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Classroom Ethics: Are Planned Parenthood Videos Morally OK?
Classroom Ethics: Are Planned Parenthood Videos Morally OK?
September 1, 2015

A debate among pro-life advocates over the ethics of undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted babies’ body parts is the sort of discussion that college students need to have today, says a prominent moral theologian.

The organization behind the videos—The Center for Medical Progress (CMP)—has faced criticism by pro-life legal scholar Robert George, who reportedly accused the group in a Facebook post of “Telling lies to gain access to Planned Parenthood.” But some moral theologians at Catholic colleges defend the practice, even while acknowledging the moral complexity.

While this topic is undoubtedly “difficult,” it is nevertheless “very important for people to think about,” said Dr. Janet Smith, professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. She said that it is crucial for students to wrestle with topics such as this at the college level, even though there may not be agreement on the answers. Read more...



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Manhattan College Faculty Do Not Preserve Religious Environment, Government Finds

By Justin Petrisek | August 27

Manhattan College Faculty Do Not Preserve Religious Environment, Government Finds
The trickle-down effect of Catholic identity concerns and unconstitutional oversight from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reared its ugly head at yet another Catholic college, with the latest ruling stating that adjunct faculty at Manhattan College do not perform a specific religious function within the institution.

As has been the case with other NLRB rulings against Catholic colleges, the regional Board’s recent unconstitutional interference into the affairs of several Catholic colleges has exposed Catholic identity concerns. This week, the NLRB upheld its decision that Manhattan College is not exempt from federal oversight, noting that the hiring and interview practices fall well short in maintaining a Catholic environment. Read more...

Newman Society, Pro-Life Leaders Demand Attention to Planned Parenthood Scandal

By Kimberly Scharfenberger | August 27

Newman Society, Pro-Life Leaders Demand Attention to Planned Parenthood Scandal
Following the release of an investigative report exposing outrageous ties between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood, The Cardinal Newman Society has joined with pro-life leaders to demand media coverage of Planned Parenthood’s horrific practices.

Brent Bozell, president of Media Research Center and a member of the Newman Society’s board of directors, organized the joint letter to network news chiefs at ABC, CBS and NBC. “Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business and targets college students and other young adults, luring them into the Culture of Death,” said Newman Society President Patrick Reilly, who signed the letter.  “Americans need to know what their tax dollars and even some Catholic institutions are supporting.”

Other leaders listed among the 28 signers include Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Lila Rose of Live Action, John-Henry Westen of LifeSiteNews.com, Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com, and Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition. Read more...

Archbishop Cordileone Thanks Newman Society, Supporters for Letters

By Kimberly Scharfenberger | August 27

Archbishop Cordileone Thanks Newman Society, Supporters for Letters
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone recently sent a letter of thanks to The Cardinal Newman Society and all of the supporters who wrote him in April and May, encouraging his efforts to improve the Catholic identity of schools under the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

“The words of support and assurance of prayers humbled me greatly,” the Archbishop wrote in the letter. “Over the past number of months, I have become aware that people, both nationally and internationally, understand and appreciate the importance of my work, especially in regards to the Catholicity of our high schools.”

Earlier in the year, the Newman Society invited and collected more than 7,300 notes from more than 27 countries to deliver to Archbishop Cordileone, so he would know of faithful Catholics’ continued support for his efforts.  Read more...

Catholic Educators Depend on Supreme Court Appeal Challenging HHS Mandate

By Justin Petrisek | August 27

Catholic Educators Depend on Supreme Court Appeal Challenging HHS Mandate
A last-ditch appeal by the Little Sisters of the Poor to the Supreme Court for relief from the Obama administration’s “HHS Mandate” is also of great importance to many Catholic educators and The Cardinal Newman Society, which like the Sisters are participants in a unique Catholic health care trust that lies at the center of the case.

In addition to the Newman Society, the case involves Catholic schools and colleges including Iona College, Lewis University, Manhattan College and Belmont Abbey College, a faithfully Catholic institution that is recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

Last Friday, the Christian Brothers Health Benefits Trust was granted temporary relief by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to continue providing morally sound health insurance until the Supreme Court rules on the Trust’s lawsuit with the Little Sisters. The Trust and the Sisters had been granted an injunction by the Supreme Court in 2013 pending a new hearing in the Tenth Circuit, but was then denied reliefby the appeals court last month. The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court. Read more...

Catholic Colleges Should Aspire to Faithfulness, Not Prestige, Says Newman Guide Editor

By Justin Petrisek | August 27

Catholic Colleges Should Aspire to Faithfulness, Not Prestige, Says Newman Guide Editor
Catholic colleges need to be concerned with the Church’s standards of excellence rather than the standards of prestige set forth by their secular counterparts, argues The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, director of communications and managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

His comments echo the arguments of George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and biographer of Saint John Paul II, who recently argued at First Things that the University of Notre Dame and other Catholic colleges need to stop looking to prominent secular colleges in the Ivy League as models of higher education.

“Catholic colleges don’t need to reinvent the wheel or look to the Ivy Leagues as an example of excellence,” argues Wilson. “The Church has already provided fundamental standards to help them fulfill their Catholic mission. Being Catholic is not an obstacle to excellence or prestige; in fact, being faithfully Catholic is precisely why many colleges are exceptional.” Read more...
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