Don't Take Their Money: Catholics Argue Koch Money Is Immoral, University Defends It As “Principled Entre­pre­neur­ship," Everyone Falls Down Laughing

by
Abby Zimet

In an intriguing, heated proxy war between church conservatives and Pope Francis-inspired progressives, a group of 50 Catholic leaders is protesting the flagship Catholic University of America accepting a $1 million donation for its business school from Charles Koch, arguing the Koch political agenda "directly contradicts Catholic teaching on a range of moral issues." The letter from members of Faith in Public Life also noted the Kochs' "troubling track record" of "unacceptable meddling" in connection with earlier donations, like vetoing professors whose views they don't like. It prompted a bellicose response from the university, which called it "an unfortunate effort to manufacture controversy and score political points." A clearly aggrieved  university spokesman called the authors of the letter "presumptuous" because they "cast themselves as arbiters of political correctness" and "seek to instruct The Catholic University of America’s leaders about Catholic social teaching, and do so in a manner that redefines the Church’s teaching to suit their own political preferences." In a final blast, the school argues the Koch Foundation grant to support “principled entre­pre­neur­ship (is) fully consonant with Catholic social teaching” - an assertion that presumably met with howls of derision from on high. There's a petition too.

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