Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Finally! A TRUE Jesuit stands up for the Truth and for Life!

MANILA, Philippines—Faculty members who support the Reproductive Health (RH) bill have no right to teach in Ateneo de Manila University, Jesuit priest James Reuters said, according to a Radyo Inquirer report aired Tuesday.  [compare that to the lame-duck statements of his fellow Jesuits talking about conscience and common ground!]

Reuters was quoted as saying that the RH bill violates what a Catholic institution like the Ateneo stands for, because he claimed the bill promotes abortion. He said the basic law in a Catholic school is simple: follow the rule of God.

He added that freedom of speech was not absolute. [Freedom entails responsibility and I hope these Ateneo professors know the repercussions of their actions.]

The report said that Reuters had advised the Ateneo administration to investigate teachers supporting the bill.  [I doubt the Ateneo administration will do anything about this.]

In 2008, a group of professors from Ateneo de Manila University threw their support for the RH bill.

For the full radio report, listen to the DZIQ 990AM voice clip.—Danica Hermogenes,


The agnostic Ateneo educated and Ateneo employed blogger Lisandro Claudio wrote: "On a personal level, I also really love the Jesuits; I look to them as the most forward-thinking of Catholics. It is my sincere hope that they help reinvigorate what for me is becoming an increasingly benighted Church."

Let's see what he has to say about what the revered Fr. Reuters just said. Ha!

As I have continuously blogged in the past that we cannot separate our identity as Catholics from who we are as Filipinos and from our profession.  We just cannot.  We carry that identity in our person.

A Catholic who teaches at a Catholic university cannot invoke academic freedom and freedom of speech by telling the whole world that "I am a Catholic but I dissent from the teachings of the Church."

You just cannot do that.

Either shape up or ship out!

Thank God we have Fr. James Reuters who has the guts to tell the Truth and be crystal clear on this issue.

And to his other fellow Jesuits who cannot do the same...

Know who you are and if you cannot do your duty as a Jesuit and as a Catholic...

Either shape up or ship out!


  1. Fr Reuter is just expressing what is in Ex Cordiae Ecclesiae. It rests on the Catholic identity of a Catholic University. The Ateneo should revisit its identity as a Catholic university.It also should revisit its idea of academic freedom (which isn't absolute too!). Professors at a Catholic university can dissent from official Church teaching but they have to ensure that they are speaking not for the institution and for Catholicism at all.

    There is very little Ateneo or the Bishop of Cubao can do without irreparably damaging academic freedom (which is guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution for universities). Any institutional motion to censure or even dismiss professors will invite a backlash which will damage both the Ateneo and the local Catholic Church.

    But what the local ordinary can do is to enforce Ex Cordiae Ecclesiae and remove Ateneo's status as a Catholic university! And when that happens, it would be interesting!

  2. Angelo here. I am an Atenean, and I always pray that our school return to its roots. But alas, it those who remain true to the Faith who are ostracized in our community.

    I wonder, why doesn't Bishop Ongtioco revoke the licenses of those theologians dissenting from the Church?

    In the most recent statement of our president Fr. Nebres, he said that the Ateneo is with the side of the CBCP, and the entire Catholic Church for that matter. However, the school respects the individual opinions of those professors who prefer to dissent.

    And question, you can revoke a school's Catholic status? Is in it Ex Corde Ecclesiae? If that happens, then God help me, I'll transfer.

  3. Ajep, the local ordinary can strip a Catholic university of the "Catholic" label. In the US, some bishops have done that.

    Article 5 of Ex Cordiae Ecclesiae, section 2 says

    "Each Bishop has a responsibility to promote the welfare of the Catholic Universities in his diocese and has the right and duty to watch over the preservation and strengthening of their Catholic character. If problems should arise concerning this Catholic character, the local Bishop is to take the initiatives necessary to resolve the matter, working with the competent university authorities in accordance with established procedure and, if necessary, with the help of the Holy See."

  4. Also the local ordinary can strip Ateneo of its Catholic status if he deems it has become heterodox. This is an ecclesiastical act within his competence and the State cannot question this. Ex Cordiae Ecclesiae is controversial since it places the need to protect Catholic teaching over academic freedom concerns.