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Commencement Speakers Can Exemplify Colleges’ Catholic Identity
Commencement Speakers Can Exemplify Colleges’ Catholic Identity
May 5, 2015

Every year, Catholic colleges are given a distinctive opportunity in commencement ceremonies to highlight their Catholic identities and missions by selecting commencement speakers who exemplify Christian ideals.

“Honoring faithful Catholic leaders at commencement is an excellent way to signal to graduates what matters most, namely, the importance of carrying the Catholic faith into lives of service to the Church, family and society at large,” said Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, which recognizes colleges for their strong Catholic values.

Commencement speakers and honorees who especially highlight a college’s Catholic identity include Church leaders and lay people who are successful in various careers while standing publicly in support of the Catholic faith. They stand in stark contrast to the scandalous commencement choices at eight Catholic colleges previously identified by The Cardinal Newman Society.
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U.S. Bishops’ Leader Says Catholic Schools ‘Exist to Proclaim Good News of Jesus Christ’

By Kimberly Scharfenberger | May 5

U.S. Bishops’ Leader Says Catholic Schools ‘Exist to Proclaim Good News of Jesus Christ’
The very purpose of Catholic schools is to witness to Christ, said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this week in an exclusive statement to The Cardinal Newman Society. 

“Catholic schools exist to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all the nations,” said Archbishop Kurtz. “Through Catholic school education, students are daily invited to know Jesus personally, to love Him intimately, and to serve Him wholeheartedly. As Pope Francis reminds us in Evangelii Gaudium, ‘the joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.’” 

The question of evangelization—and to what extent Catholic school teachers are expected to uphold the faith both inside and outside the classroom—has been controversial in San Francisco, where dissenting organizations like Call to Action have been provoking opposition to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s changes to a faculty handbook. But other dioceses nationwide also have been working to improve Catholic schools by focusing greater attention on Catholic identity. Read more...

Knights of Columbus Leader Laments Obama’s False Promise at Notre Dame

By Justin Petrisek | May 5

Knights of Columbus Leader Laments Obama’s False Promise at Notre Dame
After accepting the Evangelium Vitae Medal from the University of Notre Dame last week, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus looked back six years to the University’s scandalous commencement honors for President Barack Obama and boldly criticized the President for failing to keep his promise to protect Americans’ conscience rights by forcing the HHS mandate on religious organizations.

In 2009, pro-life law professor Mary Ann Glendon protested the honors for President Obama by refusing to share the stage with him to accept the Laetare Medal. The Cardinal Newman Society led opposition to Notre Dame’s invitation, together with 83 bishops and more than 367,000 individuals who signed The Cardinal Newman Society’s petition.

During the 2009 address, President Obama acknowledged his support for abortion rights but promised to find common ground with pro-life Catholics, including protections for religious freedom:
Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women. Those are things we can do.
But his promise to protect the freedoms of religious objectors has fallen precipitously short, Anderson lamented last week. In light of the Obama administration’s threats to religious freedom, including the insufficient “accommodations” in the HHS mandate that requires health care coverage for sterilization, contraception and abortifacients, religious freedom is more in danger than ever before. Read more...

House Votes for Religious Freedom in D.C., But Republicans Fail to Halt Laws

By Kimberly Scharfenberger | May 1

House Votes for Religious Freedom in D.C., But Republicans Fail to Halt Laws
Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to overturn the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), an unconstitutional law passed by the D.C. City Council which would force religious organizations to work with and hire abortion advocates in the nation’s Capital.

The Washington Post reported that the final vote was 228-192. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio reportedly said that “the issue is one of religious liberty.”

“It is a very important step forward, that a majority of the House is now on record opposing this so-called anti-discrimination law that, in fact, has minimal impact except to discriminate against religious groups,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “But the fight must go on. Congress needs to finish this job and overturn both D.C.laws that violate our religious freedom.” Read more...

St. Norbert College Pro-Life Student Group Counters Gloria Steinem Event with Serrin Foster

By Kimberly Scharfenberger | May 1

St. Norbert College Pro-Life Student Group Counters Gloria Steinem Event with Serrin Foster
In response to the recent scandalous event with pro-abortion speaker Gloria Steinem at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., the College’s student pro-life group invited Feminists for Life President Serrin Foster to present her speech “The Feminist Case Against Abortion.”

The event was held on campus at the Bemis International Center and followed by questions and a reception. Students reportedly filled the room past seating capacity to hear Foster explain the many reasons why feminists can—and should—protect the unborn. The talk took place on April 30, a week after Steinem’s vehemently pro-abortion “dialogue” with fellow radical feminist Bell Hooks. Read more...

Letters to Archbishop Cordileone Show Waves of Global Support

By Justin Petrisek | May 1

Letters to Archbishop Cordileone Show Waves of Global Support
In just over a week, more than 7,300 notes of encouragement from Catholics in more than 27 countries have flooded in to The Cardinal Newman Society in support of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. The notes praise the San Francisco archbishop for his unyielding efforts to strengthen Catholic identity in his Catholic schools.

The Cardinal Newman Society is gathering all the notes and delivering them to Archbishop Cordileone so that he can know of the continued support for his efforts.

“Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has been working vigorously to strengthen the Catholic identity of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. His sensible and praiseworthy efforts — such as outlining the expected moral conduct for diocesan teachers — have been met with unfair criticism,” the Newman Society states on the support page.

A recent poll by the San Francisco Chronicle showed that 90 percent of people were in favor of the expectations laid out by Archbishop Cordileone. In their messages submitted to the Newman Society, many supporters affirmed that he is simply defending the beliefs of the Catholic Church, assuring that students are well-formed in the faith and reminding teachers of their unique role in handing on the faith to their students.

In addition to notes from lay and religious within the United States, the support has been surprisingly global. Notes have come in from Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Argentina, Columbia, Brazil, Uruguay, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, Italy, Spain, Kenya, the UAE, India, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Guam, the Philippines, China and Australia. Read more...
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