Friday, May 27, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily

Catholic Education Daily Articles

CNS Staff

The Cardinal Newman Society works to promote and defend faithful Catholic education.
Gonzaga Alumni Seek Changes Out of Concern for Students
5/23/2016
While Gonzaga University, a Jesuit Catholic institution in Spokane, Wash., is known around the country for its basketball program, concerned alumni are working for policy changes in hopes that the University will one day be known for having a strong Catholic identity, which they say Gonzaga is currently lacking.

One of the major issues for alumni who are members of the group 1887 Trust is the lack of exemplary witnesses to the Catholic faith among the faculty and staff at Gonzaga, and the subsequent impact on students. Gonzaga parents and alumni formed 1887 Trust in 2013 following a significant uptick in Catholic identity concerns.

“When I attended Gonzaga, I saw some of its faculty stray from teaching the truths of the Church and was saddened that a majority of students would leave the University misguided,” Blair Kelly, who graduated from Gonzaga in 2013, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Kelly said it was disheartening to see faculty in the classroom “reject the rich, 2,000-year-old intellectual tradition of the Church for academic fads and trends that embrace a largely secular view.”


Newman Society Responds to Obama Administration’s ‘Guidance’ on Gender Identity
5/13/2016
Patrick J. Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, released the following statement today in response to the “guidance” issued by the U.S. Department of Education attempting to force schools to abandon safe, responsible policies according to students’ biological sex:

“The Obama administration can try to change federal policy but not Catholic teaching, which rejects the separation of ‘gender’ from biological sex. This was reaffirmed by Pope Francis, who laments the falsehood of ‘gender ideology’: ‘It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality. Let us not fall into the sin of trying to replace the Creator.’


Pro-Life Leaders Decry Scandals, Urge Catholic Colleges to Reject Culture of Death
5/11/2016
Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill ClintonWendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 31 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm in defending truth and the Catholic identity of their institutions.”

The statement, released today by The Cardinal Newman Society, argues that such events betray the mission of Catholic education and endanger the spiritual well-being of students.  

“We urge the leaders of Catholic colleges and universities to reject the culture of death” and refuse “to honor and award speaking platforms to public advocates of abortion and same-sex marriage,” the signers of the letter stated.

“There is no sensible appeal to ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘academic freedom’ to justify university-sponsored events or activities that hold up opponents of known moral truths for special honor, as if falsehood and immorality are to be celebrated and not firmly rejected,” the letter states.


Campus Speakers: Why They Matter
5/5/2016
Bill Clinton. Cecile Richards. Joe Biden. Wendy Davis.

What do they have in common?

For us, it’s this: Catholic colleges this spring have invited these public figures to enjoy prominent campus platforms and public honors, despite their public opposition to Catholic teaching on abortion and marriage.

Why does this matter? Because it’s a betrayal of the mission of Catholic education and a scandal. It concerns not only The Cardinal Newman Society but also, apparently, bishops and pro-life leaders who have spoken out against the colleges' choices.

Any college, if it is to fulfill its mission, must seek and teach truth. But an authentic Catholic college has far more to offer, because it teaches the truth revealed by God — truth that is excluded by the modern academy, because its only accepted means to truth are human experience and reasoning. A Catholic college, by definition, embraces divine revelation through Christ and His Church as truth that is foundational and consistent with discovered truth.


Newman Society on EWTN: 'The Catholic University as Witness'
4/29/2016
Patrick Reilly, founder and president of The Cardinal Newman Society, will appear on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) program "Franciscan University Presents" next week to discuss the special witness Catholic colleges and universities are called to give.

Reilly will join the show's host Michael Hernon, vice president of advancement at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn from the Franciscan University Theology Department for a discussion on “The Catholic University as Witness.”

“A Catholic institution of higher education is a place of learning. But it’s also a place of witness,” the episode description states. ”It’s where young people learn how to know their faith and to live it. It’s also where the culture at large can encounter the wisdom of Christ.”


Georgetown University Rally for Planned Parenthood Endangered Souls
4/21/2016
Georgetown University officials must take full responsibility for the scandalous, immoral and anti-Catholic comments made by the president of Planned Parenthood to students yesterday — with the full approval and defense of the nation’s oldest Catholic university — and they should make immediate changes to their speaker policy to uphold truth and avoid endangering the souls of their students.

The administration’s disclaimers about not endorsing guest speaker views and appealing to free speech arguments cannot be taken seriously as excuses to what students were exposed to yesterday. There was no academic benefit for students, nor was this event an attempt to aid students in the pursuit of truth and knowledge. Cecile Richards’ lecture at Georgetown was nothing more than a pep rally for Planned Parenthood and the terrible, evil work that organization is openly committed to doing.


Newman Society: Loyola Marymount Betrays Catholic Mission in Clinton Commencement Scandal
4/15/2016
Loyola Marymount University’s choice to honor disgraced, pro-abortion former President Bill Clinton as its spring 2016 commencement speaker on May 7 is a new low in the University’s repeated betrayal of its Catholic mission. The scandal deserves the outrage of faithful Catholics everywhere, most especially those families who rely on LMU to provide the Catholic education that the University holds itself out as providing.

Former President Clinton is an extremely poor choice for honor and presents a very bad moral example to LMU’s students. LMU President Dr. Timothy Snyder touted Clinton in the commencement speaker announcement as “one of the great statesmen of our time.” “His commitment to improving the lives of other people, during and beyond his career in U.S. politics, embodies the ethos of becoming women and men with and for others. President Clinton will inspire our graduates as they seek to lead lives of meaning, purpose, and global impact,” Snyder continued. But President Clinton’s record is one of scandal, immorality and support for the destruction of innocent human life. And his Clinton Foundation continues to partner with and fund some of the largest organizations around the world dedicated to snuffing out babies in the womb — such as Planned Parenthood.


Scandal: More ‘Drag Shows’ at Catholic Colleges
4/13/2016
Annual drag shows — where individuals dress up and perform as the opposite sex — have become a consistent presence on several Catholic college campuses, punctuating the spring semester with scandal and disregard for Church teaching on human sexuality. Despite the Holy Father’s repeated warnings against gender ideology, and in one university’s case, censure from the Vatican’s Congregation for Education, Catholic colleges continue to harm students and their Catholic mission with these outrageous events. 

Just this past week, Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. “It is a source of concern that some ideologies of this sort, which seek to respond to what are at times understandable aspirations, manage to assert themselves as absolute and unquestionable, even dictating how children should be raised,” the Holy Father stated. “It needs to be emphasized that ‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.’”


USD ‘Drag Show,’ Criticized by Vatican, Continues Under New President
4/13/2016
For the past four years, the University of San Diego (USD) has hosted and promoted a “drag queen show” featuring students dressed up as members of the opposite sex. In 2014, the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education said these drag shows at USD have caused “scandal.” Faithful Catholics were hopeful that with the installation of a new University president last year, these scandalous events would come to an end. But USD is scheduled to host its fifth annual drag show on April 14.

Billed as “Celebration of Gender Expression: Supreme Drag Superstar,” the Facebook event description for the 2016 show notes that the University’s PRIDE organization is “ECSTATIC to be having this event again this year … Get your tickets ASAP because we have sold out every year!”

PRIDE is officially recognized at USD as “a campus community supporting and identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and pansexual individuals, and allies.”


Seattle Univ. Hosts Jesuit LGBTQ Activism Conference
4/5/2016
This past weekend, Seattle University hosted the third annual “IgnatianQ” conference, an event for students at Jesuit colleges that featured speakers who oppose Church teaching on human sexuality and marriage in prior years, and promotes involvement in LGBTQ activism as part of living out Jesuit values.

“The weekend will be exploring the boundaries of sexuality, gender and spirituality and how they may affect and limit us all,” the University’s student newspaper, The Spectator, reported. “The hope is that this year’s conference will have more conversation on trans identities, as previous conferences did not place a large focus on gender,” the article later stated.


Newman Society Launches Petition to Tell Georgetown: ‘Say NO to Planned Parenthood President’
3/9/2016
The Cardinal Newman Society has been on top of the latest scandal at Georgetown University from the very beginning. We broke the news last Wednesday that the student-run Lecture Fund invited Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) President Cecile Richards to speak on campus this April. Georgetown’s administration responded the next day defending the invite to Richards, citing the “free exchange of ideas.” ...

Today, the Newman Society is taking the lead in responding to this scandal by calling on concerned Americans across the country to register their protest of our nation’s oldest Catholic university allowing a person responsible for the deaths of over 2.8 million babies to have free reign in spouting anti-Catholic, anti-life propaganda on Georgetown’s campus.

The Newman Society is calling on Georgetown to formally rescind the invitation to Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, and restore its Catholic identity and fidelity, “which have been diminished and even scorned in recent decades.” Please sign the petition today at www.georgetownscandal.com“Tell Georgetown: Say NO to Planned Parenthood President”


Newman Society: Notre Dame Honor for Pro-Abortion Joe Biden Betrays the University’s Catholic Mission
3/7/2016
Seven years after the University of Notre Dame received worldwide criticism for its public honor to pro-abortion President Barack Obama — including more than 367,000 signatures to The Cardinal Newman Society’s online petition and public opposition by 83 American Catholic bishops — Notre Dame has once again chosen to betray the Church and its Catholic mission.

Notre Dame has announced that it will bestow its 2016 Laetare Medal, the “oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics,” on pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden. This time, however, the offense is even greater: a pro-abortion Catholic politician is being honored as one “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church [emphasis added] and enriched the heritage of humanity.”

... The Cardinal Newman Society emphatically condemns the awarding of the Laetare Medal to Vice President Biden.


‘Preferred Name and Gender Policy’ Passed at DePaul University
2/18/2016
A policy at DePaul University in Chicago was recently approved by the University’s executive leadership making it possible for students to choose preferred genders and names on college records, even though the policy contradicts Church teaching on human sexuality and statements made by Pope Francis and the U.S. bishops about the harms of embracing gender ideology.

“DePaul students are now able to designate their preferred identity thanks to a new policy aimed largely at improving inclusion for those who are gender nonconforming,” the student newspaper The DePaulia reported last week.

The Cardinal Newman Society first reported on the policy in December when it was being proposed to a joint council of executive leadership.


Newman Society Statement on Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.
2/12/2016
As recently as last year, The Cardinal Newman Society enthusiastically recommended Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. (“the Mount”), in our Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for its strong Catholic identity. We have repeatedly, and very recently, reported on outstanding teaching and practices at the Mount. Nevertheless, we are carefully observing the developments described in recent media reports (including the selection linked at the bottom of this statement), and we find these to be disappointing and even disturbing. Certain facts seem clear, while other troubling claims are unsubstantiated but repeated by several individuals. We invite Catholics to pray for a good outcome.

The Cardinal Newman Society is currently engaged in our standard annual review of Newman Guide colleges for the next edition of the Guide. Our attention to the Mount is heightened due to the leadership transition (now including not only President Simon Newman, who is less than a year into his position, but also the provost and liberal arts dean) and the recent concerns. Adding to our dismay about information coming from media reports and our own private communications with individuals associated with the University, the Mount has declined thus far to provide the required annual information needed for recommendation in The Newman Guide.


Editorial: Catholic Schools Should Proudly Keep ‘Catholic’ as Their Core
12/14/2015
Common Core co-developer David Coleman believes that Catholic schools should have the “moxie” to preserve and celebrate their Catholic identity and emphasis on the liberal arts — and The Cardinal Newman Society wholeheartedly agrees, despite our clear disagreement about whether the Common Core fits well within that Catholic education.

The Cardinal Newman Society continues to have serious concerns about the Common Core’s impact in Catholic schools. For that reason, Coleman may seem an unusual choice for a Newman Society interview. We certainly haven’t changed our position.


Marquette Changes Restroom Signs for Transgender Students and Guests, Blasted by Alumni Group
12/10/2015
Marquette University in Milwaukee is currently in the process of implementing gender-neutral restrooms on the ground floor of residence buildings to accommodate individuals who consider themselves transgender, a move which has prompted a Marquette Catholic renewal alumni group to question the University’s devotion to maintaining its Catholic identity.

“Marquette has, once again, decided to mock the faith upon which it was founded,” the Louis Joliet Society, an alumni group dedicated to restoring and preserving Marquette’s Catholic identity, said in a statement on its website.

“The Church and Pope Francis have repeatedly decried gender ideology as destructive to souls, yet here we have a Catholic university pandering to that ideology,” Mary Jarvis, a member of the Louis Joliet Society, said in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.


Students Can Change Gender on University Records Under Proposed Policy at Catholic DePaul
12/1/2015
DePaul University in Chicago recently proposed a policy that would allow students to choose preferred genders and change their names up to three times for use on class rosters and other college records despite the fact that “gender theory” is opposed to Church teaching on human sexuality, and is a danger to society according to Pope Francis.

“Largely, the policy would provide a better option for transgender and transitioning students who do not use their legal names,” The DePaulia reported. “Further, the policy would enable an optional ‘unspecified’ gender option instead of male or female.”

Such a policy would present a conflict for DePaul’s Catholic identity, as Church teaching does not support gender theory and ideology.


Fordham Changes Restroom Signs as Part of ‘Gender Inclusive’ Campaign
11/23/2015
Fordham University recently approved the removal of common restroom signage indicating use for either the male or female sex at one building on the Lincoln Center campus, embracing part of a student-led campaign to make the University more “gender inclusive.” 

According to The Fordham Observer, the changes to signs in the Leon Lowenstein building were pushed by The Positive, a student activist group. The restroom signage initiative started during the 2015 spring semester when The Positive reportedly entered into dialogue with Fordham’s administration and student government.

The Observer reported that new signs were installed in single stall restrooms in the Leon Lowenstein building’s third floor. The new signs are “void of gender icons, include braille, the latest New York State handicap symbol and simply say ‘restroom.’”


Common Core Architect to Keynote National Catholic Education Conference
11/4/2015

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has announced that Common Core architect David Coleman will keynote the association’s annual convention next March in San Diego, Calif., raising anew concerns that the Catholic association remains devoted to the Common Core standards despite serious concerns about their impact on Catholic schools.


This comes soon after the NCEA’s assertion of a “new direction” including “more fulsome advocacy” and “serving as the national voice for Catholic schools,” a role that appears to subvert the leadership of Catholic bishops in advocating and representing diocesan schools. By its own count, more than 1,000 Catholic elementary and secondary schools in America are not represented among the NCEA’s membership.


To the Critics of Douthat: Yes, We Want (Your) Credentials
10/30/2015
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat is a faithful Catholic who often writes about the Church. His latest column regarding the controversial Synod on the Family in Rome, “The Plot to Change Catholicism,” was strongly criticized in a letter to the editor by more than 50 signers, many of them theologians from Catholic colleges and universities.

But rather than answer or challenge Douthat’s observations, the signers pouted that “Mr. Douthat has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject.” In other words, only elite intellectuals in the ivory tower are allowed to comment on the Church.  In other words, only elite intellectuals in the ivory tower are allowed to comment on the Church. 

It is a rich irony that most theologians at Catholic colleges refuse to tell students and parents whether they have obtained the mandatum.


Fordham Law Professor Urges End to ‘Religious, Gendered’ Marriage
10/9/2015
A professor of law at Fordham Law School, Ethan Leib, recently published an essay detailing methods to end state recognition of religious marriages, calling them exclusionary and oppressive to women.

The essay, titled “Hail Marriage and Farewell” and published in the Jesuit university’s Fordham Law Review, claims that marriage is “a largely religious, gendered, and bourgeois institution” that should be disestablished due to its traditional underpinnings, and replaced by “secular unions, free of gender scripts and the normativity of bourgeois domesticity.”

Leib noted that the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges can pave the way for the disestablishment of marriage.


Dissident Theologian Blasts Catholic Teaching Prior to Sacred Heart University Lectures
9/24/2015
Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., has announced an October lecture series featuring Tina Beattie, a feminist theologian who attacked Catholic teaching during Saturday’s Women’s Ordination Worldwide conference. Beattie has publicly dissented against Church teaching on issues including abortion, same-sex marriage and women’s ordination.

The Curtis Lectures at Sacred Heart will take place from October 13-15 and are organized by Michael Higgins, the University’s vice president for mission and Catholic identity, who was previously president of two Canadian Catholic institutions: St. Thomas University in New Brunswick and St. Jerome’s University in Ontario. Beattie will speak on three topics during the series: “Creations and Creatures,” “Human Dignity and Women’s Rights and Maternal Ethics” and “Sacramentality and the New Creation,” according to a University press release.


Newman Guide Colleges Rated ‘Best Buys’ in 2015 Rankings
9/18/2015
Colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for their strong Catholic identities and academics also rank well in leading secular guides, including the 2015 editions from USA Today and U.S. News and World Report. The publications look at factors such as affordability, freshman retention rates, student loan default rates and student-to-teacher ratios.

“These rankings prove that students can opt for strong, faithful Catholic colleges without sacrificing secular prestige,” said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide.

“But we caution against placing too much importance on rankings that ignore the most important elements of a truly good education—elements that are the primary criteria forThe Newman Guide,” Wilson added. “All things considered, we believe The Newman Guide colleges are superior to all other options, because of their holistic approach to academics and the integration of faith in their studies and campus life.”


Government Oversight in British Schools Could Harm Religious Freedom
7/30/2015
Government Oversight in British Schools Could Harm Religious Freedom (Catholic News Agency)


Fidelity’s Triumph over Dissent: Remembering the ‘Coup at Catholic University’
7/17/2015
Students should graduate from Catholic colleges more in love with the Church and the faith than when they first arrived, encouraged Catholic University of America (CUA) President John Garvey. In interviews with The Cardinal Newman Society, Garvey and author Father Peter Mitchell discussed how Catholic colleges lost sight of this fact in the late 1960s, and how Catholic identity is being regained.

Fr. Peter Mitchell’s book, The Coup at Catholic University: The 1968 Revolution in American Catholic Institutions, details the dramatic events that took place at CUA, the nation’s flagship Catholic university, and the unfortunate precedent it set for other Catholic colleges in America during that time. However, in recent years, CUA has returned to its roots and re-strengthened its Catholic identity in many meaningful ways.

“I grew up realizing that there was a lot of dissent in the way the Church’s teaching was taught at a lot of Catholic colleges,” Fr. Mitchell told the Newman Society. The book, he said, was an attempt to uncover that trail and discover what led to the overwhelming dissent still prevalent in so many of today’s Catholic colleges.


Univ. of San Francisco President Deletes Tweet Celebrating Same-Sex Marriage
7/16/2015
The Jesuit president of the University of San Francisco (USF) has removed the University’s controversial social media post celebrating the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling last month, and he assured The Cardinal Newman Society that USF supports Catholic teaching on marriage—a position, however, that contradicts a long history of LGBT activism at USF that has included advocacy for same-sex marriage and honors for its leading proponents.

On Friday, June 26—the same day as the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges—the University of San Francisco sent out a message celebrating the decision, as previously reported by the Newman Society. The tweet, which was originally distributed by the University’s Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, was then retweeted on the official USF Twitter account.

The University removed the post as of Friday, July 10, following multiple communications from the Newman Society. Father Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., who became president last August, has explained to the Newman Society that the initial social media posting was inappropriate and was posted in error by an inexperienced staff member. He also said that the University’s official position supports the Church’s teaching that marriage must be between one man and one woman.


DePaul University Tweets Students to Promote LGBT Events, Activism
7/15/2015
Social media posts from DePaul University, a Catholic Vincentian institution, have encouraged students to advocate marriage for same-sex couples and participate in LGBT pride parades and marches, The Cardinal Newman Society has discovered.

Earlier this month, the University used its Twitter account to post a slew of tweets and images covering DePaul’s involvement in the Chicago 2015 Pride Parade on June 21 and the Chicago Dyke March on June 27. These events coincided with the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage, “add[ing] even more emotion to an exciting weekend,” the University celebrated on a Storify feed.

One tweet asked students: “Will you be at the #GayPrideParade today?” DePaul not only encouraged representatives to attend the event, but also had a contingent of students, alumni and employees march in the parade to represent the University. Free shirts for the Pride Parade were given to students, according to another University tweet. Pictures of students wearing the shirts at the Chicago pride parade were also posted.


Interview: Sen. Lee Pushes Bill to Protect Marriage Advocates
7/9/2015
A new bill that would prohibit the federal government from discriminating against Catholic and other individuals or institutions who believe in marriage between one man and one woman is garnering significant political support, Senator Mike Lee recently told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) was introduced on June 17 by Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Raul Labrador. It prohibits the federal government from punishing marriage supporters with regard to tax exemption for nonprofits, tax deductions for donations, grants, loans, accreditation, employment and other government benefits and programs.

Lee told the Newman Society that although the odds of passage were “difficult to say at this point,” the bill has gathered “a lot of cosponsors,” including the Republican Whip of the Senate.


Status of Catholic Education Challenges to HHS Mandate
7/8/2015
As of July 2015, at least 33 Catholic institutions have filed suits challenging the Obama administration’s “HHS mandate,” requiring employer coverage of sterilization and contraceptives (including some that cause abortion) in employee health plans.

In a summary of lawsuits compiled by the Newman Society with information from the Becket Fund, at least 22 Catholic schools and 11 Catholic colleges have challenged the mandate in federal courts. Two of the schools— Pius X Catholic High School in Lincoln, Neb., and Rhodora J. Donahue Academy in Ave Maria, Fla.—are on the Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll of faithful Catholic high schools.

Eight of the colleges are recommended in the Newman Guide, including Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn.; Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla.; Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C.; The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio; Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Cal.; University of Dallas, Tex.; and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo.


Concern Mounts for Religious Freedom at Universities in Light of SCOTUS Marriage Ruling
7/2/2015
Concern Mounts for Religious Freedom at Universities in Light of SCOTUS Marriage Ruling (First Things)


Catholic School Teacher Fired for Same-Sex Marriage Files Federal Lawsuit
7/2/2015
A Catholic school in Macon, Ga., is facing a federal discrimination lawsuit from a former teacher whose employment was terminated in 2014 after the school found that he would be legally marrying his same-sex partner.

The teacher, Flint Dollar, taught music at Mount de Sales Academy for three years before his termination on May 21, 2014. The Telegraph reported that Dollar informed the school of his upcoming same-sex marriage when he signed the contract for the 2014-2015 term on May 1, 2014.

“The argument being made in this suit—that a Catholic school’s commitment to upholding Catholic teaching on marriage is discriminatory toward homosexual employees—is a grave threat to Catholic education,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society.


Newman Society Issues Marriage Statement on Steps of U.S. Supreme Court
7/1/2015
Vice President Bob Laird today issued a Cardinal Newman Society statement on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to press for religious freedom as well as sustained fidelity in Catholic schools and colleges to the truth about marriage. 

LifeSiteNews organized the press conference in response to the Court’s ruling last week in Obergefell v. Hodges, even as the nation prepares to celebrate American independence and the religious freedom upon which America was founded. Laird, the Newman Society’s vice president for program development, issued the following statement.


Newman Society Statement on Supreme Court's Marriage Ruling
6/26/2015
Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly issued the following statement today, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to extend the legal recognition of marriage beyond one man and one woman: 

We want our members to rest assured: The Cardinal Newman Society is committed to Truth and to faithful Catholic education, and therefore we accept one true definition of marriage.  No Supreme Court decision can change that. 

Furthermore, we call on Catholic educators to stand firm in the truth, with the conviction of faith.  No matter how difficult it gets to maintain Catholic schools and colleges in a hostile culture, Catholic education can never waver on the definition of marriage.  Our young people need to hear the truth from their teachers, now more than ever.  We will continue to promote and defend those faithful institutions that teach the truth, and we will expose any Catholic institution that denies it.


Catholic Dioceses Nationwide Hold Teachers to Faith and Moral Standards
6/25/2015
In two eye-opening reports, education reform experts at The Cardinal Newman Society have compiled and analyzed employment documents from more than 125 Catholic dioceses in the United States, showing evidence in the Church of a broad and substantial movement toward high standards for Catholic school teachers with regard to faith and morals. 

The two new reports—authored by Dr. Denise Donohue and Dr. Dan Guernsey, deputy director and director respectively of the Society’s K-12 education programs—clearly demonstrate that the several bishops whose updated teacher standards have been reported by news media are not alone in their efforts. Instead, there appears to be a national consensus among Catholic bishops that faith and morals clauses are needed in teacher agreements. 

“The work of these researchers provides valuable support to Archbishop Cordileone and the whole Church,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Not only do these reports dispel false claims that the bishops who are implementing strong teacher standards are out of touch with the rest of the Church, but these reports also will help bishops and school leaders engage in a national conversation about the essential role of faithful Catholic teachers and collaborate in strengthening the Catholic identity of America’s Catholic schools.”


Catholic College Shuts Down While Faithful Colleges Thrive, Report Finds
6/25/2015
A struggling Catholic college in Massachusetts will close its doors next week, raising concerns about the stability of other small, highly tuition-dependent colleges. But a report from The Cardinal Newman Society finds that some small colleges which maintain a strong Catholic identity and promote it to prospective students are doing quite well. 

Marian Court College in Swampscott, Mass., will close at the end of June due to financial difficulties and low enrollment, reports Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. The tuition-dependent College had about 250 students this year and graduated 67 last month, including 41 who were the first to earn four-year bachelor’s degrees after decades of the College providing only two-year associate’s degrees.


Vatican Supports ‘Morality Clauses’ for Catholic School Teachers, Study Finds
6/24/2015
“Morality clauses” and high standards for Catholic school teachers are not radical new policies as portrayed by secular news media, but simply implement what the Vatican has been demanding for several decades, reveals a timely new report from The Cardinal Newman Society. 

“The Vatican has consistently recognized that teachers—lay, clerical or religious—have an essential role in Catholic education and must serve as witnesses to the faith, in both word and deed,” writes Dr. Jamie Arthur, director of the Newman Society's Catholic Education Honor Roll, in her study titled, The Call to Teach: Expectations for the Catholic Educator in Magisterial Teaching.


Notre Dame Seminar to Equip Catholic Teachers with Truth of Science and Religion
6/18/2015
Are science and religion really opposed to one another? A seminar currently taking place at the University of Notre Dame is helping equip Catholic high school teachers to debunk that common myth and offer their students a faithful, integrated approach to faith and science.

The summer seminar, “Science and Religion: Strangers, Rivals, or Partners in the Search for Truth?” is hosted by the University’s Institute for Church Life (ICL) and runs from June 14-19. According to the University news release, “some 90 Catholic high school teachers of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and religion from 23 dioceses from across the country” are attending. The seminar is funded by the John Templeton Foundation, with supplemental funding from the Catholic Extension Society.

“High school teachers have enormous influence over young people and rightly so, and we want to help them maximize that influence by helping them to create an integrated pedagogy at their own school that can renew and perpetuate itself over time,” said John Cavadini, ICL director and professor of theology at Notre Dame.

As such, the primary focus of the seminar is on equipping the teachers. “I admire these teachers very much, they are so dedicated to Catholic education,” Cavadini told the Newman Society. “This seminar is intended to help them.”


NLRB Continues Dangerous Path with Ruling against Duquesne University
6/11/2015
A domino effect has been created by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which continues its unconstitutional oversight of Catholic colleges with a ruling last Friday against Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., which the University intends to appeal.

But as has been the case with other NLRB rulings against Catholic colleges, the Board’s interference in religious education has exposed Catholic identity concerns at Duquesne. Despite the Board’s policy of exempting individual faculty members from NLRB-approved labor unions, as long as the college itself identifies the professors as having a religious function, an NLRB regional director found that Duquesne does not in fact have substantial expectations that adjunct faculty members teach and witness to the Catholic faith.

“The adjuncts’ one semester contracts do not reference religious duties or the Employer’s Mission, or any role that the adjunct would be expected to play in furthering the Mission or the Employer’s religious educational environment,” ruled the NLRB director.


NLRB Finds Saint Xavier University Professors Not Held to Religious Standards
6/4/2015
In a ruling Monday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continued its decades-long harassment of Catholic colleges by asserting its authority over employee relations at Saint Xavier University in Chicago and proceeding with its oversight of a vote by adjunct faculty members on whether to form a union.

But as has been the case with other NLRB rulings against Catholic colleges, the Board’s unconstitutional interference in religious education has also exposed Catholic identity concerns. The NLRB determined that even Saint Xavier University’s theology professors are not exempt from federal oversight, because the University itself fails to identify them as having a religious function.

Last December, religious colleges won a significant concession from the NLRB, when it abandoned its intrusive test into whether a college has a “substantial religious character.” The test violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1979 ruling in NLRB v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago, which forbids the Board to assert jurisdiction over employee relations in religious education and to attempt to decide whether institutions are sufficiently religious for exemption.


Philly Catholics Celebrate Classical Education as Hope for Families, Religious Freedom
6/4/2015

At the annual “Stand Up for Children” gala hosted by Regina Coeli Academy of Abingdon, Penn., last month, prominent Philadelphia-area Catholics celebrated the impact of Catholic education in defense of religious freedom and the family.

The topic of the family was especially on their minds, as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia anticipates the World Meeting of Families and the arrival of Pope Francis in September.

Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, delivered the keynote address and praised the benefits of classical Catholic education at Regina Coeli Academy.

“My talk today is about hope—and I believe that our reasons for celebrating Regina Coeli Academy today are as much about hope for the future as they are about the lives that were touched even just today, as I watched your teachers witness the love that Christ has for your students,” Reilly said.



Cardinal Burke: Reverent Liturgy Essential to Catholic College Education
6/2/2015
Properly and beautifully celebrated liturgy is essential to a Catholic college education, said Cardinal Raymond Burke, who headlined today’s Cardinal Newman Society event at Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 in New York City.

“If in Catholic education the ultimate goal is to know Christ as deeply and as profoundly as possible, then it can’t be otherwise,” he said, recalling the wonderful liturgies on Catholic campuses until recent decades. On many Catholic campuses, traditional and reverent liturgy has given way to misguided innovations and musical variations that are thought to appeal to younger audiences.

Cardinal Burke, patron of the Order of Malta and ecclesiastical advisor to the Newman Society, led off a panel discussion on the need for liturgical renewal in Catholic higher education and ways that Catholic colleges can contribute to renewal of the liturgy in parishes and schools. The event was held at St. Catherine of Siena Church in uptown Manhattan as a special part of the Sacra Liturgia conference, which brought hundreds of priests, seminarians and lay people together to celebrate and promote sacred liturgy.

Cardinal Burke encouraged Catholic colleges to expose students to reverent liturgy including the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. “If this is a form of the Roman Rite it should be accessible to the faithful,” he said. 

He recalled his experience when Archbishop of Saint Louis, Mo., where he instructed the seminary to implement courses on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and begin celebrating it. “And I believe too, at the universities, that there will be a response [to the Extraordinary Form],” he said.


Archbishop Nienstedt Commends Catholic Identity Efforts in San Francisco
6/2/2015
The efforts of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in San Francisco to fortify Catholic identity were praised by Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul-Minneapolis, Minn., who told The Cardinal Newman Society that proper teacher formation is crucial to Catholic education. 

“Catholic schools must be distinctive in our current culture, and the authentic witness that teachers and administrators can provide is crucial to forming disciples of Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Nienstedt said in an interview with the Newman Society last week. “I would commend Archbishop Cordileone for his efforts.” 

Today’s culture has made it increasingly important for teachers to provide “witness” to students and families. Archbishop Nienstedt remarked that “this is not always easy, as teachers are just as susceptible as others to the realities of temptation and sin.” Nevertheless, he stressed that “intentionally striving to live as a witness in word and deed, practicing the natural and supernatural virtues and praying on a regular basis will offer a powerful witness.”


Five Years Since Launch of Common Core, Concerns Remain for Catholic Schools
5/28/2015
Five years after the official release of the Common Core State Standards on June 2, 2010, The Cardinal Newman Society has released two new reports on the experimental reform and remains convinced that the English language arts (ELA) and mathematics standards by themselves are insufficient and even potentially harmful for Catholic schools, which must keep Christ and the Catholic faith as the true core of education.

Even more disconcerting are the many curricula and textbooks that have been labeled “Common Core” but depart from the successful practices and principles of Catholic education, as well as standardized tests adjusted to Common Core standards that have been widely criticized.

“It may at some point be possible to use parts of the Common Core in isolation in Catholic schools,” allows Dr. Dan Guernsey, the Newman Society’s director of K-12 education programs, “but it will be years before we know if it is effective in what it claims to deliver. The first testing on the Common Core just occurred this spring, and we are awaiting first results.”

The Cardinal Newman Society, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and individual bishops have urged Catholic educators to exercise caution with regard to the Common Core, withholding support before it has been thoroughly tested. The Newman Society maintains a website, Catholic Is Our Core, to educate Catholics about the Standards, including the special report, “10 Facts Every Catholic Should Know About the Common Core.”


Notre Dame Loses Round in Court, Maybe Due to Compliance with HHS Mandate
5/21/2015
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.


Archdiocese Explains Removal of Seton Hall Campus Minister, Seeks ‘Accountability’
5/20/2015
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.


Catholic Conference on Homosexuality to Help Educators, Students
5/20/2015
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.


Catholic College to Honor Leader of Pro-Abortion Groups Amid Protest of Cardinal Dolan
5/15/2015
The Cardinal Newman Society has discovered that the Jesuit Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., will honor at Sunday’s commencement ceremony—alongside Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York—human rights activist Lois Whitman, who works for a pro-abortion group and serves on the boards of two pro-abortion organizations.

But several hundred students and faculty are protesting the Cardinal, not Whitman—and the College president has praised the protest, which labels Cardinal Dolan “homophobic,” as a reason for “celebration.”

A petition at Change.org asks Le Moyne College to rescind its invitation to Cardinal Dolan to deliver Sunday’s commencement address and receive an honorary degree. The petition has reached 709 signatures and was organized by students, alumni and “some members of the faculty,” Le Moyne President Linda Le Mura told FOX News on Thursday.

The petition states that “the graduating class of 2015 and the graduates, along with staff and other students, do not approve of this choice.” It goes on to claim, without evidence, that Cardinal Dolan has made “homophobic comments and does not represent the ideals we have come to know Le Moyne to represent.”


Lavender Graduations, Ceremonies on Eight Catholic Campuses
5/15/2015

“Lavender graduations” and celebrations—commencement-related events intended exclusively for homosexual students and their “allies”—continued this year on Catholic campuses, despite confusing students about Catholic teaching and acceptance of homosexual behavior.

In April, Pope Francis addressed the problems with “gender theory” and urged acceptance of sexuality as male and female:As we all know, sexual difference is present in so many forms of life, in the long scale of the living. However, only in man and in woman does it bear in itself the image and likeness of God…Man and woman are [the] image and likeness of God!

This year, the Society found that at least eight Catholic colleges are hosting or have hosted lavender graduations and celebrations.


Jesuit Editors Oppose High Tuition, Ignore Expense of Jesuit Colleges
5/14/2015
Catholic schools have a particular duty to provide affordable education to all students, according to a recent editorial in the Jesuit magazine America, yet statistics show that Jesuit colleges are among the most expensive in the United States.

Exorbitant tuition costs and subsequent student loan debts cause crippling setbacks for young people just out of school, the Americaeditors argue. “Many students opt out of attending a college because they cannot afford tuition costs and fees; others do not see a four-year degree as a significant reason to overburden themselves with student loans,” the editors note.

“Catholic colleges… have a special responsibility to offer affordable education for low-income students,” the editorial continues. Although most Catholic colleges provide substantial tuition discounts and participate in federal student aid programs, the editors are critical of the growing reliance on student debt to pay rising tuition costs.

However, as previously reported by The Cardinal Newman Society, a 2012-13 study from the Chronicle of Higher Education found that Jesuit institutions made up more than half of the 19 Catholic colleges that charged $50,000 or more for full-time undergraduate tuition, fees and room charges.


Vatican to Address ‘Educational Emergency’ at World Congress Marking Key Anniversaries
5/11/2015
Marking the anniversaries of two critical Vatican documents on education, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education is preparing for a World Congress this year to address the growing “educational emergency” in Catholic education.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissium Educationis, issued by Pope Paul VI in 1965, and the 25th anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, Ex corde Ecclesiae, issued by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1990.

But while the anniversaries call for celebration of the important mission of Catholic education, the Congregation for Catholic Education plans to discuss some of the more critical concerns in education when its World Congress meets in Rome on November 18-21.

“As part of these celebrations, the Congregation aims to re-energize the Church’s commitment to education, by means of this World Congress,” the Congregation states on its website. “In the years following the Second Vatican Council, the Magisterium has repeatedly spoken of the importance of education, and has also invited the Christian community to play its part in education – particularly in the face of today’s obvious, and often critical, ‘educational emergency.’”


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