How Notre Dame drifted away from the Catholic Church

Simultaneously, liberal seminary officials began discouraging “rigid” conservative aspirants to the priesthood and favoring more “flexible” liberally minded candidates. This weeding out process, described in detail in Michael Rose’s Goodbye Good Men produced an overall shortage of priests and tended to bias the crop of future priests toward liberalism [3]. Thus, in imitation of the replication mechanism of viruses, liberal theologians used traditional Catholic institutions to reproduce their own kind and disseminate them throughout the Church.

This underground liberalization movement was apparently successful at Notre Dame. A salient example was the enthusiasm with which radically liberal Jesuit theologian Michael J. Himes (he doesn’t like to be called “father”) was received when he gave a series of lectures and workshops while a member of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology in 1987. These lectures were eventually published as a book called Doing the Truth in Love, which included an enthusiastic back-cover endorsement by ND’s president emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh. Consider the following excerpts, which I assure you were not invidiously taken out of context…