Anti-Catholicism is so deeply entrenched on college campuses that it doesn’t take much to trigger it. Consider what happened to University of Kansas undergraduate Patricia Trausch this past October.
On October 5, Pat went to see her mentor, Dr. Albert Cook, to discuss her schedule. She first apologized for missing a previous appointment. In her statement to Dr. Cook, Ms. Trausch explained that she had to miss her earlier appointment because of a meeting with the local Archbishop. Ms. Trausch, who was wearing a pro-life T-shirt that day, was then informed by Dr. Cook that she “ought to tell the church that the Catholic Church needs to join the 20th century on birth control.” He then expanded on his remarks, offering more unsolicited “advice.”
Ms. Trausch, who had done nothing to provoke Dr. Cook, contacted the Catholic League. A letter was immediately sent to Dr. James Muyskens, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, with copies to Dr. Cook and Ms. Trausch. The letter stated that “There is little doubt that if an offensive remark had been made to a black, Jewish or homosexual student, formal action by appropriate university authorities would be forthcoming.” The letter went on to note that “somehow Catholics are not part of the process of inclusion” that dominates the multicultural landscape of most universities. The letter ended with a request for a copy of the school’s procedures for dealing with students who have been victimized on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity or lifestyle.
Shortly after Drs. Cook and Muyskens received the League’s letter, Dr. Cook extended an apology to Ms. Trausch. Dr. Muyskens wrote directly to Dr. Donohue at the League, stating that he was “convinced that Professor Cook deeply regrets the incident.” The response seemed genuine enough and that is why the League did not pursue the matter any further.