Dominican University Converts to the Albigensian Heresy

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By inviting abortion magnate Cecile Richards, this “Catholic” university has comprehensively betrayed its mission.

By John Zmirak, a Senior Editor, The Stream,, April 13, 2018

John ZmirakSo Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards will be an honored speaker at a Catholic school. No, not Georgetown, but the Dominican University of California. She’s there to promote her memoir about what it’s like to lead Planned Parenthood. She’s not the first pro-abortion activist to speak at a Catholic college. But she’s definitely the worst.

If need be, Archbishop Cordileone should excommunicate the school’s administration.

Richards heads an organization that profits from mass abortion and the sale of trafficked baby body parts. So she’s even more repulsive than politicians who back the procedure. (Some Catholic colleges just can’t invite enough such pro-choice pols, as we’ve noted here at The Stream.) In fact, as the employer of hundreds of full-time abortionists, Richards stands at just one remove from the actual scalpels and severed little limbs.

The next logical step? Dominican could invite one of Planned Parenthood’s doctors to demonstrate an abortion. How about on the altar in the chapel? Maybe around Christmas time, say on the Feast of the Holy Innocents? It would have a religious significance, all right. A sacrifice, albeit to Moloch.

The body is a prison. So the spirit has the right to rebel against and disfigure it. Likewise, pro-choicers deny any rights or sanctity to the unborn baby’s life. He’s just a lump of flesh. The mother’s sovereign spirit has every right to carve that up and cast away. So Ms. Richards can sell it.

Saint Dominic Founded His Order to Fight Such Evils

Dominican University was founded by intellectual nuns. And named for St. Dominic. There’s a rich irony there. That saint organized his religious movement, the Order of Preachers, in 1216 for one simple reason. He was fighting an ugly heresy called Albigensianism. No one knows where it came from. But that bizarre belief system swept up intellectuals, artists, and other elites in southern France in the age of the troubadour love poets. It claimed to be Christian. But instead it taught a weird and toxic dualism. Here are some of its tenets:

  • The body is evil, the spirit good.

  • The Old Testament is the work of the evil Creator God. The New Testament’s Jesus came to save us from him. A pure spirit, Jesus only appeared to be incarnate and to suffer.

  • The physical universe is wicked. It’s a hell of sweaty meat and suffering that traps the “pure” soul in its clutches.

  • Childbirth is evil, since it traps new souls in the body.

  • Marriage is worse than adultery, being ordered to procreation.

  • Suicide, abortion, and euthanasia are sacred. They free souls from their prisons.

An Anti-Human HeritageYou can see how St. Dominic might find it puzzling that Ms. Richards could speak at a school named for him. She leads an organization whose founder, Margaret Sanger, was obsessed with reducing births. Who called the poor “human weeds.” She said that “the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world” if their parents are less than “fit” by her criteria. Those included culturally biased IQ tests. People who flunked them in 13 states were subject to forced sterilization or even castration. That was thanks to laws that Sanger championed. Which Nazi Germany took as a model.

As I wrote here back in 2016:

The board of Margaret Sanger’s organization and others where she served as an officer, the authors she published in The Birth Control Review, the conferences she sponsored, and the people to whom Planned Parenthood gave awards well into the 1960s and 70s, are a Who’s Who of the ugliest, most paranoid misanthropic elitists and white racists of the 20th century — apart from those who were thankfully hanged at Nuremburg. After those trials, when “eugenics” had acquired a well-deserved taint, these same American elitists used the exaggerated threat of “overpopulation” to peddle the desperate need to control other people’s fertility, if need be by forced sterilization — a policy which Sanger had advocated since 1934.

The eugenicists, self-appointed experts on human quality of life, had peddled their theories not just in Britain and America but in Germany, where they helped to directly inspire Nazi sterilization and extermination programs aimed at the handicapped, Jews, and the small population of black or mixed race Germans — children of French colonial troops whom Hitler considered a grave menace to “Aryan” racial “hygiene.” One of Sanger’s regular authors in The Birth Control Review wrote in a U.S. newspaper in the 1930s defending the forced sterilization of such mixed-race children, for the sake of Germany’s “health.”

The Body Is a Prison for the SpiritSo how is it that a Catholic university named for St. Dominic is honoring Ms. Richards? Has it in fact been taken over by Albigensians? That’s not a crazy question. In fact, the whole ideology behind “transgenderism” in particular pictures the body as a prison. So the spirit has the right to rebel against and disfigure it. Likewise, pro-choicers deny any rights or sanctity to the unborn baby’s life. He’s just a lump of flesh. The mother’s sovereign spirit has every right to carve that up and cast away. So Ms. Richards can sell it.

observed back in 2011:

[Secular modern people] imagine themselves as angels or gods, inhabiting a pleasure-and-survival machine with certain needs but without moral significance. Sexual ethics, indeed the whole sacramental sense, fades into oblivion; sexually transmitted diseases become the new moral contagion, to be avoided by any means necessary except abstinence. The body, whatever it does, must not get in the way of the will to power; when it does, it must feel the full wrath of technology: Contraception reduces sex to utility and caprice; abortion turns infants into options; plastic surgeries from liposuction to “sex-reassignment” literally carve the resistant flesh into the shape demanded by the will.

Time for Archbishop Cordileone to Act

Dominican University should revoke its invitation to Cecile Richards. And apologize. If it won’t, the courageous and outspokenly pro-life San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone should act. He should wield the power that canon law gives him. Order the school to stop calling itself “Catholic” in any sense whatsoever. If it defies him, he should forbid it to hold any religious services (via “interdict”). And if need be, he should excommunicate its administration.

They probably won’t care. Such people are likely too far gone. They’re already Albigensians. But at least prospective parents and students have the right to know just how lost such a college is. The nasty public backlash that the good archbishop would suffer would at least get that message out.

UPDATE: Lifenews just reported that Dominican University is no longer considered a Catholic college. As early as 2011, it was removed from Church directories, presumably at the order of the San Francisco Archdiocese. The Catholic watchdog group the Cardinal Newman Society told Lifenews that the school’s online

mention of “Dominican ideas” and other Catholic references may be confusing to those not familiar with the school. It urged Dominican University to “be candid” about its secular mission.

“Catholic families in California and elsewhere deserve to be aware that Dominican University is not a valid option for Catholic education,” the group said.

John Zmirak is a Senior Editor of The Stream, and author of the new Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1986, then his M.F.A. in screenwriting and fiction and his Ph.D. in English in 1996 from Louisiana State University. His focus was the English Renaissance, and the novels of Walker Percy. He taught composition at LSU and screenwriting at Tulane University, and has written screenplays for and with director Ronald Maxwell (Gods & Generals and Gettysburg). He was elected alternate delegate to the 1996 Republican Convention, representing Pat Buchanan.

He has been Press Secretary to pro-life Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, and a reporter and editor at Success magazine and Investor’s Business Daily, among other publications. His essays, poems, and other works have appeared in First Things, The Weekly Standard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, FrontPage Magazine, The American Conservative, The South Carolina Review, Modern Age, The Intercollegiate Review, Commonweal, and The National Catholic Register, among other venues. He has contributed to American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought. From 2000-2004 he served as Senior Editor of Faith & Family magazine and a reporter at The National Catholic Register. During 2012 he was editor of Crisis.

He is author, co-author, or editor of eleven books, including Wilhelm Ropke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist, The Grand Inquisitor (graphic novel) and The Race to Save Our Century. He was editor of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s guide to higher education, Choosing the Right College and, for ten years, and is also editor of Disorientation: How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind.