has other questionable associations. According to her Linkedin page, she is a founder and current chair of something called Georgetown Ambassadors for Women, Peace, Security. Any group that gives out "Hillary Clinton awards" is questionable, at best. Then I googled that group and discovered who's on the board. Ms. Fritz is, of course, but so is someone else named Tricia Hoefling. Her bio blurb quite plainly states that "she is an outspoken advocate for reproductive rights" and counts as an "accomplishment" the establishment of two abortuaries. Mind you, this is right on the website of Georgetown University, an ostensibly Catholic institution, but then again, it's Georgetown. Anyway, we know a lot about people by the company they keep. If she was a founder of that group, would she not have had some input regarding the composition of the board? Can Ms. Fritz be that much of an exemplar of Catholicism?
Fritz will be speaking at the commencement of Loyola University on May 14th at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore at 11am. That's a Sunday morning. Just when do the Loyola administration think that attendees will be able to attend Sunday Mass that day? Or don't they care? What's even more peculiar is that the Review staff didn't pick up on that. On second thought, maybe not.
The fact that these scandals are happening is bad enough. That they are lauded in an archdiocesan newspaper is itself bona fide evidence of the corruption that exists within Church hierarchy. As I said earlier, I am contemplating a picket of the Notre Dame fiasco. We've done it before, many times. I link now to a picket that some of us conducted when Sr. Carol Keehan of the Pen of Perfidy spoke at Gonzaga High 12 years ago. Watch the video to the end. We need to rebuke the sinner.