Saturday, February 13, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily

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Contraception

Contraception
Immoral V-Monologue Performances Continue at Catholic Colleges
2/12/2016
For at least eight Catholic colleges and universities, the beginning of this year’s Lenten season coincides with annual performances of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues,” a lewd play that glorifies immorality and has been denounced by bishops for its disturbing and degrading depictions of human sexuality. 

The number of performances of the play on Catholic campuses was at its highest in 2003, with 32 reported performances, but since then the numbers have steadily decreased. The Cardinal Newman Society has consistently decried the play for its reductionist view of sexuality and has urged Catholic colleges to consider alternative events to address the serious issues of women’s dignity and violence against women. 

The college performances are associated with V-Day, “a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.”


Georgetown Professors Push Abortion and Contraception as Response to Zika
2/5/2016
Two Georgetown University law professors posted an article on a University website this week calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend birth control and abortion as means of responding to the Zika virus outbreak in South America in order to “truly respect the dignity and health of women of childbearing age.”

On Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law blog website, Lawrence O. Gostin, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute and university professor at Georgetown, and Alexandra Phelan, an adjunct professor in global health law and doctoral researcher with the O’Neill Institute, published an article Monday titled “The WHO Must Include Access to Birth Control and Abortion in its Temporary Recommendations for Zika-Associated Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”


Georgetown Students Drive Pro-Life Efforts Without University Support
2/1/2016
Georgetown University students who attended last week’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that student groups at the University are finding success in driving pro-life outreach and discussion on campus despite the University’s lack of support for their events and activities, or for Church teaching on life issues.

“I think that given a campus culture that's often hostile to pro-life views, it's extremely helpful that there exists organizations like Georgetown Right to Life,” Michael Khan, president of the student-run Right to Life group, told the Newman Society. “With contraceptives allowed in dorms and faculty members who hold views diametrically opposed to Church teaching, I can totally understand why many students on campus feel exiled for their pro-life views.”


College Professors Who Are Building a Culture of Life
1/21/2016
The Cardinal Newman Society’s reporting in 2015 featured interviews with numerous Catholic professors who, doing their best to build a culture of life, spoke on pro-life topics such as the undercover Planned Parenthood videos, support for Planned Parenthood on campus and the Obama administration’s contraceptive “HHS Mandate.”

The following list highlights seven professors that the Newman Society spoke to in the last year who are helping to advance the pro-life movement, both at their respective institutions and within society. This list is not meant to be exclusive or to be considered as a ranking of any kind.


Newman Society, Pro-Life Groups Call on Media to Fairly Cover March for Life
1/21/2016
The Cardinal Newman Society joined with 16 pro-life organizations, two members of Congress and the Media Research Center (MRC) this week to call on media networks and journalists to offer fair coverage of this year’s March for Life and refrain from any kind of undue censorship.

“Thousands of pro-life school and college students join the March for Life every year, often traveling hundreds of miles in buses to declare themselves the pro-life generation,” said Newman Society President Patrick Reilly in the coalition’s press statement. “Any objective reporter would see the news value in this and be on the ground, getting interviews and reporting on this extraordinary youth activism for ‘traditional’ values.”


SPECIAL REPORT: Planned Parenthood Offices Located Near Half of Catholic Colleges, Alarming Pro-Life Leaders
1/19/2016
Half of all four-year, residential Catholic colleges in the U.S. are within five miles of Planned Parenthood facilities, a study by The Cardinal Newman Society has found. Catholic pro-life leaders warn that the close proximity of these Planned Parenthood centers threatens the well-being of students and the culture of Catholic campuses.

Planned Parenthood is, by its mission, directly opposed to Catholic values on sexuality, artificial contraception and abortion. Many of its centers perform abortions and distribute contraceptives.

In its review of 188 four-year, residential Catholic colleges in the U.S., The Cardinal Newman Society found that 92, or 49 percent, are within five miles of a Planned Parenthood facility. Of these, 13 are within one mile or less, 37 are within 1.1-3 miles and 42 are within 3.1-5 miles.


Gloria Steinem Awarded ‘Peace Prize’ for Book Dedicated to Abortionist, Praised by Catholic College Professor
1/14/2016
The pro-abortion Gloria Steinem has “inspired millions” and promotes “peace” with her version of radical feminism according to a philosophy professor at the University of Dayton, a Catholic and Marianist research university in Ohio, who praised Steinem's winning of a "literary peace prize" last month for her latest book, dedicated to the abortionist she obtained an abortion from in 1957.

“Gloria Steinem is a fearless feminist leader who has inspired millions of people to defend their own rights and the rights of others,” Dr. Rebecca Whisnant, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Dayton, told the University’s student newspaper, Flyer News. “That she is being honored with this award underlines the fact that women’s rights are essential not only in and of themselves, but for peace, security and a livable human future.”


SCOTUS Brief: Catholic Colleges Know What They Believe, Not the Courts
1/13/2016
Catholic colleges and schools, not the government or the courts, should determine whether or not their beliefs have been violated, argued Ave Maria University in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court stating the government’s implementation of the HHS contraception mandate is in clear violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

“Under RFRA, the religious adherent gets to define the nature of his own sincerely held beliefs as well as what constitutes a violation of those beliefs. Hence, the proper question under RFRA is ‘whether the HHS mandate imposes a substantial burden on the ability of the objecting parties to conduct business in accordance with their religious beliefs,’” Ave Maria’s brief stated, citing the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.


White House Targeted Catholic Education in Crafting HHS Mandate Exemptions
1/12/2016
Despite the Obama administration’s assurances that it is trying to accommodate religious freedom interests, recently discovered government emails show that institutions of Catholic education were specifically targeted and denied religious freedom exemptions from the HHS Mandate while similar religious entities received exemptions, according to the Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino.

Severino stated in an article for National Review Online last week that she’s filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the HHS contraception mandate case, Zubik v. Burwell, calling out the Obama administration’s direct targeting of Catholic education and citing the emails between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and White House discovered during congressional inquiries into the sharing of tax information.


SCOTUS Brief Against HHS Mandate Defends Catholic Education
1/8/2016
A brief filed today by the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in coordination with The Cardinal Newman Society and six other national religious organizations strongly urged the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the sincerely-held religious beliefs of Catholic universities, colleges and schools by invalidating any directive to provide coverage of sterilization, contraceptives and abortifacients in employee health plans as part of Obamacare’s HHS contraception mandate.

The Obama administration’s “HHS Mandate” is the “elephant in the room” threatening faithful Catholic education, said Bob Laird, vice president for program development at the Newman Society. “If our schools can teach the faith and the public good in the classroom but not practice it in the conduct of their own business, then education is merely an ideological shell with no substance.”


Catholic Colleges Prepare for HHS Showdown Before the Supreme Court
1/8/2016
Three Newman Guide-recommended colleges involved in lawsuits against the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate submitted their formal briefs this week as they prepare for oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court that could determine the fate of their religious freedom protections.

The government has embraced an unreasonably narrow view of religious freedom which excludes Catholic education and “denies full religious status and protection to clearly religious organizations,” according to Thomas Aquinas College’s summation of thebrief submitted on its behalf. “By concluding that only ‘houses of worship’ but not religious charitable and educational institutions should be considered ‘religious employers,’ the Government betrays a distressingly narrow view of the proper place of religious faith and practice in our society.”


Catholic Education in 150-Year Battle for Religious Freedom
1/5/2016
The anti-Catholic Blaine Amendments and HHS contraception mandate have bookended a 150-year attack on Catholic education and religious freedom and should be overturned immediately so that Catholic universities, colleges and schools can operate according to their mission and the freedoms insured by the U.S. Constitution, said Ave Maria University President Jim Towey in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“This is a struggle that’s gone on for thousands of years, but for our democracy it’s particularly acute in that we’ve had this history with the Blaine Amendments, with anti-Catholic discrimination, that goes on to this day with the example of the ‘HHS Mandate,’” Towey said.

“One of the reasons Ave Maria University raced to court,” Towey continued, “was because we knew that the Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate was an attack on our religious freedom, and without that you can’t be a Catholic university.”


Catholic Colleges in Trojan Condom Report Challenged to Defend Church Teaching
11/30/2015
Catholic colleges have a moral obligation to defend the dignity of all human life and should ensure that their sexual health resources do not contradict Church teaching, Brother Ignatius Perkins, O.P., director of health services for the Dominican Friars, Province of St. Joseph, and former dean of the School of Nursing at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., told The Cardinal Newman Society.

In early November, the annual Sexual Health Report Card released by condom-maker Trojan ranked 140 major campuses "drawn from conferences within the [college football] Bowl Championship Series and beyond. These schools include students representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia."



Better Education of Church Teaching on Contraception Needed at Catholic Colleges
11/19/2015
Educators at faithful Catholic colleges recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that students can greatly benefit from more thorough catechesis of Church teaching on contraception and human sexuality, which appears to be lacking at some Catholic colleges based on the statements and actions of students on campus. 

“Some students come to college with a strong Catholic formation, others are non-Catholic and still others have never given Church teaching on these issues a second thought,” Dr. Richard White, associate professor and chair of the theology department at Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “No matter where they’re coming from, students greatly benefit if the college has courses in the curriculum dedicated to addressing Church teaching on contraception and human sexuality.”


Catholic Colleges Sponsor Chapters of Group Supporting Planned Parenthood
11/17/2015
Emmanuel College in Boston recently joined a number of Catholic colleges across the country in officially sponsoring a chapter of Her Campus, an organization that supports contraception and recommends Planned Parenthood to students, despite the potential Catholic identity concerns of being linked in any way to America’s largest abortion provider. 

Any college student can apply to be a campus correspondent with Her Campus and establish remote chapters at their universities, but not all of those chapters get official recognition and funding from their respective universities. In Emmanuel College’s case, the Her Campus chapter “secured its position as an official club on campus” in October, according to the student newspaper The Hub.


Bishop Rhoades Challenges Insufficient Planned Parenthood Response from Saint Mary’s College
11/12/2015
Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend in Indiana published a strong message this week criticizing the recent support for Planned Parenthood at Saint Mary’s College and the unsatisfactory response by the administration, insisting there’s no excuse for a positive portrayal of Planned Parenthood, “Just as we would be rightly scandalized to see a public display portraying a racist organization like the Ku Klux Klan in a positive light.”

“The actions taken by the students and faculty in support of Planned Parenthood illustrate that even at a Catholic college, there are those who cling to the conviction that Planned Parenthood is an organization dedicated to the well-being of women,” said Bishop Rhoades in hisofficial statement on the diocesan website. “While I do not doubt the sincerity of those who hold this view, I do challenge them to seriously re-examine for what this organization stands in light of our common humanity and our Catholic faith.”


Catholic College Denies Planned Parenthood Internship Credit, Others Linked to Abortion Giant
11/11/2015
While some Catholic colleges suggest Planned Parenthood for internships and job opportunities, officials at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., denied academic credit to a student who secured a public affairs internship with a local Planned Parenthood, citing respect for the “basic tenets and beliefs of the Catholic Church” and the organization’s continued advocacy for the “murder” of living persons.

“One of [the Catholic Church's] most fundamental convictions is that abortion is sin and is murder of a living person,” said Karen Talentino, vice president of academic affairs at Saint Michael’s, “so given that we are a Catholic college, I think it makes sense that we would not form a formal relationship with an organization that not only performs abortions but is an advocate for continuing to perform abortions.”


Catholic Educators, Not Just Little Sisters, Will Have Their Day in Court
11/9/2015
While much of the media attention has been focused on the Little Sisters of the Poor following the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Friday to hear religious freedom challenges to the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate, a number of Catholic colleges and schools will be represented in the seven cases the Court agreed to rule on during their next session that begins on March 21.

“The question before the Supreme Court concerning the Little Sisters of the Poor and the HHS Mandate has implications far beyond the Little Sisters themselves,” said Bob Laird, vice president for program development and director of higher education programs at The Cardinal Newman Society. “It will affect every non-profit faith-based organization in the U.S. including faithful Catholic colleges and universities — and Catholic elementary and high schools —whose very existence is based upon their freedom to teach, celebrate, and witness to their Catholic faith in the classroom, on the campus, and in the local community.”


CUA President: Pray for Religious Freedom, “Only So Much Lawyers Can Do”
11/6/2015
As a potential U.S. Supreme Court decision approaches on the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate impacting the religious freedom of Catholic colleges and The Cardinal Newman Society, the true future of religious freedom in the United States is in the hands of families and educators who take their faith seriously and pray, Catholic University of America President John Garvey told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“The future of religious liberty is in our own hands, and it’s going to survive or not depending on whether we think religion itself is important,” Garvey said. “There’s only so much that lawyers and academics can do to change the picture about religious freedom that we have in America.”

While lawyers are still important, the key to a successful defense of religious freedom will be found in those families and educators who make their faith important, stand up for their religious beliefs, understand the importance of faithful education and pray, Garvey stated.


Planned Parenthood Event Moved Off Campus After Saint Louis Univ. President Steps In
11/5/2015
On Tuesday, Saint Louis University joined the growing list of Catholic colleges dealing with support of Planned Parenthood on campus after concerns about a potentially scandalous event prompted University President Fred Pestello to intervene, leading to the event being moved off campus, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Saint Louis University (SLU) chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) was scheduled to host a “Myths, Truths and Facts: Planned Parenthood” forum at the University law school until contacted by President Pestello on Monday afternoon to ask for a meeting.

Planned Parenthood has been at the center of controversy following the release of undercover videos detailing its trafficking in aborted baby body parts, and The Cardinal Newman Society investigative report “A More Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood” detailing past and present relationships between the organization and Catholic colleges.


Bishop, Students Fight for Pro-Life Message Following Planned Parenthood Display
11/4/2015
Pro-life students and faculty at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana should be applauded for standing up for their pro-life views in the aftermath of a controversial Planned Parenthood display on campus, Fort Wayne – South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“I am grateful to the pro-life students and faculty at Saint Mary’s College who are standing up for the sacredness of human life and the true dignity of women,” said Bishop Rhoades. “All Catholic colleges are called to live faithfully their Catholic identity and mission, which includes a commitment to the sanctity of life and the true dignity of women. This necessarily includes opposition to Planned Parenthood and its callousness toward women and their unborn children.”


Administration Silent as University-Sponsored Paper Endorses Assisted Suicide, Abortion, Gay Marriage, Contraception
11/2/2015
The editorial staff at the University of San Francisco’s official student paper, the San Francisco Foghorn, issued statements in opposition to Catholic teaching in recent months supporting assisted suicide, the right to an abortion, contraceptive use, Planned Parenthood and same-sex marriage without any public efforts from administrators to rebuke the publication and protect the University's Catholic identity posted either online or in response to questions from The Cardinal Newman Society.

“All of our staff members believe that assisted suicide should be legalized for terminally ill people who truly believe that it is the only option they have left,” an October 15 Foghorn staff editorial stated, celebrating the legalization of assisted suicide in California by Governor Jerry Brown. The students added that “terminally ill citizens’ should have right to die [sic] on their own terms and the right to exert control in their lives one last time.”


Faculty, Students Bolster Pro-Life Efforts at Notre Dame Despite HHS Mandate Policy
10/29/2015
With the University’s lawsuit against the contraception mandate of the Obama administration still unsettled, temporarily allowing contraception and abortifacient coverage in campus health plans, students and faculty at University of Notre Dame told The Cardinal Newman Society there was a renewed focus on pro-life efforts on campus, which they agreed are increasingly important for a strong Catholic identity.

“Of course there is disappointment among pro-life faculty at the decision of the Notre Dame administration to include contraception in the University's health insurance coverage. But that does not discourage us in our continuing efforts to build a pro-life culture here at the University,” Father Bill Miscamble, CSC, professor of history and president of the University Faculty for Life chapter at Notre Dame, told The Cardinal Newman Society.


Catholic Nursing Programs on Frontline of Pro-Life Battle
10/27/2015
With many nurses now facing the ethical dilemmas of participating in abortions and assisted suicides or losing their jobs, the nursing profession needs the concerted efforts of Catholic colleges to reinforce the dignity of every human life, Dr. Suzanne Carpenter, a former nursing professor at Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge, La., told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“It is scary to come to the realization that there are nurses in our country who have been told to participate in abortions or lose their jobs,” said Carpenter. “Make no doubt, that unless Catholic colleges with nursing programs on their campuses make the sharing of Catholic teachings a priority, these programs can fall into the confusion of the world.”

Due to the increasing confusion in health care today, it is no wonder nursing students find themselves in these ethical dilemmas, Carpenter pointed out.


Notre Dame Theologian Moss Attacks Pope Francis Again with Outrageous Claim
9/29/2015
Just before Pope Francis visited the United States last week, Notre Dame theologian Candida Moss took the opportunity to attack the Holy Father with the unfounded claim that he “alienates” sterile women.

The professor of biblical studies and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame has earned a reputation for outrageous claims. In 2013, she wrote and heavily promoted a book claiming that early Christian martyrdom stories were exaggerated to combat heresy centuries later. Last year, she launched a new attack claiming that the Church makes life “impossible” for infertile women, accusing Pope Francis of a chauvinistic approach to women and criticizing the Holy Father for his stern warnings against gender theory—again, for the purpose of promoting a book, Reconceiving Infertility.

Last week, Moss co-wrote an article with Yale professor Joel Baden at The Daily Beast, criticizing Pope Francis for urging married couples to welcome children into their families.


Pope Francis Visit to Little Sisters ‘Huge Boon’ to Catholic Educators
9/24/2015
Pope Francis’ unscheduled visit with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, D.C., is an enormous benefit to faithful Catholic educators who are struggling for religious freedom and depending on the Little Sisters’ case, says Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly.

“What a huge boon to Catholic educators who yearn for relief from the Obama administration’s HHS mandate and protection of their First Amendment rights. This brings attention to the case that represents not only the Little Sisters but so many of us whose rights are denied,” said Reilly.

While the stop was not on the Holy Father’s scheduled itinerary for Wednesday, the Vatican confirmed the significance of the visit and the Holy Father’s continued push for religious freedom.


Seven Catholic Colleges Remove Planned Parenthood Links Following Newman Society Report
9/10/2015
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
9/8/2015
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
9/1/2015
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.


Catholic Educators Depend on Supreme Court Appeal Challenging HHS Mandate
8/27/2015
A last-ditch appeal by the Little Sisters of the Poor to the Supreme Court for relief from the Obama administration’s “HHS Mandate” is also of great importance to many Catholic educators and The Cardinal Newman Society, which like the Sisters are participants in a unique Catholic health care trust that lies at the center of the case.

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

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


Case Representing Little Sisters, Newman Society Goes Back to Supreme Court
7/24/2015
For the second time in two years, attorneys representing a broad class of Catholic institutions, including The Cardinal Newman Society, have turned to the Supreme Court for relief from the morally objectionable HHS Mandate. Earlier this week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the government and refused to grant these religious organizations an exemption.

“The federal government is determined to keep playing theologian and determine for religious institutions what their beliefs really require of them,” said Tom Mead, executive vice president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “The Supreme Court must put a stop to this once and for all.”

The lawsuit, widely known as The Little Sisters of the Poor case, also involves the Christian Brothers Health Benefits Trust, which has refused to comply with the HHS mandate and provides morally appropriate insurance benefits for dozens of Catholic organizations.


Students Need to Hear Contraceptive Health Risks, Argues Project Rachel Founder
7/21/2015
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
7/8/2015
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
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.


‘Natural Family Planning’ Course Links Catholic Morals, Medical Expertise at Georgetown
5/28/2015
A course in fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) of natural family planning (NFP) at Georgetown University Medical Center and a resulting organization to inform physicians about NFP/FABMs are two exciting examples of how professors at Catholic institutions can effectively bring Catholic teaching to the medical and scientific world.

The course—one not normally offered to medical students—is leading to increased research and consciousness on the healthful benefits of women and couples utilizing Natural Family Planning as opposed to chemical birth control methods, according to course coordinator Dr. Marguerite Duane. She told The Cardinal Newman Society that the course is making strides in sharing the latest medical research and exposing a growing number of students to the importance of understanding NFP/FABMs.

Titled “Fertility Appreciation Methods in the Learning Years: The FAMILY Planning Selective,” the class was first offered in 2010 and filled to capacity. Since then, it has continued to impact students at the Georgetown Medical Center. 


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.”


Georgetown, Obama Use Poverty Summit to Distract from Religious Freedom, Abortion
5/15/2015
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.”


Knights of Columbus Leader Laments Obama’s False Promise at Notre Dame
5/5/2015
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.


Congress to Vote on Law that ‘Takes Away Our Right in Catholic Schools’ to Teach Faith
4/29/2015
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
4/29/2015
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
4/28/2015
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.”


U.S. Supreme Court Grants Aquinas College New Hearing on HHS Mandate
4/27/2015
The U.S. Supreme Court today gave an important victory to Newman Guide-recommended Aquinas College and its sponsor, the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia, by ordering the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling last year that would force the College and Sisters to comply with the Obama administration’s “HHS Mandate.” 

The order also protects the Diocese of Nashville, the Michigan Catholic Conference, Catholic Charities of Tennessee, and other Michigan and Tennessee charities. 

This ruling—the sixth similar order from the Supreme Court—requires the Sixth Circuit to reconsider the rights of religious nonprofits in light of the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision, which exempted some businesses from the mandate to include sterilization and contraceptives—including some that cause abortion—in employee health plans.


Scandalous Commencement Honors Announced at Eight Catholic Colleges
4/22/2015
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.


Vatican official says Cath. colleges have higher calling, Archbishops call for religious protections, and More
4/6/2015
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
3/27/2015
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.


Notre Dame’s Compromised Legacy on Life Issues Depends on Faculty, Alumni Say
3/16/2015
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.


Notre Dame Professor Wants Church to Rewrite Teaching on Sexuality and Marriage
3/13/2015
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.


Supreme Court Tells Lower Court to Reconsider Notre Dame HHS Mandate Case
3/9/2015
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.


Georgetown Prof Tells Students ‘You Have a Right’ to Contraception at Event with Planned Parenthood
3/6/2015
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
3/5/2015
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.


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