Ad Majorem [fill-in-the-blank] Gloriam

Ad Majorem Dei [fill-in-the-blank] Gloriam

By Phil Lawler | Jul 28, 2016

Much has been made, these last few days, about the Jesuit training of Sen. Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee. What does his Jesuit education tell us?

Elizabeth Drescher has something to tell us. Drescher is the author of Choosing Our Religion: the Spiritual Lives of America’s Nones. To appreciate her insight, you need to know:

– “Nones” in the term used for people who are not affiliated with any religious group.
– “Nones” are now the largest-growing religious bloc in American society.
– “Nones” lean very heavily toward the Democratic Party, according to a recent Pew poll.

About now you may be wondering: What do “nones” have to do with Jesuit education? Good question. Let Elizabeth Drescher answer it:

Between the last election season and this one, I talked with more than 100 nones across America about their spiritual lives and surveyed several hundred more. My research shows that the Jesuit values that shape Tim Kaine’s politics correspond in many ways to the spirituality of nones.

Jesuit training, then, produces people whose outlook on life is remarkably similar to that of the unchurched. Or, to look at it from a different perspective, remarkably similar to Hillary Clinton’s constituency.

Make no mistake: the Clinton campaign knows what Kaine could bring to this year’s presidential campaign. Democratic candidates need Catholic votes. The challenge was to find a vice-presidential nominee who had the “look and feel” of a Catholic, yet could to the secularized Democratic constituency. The answer was Jesuit education.

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3 comments on “Ad Majorem [fill-in-the-blank] Gloriam

  1. Senator Kaine is a 1976 graduate of Rockhurst High School, ostensibly a “Catholic” high school administered by the Society of Jesus in Kansas City, Missouri. Take good note of the year (1976), the height of the modernist Spirit of Vatican II. During that period students of such institutions were still taught that abortion is evil and a serious mortal sin, as we were. Unless it can be shown that someone at Rockhurst was teaching that abortion was acceptable, his position actually runs counter to what was being taught at that time. After whatever he experienced at Rockhurst, Kaine then attended the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School. He, thus, missed entirely the highly-relevant Jesuit (or any kind of Catholic) instruction in philosophy and theology in college. It could be argued that Kaine has picked up the liberal party line on abortion from the Pelosi, Kerry, Biden, and Ted Kennedy types which can be traced to the modernist Situation Ethics of the notorious modernist Robert Drinan, but Drinan’s extremism was not the norm in Jesuit high schools at that time. If Harvard Law certifies that Kaine’s mind works, he should have learned the Catholic teaching on abortion and should be capable of distinguishing between a revealed article of faith and a reasoned conclusion of natural law and direct observation, since we have been writing about that in the Catholic pro-life movement for years. Does Senator Kaine read? Does he read ANY Catholic publications? Someone capable of understanding and explaining Roberto Unger’s concept of Critical Legal Studies and legal positivism should have the capacity to understand the Catholic teaching on abortion and the civic duties of Catholics on issues relating to the sanctity of life. That Kaine chooses not to accept the Catholic teaching on abortion or is unable to understand the principles involved due to some defect of reason may not be the fault of the Society of Jesus at Rockhurst High School during his time there. There are plenty of progressive modernists who can enable him now and someone so jaded to join Hillary Clinton in an anti-life campaign would go to the bottom of the barrel for moral and theological advice. But Kaine chooses not to follow what Father Schall, Father Pacwa, Father Fessio, and Father Meconi, could explain to him. As could the modernist bishops of the USCCB. What’s stopping the bishops? What’s stopping Kaine’s bishop?

    • Did Tim Kaine Truly Get a Catholic Education?

      Adam Cassandra / July 28, 2016 / Opinion

      During his speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia emphasized that his “faith became something vital” during his studies at a Jesuit high school. And Kaine has mentioned the importance of his Jesuit education a number of times recently in campaign speeches.

      But from his time in high school until now, it doesn’t seem Kaine has ever learned to embrace the fullness of the Catholic faith. Even the Jesuit editors of America Magazine — who would never be branded conservative Catholics — took exception to Kaine’s claim to have learned “social justice” in school while supporting Hillary Clinton’s radical agenda to expand abortion.

      What does that tell us about the quality of his Catholic upbringing and Jesuit education?

      “My parents, Al and Kathy, here tonight and going strong, they taught me about hard work and about kindness and most especially, about faith,” Kaine said at the convention in Philadelphia. “I went to a Jesuit boys high school, Rockhurst High School,” in Kansas City, Mo.

      “Now we had a motto in my school, ‘men for others.’ And it was there that my faith became something vital. My north star for orienting my life,” he continued. “And when I left high school, I knew that I wanted to battle for social justice.” Kaine went on to talk about how he volunteered with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras to teach kids welding and carpentry skills during a break from studying at Harvard Law.

      Rockhurst High School has expressed support for Kaine in a series of tweets, including emphasizing that Kaine is, “A true believer in service and a ‘man for others’!” An article about Kaine is also featured on the school’s website.

      “Senator Kaine has devoted himself to service during his entire career,” Father Terrence Baum, S.J., president of Rockhurst High School, said in the post. “We salute his achievements and know he will continue to do his best as a ‘man for others.’”

      The praise from Kaine’s alma mater implies that he fully understands what it means to be a “man for others” in the mold of his Jesuit education.

      But for Kaine, being Catholic doesn’t prevent him from ignoring his faith to support redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, the use of birth control and the ordination of women as priests. Being “for others” doesn’t include protecting the innocent unborn, who are created in the image and likeness of God. His efforts to “battle for social justice” don’t include seeking justice for those killed in the womb.

      LifeSiteNews notes that Kaine “has a perfect pro-abortion record in the Senate and supports Planned Parenthood. Kaine is also a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would undermine pro-life laws across the country.” The news service also recently highlighted abortion giant Planned Parenthood’s excitement about Kaine as the Democrat vice presidential nominee, calling Kaine a man who has “dedicated his life to serving others.”

      More broadly, Kaine betrays his service “for others” as a Catholic by purposefully causing scandal with his public statements and political positions against Church teaching that could confuse both Catholics and others about the importance of defending innocent life.

      To be clear, I don’t mean “a scandal” but the sin of scandal. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged.” The person who gives scandal “may even draw his brother into spiritual death.”

      We are also reminded in the Catechism that the sin of scandal prompted Jesus to warn, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

      As a public figure and a Catholic in political life, Kaine has used his influence to oppose the Church. He has publicly separated himself from fundamental Church teachings, giving the impression to the public that one can be a faithful Catholic and hold the positions which he does.

      Kaine said during his convention speech that his time in Honduras “convinced me that we have got to advance opportunity for everybody, no matter where you come from, how much money you have, what you look like, how you worship or who you love.”

      What about the opportunity for eternal life and eternal happiness with Christ in heaven? What good is a lifetime of service “for others” if you ignore the most important aspect of serving others in the name of God: spreading the Gospel for the salvation of souls?

      While being “for others” is important, it’s not always helpful and healthy to serve others’ selfish ends. A man or woman who first lives for Christ and allows truth to guide their actions — that’s what we expect from a graduate of Catholic education.

  2. Senator Kaine’s final year of high school and entrance to college was the period in the ’70s when Squeaky Fromme tried to shoot President Gerald Ford, Patty Hearst’s strange arrest with the Symbionese Liberation Army, when Georgia peanut farmer Jimmy Carter was elected president, and the beginning of the Son of Sam murders and the Disco era of Saturday Night Fever. There were a LOT of goofy and crazy things happening in American culture at that time that could have distracted someone from learning Catholic natural law theory even if they had attended a Catholic college. George McGovern had received support from Catholic Lefties and crazy liberals in 1972, but the Drinan-Ted Kennedy pro-abortion position was still an extreme liberal one for Catholics at that time and rare for Catholic priests. Paul VI was pope and the Novus Ordo was in full swing in 1976 with plenty of folk guitars.
    But whatever may have happened in his high school, Kaine didn’t attend a Catholic college and apparently did not learn how to parse or explain the issue correctly at Harvard Law, although at some points in his career he seems to have known that abortion is wrong. So what happened after Rockhurst High? Will ANY bishop of the USCCB explain what is involved with the abortion issue and the responsibilities of Catholics in public life in 2016?

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