Petition to rename Cardinal Farrell Hall
We name the buildings that make up our campus after donors to our school, saints who have shaped our civilization, and scholars who have made an impact on this University. Haggerty, Haggar, Cowan, Blakely, Maher, Gorman, Jerome, Madonna, Albert the Great, Satish and Yasmin Gupta, Braniff, and, until recently, Lynch; all named after men and women who have made significant contributions to the University of Dallas. The two exceptions are Constantin College and Clark Hall, both named after young men of virtue worth imitating.
Cardinal Farrell is not a founder. He is not a donor. He is still alive, and therefore certainly not a saint. His only visible impact upon the University is the depopulation of Fort Worth seminarians from the student body over disagreements with Bishop Michael Olson. And unlike Lt. Constantin or Zach Clark, throughout his tenure as bishop of Dallas Cardinal Farrell was never accused of being a man of virtue. He lacks any qualification to be honored on our campus.
In his over forty years of working in the Church, Cardinal Farrell is unnervingly close to two major scandals. Thirty years ago, he served as general administrator for the seminaries and schools run by the Legion of Christ. After the scandals broke, he claimed no knowledge of any of the debauchery and, despite his high position, that he only met Father Maciel once or twice. Today, he claims no knowledge of any depraved actions of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, despite sharing an apartment with him for six years.
According to Cardinal Farrell, he was in the middle of two massive scandals, but somehow suspected nothing. By his own testimony, he is either a lying prelate or a clueless one. Why should we honor either at this University?
If a liar, Kevin Farrell is complicit in the sexual abuse of minors and the violation of ordination vows. These evils were rampant in our seminary just a few decades ago; we will not honor those who enable them today.
Because he lacks any basic qualification to merit the honor of any building on our campus, much less two, and especially in light of his lack of character as shown by these scandals, we demand that Kevin Cardinal Farrell’s name be stripped from the building that now bears his name. We call upon the University administration to honor one more worthy: a founder, a saint, or a scholar. Until a new name is chosen, we refuse to continue to honor Kevin Farrell and shall refer to the building as Lynch Hall.
An iconic building deserves a worthy name. Ours should never have been, and shall no longer be, Cardinal Farrell Hall.
The petition was submitted to the office of the president September 12, 2018, with 770 signatures.