I will begin by revealing that I am a graduate of Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education in its Lincoln Center campus, where I earned a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling a few years ago. Looking back, my Fordham experience was a tale of two divergent realities. Academically, I feel that I received a very good graduate education with generally good professors, a number of whom are top notch in their field. My spiritual experience at Fordham was a different matter, however. I expected to experience some inconsistency with traditional Catholic teaching, given the environment we live in, but what I encountered was a blatant illustration of why Catholic education in this country, apart from some noble exceptions, is a disaster.
By “Catholic Education” I mean an education which manages to combine outstanding academic preparation with a deepening in core Catholic teaching for Catholic students and a fair, balanced presentation of issues relevant to the Catholic Church for non-Catholics. What I experienced was merely a Catholicism dripping in the social justice rubbish that has been used by secular liberals to promote loads of positions and agendas contrary to traditional, core Catholic teaching. I refer the reader to my pieces http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/garnica/120216 and http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/garnica/120321 wherein I outlined why major so-called Catholic institutions like Fordham, Georgetown, and Notre Dame have become dens of dissident indoctrination with the Catholic Church in this country.
I observed professors who have volunteered at Planned Parenthood; a mostly young, white female student body in my particular field of study more likely to listen to NPR than pray a Rosary , and a rampant presentation of non-traditional marriage and abortion rights as the unjust victims of an intolerant, outdated, mostly male-dominated Church. Rampant feminism was everywhere yet, despite its powerful presence, homosexual rights seemed the most protected agenda. Although I did not personally have a particular professor, it appears that his office included a large rainbow flag. I do not believe that homosexuals should be mistreated or abused because of who they are, but I also believe that it is wrong to pretend that the Catholic Church either defends homosexuality or has been wrong in its traditional stance regarding it. In one class, we were subjected to a one hour film depicting how homosexuals are abused and mistreated in various countries. While I regret such treatment of anyone, I question why we did not see a similar film demonstrating how women are similarly or even more abused throughout the world, especially considering 98% of the class was female.
Obama’s victory was met with fawning hysteria by virtually all the female students and, as far as I can tell, all of the professors. I doubt that if Jesus Christ Himself had landed in Lincoln Center there would have been a similar reaction. People were moved nearly to tears, with many somewhat spoiled, upper-class, young, white women at the front of the line, wailing about how they never expected to see the day that such an event would occur. Never mind that Obama was clearly the most pro-abortion and pro-non-traditional marriage candidate to ever run for the White House and even someone with the intelligence of a cranberry could see that he was going to spell trouble for core Catholic teaching. That teaching, after all, was delusional mental illness at Fordham anyway, so why would a shining knight in armor coming to finish it off be an enemy to be feared? Professors thought nothing of discussing core Catholicism with a kind of condescension and patronizing exasperation reserved for what they likely, in the privacy of their minds, viewed as religious hicks fingering beads and accusing everyone of a one way ticket to hell. One called California’s Proposition 8, limiting marriage to a union between a man and woman “stupid, evil, and hateful” openly and without even considering or imagining that any student in her presence might disagree.
A consistent point of discussion in my program was whether it was ethical for a counselor to accommodate the spirituality of clients. Many argued that clients should be told to keep their faith out of the therapy session. Others argued that it was tantamount to murder for any counselor to recluse herself from cases inconsistent with her religious beliefs. A poll I conducted for a class revealed that the vast majority of counseling students would have preferred just about any kind of client over a religious one. Being religious was treated as akin to being a leper. Thankfully, I was relieved to find that most counseling students were a little more comfortable workingwith religious clients than homicidal maniacs.
By the time I graduated from Fordham’s Graduate School of Education, I had experienced my fill of spoiled, upper-class, white, young females who felt qualified to save the world from its ignorance steeped in religious and/or male-dominated bias. A friend observed that many of these women seemed distant and suspicious of their fathers. I was practically assaulted during a group counseling class, where a few young females resented anything I said to my professor’s amusement in telling me that I had officially become “the scapegoat”.
Looking back, I have come to the ironic realization that this program which was educating future counselors and was the scene of so many self-appointed knights in shining armor out to fix the world was so steeped in dysfunction and delusion. It is no wonder that the APA and other governing mental health bodies is so contradictory to core Catholicism that one cannot possibly embrace the APA completely without, in fact, ignoring or rejecting significant core Catholic positions.
Fordham, run by Jesuits, prides itself as promoting the Jesuit tradition of a well-rounded, profound and practical, education. However, as shown by its litany of positions and actions inconsistent with core Catholic positions http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/1674/Coulter-Controversy-Highlights-Speaker-Policy-at-Fordham.aspx and http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/SearchResults.aspx?Search=fordham it is obvious that this institution has taken the infamous “social justice” mantle to move its brand of Catholicism in the direction of secular socialism, feminism, and liberal dissident views.
As one who has prayed in front of a Planned Parenthood far less than I would have liked to, it occurs to me that praying in front of Fordham may be just as necessary.
Copyright, Gabriel Garnica 2012