In a Nov. 24 article, “Group claims Gonzaga University losing Catholic identity,” 1887 Trust President Jim Infantine says “there has been some backsliding” since Thayne McCulloh replaced Father Robert Spitzer as Gonzaga University president.
I would argue that under McCulloh’s guidance, Gonzaga has become a highly visible and productive Catholic force in the Spokane community, and acted in a manner consistent with the teachings of Pope Francis.
To the first point: GU students, staff and alumni invest thousands of hours and millions of dollars helping those in need each year. This often forgotten pillar of our Catholic faith is fundamental to McCulloh’s leadership. Our Catholic church is fortunate to have such an active, powerful missionary group in the community.
To the second point, Pope Francis has made it clear that we as Catholics must open our doors and minds to those with whom we disagree. The pope recently referred to a “fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe.”
McCulloh is brave enough to embrace what the pope tells us is not just our right but our responsibility as Catholics.