Would St. Vincent de Paul be Allowed to Speak Today at De Paul University?

By Jason Jones & John Zmirak Published on October 19, 2016

Last week, we wrote about Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s deep-seated, life-long obsession with racist eugenics. One of the things which shocked us, we’ll confess, was the number of mainline Protestant clergymen who wrote in support of her agenda in the pages of her icy Birth Control Review. You’ll see their pompous names come up in the heart-breaking documentary Black Genocide — which every American should watch.

Could anything, literally, even the crackpot Marxism of Liberation Theology, be further from the Gospel than that? How could a man put on a clerical collar, lead Sunday services and preach about the New Testament, while promoting a worldview devoted to crushing the poor and the weak, and soothing the consciences of the upper crust with snatches of bastardized Darwin? How would you make your arms go through the motions, your lips pronounce the prayers? Did churchgoers on some level realize that they were attending a kind of Mainline “black Mass”?

De Paul University, Where Truth Goes to Die

To see another example of Christian parody today, you could visit the largest Catholic university in America, De Paul, and meet its president, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider. As LifeSiteNews reports:

College Republicans at De Paul University were prohibited by the university president from displaying posters on campus advertising their group with the pro-life message, “Unborn Lives Matter.”

Vincentian Father Dennis Holtschneider indicated to the university community on Friday in a letter that the “Unborn Lives Matter” message constituted “bigotry” occurring “under the cover of free speech.”

The Daily Wire quotes an officer of the silenced group, DePaul’s College Republicans, who calls Holtschneider’s actions an exercise in “shaming” his organization’s members, pointing out that  “Holtschneider sent out a signed letter to the entire campus on Friday.” Pro-life columnist and author Maggie Gallagher agrees, and rebuked the priest on Twitter:

Here is the argument that a Roman Catholic priest and academic made for silencing pro-life speech. It was speech that addressed the devastating effect that abortion has on the lives of unborn black children in America, at the hands of organizations like Planned Parenthood, which was founded to reduce the number of black people in America (again via The Daily Wire):

“By our nature, we are committed to developing arguments and exploring important issues that can be steeped in controversy and, oftentimes, emotion,” Holtschneider nonsensically claims, two sentences before banning “controversial” speech. “Yet there will be times when some forms of speech challenge our grounding in Catholic and Vincentian values. When that happens, you will see us refuse to allow members of our community to be subjected to bigotry that occurs under the cover of free speech.”

Holtschneider is an incompetent writer, so it’s hard to parse precisely what he is saying amid all the virtue-signaling and half-truths, but by “Vincentian values,” Holtschneider presumably means the code that motivated the saint for whom the university is named. Let’s take a look at the life of Vincent de Paul, a 17th-century French priest, to see what a bitter joke that really is.

Who Was St. Vincent?

Vincent devoted himself to serving the neglected poor in an age without a welfare state — their spiritual needs as much as physical, spending countless hours preaching the Gospel to neglected rural peasants and urging them to repentance, for the sake of their immortal souls.

Vincent put as much energy into rebuking the sinful rich who lived dissolute, un-Christian lives. While he mixed with the most powerful people in France, Vincent was no courtier. Instead, he embodied their guilty consciences, calling them out when their actions showed that their faith was a mere façade. Yet he wasn’t a scold; Vincent was famous for insisting fervently on the infinite mercy of God, as well as the sacredness of each human life — even that of condemned murderers serving their grueling sentences of rowing in the galleys of France’s navy. Vincent set up hospitals to care for such criminals after they’d served out their sentences and hobbled home, broken men. He knew that their lives mattered, if only to Christ. So they mattered to Vincent.Vincent

Does anything of such substance matter to Dennis H. Holtschneider, Vincentian Catholic priest?

Vincent de Paul Called, and He Wants His Name Back

LifeSiteNews recounts some of Holtschneider’s other exploits as head of America’s biggest post-Catholic school, which he has run since 2004:

The banning of the students’ pro-life poster is not the first message conflicting with Catholic principles generated from De Paul University. This year’s scheduled commencement honoree was alumnus Martin Castro, chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), who has used his position to advocate for same-sex “marriage” and gender ideology.

Last year, the university proposed a policy allowing students to choose preferred gender pronouns and change their names up to three times for use on class rosters and other college records, despite the fact that “gender theory” contravenes Church teaching on human sexuality.

De Paul was on a list of colleges found last year by the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) to have an internship and/or a job referral link to Planned Parenthood, and CNS also found last year that De Paul had encouraged students via social media posts to advocate same-sex “marriage” and take part in LGBT pride parades and marches.

Holtschneider also banned pro-life conservative Ben Shapiro from speaking on campus, citing the offense that students might take from his message. It is clear from all these actions that Vincent de Paul himself, if he rose from the dead and walked the earth, could not get clearance to speak at the university named for him. It might “trigger” people.

Vincent de Paul, fervent Christian and friend of the poor, deserves better than this. So we have a simple solution: Rename the school for the person whose spirit it really embodies.  Let Dennis Holtschneider serve as president of Margaret Sanger University.

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