I commend Adam Ramey for his thoughtful and courageous letter on the subject of anti-Catholic sentiment and the way it is tolerated on the campus.
I’m a lifelong Catholic who worked at UR for 18 years. It’s a wonderful place, and I was blessed with terrific friends, coworkers and students.
The old anti-Catholic sentiment did rear its head a few times while I was there, though, and the official response to it was disappointing, to say the least. Two incidents stand out in my memory.
One was a senior exhibit by a Studio Arts major. It was a low-rent Mapplethorpe knockoff involving desecration of crucifixes and other Catholic symbols. The only close-to-official response was a letter of complaint to the Campus Times from the leaders of the Interfaith Chapel communities. The artist claimed she was “just expressing her feelings.” My hope for her is that she never “expresses her feelings” in a manner offensive to the wrong people.
The other incident troubled me more. I still can’t believe that Ted Turner (of the truly offensive anti-Catholic remarks) was a featured speaker for Meliora Weekend. Anyone else who made similar remarks about any other group never would have been invited to set foot on campus.
Ramey is right that we’re all a little punch-drunk and have no officially-designated spokesperson or agency. About all we have is the Catholic League, headed up by a Bill O’Reilly type named Donohue I find more than a little embarrassing. Mr. Ramey’s letter gives me hope that maybe the younger generation of Catholics won’t take this insulting garbage quietly. Thank you, Mr. Ramey, for having the courage most of us lack.
-Joan DavisFmr. Assistant Director,Center for Academic Support