Pope Francis Weighs In On Role of Teachers, Coaches as Witnesses
By Kimberly Scharfenberger | May 21
Pope Francis last week said that the influence of a Catholic educator “depends more on what he is as a person and the way he lives than what he says,” and even athletics coaches—whom he included as educators—must be “formators” and therefore need their own “solid formation” to prepare forgiving witness to the faith.
The Pope’s words are especially timely in the United States, as many bishops have been working to better define the Church’s expectations for Catholic school employees, even while some teachers in San Francisco are demanding a right to dissent.
“[H]ow important it is that a coach be an example of integrity, of coherence, of good judgment, of impartiality, but also of joy of living, of patience, of capacity to esteem and of benevolence to all, especially the most disadvantaged!” Pope Francis stated, according to ZENIT’stranslation. “And how important it is that he be an example of faith!” Read more...
Notre Dame Loses Round in Court, Maybe Due to Compliance with HHS Mandate
By CNS Staff | May 21
It appears that one reason the University of Notre Dame lost its court appeal yesterday—denying the University relief from the Obama administration’s HHS mandate to force employers to include sterilization, contraceptives and abortifacient drugs in employee health plans—is the University’s compliance with the mandate since January.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled two-to-one to deny an immediate religious exemption to the University.
“This marked the first time that a federal appeals court had rejected a claim that the Supreme Court’s ruling last June in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores should shield a non-profit religious organization from any role whatsoever in carrying out the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate,” Lyle Denniston of the SCOTUS blog reported.
Why the difference with Notre Dame? Denniston suggested that the problem may be Notre Dame’s compliance with the HHS mandate, while simultaneously claiming that the mandate would violate its religious freedom. Read more...
Archdiocese Explains Removal of Seton Hall Campus Minister, Seeks ‘Accountability’
By CNS Staff | May 20
A Catholic priest’s support for a campaign that advocates the redefinition of marriage was not the direct reason for his removal as campus minister at Seton Hall University, despite his claim to the contrary and subsequent media reports, the Archdiocese of Newark told The Cardinal Newman Society in a statement yesterday.
The incident did, however, cause the Archdiocese to reconsider the position description for Seton Hall’s campus ministry director and to clarify the director’s “accountability to the University and to the Archbishop,” the Archdiocese said. It described plans to assign a new director of campus ministry as an “important opportunity to undertake that clarification.”
Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly celebrated the Archdiocese’s statement.
“Whether or not there was any intent by campus ministry to oppose Catholic teaching on marriage, it is reassuring to Catholic families that the Archdiocese is taking steps to protect the integrity and Catholic identity of Seton Hall University, which is under the authority and responsibility of the Archbishop of Newark,” Reilly said.
The trouble began earlier in the year, when Father Warren Hall, director of campus ministry and a former adjunct professor at the University, was criticized by members of the Seton Hall community for a Facebook post in support of the “No H8” campaign, according to the Archdiocese. The No H8 campaign began as a protest against Proposition 8, a 2008 amendment to the California state constitution that affirmed marriage between one man and one woman. Although the campaign is still tied to support for redefining marriage, it also protests discrimination and bullying. Read more...
Catholic Conference on Homosexuality to Help Educators, Students
By Kimberly Scharfenberger | May 20
Leading up to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September and the Vatican Synod on the Family to be held in October, the Catholic apostolate Courage International has organized a special conference on ministering to people with same-sex attraction and communicating Catholic teaching on homosexuality to schools, students and parishes.
Courage already hosts an annual conference, but this special conference in Plymouth, Mich., on August 10-12—titled “Welcoming and Accompanying Our Brothers and Sisters with Same-Sex Attraction”—is unique in its focus on the questions outlined in the Lineamenta for the Synod on the Family.
The beauty of Courage’s apostolate is that its presence “makes plain to the world that the Church does understand this question and does have a very practical and thoughtful response,” Father Paul Check, executive director of Courage, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview. Read more...
Franciscan University Students Defend Life at United Nations
By Kimberly Scharfenberger | May 19
This past semester, nine students from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio attended a United Nations conference in New York—the Commission on the Status of Women— to defend the sanctity of life and lobby for pro-life causes. Andrew Koehler, a student attendee, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about his experience and encouraged other students to actively defend life on their campuses.
Students and at least five adult advisors—two of which are faculty at Franciscan University— attended the conference in order “to persuade UN delegates to address the real needs and concerns of women from the developing world which strongly embrace the principles of Catholic social teaching on marriage and family,” according to a statement from the University, which is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
“Our presence as youth is so significant,” said Koehler to the Newman Society. “Often, the youth are associated with radical liberal opinions, [while] opponents of pro-life and pro-family positions are often backed by hundreds of employees and millions of dollars.”
“Our stance against them is very much needed,” he stressed. Read more...
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