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Catholic Identity Policy
Pro-Abortion Presidential Candidate O’Malley Defends Planned Parenthood at Catholic College
Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley invoked his Catholic faith and defended his support for Planned Parenthood and legal abortion on Tuesday during a campaign stop at Loras College, a Catholic liberal arts college in Dubuque, Iowa. 

n a statement released yesterday to The Cardinal Newman Society, the College defended O’Malley’s presence on campus for a student-organized event while insisting that the candidate’s appearance “in no way constitutes an endorsement by the College” of his views. But Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly said the event compromised the College’s Catholic identity. 

Newman Society Reports From Rome: Analysis of Education Congress Working Document
The document, which remains to be discussed this week, is not without some potential problems. We’ll see how these develop over the next couple of days.

Among the challenges of the document are that there are no references to Scripture, and that it does not seem to have the same amount of footnoting or references to Christ as previous documents.

About 10,000 words, this document is the same size as the Vatican’s earlier document in 1977, The Catholic School. In that document there were 48 references and approximately 35 references to Christ or Jesus. In this current document as it is right now, we only have eight references and about five references specifically to Jesus.

Vatican Envoy to Jesuits and Bishops: Reform Education
The Vatican ambassador’s message, delivered during Monday’s gathering of U.S. bishops in Baltimore, was crystal clear: place priority on the renewal of Catholic identity in Catholic education and restore the great legacy of Jesuit institutions.

It’s an appeal that should make every Catholic parent stand up and cheer! It certainly got our attention at The Cardinal Newman Society, where for 22 years we have urged greater support for faithful Catholic education and the end to scandal and dissent at many Catholic colleges.

When Pope Francis was elected, I openly wondered whether our Jesuit pope would acknowledge the elephant in the room: the open disregard for papal authority and doctrinal fidelity at many of America’s Jesuit colleges.

Cardinal Burke: Marriage Catechesis Should Be Priority for Catholic Schools, Colleges
Sound catechesis on marriage is “a great, great responsibility” for Catholic schools and colleges, Cardinal Raymond Burke told a representative of The Cardinal Newman Society on Sunday following an address on “Sacred Liturgy and Holy Matrimony” in London, England.

Cardinal Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and ecclesiastical advisor to the Newman Society, was speaking at the annual conference of Centre International d’Etudes Liturgiques (CIEL) UK, a group dedicated to the study of sacred liturgy and its effects on the culture. Following his comments, the Cardinal was asked about the responsibility of Catholic schools and colleges to provide sound catechesis on marriage.

Priest: Acceptance of Sexual ‘Identities’ in Catholic Schools Will ‘Inevitably Hurt Students’
As Catholic school districts in Canada struggle to develop and implement “transgender policies,” one priest in the Diocese of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada, told The Cardinal Newman Society that any school policies or programs leading students to embrace gender “identities” will “inevitably hurt students who are trying to live the Catholic Faith.”

“I can say that embracing these identities can be very troublesome and hurtful for all students, not just those who are dealing with transgender issues. Embracing an identity means that our whole life meaning becomes consumed by something that is superficial, something that does not penetrate to the core of who we are,” said Father Gregory Roth in an interview with the Newman Society.

New Chicago Superintendent of Catholic Schools Puts Faithful Identity at Forefront of Mission
For the new superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, a faithful Catholic identity is the most important element of any Catholic school and should be given top priority.

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago announced Dr. Jim Rigg as the appointed superintendent of Catholic Schools for Chicago in August. Rigg, who began his new position in October, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about his plans for helping the archdiocese foster and nourish its schools and students.

“Our children are growing up in a world that is increasingly filled with confusing and conflicting messages,” he said.

Catholic College Denies Planned Parenthood Internship Credit, Others Linked to Abortion Giant
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
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.”

Common Core Architect to Keynote National Catholic Education Conference

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

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

Catholic Education’s Challenge, 50 Years after Vatican II
Later this month, educational leaders from around the world, including representatives from The Cardinal Newman Society, will gather in Rome to mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissimum Educationis, and to reflect on the future of Catholic education. The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education has released an instrumentum laboris entitled Educating Today and Tomorrow: A Renewing Passion to help guide the presentations and discussions. Cardinal Newman Society participants will be reporting and reflecting upon the events from Rome.

At this moment it is good to reflect briefly on the seminal document Gravissimum Educationis, promulgated in 1965. The declaration covers a variety of topics including the importance of education generally for all men, the importance of schools, access to schools, the primary role of parents in education, moral education, types of Catholic schools, the importance of teachers and the need to coordinate educational efforts.

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

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

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

Newman Society Marks 50th Anniversary of Gravissimum Educationis with Teacher Resource
The Cardinal Newman Society has released a new resource to help Catholic educators discuss and embrace Gravissimum Educationis, the Vatican II declaration on Catholic education, as the Church this week celebrates the declaration’s 50th anniversary.

"This is an exciting new tool for Catholic dioceses and schools to turn attention to one of the Church’s most important but lesser-known documents of the Second Vatican Council, while forming faculty to know and love the authentic mission of Catholic education,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society.

The Newman Society has made the resource publicly available online.

Virtue Program Brings Guidance, Moral Formation to Catholic Schools
A unique moral formation program is helping students and teachers to understand virtues in a practical way at hundreds of schools and parishes across the U.S., reinforcing the schools’ Catholic identity.

Sister John Dominic, O.P., a member of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview that she developed the program, “Disciple of Christ: Education in Virtue,” to aid teachers in instructing students on the important role that virtue plays in morality.

“On a scholarly level, there’s been a resurgence of the importance of virtue in living a moral life,” said Sr. John Dominic, who is also the principal of Spiritus Sanctus Academy in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Philadelphia, Springfield Dioceses Protect Catholic Identity with Parent Agreements
In recent months, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois have released versions of a “family-school agreement,” which they hope will aid in strengthening both Catholic families and the Catholic identity of diocesan schools.

“These types of documents can act as both barriers and gates for entry into the school,” said Dr. Denise Donohue, deputy director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s K-12 education programs. “These types of agreements, which primarily address issues of morality and human sexuality, are quick attempts to address the issue of poorly catechized adult Catholics. They are also proactive attempts to address those who might have underlying agendas.”

‘Be Clear about What You Believe,’ Legal Experts Tell Catholic Colleges, Schools
The first step to protecting the religious freedom of Catholic schools and colleges is to clearly define and enforce their mission and purpose, according to experts recently gathered by the Family Research Council (FRC).

Legal and educational experts took part this week in the FRC’s webinar, “The Court and the Classroom: How the Supreme Court's Redefinition of Marriage Affects Religious Schools.” The event was offered in direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which effectively legalized same-sex marriage, and to equip educators with the practical steps needed to defend their religious missions.

Greg Baylor, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), kicked off the event by emphasizing the need for schools to clearly define their missions and their purpose.“ Be consistent and clear about what you believe,” Baylor stated. Many schools might believe that flying under the radar is the way to go in the wake of the Supreme Court decision and ensuing discrimination lawsuits. Catholic schools and colleges should in fact be doing quite the opposite, he said. “Root [your policies] in your theological convictions and then apply them consistently.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bishop O’Connell: Catholic School Teachers Must Be ‘Recognizably Different,’ Share Catholic Mission
Catholic schools have a responsibility to bear authentic witness to the faith and be noticeably different from secular schools, said Bishop David O’Connell of Trenton, N.J., in an exclusive interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“The Catholic school environment, to be authentic and real, demands” that teachers be witnesses to the Catholic faith, said Bishop O’Connell, who as president of The Catholic University of America from 1998 to 2010 did much to strengthen its Catholic identity. “Teachers in Catholic schools should be recognizably different from their secular counterparts.”

The Cardinal Newman Society has been interviewing bishops about Catholic education and the role of teachers, in light of the courageous efforts of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in San Francisco to ensure that his Catholic school teachers are witnesses to the Catholic faith. Last week Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the Newman Society that the purpose of Catholic schools is “to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all the nations.”

Bishop O’Connell stressed the important role that Catholic teachers play as witnesses to the faith. “Catholic teachers in a Catholic school should be faithful Catholics. Non-Catholics should respect the Church’s teachings and the Catholic environment. No one should publicly advocate contrary to those teachings or the Catholic identity/environment of the Catholic school,” he affirmed.

Opinion: Where’s the Tolerance in San Francisco?
Archbishop Cordileone and all U.S. bishops are bound by Canon law and Church teaching to do what he is doing: ensuring that Catholic schools in his diocese are Catholic. And indeed, he is not alone in this effort. He is joined by similar significant efforts underway by bishops in the dioceses of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Santa Rosa, Honolulu and Oakland, among others.  He is just currently the biggest target in a bastion of the fully-empowered tyrannical Left who will not tolerate any deviance from their liberal orthodoxy.  

The sexual dogmas of the liberal orthodoxy are so confused and so consuming that any other understanding of the nature and purpose of human sexuality and marriage, even those views held by the vast majority of humanity throughout all ages, must be condemned and ultimately silenced. To state the clear and unequivocal Catholic teaching that the only proper and moral exercise of the marital act is exclusively in the context of a committed natural marriage in the service of both love and life is viewed by some as a type of hate crime.  

These “anti-bully” bullies are doing what bullies do. They are seeking to gain in their own social status and self-concept by belittling, shaming and humiliating someone outside their local social norm. As the authors admit, the social sexual norms in the Bay Area are completely supportive of sex outside of natural marriage. Those who control the culture are dead set on humiliating and eliminating anyone who would not fully support their power and the status quo.

Honoring Kenneth Whitehead, Tireless Advocate of Church and Catholic Education
Kenneth Whitehead, longtime Catholic education advocate, Church affairs expert and former United States Assistant Secretary of Education, passed away on Thursday, April 16, according to his family. 

“Ken Whitehead was intelligent, accomplished and influential in the government and in the Catholic Church, as both an academic and a keen observer of Church affairs and Catholic education,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, for which Whitehead served as an advisor on Catholic higher education issues. “But what I will especially remember in my heart are his abundant faith in Christ and love for his family. We are all blessed by his life. May God grant him eternal peace and joy!”

Respect Archdiocese’s Right to Protect Catholic Identity of Schools, Argue Policy Experts
Catholic schools have a right to ensure that Catholic teaching is being properly maintained in their institutions and the government should not coerce them to do otherwise, argued a recent piece published by The Wall Street Journal.

Wyoming Catholic College Abstains from Federal Aid, Cites Preservation of Catholic Mission
Wyoming Catholic College (WCC) in Lander, Wyo., announced today that it will not participate in federal student loan and grant programs. The decision was made following a unanimous vote by the College's board of directors.

Oakland Bishop Issues Updated Contracts, Teachers Must Act in Accord with Catholic Teaching
This new revision is part of a growing trend among Catholic dioceses to ensure the Catholic identity of their educational institutions by giving teachers clear guidance regarding moral conduct.

Campus ‘Party Scene’ Encourages Sexual Assault, Studies Suggest
The typical college "campus culture"—which often features underage drinking, illicit drug use, and widespread promiscuity—bears a significant connection to rising rates of sexual assault, Amber Marshall recently argued in Cabrini College's student newspaper.

No Religious Education without Religious Freedom, Says Newman Society President
Two bills currently threatening Catholic educational institutions in Washington, D.C., are grim reminders that true religious education cannot occur without religious freedom, warned Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly.

‘Huge Victory,’ ‘Opportunity’ for Religious Colleges in Labor Board’s Ruling
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last week abandoned its longstanding, unconstitutional practice of measuring how religious a college appears to be before exempting it from federal oversight, but opted instead for a new test that considers whether individual employees perform religious functions.

New Fund Helps Catholic Colleges Screen Investments Contrary to Church Teaching
The Cardinal Newman Society recently spoke with Notre Dame’s chief investment officer, Scott Malpass, who is involved in forming a new fund that will manage the endowments of Catholic colleges and foundations.

Newman Society, Catholic Leaders Fight Repeal of Religious Protections in Nation’s Capital
The Newman Society joined Catholic University and the D.C. Catholic Conference in warning the D.C. Council that a proposal to repeal religious protections would violate the religious freedom of Catholic schools and colleges.

Accreditor Gives Christian College Year to Review ‘Homosexual Practice’ Prohibition
The Wenham, Mass., college was the focus of much criticism when its president joined other academic and religious leaders in signing a letter requesting a religious exemption from President Obama’s executive order prohibiting sexual orientation-based discrimination.

Students Flout Fordham Policy, Hand out Condoms at University Events
A new, but unrecognized group of students at Fordham University, the Sex and Gender Equity Safety Students (S.A.G.E.S) Coalition, recently distributed condoms and messages to students who attended the University’s homecoming events, according to The Fordham Ram.

Bill Donohue: Common Core Proponents Strong-Arming Catholic Schools
Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote in an article today, “[W]e do object to the tactics being used by paid advocates [of Common Core] to whip Catholics into line.”

Catholic Universities Must Be Wholly Consecrated to Truth, Says Msgr. Swetland
A university’s commitment to Catholic identity is dependent on its dedication to the truth, said Monsignor Stuart Swetland, the newly appointed president of Donnelly College in Kansas City, in a National Catholic Register interview.

Loyola Marymount Employees File Complaint against California Abortion Mandate
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) filed a complaint on Friday with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of seven Loyola Marymount University employees.

Common Core ‘Raises an Alarm’
The Common Core “rightfully raises an alarm” when all its factors are considered, argued Dan Guernsey, director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s K-12 program, in a recent segment on Register Radio.

Santa Rosa Diocese: Teacher Contract Update Affirming Catholic Teaching Will Happen
The Santa Rosa Diocese’s contract addendum by which teachers at Catholic schools will affirm their acceptance of Catholic teaching is reportedly still on track for implementation.“There is no intention not to do this [and] it will happen at some point."

California Bishops ‘Distressed’ by Abortion Mandate, Planning Response
Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, told The Cardinal Newman Society that California’s bishops are “surprised and distressed” by the California Department of Managed Healthcare’s (DMHC) decision and a response is being planned.

Ontario Catholic Schools Defend Right to Teach Faith to Students
Catholic school leaders in Ontario are defending their right to require students to take religious courses and have them participate in religious activities.

Colleges Recommended in Newman Guide Comment on HHS Mandate Accommodation
Several Catholic colleges and universities recommended in The Newman Guide have issued press releases and statements commenting on the Obama administration’s recent update to the HHS mandate accommodation.

Criticism Mounts over Notre Dame’s Student Health Plan Covering Abortifacients, Contraceptives
The University of Notre Dame’s recent decision to renew its student health plan—which provides students with free contraceptives and abortifacients as stipulated in the HHS Mandate—was unnecessary and could undermine its lawsuit against the Mandate.

Fr. Schall Argues for Necessity of Classical Education
A classical education is useful and relevant in today’s “battle of life,” argues Father James Schall, a recent address given at Kolbe Academy/Trinity Prep, in Napa, Calif., in which he spoke of the importance and necessity of a classical education.

Calif. Covers Only ‘Medically Necessary’ Abortions for State Employees, but Forces Catholics to Cover Elective Abortions
The Cardinal Newman Society has discovered that California’s own health plans for state employees cover only “medically necessary” abortions, even though Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has called such language “discriminatory.”

NY Catholic Schools Chief Sees Benefits, ‘Lamentable’ Catholic Concerns in City’s Pre-K Program
The Catholic schools superintendent for the Archdiocese of New York is concerned about conflicts with Catholic identity in the Catholic schools that participate in New York City’s pre-kindergarten program, but he also sees benefits to their participation.

Analysis: Pro-Abortion Rights Bias in SF Chronicle Coverage of Catholic Universities
Get Religion recently published an analysis of the bias in a recent San Francisco Chronicle story—surrounding the decisions of two California Catholic universities to limit abortion coverage for employees—which gives precedence to sources with pro-abortion rights views.

California Could Force Abortion Coverage at Catholic Universities, Violating Federal Law
California’s health care agency is conducting “an in-depth analysis of the issues surrounding coverage for abortion services,” in reaction to last year’s decisions by two Catholic universities to end payments for employee health insurance coverage of elective abortion.

Theologian Responds to Catholic Teacher Firings with Ethical Advice
E. Christian Brugger has responded to recent news and controversies with an analysis considering the question, “Should school teachers, faculty members or school administrators be terminated if they are found guilty of grave moral misconduct in their private lives?”

Walsh Marks Launch of Society Reinforcing Catholic Identity at Univ. with Adoration
Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, will host all-night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament starting June 27 to mark the creation of the new Our Lady of Perpetual Help Society on campus.

Canadian Bishops Lament Catholic Teachers Group’s Intent to Join ‘LGBTQ Activism’ Parade
“This decision shows that they and the OECTA [Ontario’s English Catholic Teachers Association] leadership have an inadequate and mistaken understanding of their faith,” wrote Cardinal Collins.

Notre Dame Could Be ‘Only Catholic Litigant’ Held to HHS Mandate, Warns Alumnus
The chairman of the Sycamore Trust, a group of Notre Dame alumni committed to strengthening its Catholic identity, wrote a letter arguing that the University should remove a recently appointed board member who supports the HHS mandate.

Admissions Officers Meet to Share Best Practices, Strengthen Catholic Identity
“The admissions officers from many Catholic colleges have been meeting regularly via our conference calls for several years, but this is the first time that they were able to meet in person,” said Bob Laird, the director of programs for the Society.

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