According to a release from The Cardinal Newman Society, 10 Catholic colleges and universities that are promoting student internships with organizations whose missions or activities are directly opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, including on fundamental issues such as abortion and marriage. “This discovery validates the concerns of so many thousands of faithful Catholic parents and students, that public scandals at Catholic colleges are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Under what definition of ‘Catholic education’ do students receive academic credit to work for leading pro-abortion organizations?”
Last week, CNS wrote to the presidents of these colleges and universities to inform them of the problems with their internship programs. None have yet indicated that they will take steps to remedy the problems.
The internship programs—along with concerns about theological dissent, weakening academic standards and declining campus culture at many Catholic colleges and universities—help explain why most students and recent graduates of Catholic institutions believe that abortion and gay marriage should be legal, despite the Church’s clear teachings to the contrary. That was one of the disturbing findings of a November 2008 study published by the CNS Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education and titled “Behaviors and Beliefs of Current and Recent Students at U.S. Catholic Colleges.”
Such internships were discovered at the following institutions:
A page on the Boston College website recommends “Non-Profit Internship Sources” including two pro-abortion advocacy groups, the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Organization for Women. A Boston College Law School website also recommends to students opportunities for “pro bono” legal work, including the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts which “depends on the work of volunteers and interns to make it possible to achieve its mission of providing low-cost, high-quality medical, educational, counseling, and advocacy services to men and women across the state.” Also listed are the ACLU-Massachusetts and the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), both of which advocate homosexual “marriage.”
College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University
The Gender and Women’s Studies program for the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in Minnesota promotes internship opportunities including the pro-abortion Feminist Majority Foundation, with responsibilities including “clinic defense” (most likely meaning efforts to oppose protestors at abortion clinics); the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus, which supports pro-abortion female political candidates; and Rainbow Families, with responsibilities including developing a “resource and referral guide for the LGBT prospective parents.”
The DePaul University Women’s and Gender Studies program offers credit for internships, noting that students have interned with abortion provider Planned Parenthood and the Chicago Women’s Health Center, which offers emergency contraceptive services and alternative insemination for “lesbians, bisexual, and queer couples, single women of any sexual orientation, and trans people.”
A 2007 change in policy by the Georgetown Law School permitted students to receive university funding through the Equal Justice Foundation for interning at abortion advocacy organizations. The change came after a student was refused funding for an internship at Planned Parenthood. After lobbying from pro-abortion Georgetown students and faculty ensued, the law school altered its policy and no longer considered the mission of organizations in determining grants for internships. A recent review of Georgetown Law School and the Equal Justice Foundation gives no indications that this policy has been altered from the 2007 decision.
Loyola University of Chicago
The Loyola University of Chicago Women’s Studies and Gender Studies website lists opportunities for internships and volunteer opportunities at the following pro-abortion organizations: Chicago National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation, Planned Parenthood, and the Chicago Abortion Fund.
St. Edward’s University
St. Edward’s University students apparently have worked as interns at the local NARAL Pro-Choice Texas to fulfill a “Community Service in Women’s Studies” credit requirement. As of June 4, 2009, the NARAL Pro-Choice Texas website listed three interns from St. Edward’s University; the page has since been edited. One of the student biographies read: “[Student’s Name] (Service Learning Intern) is a second-semester freshman at St. Edward’s University, and is a Religious Studies major and a Women’s Studies Minor. He is working with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas as part of the service learning program within the Women’s Studies Minor.”
St. Norbert College
At St. Norbert College the Women’s and Gender Studies program recommends internships at a host of pro-abortion organizations including the National Organization for Women, Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund), Planned Parenthood, the League of Women Voters, the National Women’s Health Network, the National Women’s Law Center, Our Bodies Ourselves, the Women’s Campaign Fund and the Women’s Information Network. Also recommended are the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), both of which advocate homosexual “marriage.” The Population Institute, which St. Norbert College recommends for internships, is an aggressive lobby for government funding of family planning programs.
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame’s Gender Studies Program offers internships for academic credit at “approved locations.” Through its Boehnen Fund for Excellence in Gender Studies, Notre Dame’s Gender Studies Program awarded a grant in 2008 to fund a student’s internship at the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C.
University of San Francisco
USF’s Media Studies program promotes internships at Girlfriends Magazine (which requires applicants to be “conversant in lesbian culture and politics”) and the California Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.