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Brave Nuns Stand Up for Catholic Teaching, Says Newman Society’s Guernsey
Brave Nuns Stand Up for Catholic Teaching, Says Newman Society’s Guernsey
April 24, 2015

It was a brave decision by faithful nuns at Marin Catholic High School in San Francisco to stand up for Catholic teaching, according to Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs at The Cardinal Newman Society, in his recent op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle.

This type of witness is the action that teachers in the Archdiocese of San Francisco should be lauding, especially as Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone attempts to fortify the Catholic identity of his schools.

“This took courage,” Guernsey said. “The faithful nuns that teach at Marin Catholic High School in the San Francisco archdiocese seek to be full and credible witnesses to Christ and his church, teaching Catholic beliefs and making saints in a culture which too often misunderstands and even opposes these efforts.”

On April 17, students at Marin Catholic, without the approval of the administration, arranged for the school to participate in a “Day of Silence” supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. The sisters noticed students wearing stickers, pledging to remain silent and handing out flyers. Not wanting to violate the school’s mission by appearing to support the agenda, the sisters returned to their convent until the situation was sorted out. Some students and fellow teachers, who failed to recognize the motivation behind the nuns’ exit, were reportedly frustrated with their decision.

“It was not the message about protecting gay and lesbian students from abuse or bullying that concerned them,” Guernsey wrote. “[I]t was the event’s sponsorship by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, which works to ‘champion LGBT issues in K-12 education,’ including redefining marriage and opposing religious-freedom protections.” Read more...



More News

Jannuzzi Case Should Not Discourage Teachers from Evangelizing the Culture, Experts Say

By Kimberly Scharfenberger | April 24

Jannuzzi Case Should Not Discourage Teachers from Evangelizing the Culture, Experts Say
When a Catholic school teacher is disciplined using a harsh tone in a public debate over a sensitive issue—as happened recently in the controversial case of a New Jersey teacher who was suspended for her Facebook defense of traditional marriage—is there a danger that it could chill teachers’ public witness to the faith? The Cardinal Newman Society spoke to two education experts who acknowledged the challenge for schools and bishops but bemoaned any actions that might prevent teachers from fulfilling their calling as witnesses for Christ.

Last week, Immaculata High School in Somerville, N.J., announced that Patricia Jannuzzi, a Catholic school teacher who garnered national attention when she was suspended for comments defending traditional marriage on her Facebook page, would continue her employment so long as she monitors her tone and choice of words when addressing matters of faith in public.

Numerous Vatican documents speak to the importance of teachers engaging the culture and evangelizing their students, but incidents like the Januzzi suspension can make teachers nervous about the consequences of using a tone or word choice that is offensive or misconstrued. Read more...

Newman Society’s Guernsey Reveals What Really Happened with Marin Nuns in San Francisco

By Justin Petrisek | April 24

Newman Society’s Guernsey Reveals What Really Happened with Marin Nuns in San Francisco
Amid continued attacks on Archbishop Cordileone’s defense of Catholic education, opponents in San Francisco have turned their attention to the faithful Dominican sisters at Marin Catholic high school, noted Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs for The Cardinal Newman Society, in his recent article for Crisis Magazine.

Guernsey cut through the media confusion, highlighting what really happened at Marin Catholic and explaining why the religious educators should be praised for their faithful efforts.

“What really happened last week at the school is that a positive, acceptable message of stopping bullying in school was clouded and possibly manipulated by a national agenda of pushing errant teaching on human sexuality that left the sisters in an initially uncomfortable situation,” wrote Guernsey, who has been both a student and teacher in San Francisco Bay Area Catholic schools and is a graduate of the University of San Francisco.

“However, the situation has now afforded the school an opportunity for both a reaffirmation of the protection and dignity for all students, and for a clearer understanding of the beauty of God’s plan for human sexuality.” Read more...

Notre Dame’s Father Jenkins Joins with Divisive Journalist for Conference on Polarization

By Justin Petrisek | April 23

Notre Dame’s Father Jenkins Joins with Divisive Journalist for Conference on Polarization
The University of Notre Dame has invited divisive journalist Michael Sean Winters to serve on a panel with Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., speaking about—of all things—polarization among Catholics in America.

Winters is a columnist for the heterodox National Catholic Reporter, which its local bishop declared to have no legitimate claim to its “Catholic” label. By his caustic attacks on bishops and lay Catholics, Winters has encouraged divisions between his readers and those who are faithful to the Church.

Winters will join Fr. Jenkins, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, and two academics for a panel headlining the April 27 and 28 conference at Notre Dame, “Polarization in the U.S. Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal.” The panelists will address the question, “How can we heal the division and reestablish the virtues of solidarity, love and humility at the heart of the Christian message?”

“Notre Dame has made a strikingly poor choice of Michael Sean Winters as a panelist alongside Father Jenkins,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Winters’ publication features prominent dissidents and works against Christian unity, and he has used his own columns to attack the Church’s most loyal sons and daughters.”
Read more...

Scandalous Commencement Honors Announced at Eight Catholic Colleges

By Kimberly Scharfenberger | April 22

Scandalous Commencement Honors Announced at Eight Catholic Colleges
At least eight Catholic colleges have announced scandalous speakers or honorees at their 2015 commencement ceremonies, according to The Cardinal Newman Society’s annual review of college graduations. Many colleges wait to release the names of their honorees and speakers, so it is too soon to know if this represents an improvement over last year’s report, which exposed at least 20 scandalous commencement ceremonies. 

In 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a document requiring Catholic institutions to withhold honors and platforms from public opponents of Church teaching. The document, Catholics in Political Life, stipulates that “[t]he Catholic community should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” 

The Cardinal Newman Society has identified the following Catholic colleges that are acting in direct contradiction to their Catholic mission of education. Read more...

Majority in San Francisco Supporting Archbishop Cordileone’s Efforts, According to Online Poll

By Kimberly Scharfenberger | April 20

Majority in San Francisco Supporting Archbishop Cordileone’s Efforts, According to Online Poll
An online poll posted Friday by the San Francisco Chronicle—a strong critic of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s efforts to fortify the Catholic identity of San Francisco’s Catholic schools—is showing very strong support for the Archbishop’s courageous defense of Catholic teaching. The “weekly poll” is still accepting votes from visitors to the Chronicle website.

The Chronicle—which claims to be the largest circulation daily in northern California—published the poll on Friday, April 17. Readers are invited to respond to the question, “Should Pope Francis remove Archbishop Cordileone from the San Francisco archdiocese?”

As of Monday afternoon, April 20, almost nine out of 10 respondents supported the Archbishop. An overwhelming 77 percent of respondents selected the answer, “No, the archbishop is upholding the values of the Catholic Church.” Read more...
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