Wednesday, September 02, 2015

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Catholic Education Daily

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Cardinal Newman Society All Posts

Cardinal Newman Society All Posts
New Education Major at Belmont Abbey College Focuses on Moral Formation
9/2/2015
A new major at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., will prepare aspiring Catholic school teachers to guide students in moral formation, first and foremost. The Catholic Educational Studies major is distinct from the College’s Elementary Education major, as it focuses specifically on students who want to teach in a Catholic setting, explained the program’s director, Dr. Laura Campbell, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Campbell said that the major’s focus on Catholic spiritual formation is necessary in today’s educational world. “Students who desire to teach in a Catholic middle or secondary school or in a Catholic parish need to learn about the mission and vision of Catholic education,” she said. “It is not enough to have attended Catholic schools.”


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.


Classroom Ethics: Are Planned Parenthood Videos Morally OK?
9/1/2015
A debate among pro-life advocates over the ethics of undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted babies’ body parts is the sort of discussion that college students need to have today, says a prominent moral theologian.

The organization behind the videos—The Center for Medical Progress (CMP)—has faced criticism by pro-life legal scholar Robert George, who reportedly accused the group in a Facebook post of “Telling lies to gain access to Planned Parenthood.” But some moral theologians at Catholic colleges defend the practice, even while acknowledging the moral complexity.

While this topic is undoubtedly “difficult,” it is nevertheless “very important for people to think about,” said Dr. Janet Smith, professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. She said that it is crucial for students to wrestle with topics such as this at the college level, even though there may not be agreement on the answers.


Manhattan College Faculty Do Not Preserve Religious Environment, Government Finds
8/27/2015
The trickle-down effect of Catholic identity concerns and unconstitutional oversight from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reared its ugly head at yet another Catholic college, with the latest ruling stating that adjunct faculty at Manhattan College do not perform a specific religious function within the institution.

As has been the case with other NLRB rulings against Catholic colleges, the regional Board’s recent unconstitutional interference into the affairs of several Catholic colleges has exposed Catholic identity concerns. This week, the NLRB upheld its decision that Manhattan College is not exempt from federal oversight, noting that the hiring and interview practices fall well short in maintaining a Catholic environment.


Newman Society, Pro-Life Leaders Demand Attention to Planned Parenthood Scandal
8/27/2015
Following the release of an investigative report exposing outrageous ties between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood, The Cardinal Newman Society has joined with pro-life leaders to demand media coverage of Planned Parenthood’s horrific practices.

Brent Bozell, president of Media Research Center and a member of the Newman Society’s board of directors, organized the joint letter to network news chiefs at ABC, CBS and NBC. “Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business and targets college students and other young adults, luring them into the Culture of Death,” said Newman Society President Patrick Reilly, who signed the letter.  “Americans need to know what their tax dollars and even some Catholic institutions are supporting.”

Other leaders listed among the 28 signers include Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Lila Rose of Live Action, John-Henry Westen of LifeSiteNews.com, Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com, and Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition.


Archbishop Cordileone Thanks Newman Society, Supporters for Letters
8/27/2015
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone recently sent a letter of thanks to The Cardinal Newman Society and all of the supporters who wrote him in April and May, encouraging his efforts to improve the Catholic identity of schools under the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

“The words of support and assurance of prayers humbled me greatly,” the Archbishop wrote in the letter. “Over the past number of months, I have become aware that people, both nationally and internationally, understand and appreciate the importance of my work, especially in regards to the Catholicity of our high schools.”

Earlier in the year, the Newman Society invited and collected more than 7,300 notes from more than 27 countries to deliver to Archbishop Cordileone, so he would know of faithful Catholics’ continued support for his efforts. 


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.


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.”


Archbishop Cordileone’s Teacher Contract Successfully Affirms Catholic Values, Says Newman Society Expert
8/26/2015
After months of harassment and nasty criticism by opponents of Catholic moral teaching—including dissident groups like Call to Action, politicians, and even many Catholic school teachers—Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has successfully reached a contract agreement with high school teachers in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

While the contract language is not as strong as many other diocesan employment documents, Archbishop Cordileone prevailed in expressing the important moral responsibilities that teachers must accept while working at a Catholic school, says Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs for The Cardinal Newman Society.

In his recent piece for Crisis Magazine, Guernsey praised Archbishop Cordileone for his “shepherd’s heart” in “moving his flock closer to the heart of the Church and the loving heart of our Savior dwelling within.” Guernsey evaluates the new preamble to the Archdiocese’s updated employment documents, finding much that is commendable but also room for improvement in future contracts.


World Meeting of Families Speaker Urges Faithful Catholic Education
8/25/2015
Faithful Catholic education is essential to reclaiming a true understanding of marriage and human sexuality and renewing family life in the United States, according to Dr. John Grabowski, associate professor of moral theology and ethics at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C.

Grabowski will speak on virtue at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, when the Holy Father visits in September. He has taught moral theology at CUA since 1991, was appointed with his wife to the Pontifical Council for the Family by Pope Benedict XVI, and was recently chosen by Pope Francis to be part of the Synod on the Family in October.

“Education in a Catholic sense always has to be about more than passing on information, it has to be about formation of the person in the life of faith in the life of the Christian community,” said Grabowski. “That means we have to be concerned about how are we forming people in virtue and not simply giving them information and preparing them for careers.”


CUA Promotes Marriage, Family Life in Advance of Pope’s Visit
8/25/2015
When Pope Francis visits The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., next month on his way to the World Meeting of Families, he will find a university striving like other faithful colleges to teach Catholic wisdom about marriage and sexuality in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and confronted by a highly secular society that rejects Catholic values.

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

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


Fostering Appreciation for Life Is ‘Essence’ of Faithful Bioethics Degree Programs
8/21/2015
In recent years, rapid technological progress has resulted in biomedical breakthroughs that have made it imperative for society to consider human life issues. Several leaders of bioethics programs at Catholic colleges recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that Catholic higher education has a duty to ensure all levels of medical research maintain respect for life as the highest priority.

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

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


Jesuit University’s Faculty Not Held to Religious Standards, Government Finds
8/21/2015
The chain of events stemming from the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) unconstitutional oversight of Catholic colleges has taken a predictable turn, with the latest ruling stating that professors at Seattle University do not perform a religious function within the Jesuit university.

As has been the case with other NLRB rulings against Catholic colleges, the regional Board’s recent unconstitutional interference into the affairs of Seattle University has exposed Catholic identity concerns. This week, the NLRB upheld its decision that the University is not exempt from federal oversight.

“Traditional assumptions about religious freedom in our country are quickly eroding,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Strong Catholic identity is now the surest safeguard of this fundamental liberty for Catholic colleges and schools. Those institutions that have sold their religious mission down the river for decades now find themselves in a tight spot, but faithful Catholic colleges and schools have the surest footing to protect their freedom.”


Catholic Colleges Must Take Steps to Instill Pro-Life Values on Campus
8/21/2015
Tacit acceptance of abortion is being fostered even at some Catholic colleges, as evidenced by The Cardinal Newman Society’s recent report exposing connections between Planned Parenthood and many Catholic colleges. Given the influence Catholic colleges have over students, these institutions need to take the opportunity to instill pro-life values in students, leaders from pro-life campus organizations told the Society.

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

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


Newman Society Report Reveals Planned Parenthood Ties to Catholic Colleges
8/20/2015
The Cardinal Newman Society has published a new report exposing engagement between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood, calling on Catholic educators to dissolve any associations with the nation’s largest abortion business and to teach students about the dignity of every human life. 

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

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


Catholic University of America to Welcome Pope to Campus for Third Time
8/19/2015
Next month, the Holy Father will come to the nation’s capital to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception adjacent to The Catholic University of America (CUA). This is the third time that the University has had the privilege of welcoming a pope.

“We are overjoyed that Pope Francis will not only be coming to Washington but will be on the campus of our pontifical University,” President Garvey said on CUA’s website. “I know that it will be a great thrill for our students, faculty, and staff to see the Holy Father and to know that as he looks out over the congregation during the Mass, he will also be seeing the pathways and buildings that members of our community frequent every day on their way to and from class.”

Pope Francis’ impending visit marks an ideal opportunity to reflect on the last papal visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In 2008, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visited CUA and presented an address to administrators and educators on the importance of Catholic education.


Gates Foundation Gave $1.2 Million to Loyola Marymount for Common Core Events
8/14/2015
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a day of Common Core pep rallies across California last month, including a $1.2 million grant to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles. Both LMU and St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, hosted events to get educators excited about the controversial school standards embraced by many public and Catholic schools.

The Loyola Marymount and St. Mary’s College rallies on July 31, titled “Better Together: California Teachers Summit,” were among 33 coordinated events across the state involving more than 15,000 teachers. They gathered to share best practices and learn how to implement Common Core standards in their schools, amid a lot of glitz and glamor—including video presentations from Harrison Ford, John Hamm and Meryl Streep.

The Summit was not only for public school teachers, and at least some Catholic school teachers were present, according to EdSource.


Ex Corde Ecclesiae a Roadmap for Catholic College Renewal, Says Franciscan Univ. President
8/13/2015
If Catholic universities truly wish to change the culture, they must embrace the roadmap laid out for them by Saint John Paul II in Ex corde Ecclesiae, said Franciscan University of Steubenville president Father Sean Sheridan, T.O.R., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Franciscan University will host a symposium in September to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Church’s constitution on Catholic higher education issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990. Fr. Sheridan’s presentation is titled “Embracing the Gift of Ex corde Ecclesiae to Challenge the Culture.”

“If Ex corde Ecclesiae is embraced as a roadmap for guiding Catholic universities for mission, as it was intended to be, the gift of Ex corde to Catholic universities and the Church becomes evident,” Fr. Sheridan told the Newman Society.


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.


Academia Desperately Needs Faithful Catholic Teaching, Argues Acclaimed Sociologist
8/6/2015
The academic world needs faithful Catholic teaching now more than ever, especially as colleges become firmly entrenched in mainstream secularization, Father Paul Sullins recently told The Cardinal Newman Society. This October, Fr. Sullins will receive an award for his contributions to social science at the Society of Catholic Social Scientists’ (SCSS) annual conference, which shares and produces faithful Catholic scholarship to evangelize the culture. 

“The Catholic academy today is largely secular, with only a nominal connection to the Catholic faith, with the result that serious, faithful Catholic professors often feel isolated and face significant professional and institutional headwinds in their careers,” Fr. Sullins, who is an emeritus professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America, explained. 

This year, the conference will be held at Newman Guide-recommended Franciscan University of Steubenville, which is also the home turf of the SCSS. “Our purpose is to bring Catholic scholarship and social science to the cause of evangelization,” Dr. Stephen Krason, president of the SCSS and political science and legal studies professor at Franciscan University, told the Newman Society.


Faithful Catholic Schools Depend on Faithful Teacher Prep., Says U. Dallas Education Chair
7/30/2015
If faithful Catholic schools are to survive, there needs to be faithful teacher training programs to prepare the next generation of Catholic educators, argued Dr. Janette Boazman, chair of the University of Dallas education department. Boazman spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about the University’s new Catholic teacher certification program, and how it will prepare teachers to lead students in moral formation.

“Catholic school leaders and teachers have a duty to be models of moral behavior for their students,” said Boazman. “It is their integrity that brings forth their ability to truthfully guide students morally and spiritually, and to minister to others in the educational setting.”

The new graduate-level teacher certification program at University of Dallas is described as being “[r]ooted in church doctrine and educational research.” Current and aspiring Catholic school teachers will be taught “to provide a Christian education that integrates faith into all teaching and learning experiences.”


Catholic Colleges Must Regain the Art of Temperate Drinking, Says Author
7/30/2015
Catholic colleges need to be mindful of the moral and spiritual state of their students, said Dr. Michael Foley, associate professor of patristics at Baylor University, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Foley, who recently authored Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour, noted that the statistics surrounding college drinking are becoming too drastic to ignore and that Catholic colleges must go beyond the public safety approaches of their secular counterparts.

“Catholic institutions are rightly trying to address this problem,” he said. “I do not know what the solution to college drinking is, but I do know that there will be no adequate solution without administrators caring about the moral character and immortal welfare of their students’ souls.”


Faithful Identity Leads to Success for Catholic Schools, Says Newman Society’s Arthur
7/30/2015
The best Catholic schools are those that remain true to their purpose and mission, says The Cardinal Newman Society’s Dr. Jamie Arthur, senior fellow and manager of the Catholic Education Honor Roll. That schools remain steadfast in the faith is increasingly important for parents who desire a genuine Catholic education for their children yet find themselves in a society where religious freedom, traditional marriage and the ability for schools to hire according to their mission are all under attack.

One of the latest developments on this front concerns Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s efforts to shore up the Catholic identity of his schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The archbishop has received criticism for adding language in contacts and handbooks which would ensure that teachers cannot publicly oppose Church teaching, but rather assent to authentically hand on the Catholic faith.


Courage Director Gives Advice to Help Catholic Colleges Address Same-Sex Attraction
7/30/2015

Catholic colleges are called to minister to same-sex attracted students with love and support, while emphasizing a commitment to chastity, prayer and the Church’s clear teachings on sexuality and marriage, argued Father Paul Check, director of the Courage apostolate, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Especially in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to legalize same-sex marriage, Catholic colleges should not conflate love with total acceptance and advocacy of same-sex behavior, Fr. Check stressed. He noted that there are ways to offer true love and healing to same-sex attracted students without falling into advocacy. 

It is important to draw the distinction between “love” and “complete acceptance of modern society’s distorted sexual landscape,” Fr. Check explained.


Late Cardinal Played Key Role in Catholic Ed. in Lead-up to Ex corde Ecclesiae
7/29/2015
Cardinal William Baum, one of the principal players in Pope St. John Paul II’s constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, has passed away at the age of 88 after a long illness, according to Catholic News Service. He died on July 23 in Washington, D.C., at a residence run by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

“Cardinal Baum served as the head of the Congregation for Catholic Education during some of the most pivotal years,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Ex corde Ecclesiae provided Catholic colleges, for the first time, with clear guidelines for maintaining Catholic identity. Even though it continues to challenge the practices at many Catholic institutions, a cadre of faithful Catholic institutions is setting a new standard for Catholic higher education by putting Ex corde into practice.”

Cardinal Baum, who served as the archbishop of Washington, D.C., from 1973 to 1980, died just weeks short of Ex corde’s 25th anniversary. A cardinal for more than 39 years—the longest tenure of any cardinal in U.S. history—he also served as prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education from 1980 to 1990, the year Ex corde was promulgated, and then head of the Apostolic Penitentiary until he retired in 2001.


‘Be Clear about What You Believe,’ Legal Experts Tell Catholic Colleges, Schools
7/24/2015
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.”


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.


Homeschooled Students Increase as Concerns over Common Core Remain
7/23/2015
The latest studies show that an increasing number of students are being homeschooled by their parents in order to avoid Common Core, which is found even in many Catholic schools. There is no question that the link is there and that parents are extremely concerned about how Common Core will affect their children’s Catholic education, said Florida Catholics Against Common Core’s Rolando Perez. 

The Florida Department of Education recently released a report detailing a 9.6 percent increase in children being homeschooled, the largest increase in five years, according to the Herald Tribune. Since 2010, nearly 25,000 additional students in Florida have opted for homeschooling in lieu of public and Catholic school options. 

“There is great concern about the indoctrination, data mining and constant testing that Common Core has brought to schools, including Catholic schools,” said Perez, who along with other concerned parents formed Florida Catholics Against Common Core. The priority for Common Core State Standards seems to be preparing students for future jobs, Perez affirmed. The standards then become utilitarian and distract from students’ moral and spiritual formation by placing too much emphasis on testing and performance.


New Catholic College in London Giving Students ‘Closer Relationship’ with Catholic Faith
7/23/2015
Benedictus College, a new Catholic college in London inspired by the writings of Blessed John Henry Newman, is continuing to offer a unique liberal arts experience that is unavailable elsewhere in the U.K., The Cardinal Newman Society learned in a recent interview with the director of the college.

The curriculum at Benedictus is unique because it “proposes a deep immersion in the European cultural tradition with exposure at first hand to medieval and early modern art and architecture” as well as great literature in a “fully integrated course,” said Dr. Clare Hornsby, the director of Benedictus. Works of art are taught alongside texts as guides for understanding the culture and forming “a closer relationship with the Catholic faith,” she told The Cardinal Newman Society.


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 Colleges Must Listen to Pope Benedict’s Strong Case for Sacred Music, Says Prof.
7/21/2015
The availability of well-celebrated liturgy and sacred music should be the norm at all Catholic colleges, not the exception, said Dr. Kurt Poterack, choir director and adjunct professor of music at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va. Poterack spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society regarding Pope Emeritus Benedict’s recent comments on sacred music and what it means for Catholic colleges.

The Pope Emeritus recently received honorary doctorates from the John Paul II Pontifical University of Krakow and from the Academy of Music of Krakow in Poland. The former pontiff took the opportunity to thank the now-saint Pope John Paul II for the profound impact he had in his own spiritual life and also share his own reflections on the benefits of sacred music.

The emphasis on sacred music is certainly something that Catholic colleges should be paying attention to, as it helps students to encounter the living God in liturgy, Poterack stated.


Fidelity’s Triumph over Dissent: Remembering the ‘Coup at Catholic University’
7/17/2015
Students should graduate from Catholic colleges more in love with the Church and the faith than when they first arrived, encouraged Catholic University of America (CUA) President John Garvey. In interviews with The Cardinal Newman Society, Garvey and author Father Peter Mitchell discussed how Catholic colleges lost sight of this fact in the late 1960s, and how Catholic identity is being regained.

Fr. Peter Mitchell’s book, The Coup at Catholic University: The 1968 Revolution in American Catholic Institutions, details the dramatic events that took place at CUA, the nation’s flagship Catholic university, and the unfortunate precedent it set for other Catholic colleges in America during that time. However, in recent years, CUA has returned to its roots and re-strengthened its Catholic identity in many meaningful ways.

“I grew up realizing that there was a lot of dissent in the way the Church’s teaching was taught at a lot of Catholic colleges,” Fr. Mitchell told the Newman Society. The book, he said, was an attempt to uncover that trail and discover what led to the overwhelming dissent still prevalent in so many of today’s Catholic colleges.


Univ. of San Francisco President Deletes Tweet Celebrating Same-Sex Marriage
7/16/2015
The Jesuit president of the University of San Francisco (USF) has removed the University’s controversial social media post celebrating the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling last month, and he assured The Cardinal Newman Society that USF supports Catholic teaching on marriage—a position, however, that contradicts a long history of LGBT activism at USF that has included advocacy for same-sex marriage and honors for its leading proponents.

On Friday, June 26—the same day as the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges—the University of San Francisco sent out a message celebrating the decision, as previously reported by the Newman Society. The tweet, which was originally distributed by the University’s Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, was then retweeted on the official USF Twitter account.

The University removed the post as of Friday, July 10, following multiple communications from the Newman Society. Father Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., who became president last August, has explained to the Newman Society that the initial social media posting was inappropriate and was posted in error by an inexperienced staff member. He also said that the University’s official position supports the Church’s teaching that marriage must be between one man and one woman.


DePaul University Tweets Students to Promote LGBT Events, Activism
7/15/2015
Social media posts from DePaul University, a Catholic Vincentian institution, have encouraged students to advocate marriage for same-sex couples and participate in LGBT pride parades and marches, The Cardinal Newman Society has discovered.

Earlier this month, the University used its Twitter account to post a slew of tweets and images covering DePaul’s involvement in the Chicago 2015 Pride Parade on June 21 and the Chicago Dyke March on June 27. These events coincided with the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage, “add[ing] even more emotion to an exciting weekend,” the University celebrated on a Storify feed.

One tweet asked students: “Will you be at the #GayPrideParade today?” DePaul not only encouraged representatives to attend the event, but also had a contingent of students, alumni and employees march in the parade to represent the University. Free shirts for the Pride Parade were given to students, according to another University tweet. Pictures of students wearing the shirts at the Chicago pride parade were also posted.


Firing of Teacher in Same-Sex Union Shows ‘Honesty,’ ‘Common Sense,’ Says Archbishop Chaput
7/14/2015
Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M., of Philadelphia yesterday publicly praised a Catholic school which fired a teacher in an eight-year same-sex relationship, saying the school demonstrated “character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.”

Waldron Mercy Academy in Merion, Pa., fired its director of education on June 22, after parents noted that she had been legally married in Massachusetts to another woman in 2007. Archbishop Chaput addressed the situation on Monday amid protests against the school’s action by some parents and students, but it was welcomed by Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society.

“In usual fashion for Archbishop Chaput, he has stood strong and clearly in defense of the faith and in support of the faithful,” Reilly said. “The Archbishop’s statement is very helpful and will be applauded by Catholic families.”


Catholic Education ‘Necessary Response’ to Supreme Court Ruling, Newman Society President Tells EWTN
7/9/2015
Despite serious challenges facing Catholic education in the aftermath of the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly told Jason Calvi of EWTN News Nightly that Catholics must preserve Catholic education.

“The truth is still the truth and we have to keep teaching it,” Reilly stated in the interview that aired Wednesday. “We have to teach a new generation.”

For those disappointed by the recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage, the outlook is not entirely bleak, Reilly explained. “I think things are very hopeful in a certain respect,” he said. “Catholic education in many ways is a necessary response to the Supreme Court ruling.”


CUA President Teaches Catholic Responsibility to Protect Religious Freedom
7/9/2015
Everyone has a role to play in the continued fight to protect religious freedom, says John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., and author of a new teaching aid for Catholic educators to discuss the crucial issues of our time.

Garvey was invited by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to develop the resource, titled “Religious Liberty and the Practice of Charity,” possibly because he has been so regularly involved in matters of religious freedom during his time at CUA, he said.

The USCCB has promoted the teaching aid in advance of Catechetical Sunday, which will be celebrated on September 20. It is a time when U.S. Catholic churches recognize and commission those in the community who will serve as catechists. According to the USCCB, the day also allows Catholics “to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel.”

“Religious freedom is only important in a country where religion is important,” said Garvey, encouraging Catholics not to shy away from defending and witnessing to their faith and morals. All Catholics—especially those involved in education—must find their role in protecting religious freedom if they truly see their faith as important, he said. “The freedom to do that will be important to us because knowing and loving and serving God is important to us, and it is not the business of the government to interfere with our efforts to do that.”


Ave Maria Law Professors Fight ‘Ominous’ Trends, See Growing Need for Faithful Lawyers
7/9/2015
Faithful Catholic attorneys and lawmakers are needed now more than ever to defend natural law and Church teaching, said several professors at Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Fla., who are doing just that.“ 

In contemporary American society, the law and the legal profession have become important and sometimes dominant forces in nearly every facet of life and culture,” Eugene Milhizer, dean emeritus at Ave Maria Law, told The Cardinal Newman Society. “As recent Supreme Court decisions demonstrate, the law’s reach includes life issues, marriage and the family.”

This is precisely why faithful legal experts are increasingly needed to address legal matters “from the perspective of the natural law and the Catholic intellectual tradition,” said Milhizer, noting that “this approach has become both counter-cultural and desperately needed.”


Interview: Sen. Lee Pushes Bill to Protect Marriage Advocates
7/9/2015
A new bill that would prohibit the federal government from discriminating against Catholic and other individuals or institutions who believe in marriage between one man and one woman is garnering significant political support, Senator Mike Lee recently told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) was introduced on June 17 by Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Raul Labrador. It prohibits the federal government from punishing marriage supporters with regard to tax exemption for nonprofits, tax deductions for donations, grants, loans, accreditation, employment and other government benefits and programs.

Lee told the Newman Society that although the odds of passage were “difficult to say at this point,” the bill has gathered “a lot of cosponsors,” including the Republican Whip of the Senate.


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.


Theology Chairman’s Same-Sex Wedding Begins ‘Flood’ of Challenges to Catholic Identity
7/7/2015
The Episcopalian marriage of Fordham University’s theology chairman to his same-sex partner, just one day after the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling, begins a new flood of challenges to Catholic identity that most Catholic colleges and universities are unprepared to face, warns Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly.

“Even if a Catholic college leader wants to uphold Catholic teaching on marriage, the persistent embrace of dissent and opposition to the Church at many Catholic universities makes it highly unlikely that the law will now permit them to uphold moral standards for professors,” Reilly said.

“The fact that a theology chairman at a Catholic university apparently waited for the Supreme Court’s ruling to publicly affirm his disregard for Catholic teaching is a sign that the sky has opened, and wayward Catholic universities are about to face a flood of consequences following upon decades of inconsistent Catholic identity.”


Priests Needed in Catholic Schools for Increased Faithfulness
7/7/2015
The priest’s presence in Catholic schools is a crucial component of faithful Catholic education and must be reintegrated for the benefit of young people, especially considering the secular impact on today’s academic environment, argues the organizer of an upcoming seminar on “The Role of the Priest in Today’s Catholic School.”

“The essential role of the priest in Catholic schools used to be considered self-evident,” Father Peter Stravinskas, director of the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF), told The Cardinal Newman Society. “When I was young, every priest in the parish taught a religious course in the local Catholic schools.”

But things have changed, and as Catholic schools began pursuing more secular goals—such as academic excellence, athletic distinction, or conventional college preparation—the priest’s presence has become an afterthought, Fr. Stravinskas lamented.


Univ. of San Francisco Celebrates SCOTUS Marriage Ruling, Despite Catholic Mission
7/2/2015
While the U.S. bishops responded to last week’s marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court by upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church, one Jesuit university chose to publicly celebrate the decision in direct conflict with its Catholic identity and mission.

Over the weekend, the University of San Francisco (USF), a Jesuit Catholic university, used its Twitter and Facebook accounts to celebrate the San Francisco Pride Parade and the recent 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in the United States.

“I proudly attend a university that supports the LGBTQ community #Pride #USFCA #SF @usfca,” read a tweet from the University. Another retweet featured the USF mascot at the San Francisco Pride Parade, surrounded by several University students.


Professors Say Catholic Colleges Key to Promoting Church Teaching on Marriage, Family
7/2/2015
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage ruling last week, several professors at faithful Catholic colleges told The Cardinal Newman Society that their institutions must serve as bulwarks in defense of marriage and family against an increasingly secularized culture.

Colleges and universities have significant influence over young people, the professors agreed, and are uniquely primed to propagate Church teaching among the nation’s youth. But the situation now faced by proponents of traditional marriage is unprecedented and presents significant challenges.


Catholic School Teacher Fired for Same-Sex Marriage Files Federal Lawsuit
7/2/2015
A Catholic school in Macon, Ga., is facing a federal discrimination lawsuit from a former teacher whose employment was terminated in 2014 after the school found that he would be legally marrying his same-sex partner.

The teacher, Flint Dollar, taught music at Mount de Sales Academy for three years before his termination on May 21, 2014. The Telegraph reported that Dollar informed the school of his upcoming same-sex marriage when he signed the contract for the 2014-2015 term on May 1, 2014.

“The argument being made in this suit—that a Catholic school’s commitment to upholding Catholic teaching on marriage is discriminatory toward homosexual employees—is a grave threat to Catholic education,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society.


Newman Society Issues Marriage Statement on Steps of U.S. Supreme Court
7/1/2015
Vice President Bob Laird today issued a Cardinal Newman Society statement on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to press for religious freedom as well as sustained fidelity in Catholic schools and colleges to the truth about marriage. 

LifeSiteNews organized the press conference in response to the Court’s ruling last week in Obergefell v. Hodges, even as the nation prepares to celebrate American independence and the religious freedom upon which America was founded. Laird, the Newman Society’s vice president for program development, issued the following statement.


New CUA Provost Stresses Faithful Catholic Hiring for Universities
6/29/2015
It is imperative for Catholic universities to hire a majority of faithful faculty in order to properly transmit the faith to students, said The Catholic University of America’s (CUA) new provost, Dr. Andrew Abela, to The Cardinal Newman Society in an exclusive interview.

Dr. Abela spoke to the Newman Society about his new position and his perspective on faithful hiring at Catholic institutions. “We do expect our faculty to support the mission of the University to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research, faithful to the teachings of Christ and the Church,” said Abela.

“It’s important to hire faithful Catholic faculty because we have, as a Catholic university, a certain view of reality laid out in the Apostles’ and Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creeds,” he explained. “We promote this view of the world by hiring professors who share it.”


Sophia Institute Catechizes, Strengthens Catholic School Teachers
6/29/2015
Amid the growing emphasis on Catholic school teacher standards and formation, the Sophia Institute for Teachers is making strides in catechizing and supporting Catholic educators across the country, helping them embrace their vocation as witnesses to Christ.

“Each teacher has a special and irreplaceable role to assist parents in the education of children in their subject area, but most importantly to lead them to joyfully encounter Christ,” Veronica Cruz Burchard, vice president for education programs at the Sophia Institute for Teachers, told the Newman Society.

The Institute has spent the past year running catechetical programs for teachers, hosted in six dioceses across the country. More than 2,500 teachers attended the programs, which are “giving teachers the tools and training they need to develop their students into active and practicing Catholics” as well as “jump-starting their spiritual journey so they will serve as authentic witnesses to Christ.”


Newman Society Statement on Supreme Court's Marriage Ruling
6/26/2015
Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly issued the following statement today, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to extend the legal recognition of marriage beyond one man and one woman: 

We want our members to rest assured: The Cardinal Newman Society is committed to Truth and to faithful Catholic education, and therefore we accept one true definition of marriage.  No Supreme Court decision can change that. 

Furthermore, we call on Catholic educators to stand firm in the truth, with the conviction of faith.  No matter how difficult it gets to maintain Catholic schools and colleges in a hostile culture, Catholic education can never waver on the definition of marriage.  Our young people need to hear the truth from their teachers, now more than ever.  We will continue to promote and defend those faithful institutions that teach the truth, and we will expose any Catholic institution that denies it.


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