Mar 26, 2015 Print this article

Dean of Catholic University Defends Internship with Pro-Abortion Group, Alumnus Responds


The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the Catholic University of St. Thomas, Dr. Terry Langan, has regrettably decided to stand by the pro-abortion internship with the National Organization for Women (NOW-Minnesota), currently listed on the university's web site.

Although Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion internship offers vanished from the same web page, Dr. Langan insists that NOW's version of radical, anti-Catholic pro-abortion activism is somehow offset by its other activities. "...NOW-Minnesota states on its website that it supports some causes very much in keeping with Catholic teaching," Dr. Langan writes.

But over 17,878 informed students and parents are not falling for that sophism and continue to petition the university to stop offering internships with NOW.

The attempt to defend NOW's other activities, which are tainted with the innocent blood of unborn children, is like saying a glass of pure water left exposed to nuclear fallout from an atomic blast continues to retain its purity and is thus still good drinking water. Who would knowingly drink that glass of water? Similarly, if Planned Parenthood dispensed Band-Aids, a well informed Catholic conscience would still refrain from accepting them in order not to be associated with them in any way.

It is mindboggling therefore why the University of St. Thomas is still featuring NOW-Minnesota as a worthy internship for Catholic students.

Here's an interesting exchange of emails between the dean and a concerned alumnus:

Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2015 9:19 PM
Subject: Internships at the University of St. Thomas

Dear Mr. P.,

Thank you for your recent message to our university president, Dr. Julie Sullivan, concerning student internship policies. I believe your inquiry may have been motivated by an e-mail you received from a group that is stating on its website and in the subject line of its e-mail that the University of St. Thomas is offering pro-abortion internships. This is a falsehood and I am sorry that you may have been made a party to spreading falsehoods. As the dean who is charged with approving internship proposals from students, I can promise you that I have never approved, nor would I ever approve an internship proposal related to the provision or promotion of abortion. Even better news: I have never received such a proposal from one of our students. So I believe that someone is trying to get you riled up about a problem at UST that does not exist.

Our president has been clear about our practices on many occasions, including in a letter to the organization which sent you the troubling e-mail. In that e-mail to you, the author quotes half of a sentence from Dr. Sullivan’s letter but leaves out the second half of the sentence which explains that I have never, nor would I ever approve a pro-abortion internship. That is, the author omits the part of Dr. Sullivan’s sentence which clearly states that the subject line of his e-mail is false. The dishonesty of this partial quote is troubling.

One issue raised by this group is true and I would like to explain myself to you. I am open to possibly approving an internship with NOW-Minnesota so long as it is not a pro-abortion internship. If it is true that NOW-Minnesota is nothing but a pro-abortion group then I will never be approving an internship with them. However, if, for example, a UST student were ever to meet someone associated with NOW-Minnesota working to eliminate violence against women, as their website suggests might happen, of course I would approve an internship proposal to further that important cause. Because NOW-Minnesota states on its website that it supports some causes very much in keeping with Catholic teaching, including equality for women, racial and economic justice, and freedom from violence, I will not ask the Women’s Studies program to remove this organization from its website. However, I have made clear to the faculty in this program which internships with NOW-Minnesota I will not approve and they are supportive of this policy. I think you have been led to believe that there is a problem at UST which does not actually exist here.

I thank you for your concern.


Terry Langan
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
University of St. Thomas

Alumnus Replies:

Sent: Friday, March 13, 2015 8:59 AM
Subject: Re: Internships at the University of St. Thomas

Dear Dr. Langan,

While I thank you for responding to my message that I sent to Dr. Sullivan, I must say that I am disappointed in this response. You can not promote or allow non-abortion internships with Minnesota NOW [National Organization for Women] because that organization is anti-Catholic and anti-life at its core. If an intern were to work there to promote something like an end of abuse against women, that would strengthen the organization and help it. But at its core, that organization is a vile, anti-Catholic entity. You can not allow MN NOW to be strengthened.

Would you allow students to have internships with NAZI Germany if those internships were with art history or art conservation? After all, the Nazis did some good things for culture and science and art. Or would you look at it and immediately dismiss the internship because it would support an organization that is anti-Catholic and evil at its core?

The same is true with Minnesota NOW. You can not allow students to help an organization and earn internship credit when that organization's policy is to promote abortion, contraception, and other grave evils that the Church so vehemently condemns.

You must reject these internships. As an alumnus of UST, I will do what I can to protest the school publicly until this is stopped.


Matthew R. P.