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Academic freedom: problem?

Letter to the Editor | Friday, March 10, 2006

Perhaps the ongoing discussion of academic freedom and Catholic character has reached the point where we should make an effort to ask, “What is really at stake in this dispute?”

Some of us agree that the basic question is simply, “To what extent and why must (or should) recognized student organizations, at Notre Dame or any Catholic university, refrain from discussions and performances of materials which question or challenge standard Catholic teaching concerning sexual morality?”

I have yet to hear a strong Catholic voice explain why, or discuss whether, a Catholic university fully tolerant of student freedoms on such matters is on the slippery slope to secularization. Perhaps there are arguments of that kind, but no one, neither our President, Father John Jenkins, nor the Chancellor of the University of Dayton, Father James Heft, has produced such an argument in this discussion so far.

Edward ManierprofessorDepartment of PhilosophyMarch 9