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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.
Today The Cardinal Newman Society and 34 leaders of Catholic schools and colleges joined with a coalition of religious groups led by the Family Research Council (FRC), in a letter urging Congress to protect the tax-exempt status of educational institutions that uphold traditional marriage.
During oral arguments in the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Obama administration seeks the redefinition of marriage, the U.S. Solicitor General suggested that religious colleges and schools could lose their tax-exempt status “if [they] opposed same-sex marriage.”
Rob Schwarzwalder, vice president of policy for the Family Research Council, which organized today’s letter, explained the threat to Christian schools and colleges. If they were to lose their tax-exempt status, the aftermath would be “almost unimaginable,” he told The Cardinal Newman Society, which recruited many Catholic institutions to join the letter. “It would devastate the ability of the Church to function.”
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.
Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., recently became the latest among a small number of American colleges choosing not to participate in the federal student aid program in order to protect their mission from government intrusion.
Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., also does not participate in the federal aid program. Both colleges are recommended in The Newman Guide for their strong Catholic identity.
CNSNews.com interviewed Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly on this development, and he identified some of the threats from the federal government that persuaded Wyoming Catholic to reject the government aid. Although Reilly noted that many Catholic colleges accept federal student aid without compromising their Catholic identity, he agreed with Wyoming Catholic’s apprehension about the future.
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