“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

August 12, 2009

Disgusted by the Notre Dame Scandal? Then Rally Around Belmont Abbey College

Belmont Abbey College is under fierce attack right now because it will not offer health-care coverage for abortion and contraception. In other words, it's being persecuted for being faithful to its Catholic identity. If this bothers you (it bothers me), then show your support by contributing generously to the new "Chancellor's Fund," which has been set up to help the school protect its Catholic identity. Donate securely here.

Belmont Abbey College is nestled in the plush green rolling hills of Belmont, North Carolina. The campus could provide the backdrop for a film depicting the idyllic Catholic College. Founded by and still served by Benedictine Monks, it provides a visual witness to the beauty of the Benedictine mission of “work and prayer” and the Order’s significant role in helping to birth the great European Universities out of the Monasteries of the Middle Ages. The Monastery on campus is a symbol of the dynamic Catholic Faith, life and culture which characterizes this Catholic College.

— By Deacon Keith Fournier, Catholic Online —

What is more appealing than even its beauty is Belmont Abbey’s dedication to handing on the fullness of Catholic faith, thought and culture to their student body. It has an overt commitment to teaching the fullness of the Catholic Christian faith and infusing in its graduates a Catholic worldview. The President of the College, Dr. Bill Thierfelder, is right out of Central casting. With a background in athletics and Sports medicine, he has dedicated his academic leadership to promoting a truly Catholic, fully human, virtue centered lifestyle on campus.

When I first met him I was struck by his height and his gregarious manner. He could have just stepped off the basketball court. As I listened to him speak, it became clear that this was a man who understands the fullness of the Catholic vision for the human person, the family and the social order. He also takes seriously the essential role of the Catholic academy in training the new missionaries for the New Evangelization of every segment of the contemporary culture. Finally, he has the courage required of a Catholic leader.

In 2007, a faculty member discovered that under the College’s existing Health Insurance Plan, anti-life and anti-family products and procedures were potentially covered, including abortion, contraception and sterilization. The College, a Catholic institution committed to the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the sanctity of life, removed the provisions. President Thierfelder explained this action in a letter he sent to students, faculty and friends of the College with this refreshingly clear statement:

“The teaching of the Catholic Church on this moral issue is clear. The responsibility of the College as a Catholic College sponsored by the monks of Belmont Abbey to follow Church teaching is equally clear. There was no other course of action possible if we were to operate in fidelity to our mission and to our identity as a Catholic College.” He was absolutely correct. Belmont Abbey College was just being Catholic! . . . (
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"I Won't Back Down," by Tom Petty:

Well, I won't back down, no I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I wont back down

Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin me down
Gonna stand my ground, and I won't back down

Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down.

Well I know what's right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin me around
But Ill stand my ground and I won't back down

Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won't back down
No, I won't back down


  1. I attended Thomas Aquinas College and was in the class of 2009. While I was there, I met one of the best friends I have ever had, who eventually transferred to Belmont Abbey. He was at TAC long enough to hear the stories of the battles fought by our founders with the WASC accreditation staff over such politically correct and fascistic demands regarding "diversity". Speaking as one of two Indian students who attended during the entire four years I was there, though, I will say that there was no more discrimination than one would expect to find anywhere, and that it was not central, but antithetical to the program.

    These "discrimination" guidelines, once perhaps a means of ensuring an end to racist policies, are now a tool, a weapon of the insane march of liberal academic fascism. Their chief target, which they keep very quiet, is Catholic colleges. And this is not some grand conspiracy theory, either; there is a perfectly expedient reason for this, breaking up or co-opting the Catholic vote.

    I stand in solidarity with Belmont Abbey College, because one thing that needs to be realized is that winning battles against WASC, the EEOC, and other such institutions to keep one's Catholic identity is not an ordinary thing; such battles, as in the case of TAC, have only been won after a massive push in the other direction.

  2. Patrick,

    You may have caught me at just the right moment.

    I sent the following letter to Notre Dame yesterday:


    Mr. H

  3. It was while attending Belmont Abbey College that my daughter was taught by her Theology professor (a nun no less) that the Bible is not the true word of God. Of all the lessons she learned, (or could have) this is the one that stayed with her. My heart broke when she told me this.

  4. To attack a Catholic for being Catholic is like attacking a soldier for doing his duty. But like Christ Jesus said, He is hated without cause and His friends will be hated so as well.

  5. Patrick,

    Your post catches me at just the right moment.

    I just mailed a letter (linked below) to Notre Dame in response to a fundraising letter they sent me this week.

    Hopefully, if other alumni are sending back similar letters, Notre Dame will begin to get the message that the Obama Commencement controversy is not going to simply disappear with the passage of time.

    I also think it would be a wonderful thing if other faithful, orthodox Catholic institutions (such as Belmont Abbey)end up benefiting financially from the frustration of Notre Dame donors.

    My letter:

    Notre Dame Class of 1991