President of “Catholic” Trinity University in D.C. attacks Kellyanne Conway

President of “Catholic” Trinity University in D.C. attacks Kellyanne Conway

“Ms. Conway,” wrote Patricia McGuire on her blog recently, “has been part of a team that thinks nothing of shaping and spreading a skein of lies as a means to secure power.”

[Hat-tip to Phil Lawler at CatholicCulture: “Another outrage at Trinity University“]

One wonders whether Patricia McGuire, the president of Trinity University in Washington, DC, forgot the past record of her own school when she denounced an alumna, Kellyanne Conway. McGuire said that Conway, working in in the Trump White House, is complicit with an administration that is “spreading a skein of lies as a means to secure power.” It’s astonishing, in the first place, that a university president would issue such an unprovoked public rebuke to one of the school’s most prominent graduates. But as Anne Hendershott reminds us in a Catholic World Report article, Trinity is not just any school. It is a Catholic school that has given honorary degrees to other prominent alumnae, including Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius.

March 15, 2017
Anne Hendershott

In a normal world, university presidents are grateful for their graduates. They invite them back to campus, honor their achievements, and celebrate their accomplishments. University presidents know that the alumni are the most faithful constituency they have, and most avoid doing anything that might offend them. So, why would Patricia McGuire, the President of the Catholic Trinity Washington University, accuse Kellyanne Conway—one of Trinity’s most accomplished graduates—of “spreading a skein of lies” in her work as a senior advisor to President Donald Trump?

In an essay published on February 11, 2017, on the Trinity Washington University website titled “On Lies and the Truths We Must Tell”, McGuire claims:

Presidential Counselor, Kellyanne Conway, Trinity Class of 1989, has played a large role in facilitating the manipulation of facts and encouraging grave injustice being perpetrated by the Trump Administration’s war on immigrants among many other issues…Ms. Conway has been part of a team that thinks nothing of shaping and spreading a skein of lies as a means to secure power.

While many alumni took to the comments box on the school’s website to support McGuire’s essay, several criticized the post—including at least one professed member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur—the founding religious order of Trinity Washington University. Sister Mary Corripio, Trinity, class of ’88, posted that although she has always supported the Trinity president in the past, she was “surprised and disappointed at how harsh you were on Kellyanne.”

Some higher education leaders expressed surprise that a Catholic college president would attack one of their own graduates. Terry Hartle of the American Council on Education told a reporter that because of the importance of alumni to fundraising, “presidents tread very carefully. Losing the support of the alumni is a very bad idea.” The publicly pro-life Conway—this year’s honorary spokeswoman at the March for Life in Washington in January—has been generous in her support for her alma mater, donating more than $50,000.

Alienating donors is not something that college presidents usually do. But, in some ways this story points to the increasing importance of government funding for colleges and universities. Rather than depending solely upon the largesse of grateful alums, McGuire has been successful in parlaying public funds to enhance her campus. Most recently, Trinity Washington University was the recipient of a $15,000,000 tax exempt bond issued by the District of Columbia Revenue Bonds Series for the construction of an academic center.

Understanding the need to choose political sides, President McGuire has been selective in her support for the politically-connected Catholic graduates of her school. Honoring those who have publicly defied Catholic teachings on abortion, marriage and contraception (including abortifacients), President McGuire has awarded accolades to Trinity Washington graduates Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius. Appearing to ignore Pelosi’s 100 percent pro-abortion voting record throughout her long Senate career, Patricia McGuire awarded Pelosi, a member of the class of 1962, an honorary degree. In 2007, McGuire hosted a highly publicized inaugural Mass on the Trinity campus to celebrate Pelosi’s becoming Speaker of the House. Likewise, Kathleen Sebelius, Trinity class of 1970, was given an honorary degree from McGuire in 2003, despite the fact that Sebelius has long shared Pelosi’s commitment to defying the non-negotiable Catholic teachings by expanding rights to abortion (including support for late-term abortion) during her tenure as governor of Kansas. McGuire lauded Sebelius for her role in helping to create and pass the Affordable Care Act—replete with taxpayer funding for abortion, and mandates that required Catholic institutions like Trinity Washington University to provide free insurance coverage for contraception including abortifacients.

In 2007, McGuire invited the Rev. Robert Drinan, S J to celebrate the 2007 inaugural Mass for Pelosi on the Trinity Washington campus. Fr. Drinan, who died later that year, was an elected member of the House of Representatives from 1970 until 1980. Sharing a similar record of supporting abortion rights as Pelosi and Sebelius, Fr. Drinan provided a much imitated model for Catholic politicians who wished to support the fledgling pro-choice movement in the mid-1960s while claiming to be faithful to Catholic moral teaching. In fact, in a well-documented meeting at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Mass in July, 1964, Fr. Drinan joined with other leading theologians and progressive prelates coached the Catholic Kennedy family and its advisors and allies on how Catholic politicians could accept and promote abortion with a “clear conscience.” One of the attendees, the former Jesuit priest, Albert Jonsen, emeritus professor of ethics at the University of Washington, published an account of the meeting in his book “The Birth of Bioethics (Oxford, 2003).

Throughout his tenure in Congress, Fr. Drinan could be counted on to provide some of the most extreme pro-choice votes—supporting legalized abortion and its public funding, and opposing pro-life initiatives. Yet, President McGuire honored Fr. Drinan—inviting him to celebrate the well-publicized inaugural Mass for Nancy Pelosi on the Trinity Washington campus.

Trinity Washington University can be proud to have many strong, successful and talented graduates. Some of them—like Kellyanne Conway—remain faithful Catholic leaders today. It is unfortunate that President McGuire cannot seem to recognize them equally.

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10 comments on “President of “Catholic” Trinity University in D.C. attacks Kellyanne Conway

  1. Please excuse me for being the ‘crank’ here, but I am going to take issue with this.

    Patricia McGuire appears to have a shameful track record, hobnobbing with certain Democrats. But that doesn’t mean she’s wrong about Conway. After the fog clears, nobody here seems to have actually refuted the charge against Conway, only tried to pull out the ad hominem guns against McGuire.

    Traditional Catholics may not like this, but this U.S. president has ambled down a path of serial fabrications and falsehoods, and Conway has been a voluntary complicit member of this. Great that she’s pro-life. But Catholicism should also be about the truth, the whole truth, as well. It doesn’t mean we should approve or turn a blind eye to every manufactured, obvious falsehood against Obama or Clinton, just because they were terrible about life issues, and the fabricator says they are pro-life.

    We should condemn McGuire’s departures from Catholic truth, and we can question the judgment of her making such comments about Conway . But her critique of Conway is not false.

  2. She has made numerous false statements and distortions, including the infamous Bowling Green massacre that never happened. Her care for and relationship to truth is tenuous, at best. And insofar as she is not taking strident action to confront. challenge, and call upon a serial fabricating president she works for to amend his ways ASAP, she bears certain complicity in every piece of nonsense he asserts. There is nothing Thomistic about alternative facts.

    • No. Mistakes aren’t lies. One must realize the communist-Obama media will have zero tolerance for Conway’s error. On the other hand, Obama and Hillary were nothing but liars and cheats. But I’m getting off topic for AQ.

      McKibben’s charge about a “Bowling Green massacre” referred to an error made by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who mistakenly said that “President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre.”

      In actuality, Obama’s State Department in 2011 reportedly imposed a six month freeze on the processing of Iraqi refugees. The halt was the result of the discovery of two al-Qaeda members admitted as refugees from Iraq who were living in Bowling Green, Kentucky and admitted to targeting U.S. troops in Iraq.

      • This was no mistake. She repeated this falsehood numerous times, until she got caught. These are not just honest mistakes. When was the last time you made a mistake by citing a terrorist attack that never happened? Planning to attack troops in Iraq is not an actual massacre in Kentucky. And this isn’t some average Jane talking to a neighbor, but a presidential adviser being interviewed. This administration is rife with fabrication and fiction, and estranged, as they choose to be, from fundamental facts and truth. This isn’t being manufactured by the media or Obama in some bunker petting Mr. Bigglesworth and craftily planning to take over the country.

        • No references, just accusations. Like when you go after Spencer.

          Great tweet: “Chattanooga. Orlando. San Bernardino. Ft. Hood. Boston. Ohio State. Little Rock. The World Trade Center. But not Bowling Green, no.”

        • The significance of the gaffe is not that such an event never happened. There have been so many that internet-addled brains can’t keep track of them all. Fort Hood, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, Orlando, Boston, Paris, Nice, Cologne, and on and on. There will be more, so progressives can save the gaslighting and denials. There are more dangerous boogeymen to worry about than Kellyanne Conway getting Kentucky confused with Tennessee or Texas, as entertaining as it is for liberals who have no problem with Planned Parenthood selling infants’ body parts or Americans getting killed by barbarian foreigners – to make Kellyanne Conway the focus of their neurotic frustrations.

  3. Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Not to be jesuitical or to split hairs in an annoying way, but Kellyanne’s statement on Bowling Green was a gaffe or Freudian slip which is quite different from a lie because the intention was truthful. If the intent of the academic administrator was truth we would expect all students at Trinity College to receive instruction in orthodox Thomistic philosophy and theology. However….given the honors accorded to the flamboyant and outrageous Father Drinan, that appears not to be the case and, indeed, far from it.

    Klinger: Could I be admitted as a student at Trinity, Father?

  4. Patricia McGuire is just a cog in the big wheel. It’s getting violent, and it’s more than just ragheads anymore.

    The Savages of the Left

    Jeff Crouere, Mar 18, 2017

    The election of Donald Trump has caused the political left to go stark raving mad. There is very little civility among today’s liberals. They were so certain that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency that they are unable to accept the reality of a Trump administration and agenda.

    In the Congress, there was so much anger that dozens of liberal Democrats boycotted the President’s inauguration. This was an unprecedented display of partisan bitterness. From that day forward, Democrats have refused to work with the new President, instead preferring obstructionism. In the Senate, Democrats delayed confirmation votes on the President’s cabinet nominees. In fact, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) insulted the cabinet, an outstanding collection of business executives and political leaders, by calling them “a bunch of scumbags.”

    How can any President work with such hateful and unhinged Democrats? Waters and several of her radical congressional colleagues are also pursuing impeachment charges against President Trump. These Democrats are not willing to engage in bipartisan cooperation or even give President Trump a chance. They are playing to the leftists in academia, the media and the special groups by opposing the President at every turn.

    This type of mentality has also been on display at Republican town hall meetings across the country. In many cases, liberal protesters have been disrespectful and disruptive. At a town hall meeting in Metairie, LA for U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), protesters were so deranged that they booed the opening prayer and the pledge of allegiance. The meeting went downhill from there and instead of participating in useful dialogue, the liberals decided to yell and interrupt the proceedings.

    Now the verbal abuse is starting to turn into physical abuse. At college campuses, conservative speakers have been forced to cancel speeches because liberals have rioted, burned cars and broken windows. College students trying to attend these speeches have been subjected to pepper spray or been hit with bags of urine.

    The insanity is not confined to college campuses by any means. In the days after the election, a Trump supporter was choked and shoved by two attackers on a subway. Not surprisingly, no one on the train lifted a finger to help this innocent victim whose only crime was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.

    Several weeks ago, at a Spirit of America Rally in Berkeley, California, Trump supporters were hit with sticks, punched and kicked in the head. Of course, this kind of violence should be condemned by the media and liberal Democrats, but, sadly, the response has been to almost encourage this type of behavior.

    Without condemnation or vigorous prosecution, the leftist attacks will continue. The latest shocking incident occurred this week in Tiburon, California. As radio talk show host Michael Savage finished a meal and was leaving a popular Italian restaurant, he was allegedly assaulted by a fellow patron.

    The man, almost a foot taller than the 74-year old Savage, allegedly yelled insults at the legendary talk show host. Eventually, as Savage tried to leave, he was knocked to the ground holding his pet poodle. When another patron tried to intervene, and help Savage, the accoster punched the good Samaritan in the face.

    By the time police arrived, both Savage and his nemesis had placed each other under citizen’s arrest. Incredibly, Savage’s attacker claimed the talk show host started the melee. Of course, such a charge is very suspicious as Savage is much smaller and older than the enraged patron. Police did not charge either man with a crime, but the case has been referred to the District Attorney’s office for review.

    The incident infuriated Savage, who told his attorney that “this guy can’t get away with that.” In an interview with Breitbart News Savage lamented that it is “clearly open season on prominent Trump supporters.”

    During the presidential campaign, Savage was a staunch supporter of Donald Trump and featured the candidate often on his program, which reaches 10 million people in the United States. His radio show, The Savage Nation, is the third most popular radio program in the United States, behind only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

    Let’s hope Savage’s attacker will be prosecuted for committing an unprovoked assault. The talk show host is also going to explore his legal options and may file a lawsuit. It is time that liberals paid a price for these attacks and for conservatives to fight back against these bullies on the left. Otherwise, the “open season” on conservatives will continue and only get worse in the perilous days ahead.

  5. Curiously, a violent Left is not new. We could go back to the Jacobins of the French Revolution and the original Communists, but the 1960s and 1970s Leftist terror group The Weather Underground or Weathermen came out of the New Left SDS (Students for a Democratic Society).

    What’s happening is that this kind of radical mentality is spreading but it also calls attention to the breakdown in civility and morality in the culture which has been going on for quite some time. Recall that Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton are themselves products of the Leftist counterculture of the 1960s and that Barack Obama was a Saul Alinsky follower and friend of former a Weathermen terrorist. There is a hermeneutic loop on the Left that encompasses the Clintons, the Obamas, Saul Alinsky, and these new Weathermen-style radicals, like the punks that roughed up the female professor at Middlebury College recently. Violence and violent rhetoric permeates the Left and their deep commitment to abortion and the ghoulish baby parts sales of Planned Parenthood. There is a direct connection between slicing up a baby and calling for Leftist thugs to beat up campus speakers, professors, conservatives, and politicians. But liberals are too far gone in post-Christian damnation to recognize or understand their own rage. In Hillary you see clear signs of post-abortion rage. Don’t forget Obama. When French liberals in France were attacked he began lecturing about the Crusades of the Middle Ages. Translation: they had it coming. “You European Christians get off your high horse” went the gaslighting. Did he speak out against attacking a professor at Middlebury College? Or policemen in Missouri? There is more than a nod and a wink going on with the relaxed liberal toleration of violence, as long as it is directed at conservatives and conservative Christians.

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