NOTRE DAME, Ind. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A faithful priest at the University of Notre Dame is being silenced.
Father Wilson Miscamble, CSC, one of the most vocal defenders of orthodoxy on campus, is being told he's no longer allowed to be part of an online initiative seeking to preserve Catholic identity there.
The popular website, called NDCatholic, was created in early November to provide information to students "on how to obtain an authentic Catholic education at Notre Dame," which is riddled with non-Catholic and dissident Catholic professors. Towards that end, the site published Fr. Miscamble's recommendations of orthodox faculty.
But a bulletin published last week by the Sycamore Trust, a watchdog group whose aim is to restore authentic Catholicism at Notre Dame, and which launched the website, revealed that the priest had been ordered a day after the launch to disassociate himself from the site. Father Miscamble said he was "not at liberty to say why."
We are obliged to inform our subscribers that Rev. Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C., is no longer associated with the website NDCatholic.com, which we established to house Father's recommendations of Notre Dame faculty whom students could count on for an authentic Catholic education. The radical reduction of Catholic presence on the Notre Dame faculty makes such information essential. Nevertheless, two days after the inauguration of the website Father sent us this message: "I regret that I can say only that I am required to end my involvement with the NDCatholic site and am not at liberty to say why."
According to the Sycamore Trust, the website had been well received, crashing on its opening day owing to heavy traffic, while the project was picked up and carried by multiple news outfits. It featured a welcome video with Fr. Miscamble, instrumental in compiling a list of orthodox faculty in various departments.
But a day after its November 9 launch, Fr. Miscamble informed the Sycamore Trust he'd been ordered to cut ties with the initiative. Although he failed to say who issued the order, it's likely his religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross (CSC), which founded the university in the 19th century.
In spite of its faithful beginnings, the University of Notre Dame experienced a sharp decline in Catholic identity over the past five decades, most notably under its longtime president Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, who governed Notre Dame for 35 years. He spearheaded the Land O' Lakes conference in 1967, a major academic movement promoting dissent from Catholic teaching in the name of "academic freedom." The Land O' Lakes Statement went on to be adopted by more than 200 Catholic colleges, many of which continue its legacy of dissent by offering courses, conferences and other events that promote anti-Catholic ideas.
Hesburgh also supported Church reform on the issue of contraception, attempting to influence the Papal Birth Control Commission in reversing the Catholic ban on birth control. He also sat as chairman of the board of directors of the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the biggest sponsors of population control and contraception here and abroad.
In spite of the setback, the Sycamore Trust is saying it "will build upon what he [Fr. Miscamble] has given us in continuing this project.
To learn about Fr. Hesburgh's participation in promoting contraception, watch our Faith-Based Investigation—The Rockefeller Foundation.