Skip to comments.Senator Rick Santorum Tells Christendom College Grads to Rebel Against the Pop Culture
Posted on 05/21/2003 8:14:39 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
Senator Rick Santorum Receives Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country and Delivers Commencement Address at Christendom College
Front Royal, Va. We need to summon the moral strength to create a civilization of peace and justice, and of course, of love, said United States Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) to Christendom Colleges graduating class of 2003. This is where you come in. I believe of all the great gifts God has given to the young, the greatest of these are energy, idealism, and rebelliousness. I want to challenge each and every one of you to be a radical, to be a rebel, to rebel against the popular culture. Your task will not be an easy one. You must overcome the temptation of silence.
On May 17, during the Graduation ceremony held in Crusader Gymnasium, Christendom College President Dr. Timothy ODonnell awarded Senator Santorum Christendom College's Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country, after which he delivered the Commencement Address.
Dr. ODonnells introduction of Senator Santorum was interrupted on three different occasions by animated clapping and standing ovations by the enthusiastic audience.
Senator Rick Santorum has indeed overcome the temptation of silence in recent weeks. At the beginning of May, Santorum was accused of hate speech and bigotry for his comments he made to a reporter on the Texas law banning sodomy.
Virtue is a word fraught with controversy today, he said, referring to his interview which was distorted by activists both within and outside the press. I tried to articulate the nature of marriage, the good of marriage, he said, but making a defense of marriage is often characterized as hate speech these days.
Santorum told the graduates that when they are rebelling against modern culture, they are not called by God to be necessarily successful, but rather to be faithful. He explained his point by telling a story about how, back in 1998, when former President Bill Clinton had vetoed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, the Senate voted to overturn Clintons veto. He explained that it was not overturned by a margin of two votes. Santorum, though, had spent much of the night before trying to convince his fellow senators, but only to realize that he could not change even one vote.
However, a week later, Santorum received an e-mail from a man who said he and his girlfriend had heard Santorums speech against partial-birth abortion on television. The girlfriend started crying and said she had scheduled an abortion for the following day. She did not have the abortion the next day. There is now a little girl whos 4 years old, who was adopted by two loving parents, he said. To this world, I failed. But God was faithful.
Prior to the Commencement Ceremonies, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., offered the Baccalaureate Mass in the Chapel of Christ the King and delivered the homily. Cardinal Dulles chose to speak on a special theme of Christs which is very near and dear to Christendom College: The Way, the Truth, and the Life. In fact, these words appear in the Colleges logo.
Treasure the fact that you have been given a Catholic education in which the truth of revelation was not severed from the truth of the human sciences, exhorted Cardinal Dulles. There are many rivers of truth, but in the end they merge into one undivided stream. When the perennial questions are seriously asked, Christ can be recognized as the encompassing truth. Truth in the end turns out to be a Person, a person whom we encounter both in the proclamation of the Gospel and in the ministry of the sacraments.
He concluded by saying that at Christendom College you have...learned to love the Eucharist. Take that love with you wherever you go. The more your life is centered on this sacrament of sacraments, the more energized will it be in all its dimensions. Neither death nor life nor anything under heaven will be able to separate you from Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Cardinal Dulles was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters during Commencement Exercises. Christendom College conferred 73 Bachelor of Arts and three Associate of Arts degrees on its graduating class, making the Class of 2003 the largest in the Colleges 25-year history.
I think I like this college.
Christendom was established to counter the effects of the 1967 Land o' Lakes Conference of "Catholic" colleges and universities at which they declared themselves secular for "academic freedom" and "academic respectability" which is to say that the leaders of all but six of the US Catholic institutions of higher learning had effectively abandoned the Faith and no longer wished to be responsible for passing it to those whom they were educating. I don't remember all of the six that remained Catholic but they included Catholic University in DC (a papal college found by a DC court to be beyond the reach of American courts as to doctrine in the case of the justified firing of Charles Curran), St. John's University (Queens, NYC), Grenier College (Erie, PA?), and St. John's at Annapolis (not sure of this).
Land o' Lakes was grand theft academic. Generations of Catholics were dunned to give until they bled for Notre Dame, Georgetown, Boston College, University of San Francisco, Villanova, Niagara, and so many, many more so that generations of Catholics yet unborn would bless their memory and their generosity to the Faith (all so that Father Hesburgh and the other frauds at Land o' Lakes could conspire to become amoral, secularist cesspools together?). As we are all aware, the same happened to many fine secondary and grammar schools which, while continuing to claim Catholicism, are anything but. May our grandchildren live long enough and be successful enough to reverse the damage of recent decades!
After Land o' Lakes, the response of the orthodox Catholic laity was to create some new and actually Catholic colleges with orgainizing documents created to see to it they stay Catholic: St. Thomas Aquinas (near LA), Magdeline College (NH), St. Thomas More College (NH), Christendom College (Front Royal, VA) and a handful of others. Poor, struggling but VERY Catholic.