Monday, December 04, 2017

What's the story on Christendom College?

In the past  couple of months I've either heard or read comments about Christendom College that were highly critical. The gist of these remarks was that the school has changed or that the school was never as orthodox as we thought.  The first time I heard someone say this I dismissed it outright because the person speaking was someone I don't respect and he was ranting. Later I heard or read other people's comments about Christendom on various sites and blogs.  Two individuals, whose opinions I do value, bluntly expressed unhappiness about the school's association with  Dr. Elizabeth Lev due to the scandal of her affair and "marriage" to a priest. The others were vague and assumed that their listeners all knew what they were talking about.

This disturbs me because Christendom is seen as one of the precious few bright spots in Catholic higher education. It's so respected  in my area that when a new priest or lay teacher shows up in a parish people almost sigh in relief when they hear that he/she went to Christendom because the unspoken assumption is that while we may or may not personally like this priest or this lay person, we can trust him or her to teach the Faith.

9 comments:

Mrs. H. said...

Our children graduated from Christendom College in the late 90's. They married Christendom Grads. This was during the days of Dr. Warren Carroll, whom they were privileged to have as a teacher. We have nothing but the highest praise for Christendom. Not only are our children devout Catholics, they are raising happy families and following successful careers.

The only information I have about the current controversy seems to me to be the disgruntled rants of former employees. I doubt that any of us will ever know the full and honest story.

Bottom line: I have seen no evidence whatsoever that we should lose the high esteem in which so many of us hold Christendom. "Truth exists, the Incarnation happened". Warren Carroll

Tom said...

See "Dr. Robert Hickson's full account of Perfidy and Betrayal at Christendom College in the critical years of 1985-1992"

Dr. Peter Chojnowski
RadTrad Thomist
November 25, 2017

https://medium.com/@ webmaster_24642/a-report-on- the-cumulative-events-leading- up-to-the-dismissal-of-robert- hickson-as-a-professor-of- 9ab49745cda2

The full and dramatic account of Dr. Robert Hickson, well-known to faithful Catholics in America and throughout the world, concerning what happened to him during the critical years ---- during all of which I was either attending the college or "around" the college --- when the College seemed to change its mission. At the time, I did not realize what was going on fully. I did not understand that Hickson had to be gotten rid of because he represented and embodied ----- well, the old Christendom, by this, I mean the "old" Christian Civilization, which he had always fought for and continues to fight for --- even here in this essay, where he exposes the deep wounds which were inflicted on him during and after these years and which he has mostly kept to himself, suffering with a dignity and pudor (what the ancients treasured as an almost modest "bashfulness"), that is heroic. This full account of his trials, just posted yesterday, should provoke much commentary, self-reflection, and what is most importance ---- REPENTANCE. Certainly this latter is called for in light of the shameful treatment of Mr. Dick Seelbach and his wife, when they were so instrumental in establishing and maintaining the college in those early years.

Here is the story, linked to above. I will have further comments as I again reflect on the text. After this expose, Neo-Con Catholic Disneyland (aka Christendom College) begins to resemble a Neo-Modernist Laugh-in-the-Dark!

Anonymous said...

For a neo-Catholic, Christendom is just fine, but for a traditionalist, it is not. The truth gets buried there and that is the problem. That inconvenient truth is what separates the faithful Catholics from the cowards who choose their comfort over standing up for what's right. Yes, that's directed at you, Christendom professors.

Truthexists said...

Would love to hear some specifics on this.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I think one has to be careful accepting uncritically the stories coming out about Christendom. As far as I can see the main criticism is Robert Hickson's article. When I saw the story all I could think was, "What's to be gained by this?" Dr. Fedoryka is long gone and all that story could do is tarnish Christendom's reputation now.

I used to volunteer with one of the Hickson daughter's at AAA Women for Choice, a crisis pregnancy center, and I would like to hear Dr. Fedoryka's version of the story before jumping on the attack Christendom band wagon. And part of me can't help wondering if the fact that Hickson's first wife teaches English Literature at Christendom has affected his viewpoint.

I suggest we all pray for the school.

Dymphna said...

I read Dr. Hickson's essay article twice and I don't think it should have published without quite a bit of editing. It was too personal and I felt that the side comments about certain students definitely served no purpose.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I agree, Dymphna. He has also tarnished the reputations of others: Warren Carroll, Anne Carroll, Damian Fedoryka, Jeff Mirus, his "civil wife" Sharon Hickson, William Luckey, Chris Cuddeback, James Hitchcock, and the current president, Timothy O'Donnell. I know Anne Carroll from our years with children at Seton and she is a holy woman in my opinion. I also know Sharon Hickson casually and I never heard a critical word out of her mouth about Robert. He, on the other hand, referred to her as his "putative" wife over and over when I had lunch with him and Maike and several others at the "farmhouse" before he and Maike married. (The annulment of his first marriage was pending I believe). Sharon has not remarried by the way.

There are always two sides to a story and, like witnesses at an accident scene, those telling the story often differ in their perceptions. Many of those in this story are dead. They can't agree or disagree with Hickson's version. I suspect many of the other principals who are still living will remain silent. I can't, for example, imagine Anne Carroll responding to this.

From my own life experience, I suspect that this is all about clashing personalities rather than substantive issues. The best we all can do is pray for everyone involved and for the future of Christendom College.

Dymphna said...

I just read that Dr. Hickson has had two heart attacks and is in the hospital. He has ten children including a his two youngest who are just 9 and 7. While there are no "good" heart attacks it sounds like his cardiac event is particularly bad.

Ma No said...

All the defenders of Christendom College seem unaware of or unwilling to face the fact of the extraordinarily promiscuous Elizabeth Lev's continuing attachment to it, as a professor, no less.