The Corner

Catholics Prosper

Several years ago, I put out a series of articles in support of the Saint Ignatius Institute, a nationally renowned Great Books program run by traditional Catholics at the University of San Francisco (a Catholic university). SII had long been in tension with the liberal Catholics in charge of USF, and that conflict came to a head when the traditionalists who ran SII were fired, and the program gutted. The bad news is that the liberals at USF succeeded in exiling the traditionalists. The good news is that, after defeat and exile, the traditionalists have succeeded in building up their own alternative institutional network. If you want to read about the new and growing world of traditional Catholic higher education, The Chronicle of Higher Education has just published a major article on the phenomenon. The Chronicle will also host a live Colloquy with David O’Brien, as historian of American Catholicism and a the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, April 7, at 2PM. Of course, I myself am secular, and don’t share all the views of traditional Catholics. But I think it’s a travesty when classic Catholic education can’t find a place within the American academy–even at a nominally Catholic university. I wish the new Catholic higher education movement success. By the way, I first wrote about the Saint Ignatius Institute controversy on February 12, 2001, in “Save NEH, Save St. Ignatius.” And if you want to follow the whole saga, click here, here, and here.


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