Franciscan University's Outgoing President Talks About His 13-Year Tenure
May 8, 2013, at 11:34 AM
By Tim Drake |
In an interview with the National Catholic Register's Peter Jesserer Smith, Franciscan University of Steubenville's outgoing President Father Terence Henry talks about his many accomplishments during his 13-year tenure. Among them, Fr. Henry speaks of his pro-life work, and the University's stance against the Health and Human Service's contraceptive mandate.
Asked about the University's lawsuit against the HHS mandate, Fr. Henry had this to say:
We’ve taken a strong stand against it, because it is trying to coerce us to violate our most fundamental principles. It is a real threat to our First Amendment freedoms, which, historically, have always taken a preferred position by the courts. We’re going to fight this. This is a line in the sand. If we give in on this, then the Catholic Church can be forced to give in on any issue. At that point, we’re no longer Catholic.
Asked about what happens if they lose in court, Fr. Henry added:
We still won’t give in. If I have to visit the new president in jail, so be it. If I end up there, so be it. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But the one thing you can be absolutely sure of is that we’re not going to comply; we can’t comply.
We are in the age of heroic witness. Catholics at times have taken the faith for granted. Those days are over. The Church is being actively persecuted. If enough Catholics stood up, this persecution would be beaten back.
Addressing his hopes for the University, Fr. Henry said:
I hope that Franciscan will always ask itself the question: What are the needs of the Church, and how can it serve those needs? If it does that and continues to submit itself to the Church’s magisterium, it will continue to be blessed. That’s my hope and prayer.
God has accomplished a whole lot with a little school here in the Ohio Valley. It only proves that if you give yourself over to him and put first things first, he will bless those efforts. I’m confident that wherever our school is 10 years from now, it will be there battling wherever the culture of death is pressing in.
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