Thursday, May 26, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily

Catholic Education Daily Articles

Notre Dame

Notre Dame
Honor of Biden ‘Crushed’ Student’s Hope for Notre Dame’s Catholic Identity
5/25/2016
A recent University of Notre Dame graduate said that after four years of working to strengthen Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, her hope that the University would “reverse its course toward secularization” was “crushed” by the commencement honor of abortion advocate Vice President Joe Biden.

Writing at Ethika Politika, Alexandra DeSanctis stated that she skipped her graduation ceremony this month over the scandal:

I spent four years working, praying, and fostering the hope that Notre Dame would reverse its course toward secularization and instead embrace its Catholic identity in a meaningful way. That hope—shared by many students, alumni, and outside observers more dedicated than myself—was crushed, perhaps even deliberately, by [University of Notre Dame President] Fr. Jenkins’ decision to honor Biden, and, as much as I wanted to celebrate my graduation, seeing four years of work and prayers shot down before my eyes wasn’t the right way to do that.


Vatican Education Official: ‘Dialogue’ at Catholic Universities Must Lead to Truth
5/13/2016
When fostering dialogue with other viewpoints, Catholic universities must be clear on the truths of Church teaching, and should strive to lead others to that truth, said Father Bechina, FSO, undersecretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education.

“[T]here is no progress in dialogue, no progress toward truth, no intellectual progress, if we do not have clear standpoints,” Fr. Bechina said in an interview with Vatican Radio.

“A good Catholic university should have a clear vision, mission and standpoint which should be grounded in its belief in the Gospel, in Jesus Christ,” he added.

Having clear positions grounded in the Gospel, Catholic universities should “respect that there are other opinions and then engage with them,” Fr. Bechina said, with the goal of “show[ing] that we have good reason for what we [as Catholics] believe.”


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

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

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

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


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

What do they have in common?

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

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

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


College Students Learn to Battle Catholic Identity Abuses on Campus
4/29/2016
Catholic college students who attended this month’s “Standing Up for Faith & Freedom” seminar in Virginia told The Cardinal Newman Society that not only do they want to see an end to Catholic identity abuses on campuses, but they want to be part of the solution in rebuilding faithful Catholic education across the country.

“Yes, [college students] are fighting an uphill battle,” said Joseph Shaneyfelt, a senior at the Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “In a time when political correctness and fear of ‘offending’ people is running rampant on college campuses across the United States, we need to be first and foremost adamant in saying we are Catholic.”


Special Report: Catholic Commencement Scandals Dishonor Class of 2016
4/26/2016
Research conducted by The Cardinal Newman Society reveals that at least 11 Catholic colleges will be honoring individuals at their 2016 commencement ceremonies who have publicly opposed Church teaching in their statements and actions.

By honoring those who disregard Catholic teaching, and holding them up as role models for students, administrators at these Catholic colleges send a dangerous message to students, betray the religious mission of their institutions and disregard the guidance of the U.S. bishops.

“Families who choose a Catholic education deserve much better than this,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “By passing over the opportunity to present good role models for students — people who embrace not only a call to leadership but God’s call to virtue and faith — a Catholic college falsely honors those who oppose moral truths and dishonors its graduating students.”


Cardinal Burke Responds to Notre Dame’s Scandalous Honor of Biden
4/7/2016
Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and ecclesiastical advisor to The Cardinal Newman Society, rebuked the University of Notre Dame for the “great scandal” of awarding abortion and same-sex marriage advocate Vice President Joe Biden the University’s “oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics.”

In an interview with Catholic Action for Faith and Family’s Thomas McKenna, Cardinal Burke said that Biden’s positions regarding human life and marriage are contradictory “to the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” and are in “grievous violation of the moral law and therefore make him ineligible to receive such an award from a Catholic university.”

“I find it difficult to imagine that a Catholic university would assign its highest honor to any politician who favors abortion and who also advocates for the recognition of the sexual liaison of two people of the same sex as equal to marriage,” he said.


Notre Dame Sends ‘Mixed Signals’ by Honoring Both Biden and Little Sisters of the Poor
4/6/2016
By presenting prominent awards to both Vice President Joe Biden and the Little Sisters of the Poor, the University of Notre Dame has once again set up a contradictory example of how Catholic colleges should act in the public sphere, said alumnus and Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn.

“All in all, it’s a sad message Notre Dame sends: Principles are a fine thing—just don’t let them get in the way of a comfortable place in society,” he wrote, commenting on the contradictory nature of honoring pro-abortion Biden and the staunchly pro-life Little Sisters of the Poor at two separate events in the coming weeks.

On Saturday, the Little Sisters of the Poor will receive the 2016 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal, a lifetime achievement award for “heroes in the pro-life movement” meant to honor those who have “served to proclaim the Gospel of Life by steadfastly affirming and defending the sanctity of human life from its earliest stages,” according to its description.


Wendy Davis Hypes Abortion at Notre Dame on Feast of the Annunciation
4/5/2016
Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation on Monday, when the Virgin Mary said “yes” to God and Christ was conceived in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit. But at the University of Notre Dame, a number of students spent Monday night on campus listening to former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis describe the benefits for women of choosing abortion or using contraception.

During Mass on Monday, Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to open their hearts to God and to say “yes” to his message of salvation. “Mary’s ‘yes’ opens the door to Jesus’ ‘yes’: I have come to do Your will, this is the ‘yes’ that Jesus carries with him throughout his life, until the cross” he said. “Today,” he said, “is a beautiful day in which to thank God for showing us that path, but also for thinking about our lives.”

Davis’ message ultimately taught students at the nation’s most recognizable Catholic university that saying “no” to God’s plan for the creation of life and to the Church’s teachings on human dignity can help women achieve worldly success.


Notre Dame Faculty Call on University to Rescind Award to Biden
4/4/2016
The local bishopstudentsalumni and now a group of faculty have joined The Cardinal Newman Society in criticizing the University of Notre Dame administration for its scandalous decision to award abortion and same-sex marriage advocate Vice President Joe Biden with “the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics.”

“Notre Dame claims to award the Laetare Medal ‘annually to an American Catholic in recognition of outstanding service to Church and society.’ But our Faculty for Life Chapter agrees with Bishop Kevin Rhoades that the awarding of the Laetare Medal to Vice-President Biden is a scandalous violation of the University’s moral responsibility (as the American bishops wrote in 2004) never to honor those who act in defiance of fundamental moral principles about the sanctity of life,” the Notre Dame chapter of University Faculty for Life stated in a resolution that passed unanimously on April 1.

The resolution stated that Biden has “conspicuously rejected Church teaching about life” for decades, citing positions taken by Biden during his political career.


Notre Dame Professor Appointed to Pontifical Academy for Life
3/22/2016
A professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, O. Carter Snead, was recently appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life and will be working with Pope Francis and the Curia on “all matters relating to the inalienable dignity of human life from conception to natural death,” he told the Newman Society.

“As a member [of the Academy], I will participate in research, programming, and production and dissemination of reports that help the Church in its efforts to build a culture of life worldwide,” said Snead, who is also the director of the University’s Center for Ethics and Culture.

The Pontifical Academy for Life was founded in 1994 by Pope Saint John Paul II and takes a three-pronged approach to defending life: using academics and research to inform the public, fostering a culture of life by spearheading social initiatives, and working with the media to share its latest developments and accomplishments in defending life.


Notre Dame, Joe Biden Betray The 'Common Good'
3/22/2016
In a video posted on the University of Notre Dame’s website, President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., cited the University’s commitment to the “common good” as explanation for its controversial decision to award the Laetare Medal, “the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics,” to Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner.

“One of our great challenges today is people who disagree often will vilify, attack, demean the opposition and then they can’t work with the opposition,” Fr. Jenkins said. “So we come to this impasse of acrimony of intransigence, and it doesn’t serve society.

“There’s a wonderful Catholic concept of the common good,”he said. “What is the common good? What would serve everybody? You and I may disagree, or Boehner and Biden may disagree, but we have to recognize that whatever we think, we have to act for the common good.”


Notre Dame Students Protest University’s Honor of Biden, Say His Actions Are ‘Against the Church’
3/18/2016
A contingent of 89 students published a letter in the University of Notre Dame’s student newspaper today in protest to the University’s announcement on March 5 that abortion and same-sex marriage advocate Vice President Joe Biden will be honored with “the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics.”

“As students of this University, some of whom will graduate in May, we are disappointed Notre Dame has failed in this instance to live up to its Catholic mission,” the students stated. “We deserve to see the Laetare Medal given to an American Catholic who merits it by having served as an outstanding example for Catholics and having performed real service to the Church in this country.”


Catholic Colleges Must Protect Religious Identity When Bestowing Honors
3/15/2016
When it comes to awarding honorary degrees or choosing commencement speakers, honors bestowed by Catholic colleges and universities that threaten Catholic identity by giving rise to scandal can and should be avoided, representatives of faithful Catholic colleges told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Last week, the University of Notre Dame received heavy criticism when it announced that it would award its 2016 Laetare Medal to pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden, who while publicly affirming his Catholic faith has failed to allow it to influence his policies and stances on human life issues. The honor, which is meant for those “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity,” has resurrected debate surrounding the University’s previous invitation and honorary doctorate awarded to President Obama at the University’s commencement in 2009.


Bishop Rhoades Slams Notre Dame Honor of Pro-Abortion Biden: ‘Can Provoke Scandal’
3/14/2016
Fort Wayne – South Bend, Ind., Bishop Kevin Rhoades severely criticized the University of Notre Dame’s decision to award pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden with the 2016 Laetare Medal, saying the controversial choice could “provoke scandal” by giving the impression “that one can be ‘a good Catholic’ while also supporting or advocating for positions that contradict our fundamental moral and social principles and teachings”

“While I understand Notre Dame’s intentions in conferring the Laetare Medal upon Vice President Biden and Speaker Boehner, I disagree with the decision,” Bishop Rhoades said in his official statement released today to The Cardinal Newman Society. “I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any ‘pro-choice’ public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he has other positive accomplishments in public service, since direct abortion is gravely contrary to the natural law and violates a very fundamental principle of Catholic moral and social teaching: the inalienable right to life of every innocent human being from the moment of conception.”


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

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

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


Single-Sex Dorms, Culture of Chastity Needed to Discern Marriage in College, Say Notre Dame Students
2/23/2016
Part of the joy of attending a Catholic college is the opportunity to discern a possible call to marriage and family life, but students at the University of Notre Dame told The Cardinal Newman Society that colleges must make sure their dorm and visitation policies facilitate a vibrant and chaste Catholic environment to make discerning that call possible.

The Newman Society released a report this week entitled “Visitation Policies at U.S. Catholic Colleges and Universities” that reviewed the policies regulating student visitation at the 191 residential Catholic colleges in the United States. In an effort to gather feedback on the positives and negatives of these policies and where students think they can be improved, the Newman Society spoke with several students who attended last month’s Edith Stein Project Conference at Notre Dame.


Harvard Admissions Report Recommends Changes Already Found at Many Catholic Colleges
2/22/2016
It’s no secret that the college application process, especially at prestigious secular institutions, has become more of an arms race than an exercise in character building. It’s a fierce competition, and no matter how many personal achievements a student can list, there is likely someone who can list more. Educators recognize the stress this process places on students, and are now taking steps to change how college applications are evaluated.

On January 20, 2016, the Harvard Graduate School of Education along with a coalition of educators, parents, college administrators and guidance counselors came together at the New York Public Library to release a report called “Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions.” The report encourages colleges to focus on values and mission in their application process, and actually follows some of the recruiting and admission practices already in place at many Catholic colleges.


Notre Dame Students Seek to Reclaim Marriage Debate in Face of Cultural Challenges
2/9/2016
University of Notre Dame students who attended and spoke at last week’s Edith Stein Project conference told The Cardinal Newman Society that they are equipping themselves to defend the Church’s teaching on marriage and human sexuality, an area particularly critical in a culture that has forgotten the true blessings of marriage in favor of a casual “hook-up” mentality.

“The annual Edith Stein Project conference examines the issues of sexuality, identity and human dignity through the lens of Church teaching in a way that is applicable to the average college student,” Alexandra DeSanctis, one of the student organizers of the conference, told the Newman Society.

The conference “is intended to bring insight on specific challenges we young people face and equip Catholic students to bring the truth to those around us,” she said. “Having a solid foundation in the truth is absolutely necessary if we are to spread the joy of our faith to others.”


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.


Black Lives Matter Activists at Notre Dame: We Don’t Need ‘Christian, Cis-Heteronormative Man’ Like MLK to Lead
1/19/2016
Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, co-founders of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, spoke at the University of Notre Dame on Monday during a week of events meant to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but the pair used the opportunity to push gender ideology, attack police as a “very big enemy” of their movement and said a “Christian, cis-heteronormative man” like King isn’t needed to lead them “to the Promised Land.”  

The event, “Black Lives Matter: The Hashtag Behind the New Civil Rights Movement,” was part of “Walk the Walk” week at Notre Dame, “A series of University and department-sponsored events, community-building dialogues and opportunities of reflection.” University President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., hoped the week’s events would give the campus community the opportunity to “reflect on the values that are so central both to Dr. King’s legacy and to Notre Dame’s mission.” The BLM event attracted nearly 500 attendees.


Notre Dame Open to Officially Recognizing Alumni Group Supporting Same-Sex Marriage
12/4/2015
Recent comments by the executive director of the Notre Dame University Alumni Association indicate that the University hasn’t ruled out officially recognizing the group Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s (GALA) as part of their alumni network even though the group publicly supports same-sex marriage in opposition to Church teaching.

“We appreciate GALA’s work supporting our LGBTQ alumni through their organization — and our students with their scholarship efforts,” Dolly Duffy, Alumni Association executive director and associate vice president of university relations, reported told the campus newspaperThe Observer. “We continue to engage with GALA to learn about their goals. As GALA is a relatively new organization, we have not made any decisions about how we can support them long-term.”


Notre Dame Curriculum Committee Insists Theology Critical to Catholic Identity
12/1/2015
Following much discussion last year over whether Notre Dame would reduce its theology requirement from two courses to one, the committee in charge of the ten-year core curriculum review has advised that its theology courses are too essential to the University’s Catholic identity to be reduced, according to the draft report released on Monday.

“In placing theology at the core of its Catholic liberal arts education, Notre Dame is not merely adding another discipline to the existing educational paradigm. Instead, it embraces a paradigm of the intellectual life that posits the complementarity of faith and reason,” stated the review committee’s initial draft report.

The current review process, which began in August 2014, is comprised of a 13-member committee charged with studying the core curriculum and recommending possible changes.


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."



Professor: Notre Dame Manufacturing in China Violates Catholic Social Teaching
11/30/2015
The University of Notre Dame announced last month that it would begin a pilot program to manufacture University-licensed products in two Chinese factories, a move criticized as a violation of Catholic social teaching by a Notre Dame theology professor.

“The new policy violates Catholic social teaching,” wrote Associate Professor of Theology Todd Whitmore, who opposed the new program in a letter to the editor published in the November 5 issue of The Observer, Notre Dame’s official campus newspaper.

Whitmore, who has taught Catholic social teaching at Notre Dame every semester for the last 25 years, argued the policy specifically breaches “’the principle of cooperation with evil.’ In this case, the evil of denying workers their rights.”


Notre Dame Professor Forced to Leave Project Aimed at Faithful Catholic Education
11/24/2015
In an unexpected turn of events, University of Notre Dame professor Father Bill Miscamble, C.S.C., has been forced to disassociate himself with a new project recommending Notre Dame professors supportive of the University’s Catholic identity and mission, an unfortunate development which reflects poorly on the University, William Dempsey, chairman of the Notre Dame alumni group Sycamore Trust, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Earlier this month, Fr. Miscamble helped unveil NDCatholic.com, a website which gives detailed recommendations to students who are seeking an authentic Catholic education during their time at Notre Dame. The website currently features profiles of approximately 100 faculty in the College of Arts and Letters, but as of last week will no longer feature contributions from Fr. Miscamble, a respected and tenured professor of history at Notre Dame.


New Website Helps Students Find Authentic Catholic Education at Univ. of Notre Dame
11/10/2015
In response to numerous concerns from students and parents over the years about the quality of Catholic education at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame history professor Father Bill Miscamble, C.S.C., launched a new project this week, NDCatholic.com, that he told The Cardinal Newman Society will help students find professors supportive of the University’s Catholic mission and an authentic Catholic education.

“I want to encourage serious Catholic students to attend Notre Dame. But they should come here with a clear-headed recognition that they must be very intentional in choosing their teachers and courses,” Fr. Miscamble said. “If they do so, they will find an education that allows them to face deep questions of meaning and serves to deepen and enrich their Catholic faith.”

The website, which is in its beginning stages, features profiles of approximately 100 faculty in the College of Arts and Letters personally recommended by Fr. Miscamble for their supportof the University’s Catholic mission. Fr. Miscamble hopes to expand the website soon to include the faculty from the other colleges including business, science, engineering and architecture.


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.


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.


Catholic Colleges Praised for Supporting Pregnant Students
9/14/2015
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.”


Catholic Colleges Should Aspire to Faithfulness, Not Prestige, Says Newman Guide Editor
8/27/2015
Catholic colleges need to be concerned with the Church’s standards of excellence rather than the standards of prestige set forth by their secular counterparts, argues The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, director of communications and managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

His comments echo the arguments of George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and biographer of Saint John Paul II, who recently argued at First Things that the University of Notre Dame and other Catholic colleges need to stop looking to prominent secular colleges in the Ivy League as models of higher education.

“Catholic colleges don’t need to reinvent the wheel or look to the Ivy Leagues as an example of excellence,” argues Wilson. “The Church has already provided fundamental standards to help them fulfill their Catholic mission. Being Catholic is not an obstacle to excellence or prestige; in fact, being faithfully Catholic is precisely why many colleges are exceptional.”


Atheist Clubs Don’t Belong at Catholic Colleges, Experts Say
8/13/2015
As Christian affiliation and Church attendance among young peoplecontinue to decline, Catholic colleges have a unique opportunity to evangelize students on campus and ensure that the Catholic faith is fostered in every student. Yet several Catholic colleges have official student organizations dedicated to atheism or “freethinking,” despite the dangers that such groups might present to students’ faith.

Dr. Douglas Flippen, professor and chairman of philosophy at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., told The Cardinal Newman Society that such clubs conflict with a college’s Catholic identity.

“Any Catholic college or university which admits atheists among its members who have no interest in gaining a Catholic vision of reality, and then allows them to form communities of atheists within the larger community, has simply abandoned the common good peculiar to itself,” Flippen said.


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.


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

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

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

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


Notre Dame Policy ‘Opens the Door’ to Campus Group’s LGBTQ Agenda
6/17/2015
The University of Notre Dame’s mistakes may be coming back to haunt it. While faithful Catholics connected to the University implore the administration to stop providing employee marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the founder of a dissident LGBTQ advocacy organization at Notre Dame says the benefits policy “absolutely opens the door” to pressing for more of the group’s objectives.

And although the group is not sponsored by the University, it freely opposes Catholic teaching on campus without apparent restriction or response from Notre Dame, thereby diminishing the University’s Catholic identity.

The Cardinal Newman Society interviewed Jake Bebar, a Notre Dame alumnus and founder of “Out at ND,” the new LGBTQ advocacy organization at Notre Dame, to discuss recent developments and the organization’s goals. Out at ND, launched earlier this year, states that its values include “marriage rights and spousal privileges, relationship equality, sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive non-discrimination clauses and health insurance coverage of transition-related expenses, such as mental health care, hormones and gender affirming surgeries, for students, faculty and staff.”

The unofficial group hopes to increase visibility on campus, LGBTQ advocacy and activist practices within the Notre Dame community. Bebar said that the University’s extension of same-sex employee benefits now puts LGBTQ issues such as housing, non-discrimination clauses, equal access policies and other benefits very much on the table.


Notre Dame Loses Round in Court, Maybe Due to Compliance with HHS Mandate
5/21/2015
It appears that one reason the University of Notre Dame lost its court appeal yesterday—denying the University relief from the Obama administration’s HHS mandate to force employers to include sterilization, contraceptives and abortifacient drugs in employee health plans—is the University’s compliance with the mandate since January.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled two-to-one to deny an immediate religious exemption to the University.

“This marked the first time that a federal appeals court had rejected a claim that the Supreme Court’s ruling last June in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores should shield a non-profit religious organization from any role whatsoever in carrying out the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate,” Lyle Denniston of the SCOTUS blog reported.

Why the difference with Notre Dame? Denniston suggested that the problem may be Notre Dame’s compliance with the HHS mandate, while simultaneously claiming that the mandate would violate its religious freedom.


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.


Notre Dame’s Father Jenkins Joins with Divisive Journalist for Conference on Polarization
4/23/2015
The University of Notre Dame has invited divisive journalist Michael Sean Winters to serve on a panel with Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., speaking about—of all things—polarization among Catholics in America.

Winters is a columnist for the heterodox National Catholic Reporter, which its local bishop declared to have no legitimate claim to its “Catholic” label. By his caustic attacks on bishops and lay Catholics, Winters has encouraged divisions between his readers and those who are faithful to the Church.

Winters will join Fr. Jenkins, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, and two academics for a panel headlining the April 27 and 28 conference at Notre Dame, “Polarization in the U.S. Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal.” The panelists will address the question, “How can we heal the division and reestablish the virtues of solidarity, love and humility at the heart of the Christian message?”

“Notre Dame has made a strikingly poor choice of Michael Sean Winters as a panelist alongside Father Jenkins,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Winters’ publication features prominent dissidents and works against Christian unity, and he has used his own columns to attack the Church’s most loyal sons and daughters.”


Prominent CEO Carolyn Woo Speaks Out for Faithful Catholic Education
4/1/2015
“When salt loses its flavor, what does it become?”

That’s the question that Dr. Carolyn Woo asks of Catholic colleges, echoing Christ’s warning to believers who allow their faith to become stale. Woo isn’t one of them. Recently, she has had all the zeal of an apostle for faithful Catholic education.

The accomplished educator and nonprofit leader took to the pages of America magazine a few weeks ago to urge the University of Notre Dame to retain its theology requirements for undergraduates, which may be threatened by proposals under consideration as part of the University’s 10-year curriculum review.

“To form leaders of faith, to be the places where the Church does her thinking, to fight against the caricature of God proposed by our secular culture, Catholic universities must offer more than ‘Theology Lite,’” Woo wrote. “In all the efforts to define learning goals for a Catholic university, how about ‘to know God’ as a starter?”


Indiana Protects Religious Freedom, but Does Notre Dame Want the Protection?
3/30/2015
A new law recently passed in Indiana could serve as legal protection for the University of Notre Dame if it chooses to reverse its policy of providing employee benefits to same-sex spouses, but it remains unclear whether such a reversal will occur.


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 to Host Former Irish President as Visiting Scholar despite Dissent
3/13/2015
As previously reported by The Cardinal Newman Society, while claiming to be Catholic McAleese has suggested that the Church is "in denial over homosexuality" and criticized the Church regarding its teaching on homosexuality and homosexual acts.


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.


Notre Dame Professor Continues to Criticize Pope Francis, Undermine Church Teaching
3/12/2015
Candida Moss, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, recently criticized Pope Francis for calling attention to the destructive potential of “gender theory.” Moss alleged that the Holy Father “consistently sells women down the river.”


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.


Notre Dame Hosts Politicians Opposed to Catholic Teaching at Fr. Hesburgh Tribute
3/9/2015
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.


Notre Dame Launches Online Theology Program for Hispanic Catholics
3/2/2015
Esther Terry, the program director for Camino, stated in the release that the program’s ultimate goal is to use technology and social communications "to walk with others and lead to an encounter in Christ."


Professor Charles Rice, Who ‘Epitomized All That Is Best’ at Notre Dame, Passes Away
2/26/2015
Dr. Charles Rice, emeritus law professor at the University of Notre Dame, passed away on February 25, The Cardinal Newman Society learned in correspondence with law school faculty. Rice impacted many lives and contributed greatly to Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.


Marriage Benefits for Same-Sex Couples Morally Indefensible, Argue Notre Dame Faculty
2/24/2015
The recent expansion of employee marriage benefits to same-sex couples at the University of Notre Dame and other Catholic colleges is indefensible and severely compromises the responsibility to provide moral formation to students, argued three Notre Dame professors.


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