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Massachusetts Catholic college decides to keep the name “Crusaders”


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Zelda Caldwell - published on 02/05/18

Officials at College of the Holy Cross say they choose to associate themselves with modern definition of the word "crusader."

The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, has decided to keep the Crusader as the school’s mascot.

The decision was made this Saturday by the Board of Trustee’s of the Jesuit Catholic college, and came after months of deliberation, according to an Associated Press report.

The school’s student-run newspaper had announced on Friday that they were changing their name from “The Crusader” to “The Spire.”

In an editorial, the paper’s editor wrote that after studying the history of the crusades, they had decided to disassociate themselves with that historical epoch.

“No matter how long ago the Crusades took place, this paper does not wish to be associated with the massacres (i.e. burning synagogues with innocent men, women, and children inside) and conquest that took place therein. Surely, the word ‘crusade’ has come to mean ‘an energetic campaign’ in common parlance, but can a school whose mascot wields a sword and shield really lay claim to this interpretation?” the editors wrote.

In an email to the college community, Holy Cross’ president, the Rev. Philip Boroughs, and board chair John J. Mahoney said that the board had decided that the literal definition of the name Crusaders — “one who is marked by the cross of Christ” — was consistent with the college’s mission.

“While we acknowledge that the Crusades were among the darkest periods in Church history, we choose to associate ourselves with the modern definition of the word crusader, one which is representative of our Catholic, Jesuit identity and our mission and values as an institution and community,” they wrote.

“We are crusaders for human rights, social justice, and care for the environment; for respect for different perspectives, cultures, traditions, and identities; and for service in the world, especially to the underserved and vulnerable,” the email explained.

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