Sunday, October 04, 2015

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Catholic Education Daily

Catholic Education Daily Articles


Sisters of Life Praise Faithful, Pro-Life Catholic Colleges for Nourishing Vocations
A faithful Catholic college’s influence on its students can yield extraordinary fruits, in particular, the knowledge and passion to pursue one’s vocation to religious life—and in the case of a student called to the Sisters of Life, a strong pro-life focus is especially important. That’s what two of the Sisters of Life who graduated from colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College recently told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Sister Agnus Dei, a 2006 alumna of The Catholic University of America (CUA), and Sister Mary Louise Concepta, a 1999 alumna of Franciscan University of Steubenville, shared how their college educations helped form their spiritual lives and nourish their religious vocations.

Dissident Theologian Blasts Catholic Teaching Prior to Sacred Heart University Lectures
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.

Catholic Colleges Praised for Supporting Pregnant Students
Catholic colleges dominate a new list of the “best colleges for pregnant and parenting students,” according to a report released today by Students for Life of America (SFLA). 

“Catholic universities are the majority on this list, because they are living out the teachings of the Church, making their campuses friendly to students who are pregnant and parenting and helping them to accept new life and move forward with their education,” said SFLA President Kristan Hawkins in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “Children are blessings no matter the circumstances that they may have been conceived under,” she said, “and they deserve every chance at life as anyone else.”

Beth Rahal coordinates SFLA’s Pregnant on Campus Initiative, which works to make campuses more accessible and supportive to pregnant women and parents. “We are happy to see so many Catholic colleges and universities on this list,” she told the Newman Society. “They are shining examples of creative ways to change the culture on campuses to welcome and support women in unplanned pregnancies. This is what being pro-life looks like—helping women and their babies.”

Seven Catholic Colleges Remove Planned Parenthood Links Following Newman Society Report
Seven Catholic colleges have responded to a Cardinal Newman Society report by removing or editing website pages that indicated links between the colleges and Planned Parenthood. But more than three weeks after the report exposed scandalous associations with the nation’s largest abortion provider, most other colleges cited in the report have taken no action to correct the problem. 

“We communicated with each of the colleges and urged them to dissolve any relationship with Planned Parenthood,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “The colleges that did take action deserve our gratitude, and we pray that they will take steps to prevent such problems in the future.” 

Prompted by the recent videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s abhorrent practices, the Newman Society’s report, A More Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood, identified 63 connections between 27 Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood since May 2011.

Catholic Education ‘Antidote to Hook-up Culture,’ Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
Catholic colleges have the opportunity and crucial responsibility to help students embrace a life of virtue, by providing a faithful liberal arts curriculum that is the perfect counter to the “hook-up culture” and environment of “casual sex” that has become stereotypical of modern college campuses, according to World Meeting of Families speaker Erika Bachiochi.

The Cardinal Newman Society interviewed Bachiochi, a legal scholar specializing in Catholic sexual ethics and Catholic social teaching who will give a presentation titled “No Strings Attached? Responding to the ‘Hook-up’ Culture” at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The author of Women, Sex and the Church: A Case for Catholic Teaching and a regular contributor to the Mirror of Justice blog has been described by papal biographer George Weigel as “one of the intellectual leaders of the new Catholic feminism in the United States.”

“The best education a Catholic college can offer is one that is robustly dedicated to the liberal arts tradition,” she said. “This sort of classical training in faith, intellect, will and desire provides both the structure and content for the development of the virtues needed for living a life of sexual integrity.”

Facing Supreme Court Decision, Thomas Aquinas College Refuses to Compromise Catholic Beliefs
Last week, Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif., appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for relief from the “HHS Mandate” with The Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. But should the Court fail to protect their religious freedom, TAC President Dr. Michael F. McLean told The Cardinal Newman Society that his faithful college is prepared to pay significant fines rather than violate its beliefs.

In an interview with the Newman Society, McLean discussed the pressing need for religious freedom from the sterilization and contraceptive mandate, especially for Catholic colleges that wish to maintain their sincerely held religious beliefs.

On August 25, attorneys for TAC submitted a brief to the Supreme Court, urging the Court to take up the College’s case and refuting the government’s latest arguments against exempting the College from the federal mandate. The College explained why it should be exempted from the HHS mandate and any government requirements that would compel it to go against its Catholic identity and mission by facilitating free contraceptive, abortifacient and sterilization coverage for its employees.

Classroom Ethics: Are Planned Parenthood Videos Morally OK?
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.

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, Steven Ertelt of, and Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition.

CUA Promotes Marriage, Family Life in Advance of Pope’s Visit
When Pope Francis visits The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., next month on his way to the World Meeting of Families, he will find a university striving like other faithful colleges to teach Catholic wisdom about marriage and sexuality in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and confronted by a highly secular society that rejects Catholic values.

Father Jude DeAngelo, OFM, chaplain and director of campus ministry at CUA, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society and discussed the importance of the University’s outreach to students who may be confused in today’s society.

Fr. DeAngelo said that the social issues raised by the Supreme Court decision “are best addressed by the life-giving message of the Gospel through our preaching” and personal ministry to students. “Our chaplains and campus ministers seek out students who have rejected the Church’s teaching and practice for any reason and try to establish supportive relationships,” said Fr. DeAngelo.

Fostering Appreciation for Life Is ‘Essence’ of Faithful Bioethics Degree Programs
In recent years, rapid technological progress has resulted in biomedical breakthroughs that have made it imperative for society to consider human life issues. Several leaders of bioethics programs at Catholic colleges recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that Catholic higher education has a duty to ensure all levels of medical research maintain respect for life as the highest priority.

“A Catholic university and its students are uniquely placed to articulate the reasonableness of the Christian position—which also can be known through reason or natural law—that every human being has an equal and inherent fundamental right to life,” Dr. Patrick Lee, director of the Center for Bioethics at Franciscan University of Steubenville, told the Newman Society.

“The struggle between a culture of death and a culture of life has intensified in the last few decades,” reads the description of the University’s Center for Bioethics. “Bio-medical technological breakthroughs have made possible what was previously only theoretical, forcing humanity to confront questions about human life and dignity.”

Catholic Colleges Must Take Steps to Instill Pro-Life Values on Campus
Tacit acceptance of abortion is being fostered even at some Catholic colleges, as evidenced by The Cardinal Newman Society’s recent report exposing connections between Planned Parenthood and many Catholic colleges. Given the influence Catholic colleges have over students, these institutions need to take the opportunity to instill pro-life values in students, leaders from pro-life campus organizations told the Society.

“It should come naturally to Catholic colleges to support pro-life groups, enabling them to witness to the Church’s teaching on the grave immorality of abortion as well as being a resource for pregnant and parenting students on campus,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America (SFLA), said.

It is imperative for Catholic colleges to spread the pro-life message, as 46% of abortions are performed on college-aged women and “more than 70% of women getting abortions report some kind of religious faith,” Hawkins reported. Additionally, SFLA has found that “79% of Planned Parenthoods are located within 5 miles of a college campus.”

Newman Society Report Reveals Planned Parenthood Ties to Catholic Colleges
The Cardinal Newman Society has published a new report exposing engagement between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood, calling on Catholic educators to dissolve any associations with the nation’s largest abortion business and to teach students about the dignity of every human life. 

Prompted by the recent videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s abhorrent practices, including the harvesting and selling of aborted baby body parts, reporters Justin Petrisek and Kimberly Scharfenberger searched Catholic college websites for connections to the abortion giant. The results prove that Planned Parenthood is still a corruptive and powerful force, even on Catholic campuses that claim to uphold Catholic values. 

The report, A More Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood, was summarized in a Crisis Magazine article this week by Petrisek and Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. Several media outlets and Catholic websites have picked up the story, including New Oxford Review,, Fr. Z’s Blog, Townhall, New Advent, Church Militant and Spirit Daily.

Students Need to Hear Contraceptive Health Risks, Argues Project Rachel Founder
All Catholic colleges should be teaching students about the scientifically documented dangers of birth control, in addition to Catholic teaching against it, argued Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel and organizer of an upcoming symposium set to discuss the biological case for avoiding contraception.

In an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society, Thorn explained that events such as these should set the pace for Catholic colleges to help students and young people understand the health risks of taking oral contraceptives.

The symposium, “Contraceptive Conundrum: Effects and Side Effects”, will be held August 8th, in conjunction with the Edmund D. Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. 

Catholic Education ‘Going to Win’ HHS Mandate Suits, Predicts Becket Fund Attorney
All the evidence suggests that Catholic schools and colleges are going to win their challenges to the Obama administration’s “HHS mandate,” attorney Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty told The Cardinal Newman Society.

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.

Winning permanent injunctions against enforcement of the HHS mandate is critical to the protection of Catholic schools and colleges and their ability to faithfully live out their Catholic identity and mission, attested Rienzi, who is also an assistant professor at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. Under the current form of the HHS mandate, most Catholic institutions would be forced to facilitate employee access to full insurance coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including some that cause abortion. If schools and colleges are not granted relief from the HHS mandate, they will be subjected to severe fines for not participating.

Status of Catholic Education Challenges to HHS Mandate
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.

House Targets D.C. Funding to Prevent Violation of Religious Freedom
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted Wednesday to block a District of Columbia law which violates religious freedom, an action that is both necessary and commendable, according to Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly.

The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA), signed into law by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on January 23, may force religious schools, colleges and other organizations to employ people who favor abortion and to provide coverage for elective abortions in their employee health plans, regardless of their religious objections. Despite attempts in the House to block RHNDA in April, Senate leaders failed to act and the provision officially became law on May 2.

New attempts are now being made in the House to fight the law in the appropriations process, which would prevent local or federal funds from being used to enforce the law, but would not in fact repeal it. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia said she will oppose the appropriations amendment on the House floor, and it must get Senate approval.

“I applaud those who have stood tall to try and block RHNDA, which violates our constitutional right to religious freedom, not just for those in Catholic education but for all who have deeply held religious beliefs,” said Reilly. “Everyone must do their part to defend religious freedom or risk losing our ability to faithfully hand on the Catholic faith without compromise.”

Franciscan University Students Defend Life at United Nations
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.

Catholic College to Honor Leader of Pro-Abortion Groups Amid Protest of Cardinal Dolan
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 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.”

Georgetown, Obama Use Poverty Summit to Distract from Religious Freedom, Abortion
Religious freedom is at the core of the critical debates—education, marriage, family—in our society today. However, this is exactly what Georgetown University and President Barack Obama appeared to be undercutting during the President’s visit on Tuesday to a “Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty” on Georgetown’s Jesuit campus in Washington, D.C.

“The Catholic Church, through her teaching and the statements of Pope Francis, has very important things to say about poverty,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “But instead of focusing on how Catholic and Evangelical Christian insights can inform American policy—the stated purpose of last week’s conference—the Georgetown organizers used the event as a platform for President Obama to distract religious voters from his violations of religious freedom and push a political agenda.”

Although key religious leaders were invited to speak at the summit, including Bishop Jaime Soto of the controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development, media coverage and Georgetown’s own public promotion of the event focused on President Obama’s argument that poverty issues should constitute a more vital role for Christians in America—apparently more vital than issues of religious freedom and human life.

Catholic and other Christian groups including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities USA, Bread for the World, World Vision, the Salvation Army, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Sojourners were invited to be “partners” in the conference, but it was President Obama whose views were promoted by Georgetown.

“This may sound self-interested,” Obama acknowledged to the Catholicand Evangelical participants. “[T]here are issues where we have had disagreements around reproductive issues, or same-sex marriage, or what have you. And so maybe it appears advantageous for me to want to focus on these issues of poverty, and not as much on these other issues.”

Georgetown Honors Abortion Advocates at Commencement Ceremonies
Despite the U.S. bishops’ policy banning Catholic honors topeople who publicly oppose Catholic teaching, Georgetown University will honor two prominent advocates for legal abortion at its graduation ceremonies next week, The Cardinal Newman Society has discovered.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will address the graduating class of the School of Foreign Service on May 16, and he will receive an honorary doctorate. He is a vocal advocate for universal access to abortion and contraception around the world.

Last May, Pope Francis met with Ban Ki-moon and other U.N. leaders to press for respect for human life, insisting that “life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death.” But in September, Ban Ki-moon publicly reiterated his support for “the importance of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights,” quoting a Filipino woman who said, “A woman should have the right to choose how many children she wants. It’s a basic human right.” The U.N. has consistently defined “reproductive health” to include abortion as well as contraceptives.

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.

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.

Newman Society Pres: Catholic Education Becoming 'Battleground' for Religious Freedom
Catholic education has swiftly become a “battleground” for religious freedom as the federal government relentlessly pushes for the redefinition of marriage, Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly wrote in a recent Crisis Magazine piece.

Colleges and schools that are maintaining Catholic values and Church teaching are most at risk, Reilly noted. On Tuesday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., confirmed during an oral argument before the Supreme Court that “religious colleges could lose their tax exemption and suffer other penalties if the Court redefines marriage.”

Reilly reported that Verrilli was asked by Chief Justice John Roberts how a federal redefinition of marriage wouldn’t present an enormous problem to religious schools. Verrilli admitted that there were “issues” posed by federally banning sexual orientation discrimination, not least of which included the possibility that a religious college could lose its nonprofit tax exemption for refusing to accommodate same-sex marriage.

Congress to Vote on Law that ‘Takes Away Our Right in Catholic Schools’ to Teach Faith
Down to the wire—and despite indications last week from Republican leadership aides that there were no plans to schedule a vote to overturn the District of Columbia’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA)—a floor vote has been scheduled Friday on House Joint Resolution 43, according to the D.C. Catholic Conference. Debate is scheduled to begin Thursday, April 30. 

“If RHNDA becomes law, then it takes away our right in Catholic schools to control our message and to control what we teach our children,” said Tom Burnford, education secretary for the Archdiocese of Washington, in an interview today with The Cardinal Newman Society. “Catholic schools would be obliged to keep teachers that sow confusion amongst their students.”

RHNDA will go into effect after May 2, if Congress does not act to stop it. House Joint Resolution 43, sponsored by pro-life Congresswoman Diane Black, was reportedly held back by Republican leaders but then was scheduled for a vote today after conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus demanded action.

Feminist Steinem Touts Abortion, Ridicules Church at St. Norbert College
Abortion advocacy, support for euthanasia and applause for excommunicated and “ordained” women priests—such were the highlights of last week’s “dialogue” with radical feminists Gloria Steinem and Bell Hooks on the Catholic campus of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis.

The event was held in the College’s campus theater on April 21, despite initial exposure by the Cardinal Newman Society last October, public protest by Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay in January, and assurances from the College that Steinem was invited only to headline a “discussion of the history of the women’s movement, especially as it may be understood in the context of domestic violence.”

Bishop Ricken lamented that Steinem’s “whole career and life is a grand affirmation of the pro-abortion movement.” And the Newman Society called on the College to rescind Steinem’s invitation, stating that its refusal to do so “adds insult to injury by disregarding Bishop Ricken.”

Nevertheless the College went forward, and the activists’ dialogue, titled “Talking Together: A Legacy of Solidarity,” predictably highlighted contempt for “patriarchal religions” and pushed support for abortion rights and euthanasia.

Catholic Schools Say Pro-Life Week Teaches Lifelong Values
Catholic educators preparing for this week’s National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week told The Cardinal Newman Society that teaching and inspiring students about the dignity of every human life is fundamental and necessary for faithful Catholic education.

The Newman Society spoke with educators at two high schools recognized as 2014 Schools of Excellence by the Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll about the importance of the pro-life message in Catholic education and their participation in the national event.

According to the educators, Catholic schools are uniquely placed to influence both students and society by serving as a launching pad for the pro-life message. If Catholic schools can faithfully impart the message that every human life is invaluable, they can instigate a positive trickle effect on the rest of education and society.

This year’s National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week runs from today until May 4 and is sponsored by the American Life League. Students and contestants across the country are encouraged to wear pro-life t-shirts and promote a pro-life message by taking pictures and sharing them on Instagram using the hashtags #NPLTW and #LifeDefender. Many faithful Catholic high schools have adopted the week as one of their numerous activities to promote the pro-life message.

“Catholic education is critical in supporting programs where pro-life events are interwoven into the activities of the school,” said Dr. Jamie Arthur, manager of the Catholic Education Honor Roll. “Opportunities created to participate in events such as these offer a way to get students involved in reinforcing the Church’s teachings on the protection and defense of life.”

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.

Most Catholic College Alumni in House of Representatives Vote for Abortion
Catholic colleges and law schools can proudly claim 65 alumni in the U.S. House of Representatives—which amounts to 15 percent of the House, about double the Catholic share of four-year colleges in the United States. But The Cardinal Newman Society has found that more than half of these Catholic college alumni—38 in total—have records on abortion that should mortify their alma maters.  

Most of them are rated 100 percent by pro-abortion organizations such as the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and Planned Parenthood. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has rated many of them at zero percent on important life issues.  

Of the 38 total representatives with scandalous records, 27 attended Jesuit institutions. More than a quarter of them, a total of 11, attended Georgetown University.

Vatican official says Cath. colleges have higher calling, Archbishops call for religious protections, and More
Vatican official says Cath. colleges have higher calling, Archbishops call for religious protections, and More

Catholic Schools Are ‘Vehicles’ of Pro-Life Movement, Say Pro-Life Leaders
With a growing emphasis on the Church's pro-life teachings in Catholic education and demand for pro-life curricula, Catholic schools have the opportunity to become indispensable “vehicles” in the pro-life movement, said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Dr. Jamie Arthur.

‘Right Thing to Do’: Sens. Cruz, Lankford Make Last-Ditch Effort to Protect D.C. Religious Schools
With only three weeks remaining for Congress to overturn two Washington, D.C., laws that violate the religious freedom of Catholic schools and colleges—as well as other religious and pro-life organizations—Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and James Lankford of Oklahoma have done the “right thing” by introducing joint resolutions this week, said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Bob Laird.

The District’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA) and the Human Rights Amendment Act (HRAA) were signed into law by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in January, despite significant concerns by The Cardinal Newman Society, The Catholic University of America, the D.C. Catholic Conference, and Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Several other D.C.-based organizations—both religious and pro-life—have called on Congress to protect their constitutional rights to religious practice and free speech.

Notre Dame’s Compromised Legacy on Life Issues Depends on Faculty, Alumni Say
The University of Notre Dame has had a more-than complicated history with right-to-life issues. The pro-Catholic identity alumni group Sycamore Trust recently observed that the University’s pro-life character depends on ensuring a majority of pro-life faculty on campus, but studies have shown minimal support for the issue among professors.

President of Jesuit Univ. Pro-Life Club Applauds Decision to End Abortion Coverage
A student from the University of Scranton told The Cardinal Newman Society that he is “proud of the University” for its recent decision to end all abortion coverage in order to uphold its Catholic identity.

Notre Dame Professor Wants Church to Rewrite Teaching on Sexuality and Marriage
The Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality and marriage is “philosophically untenable and theologically unnecessary,” according to Gary Gutting. The Notre Dame philosophy professor is recommending that the Church abandon its teachings on marriage and human sexuality.

Catholic College Holds Line on No Abortion Coverage while Planned Parenthood Protests
In response to the University of Scranton’s decision to fortify its Catholic identity by ending all abortion coverage in insurance plans, Planned Parenthood and Concerned Clergy for Choice staged a protest a few blocks from the University’s campus, according to The Times-Tribune.

Congress Needs to Overturn Unconstitutional D.C. Laws, Say Heritage Foundation Scholars
Congress has a responsibility to stop two unconstitutional bills due to their potential to severely impede religious freedom in the District of Columbia, Ryan Anderson and Sarah Torre contend in a recent issue brief from The Heritage Foundation.

Supreme Court Tells Lower Court to Reconsider Notre Dame HHS Mandate Case
Momentum is on the side of religious organizations against the HHS mandate, Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is arguing, in light of the latest U.S. Supreme Court move directing a lower court to reconsider its ruling against the University of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Hosts Politicians Opposed to Catholic Teaching at Fr. Hesburgh Tribute
The University of Notre Dame invited several politicians to a recent event commemorating the late Notre Dame President Father Theodore Hesburgh’s contributions to the University. Unfortunately, several of the politicians have taken public stances opposed to Catholic teaching.

Georgetown Prof Tells Students ‘You Have a Right’ to Contraception at Event with Planned Parenthood
An unofficial student group at Georgetown University recently held a sexual health panel on campus featuring representatives from Planned Parenthood and a University nursing professor. The event included information on how to obtain contraceptives.

Archbishop Criticizes Xavier Univ. (La.) for Choice of Commencement Honorees
Archbishop Aymond of New Orleans recently expressed his disappointment in some of Xavier University of Louisiana’s honorary degree recipient selections for its 2015 commencement. Several of the University’s honoree choices support positions contrary to Catholic teaching.

HHS Delaying Decision on Unconstitutional Abortion Mandate in California
California’s coercive abortion mandate—which would force Catholic universities and other organizations to violate their beliefs and provide health coverage for elective abortions—is still under investigation, and some are criticizing the administration for taking too much time.

Cardinal Wuerl: Catholics Should Speak up for Faith amidst Religious Freedom Attacks
This Lent gives Catholics a perfect opportunity to defend the faith, argued Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington in a recent post critiquing the double standard presented by two Washington, D.C., laws attacking the religious freedom of Catholic schools.

Catholic Elms College to Host Pro-Abortion Rights Congressman as Commencement Speaker
The College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Mass., is set to host Congressman John Lewis of Georgia as the College’s 2015 commencement speaker, according to a news release, despite his voting record consistently in favor of legal abortion.

Planned Parenthood Charges ‘Cruel Indifference’ after Jesuit Univ. Scraps Abortion Coverage
Planned Parenthood is attacking the University of Scranton following its announcement that—in line with the Jesuit university’s Catholic identity—faculty and staff health care would no longer include coverage for abortion in cases of rape, incest, and for the mother’s life.

Citing Catholic Identity, Univ. of Scranton to Scrap Insurance Coverage for Abortion in All Cases
The University of Scranton plans to no longer include coverage for abortion in cases of rape, incest, and for the mother’s life in the University’s faculty and staff health care plans, according to a recent presidential announcement.

CUA, Washington Archdiocese Join USCCB Urging Congress to Protect Religious Freedom
The Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of Washington have joined the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in sending a letter to Congress asking legislators to disapprove two recently passed laws in Washington, D.C., that attack religious freedom.

‘Human Rights’ Include Religious Freedom
The concept of human rights has been misused to silence traditional understandings of marriage and family. The most recent example of this misappropriation is the District of Columbia's attack on the religious freedom of religious schools and organizations, argues Kathryn Lopez.

Notre Dame Trustees Elect Fr. Jenkins to Third Term as President despite Catholic Identity Concerns
The University of Notre Dame recently announced that Father John Jenkins, C.S.C. has been elected by the Board of Trustees to serve a third five-year term as president of the University, despite the many instances of Catholic identity abuse that have occurred during his tenure.

Internships with Abortion Advocacy Group to Continue at Catholic College, Says Prof
The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota is promoting internships with the National Organization for Women, despite the group’s outspoken support for legal abortion. A UST representative indicated to the Newman Society that the internships will continue.

Abortion Advocacy Internships Promoted by Loyola Marymount Univ. Department
Loyola Marymount University's political science department is promoting internships for an abortion advocacy organization, despite the University's Catholic identity.

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