Over the past few years, many American college campuses have become secular havens that hostilely reject conservative Christian ideals. This growing intolerance, which Faithwire’s Billy Hallowell discusses in his latest book, Fault Line, has gotten so bad that it has led to the silencing of students and the firing of beloved faculty.
But if anyone thought this degree of cultural turmoil was unique to American institutions of higher learning, they’d be very wrong. This week, a Belgian Catholic university suspended a member of the school’s philosophy department after he shared his pro-life views with students.
Stéphane Mercier, a lecturer in philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), distributed a pro-life paper to students during one of his recent lectures, according to the Catholic Herald. The paper challenges the concept of a “right to choose” an abortion.
“The murder of an innocent person capable of defending himself is revolting; but to attack someone who does not have the strength or the resources to defend himself is even more dreadful,” Mercier notes at one point in the paper.
Mercier told the Catholic Herald that he simply asked students to “reflect on the arguments by themselves.”
“I said repeatedly that no one should feel forced to agree with me,” he added.
Shortly after this, however, a campus feminist group protested and notified university officials, who suspended Mercier. The pro-life academic reacted to this decision with utter bewilderment. He believes he is being punished for doing his job.
“The worldly powers that be, and the spiritual powers of darkness, are at war with everything truly Christian,” he hold the Catholic Herald. “So we’re fighting for life and for the Lord’s commandments against evil powers.”
Professor Mercier is suspended from UCL until further notice while the university investigates the complaints against him.
In a statement announcing Mercier’s suspension, UCL officials wrote that “in the spirit of the 1990 Act decriminalizing abortion,” the school “respects the autonomy of women to make this choice, in the circumstances specified by the legislator,” (translated).
Mercier, who pointed out that Catholic bishops sit on the university’s board, says his suspension “doesn’t make any sense” given the school’s religious underpinnings.
“I asked what their ‘values’ could be if they don’t include the dignity of human beings, but we’re still waiting for the answer,” the professor shared.
And while he noted that the whole ordeal has been “exhausting,” Mercier says he is “at peace, because the Lord himself is our strength in the fight. The Holy Virgin crushes the serpent’s head.”
He requested prayers for peace and vigilance during this trying season:
“I entrust myself to every Catholic’s prayer to stand firm, so that God brings forth supernatural peace to my family and me.”