#Students' Rights
Marquette for Life
United States of America

On October 14, 2016, an annual Memorial to the Unborn on Marquette University’s campus was vandalized —three times. (Learn more: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abortion-supporters-trash-memorial-for-the-unborn-at-marquette-university and http://campusreform.org/?ID=8267 )

The display was created and funded by Marquette for Life, an approved university student group, and Marquette Campus Ministry. While it’s not exactly clear what student group vandalized the memorial, at least two Marquette student groups have since publicly applauded the vandalism and spoken out boldly about their pro-abortion beliefs.

Catholics for Mission @ Marquette — a group of Marquette faculty, staff and students — want Marquette for Life and the wider community to know that these groups do not represent the university as a whole, and that we heartily support the pro-life mission of Marquette for Life and the Catholic mission of Marquette University. To that end, we have written and signed the following statement. We encourage anyone who agrees to add their signature. We will send the signed statement to Marquette for Life as a show of our support.

Marquette University is many things. But perhaps most fundamentally we are a community built upon Catholic faith and Jesuit values. As a Catholic community, we are committed both to bringing our faith and values into engagement with the wider world, as well as to constructive dialogue with other traditions of thought.

To be true to the founding faith and values of the Marquette community, however, means that we cannot be neutral when it comes to matters of basic human dignity. Our common life is informed by the conviction that all persons have been created in God's image and likeness, and that Christ commanded us to see his face in the least and most vulnerable among us.

We therefore cannot be neutral when it comes to racism. We cannot be neutral when it comes to sexual violence. We cannot be neutral when it comes to the ethical treatment of immigrants and refugees. As Pope Francis said, we must resist our "throwaway culture" which reduces those whose dignity is inconvenient for us to trash. We must be on the side of the vulnerable. On these issues, neutrality is not a virtue.

Nor is neutrality a virtue when it comes to an unimaginably vulnerable population: unborn children. We must include them within what Catholic social teaching calls a "preferential option" for the most vulnerable, even when it is controversial and even when it is a sign of contradiction in the broader culture. This is not simply a matter of faith. Secular approaches to social justice likewise emphasize nonviolence and care for the vulnerable, and they often help identify the unjust social structures which lead so many women to the false conclusion that abortion is the least harmful option available. Thus, protecting unborn children is also a core value of secular justice as well as Catholic social teaching.

With these core principles in mind, Catholics for Mission @ Marquette affirm our gratitude for the leadership of pro-life women and men — especially the students who lead Marquette for Life—who help us to affirm the dignity of both the women who face crisis pregnancies and their vulnerable unborn children. Christ commanded us to stand in solidarity with multiple vulnerable populations, and not to pit them against each other.

Our commitment at Marquette University is to see the face of Christ in all vulnerable people, including unborn children and their mothers. On this score, we cannot be neutral. We must be on the side of the vulnerable.

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The Show Your Support for Marquette for Life (student group) petition to Marquette for Life was written by Catholics for Mission @ Marquette and is in the category Students' Rights at GoPetition.