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The Biology Department of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota publicizes volunteer opportunities on their webpage. Good idea. We should all be encouraged to serve the common good as best we can. 

But take a look at the organizations recommended under the rubric “sexual health.” NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota and Planned Parenthood. Another recommended organization provides “emergency contraception,” which is to say abortion-inducing drugs. 

So there you have it: A Catholic university guiding its students toward pro-abortion activism. 

But that’s not quite accurate. What we have is a biology department at a Catholic university guiding its students toward pro-abortion activism. Or perhaps just one or two faculty who are responsible for the website. Therein lies the problem, however. Unless a Catholic college or university is vigilant about insisting on its mission, it will drift toward the norm in academia, which means progressive cultural politics fundamentally at odds with Catholic teaching. 

This sort of incident will test the academic leaders at the University of St. Thomas and elsewhere. Do they have what my wife likes to call “testicular fortitude”? Are they able to say “No!” to positions, policies, and initiatives at odds with the Church’s teaching? Or will they hide behind feel-good statements about the need to “respect all voices”?

Addendum: The Biology Department’s website was scrubbed of the offending organizations. That answers my question about testicular fortitude. Kudos to the Catholic leaders of the University of St. Thomas.

R. R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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