IONA STANDS FAST

Catalyst November Issue 1998

Iona is a Catholic college in New Rochelle, New York, not far from the big city. It has a president, Brother James Liguori, who is a model of what a Catholic college president ought to be. He believes in the school’s mission and has the courage to stand up to his hypocritical secular critics.

“Student Says Catholic College Censored Her Published Poem,” was how the New York Times described Brother Liguori’s decision to spike obscenities in the school’s magazine. Worse was an October 2 editorial in the Gannett newspapers that read, “Iona’s censorship wasn’t education.” It was a lecture meant to chastise Brother Liguori for acting like a Catholic.

Try to follow this logic. A Catholic college president defends the mission of his school and outsiders tell him he’s wrong. That’s because Brother Liguori didn’t want four-letter words in the school’s literature. Now what if he decided to spike an anti-Semitic or racist poem? Is there anyone who doubts that the phonies at Gannett would be citing him for academic responsibility? Or that the New York Times would have had an entirely different title for this story?

The Gannett editorial took issue with Iona’s policy that bars “indecent” material; it called the term “impossible to define.” In a letter to the editor, we said it was ludicrous for Gannett to make such a claim. We reminded the sages that “every Gannett newspaper makes editorial decisions everyday regarding the propriety of columns, letters and essays that it prints. Some of those decisions ineluctably involve matters of decency.”

Why not write to the busy-bodies and let them know what you think. Write to Gannett, One Gannett Drive, White Plains, New York 10604. Want to congratulate Brother Liguori? Write to him at Iona College, 715 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York 10801.


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Written by Bill