In response to the weakening of Catholic identity at Los Angeles’ Loyola Marymount University, an alumni group has formed to strengthen the school’s commitment to the Catholic faith.
The Renew LMU website outlines what it views as several of the University’s various offenses over the past several years, including repeatedly providing a platform for pro-abortion speakers, hosting The Vagina Monologues, sponsoring a play advocating for the redefinition of marriage, and the lack of a student pro-life organization.
Among the group’s goals are to: increase the number of Catholic faculty and students, enforcing the canon law mandatum for theology professors, policies that encourage lifestyles consistent with Catholic teaching, and more.
"There’s been a long list of abuses over recent years," said David Luke, a 1993 alumni and member of the group. "The one event that brought this about was when they put on the play “8,” which had as its purpose promoting legal efforts to overturn Proposition 8 in California. I wrote to the president at the time and spoke with other alumni, faculty, and students who expressed their concerns over these kinds of activities. We wanted to be a collective voice to bring about some changes to help strengthen Catholic identity."
Luke is hopeful that the group can bring about positive change.
"Simple letters from single individuals have resulted in the University modifying their public statements and altering content on their website. We felt that if the University understood that there were larger numbers, perhaps we could bring about more significant change," said Luke. "We have to try to stem the tide."
Currently, the group is focused on influencing the hiring of a new director for the LMU Bioethics Institute who is committed to promoting a culture of life. To that end, they are encouraging supporters to sign a letter to President David Burcham and the Board of Trustees.
"Previously, the president had appointed to the board of the Bioethics Institute someone who was an outspoken abortion advocate," said Luke. "We're concerned that they may hire a director with the same views."
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