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Jesuits dismantle St. Ignatius Institute.

San Francisco--The president of the Jesuit University of San Francisco, Fr. Stephen Privett, S.J., has ordered the closing of the deeply Catholic Ignatius Institute within his university which--like many other American Jesuit colleges--has become indistinguishable from the state universities around them.

The Institute was founded by Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., in 1976. Fr. Fessio himself moved on to become the publisher of Ignatius Press at a time when good Catholic publishers had practically disappeared, leaving only elitist, dissent-oriented Catholic publishers specializing in controversial theologians. Almost single-handedly he revived an interest in the great Catholic classics as well as in current orthodox writers, published in attractive format with colourful covers. He is also the publisher of the monthly magazine Catholic World Report. Both his current work--which has flourished beyond his wildest dreams no doubt--as well as the Ignatian Institute have incurred the ire of Jesuit confreres who resent the church of John Paul II.

The editor of the monthly magazine Crisis, Deal W. Hudson, has severely criticized the so-called re-organization of the Institute, the staff of which has been terminated.

It had offered students a Catholic "great books" curriculum along with courses from the early Church Fathers to the new Catechism of the Catholic Church. Hudson lauds it as "a beacon of sanctity and excellence for all who have fought for the recovery of true Catholic humanism."

He asserts that Fr. Privett's decision is a rejection of "the U.S. bishops' recent call to implement Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the 1990 Vatican document that instructs Catholic Universities to reassert their distinctively Catholic identity."

Fr. Privett claims that his decision had financial and practical motivation. Dr. Hudson disputes this and furthermore doubts if the Institute will be reprieved by the University's "poorly informed" board of trustees (Zen it, Crisis, N.C. Register).
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2001
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