Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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Cardinal Newman Society All Posts

Cardinal Newman Society All Posts
Archbishop Lori: HHS Mandate Part of ‘Bloodless’ Persecution Against Catholic Schools, Institutions
5/31/2016
The Obama administration’s use of the HHS mandate to attack the religious freedom of Catholic educational institutions and other organizations is part of a “bloodless” persecution in the U.S. of those seeking to bring the “healing balm” of truth, love and mercy into our culture, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori recently stated.

“Just because this polite persecution is bloodless, we should not imagine that it is victimless,” Archbishop Lori said at the ceremonial opening of the newly-expanded Divine Mercy University in Arlington, Va., on May 19.

Archbishop Lori noted that what Pope Francis calls “polite persecution” in a free society arose due to the exclusion of faith from public schools, our laws, court decisions and government policies — such as the HHS mandate — that seek to impose limits on religion. The mandate forces employers to provide morally objectionable health insurance that covers contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilization despite their deeply held beliefs.


Catholic College Leaders’ Excuses for Honoring Pro-Aborts
5/26/2016
If you’ve ever wondered why so many Catholic colleges think it’s okay to honor abortion advocates at their commencement ceremonies, a former Jesuit university president recently helped shed some light on the issue.

The Jesuit publication America Magazine posted a three-part series on its website this month about scandalous commencement honors at Catholic colleges. In parts one and two of the series, Father Jim McDermott, S.J., of America spoke with me about concerns raised by The Cardinal Newman Society regarding former President Bill Clinton being chosen to give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, Calif. The interviews also touch on the broader issue of the damage done to a college’s Catholic identity — and the potential spiritual harm done to students — when Catholic colleges choose to hold up individuals as worthy of praise and emulation who publicly advocate for the murder of unborn children.


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.


Catholic College Presidents Hopeful for Resolution in HHS Mandate Challenge
5/24/2016
The presidents of two Catholic colleges involved in the U.S.Supreme Court challenges to the HHS mandate applauded the Court’s recent decision to vacate all lower court rulings and expressed their hope that a positive resolution for religious freedom would soon be reached.

“I am pleased that Supreme Court has offered us a way forward which doesn’t require us to participate in the provision of the services which we find to be morally objectionable,” said Catholic University of America (CUA) President John Garvey in a press release. “We will move forward in our conversations with government officials with the sincere hope that our religious exemption, as well as that of our co-plaintiffs, is ensured.”

Last week, the Supreme Court unanimously vacated all previous lower court decisions in Zubik v. Burwell, a case challenging the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate. The mandate forces Catholic colleges, schools and organizations to provide morally objectionable health insurance coverage for their employees. CUA and Thomas Aquinas College (TAC), along with several Catholic high schools, are co-plaintiffs in the case.


NRLB Rulings Highlight Catholic Identity Concerns at Two More Colleges
5/24/2016
Earlier this month, Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., became the second Catholic college to win a favorable ruling against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) since its new standard of evaluating the religious function of faculty was implemented. But both Marywood and Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., in a separate NLRB decision, ultimately saw their religious freedom arguments rejected due to the colleges’ own lack of emphasis on the role of faculty in their religious missions.

While the Catholic Church supports the concept of unions, The Cardinal Newman Society has consistently argued that the greater issue at stake in the ongoing labor disputes is the NLRB’s unconstitutional oversight in deciding the Catholicity of colleges. In December 2014, religious colleges won a significant concession from the NLRB when it abandoned its previous assessment test, evaluating whether a college has a “substantial religious character” by prying into matters of worship, curriculum, teaching, hiring policies and student recruitment.

The NLRB’s new approach seeks to determine whether specific faculty members serve a religious function. In many of these cases, the NLRB has actually exposed Catholic identity concerns at colleges in attempts to justify its jurisdiction. The cases highlight the need for Catholic colleges to strengthen their policies, handbooks and hiring documents by clearly defining the specific role of faculty in furthering their religious mission.


Gonzaga Alumni Seek Changes Out of Concern for Students
5/23/2016
While Gonzaga University, a Jesuit Catholic institution in Spokane, Wash., is known around the country for its basketball program, concerned alumni are working for policy changes in hopes that the University will one day be known for having a strong Catholic identity, which they say Gonzaga is currently lacking.

One of the major issues for alumni who are members of the group 1887 Trust is the lack of exemplary witnesses to the Catholic faith among the faculty and staff at Gonzaga, and the subsequent impact on students. Gonzaga parents and alumni formed 1887 Trust in 2013 following a significant uptick in Catholic identity concerns.

“When I attended Gonzaga, I saw some of its faculty stray from teaching the truths of the Church and was saddened that a majority of students would leave the University misguided,” Blair Kelly, who graduated from Gonzaga in 2013, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Kelly said it was disheartening to see faculty in the classroom “reject the rich, 2,000-year-old intellectual tradition of the Church for academic fads and trends that embrace a largely secular view.”


Students at Catholic Seattle Univ. Confused About Gender
5/19/2016
Several students at Seattle University, a Jesuit Catholic institution, expressed confusion about the differences between men and women in a recently released video, seeming to buy into the gender ideology that Pope Francis has warned is a threat to the family.

The Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) conducted interviews with several students said to attend Seattle University. During the exchanges, students in the video:

-Showed confusion when asked if there’s a difference between men and women.

-Said what an individual thinks about his or her gender matters more than biology.

-Stated that differences between males and females don’t matter, and that gender is just a social construct.

-Said people should use the restroom based on their “gender identity” rather than biological sex.



Newman Society President: Platforms and Honors for Abortion Advocates Negatively Impact Students
5/17/2016
Catholic colleges have a responsibility to transmit the truth about the right to life, and their actions — including providing speaker platforms and honors — can have a serious impact on the lives of students, Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly said in an interview with Teresa Tomeo on Ave Maria Radio last week.

“Certainly at a Catholic institution, we know that abortion is wrong, we know that same-sex marriage is wrong and yet [colleges] are actively promoting it to the point where we almost don’t hear a Catholic voice anymore,” said Reilly. He added that many Catholic colleges need to regain that voice for the sake of their students, and to live up to their identity and mission.

The Cardinal Newman Society has led calls for reform concerning speaker platforms and commencement honors for years, raising awareness about their impact on Catholic identity, and the responsibilities of Catholic colleges. But it does not seem like colleges are taking the concerns of parents, students and pro-life leaders seriously, said Tomeo.


Georgetown Honors Contraception Advocates at Commencement
5/17/2016
Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., plans to honor two speakers at its commencement ceremonies who have publicly advocated for abortion and contraception against Church teaching.

Gayle Smith, administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will give the commencement address for the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown on May 19 and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. And Beverly Malone, CEO of the National League for Nursing, will address graduates of the School of Nursing and Health Studies on May 21, and receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Both have actively pushed for greater access to so-called family planning services, including abortion and contraception.


SCOTUS Ruling on HHS Mandate Impacts Catholic Colleges and Schools
5/17/2016
The legal battle will continue for Catholic colleges and schools and other religious nonprofits and institutions challenging the Obama administration’s contraception mandate following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to send the issue back to lower courts.

“We are nearing what seems to be a very happy ending to a terrible chapter in America’s history of religious tolerance,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Catholics should be very proud of the Little Sisters but also the other courageous organizations who have stood strong against this injustice — including the most faithful Catholic colleges and schools, which figured prominently in the legal and social battles to halt the HHS mandate.”

The eight U.S. Supreme Court justices unanimously vacated the appellate court decisions in their ruling. The case most notably involves the Little Sisters of the Poor, but a number of Catholic colleges and schools are also involved in the legal challenge, standing their ground in defiance of the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate. Monday’s ruling follows the government’s admission last month that it need not force religious objectors to provide contraception coverage as part of the HHS mandate, and it signals further potential lower court victories for Catholic institutions in the near future.


Finding the Origins of Today’s Dissent in Catholic Colleges
5/13/2016
On April 18, students at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., and at the graduate campus in Alexandria, Va., welcomed a calm and unassuming young priest with closely shaven blond hair to talk about the origins of dissent at U.S. Catholic colleges. The history and the events described during the presentation help to understand the many Catholic identity problems seen on college campuses today.

Father Peter Mitchell, a pastor in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., and a historian trained at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, told the story of how faculty at Catholic colleges rebelled against the Magisterium in the late 1960s in the name of academic freedom. He argued that this explains the context of theological dissent in America today.


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.”


Newman Society Responds to Obama Administration’s ‘Guidance’ on Gender Identity
5/13/2016
Patrick J. Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, released the following statement today in response to the “guidance” issued by the U.S. Department of Education attempting to force schools to abandon safe, responsible policies according to students’ biological sex:

“The Obama administration can try to change federal policy but not Catholic teaching, which rejects the separation of ‘gender’ from biological sex. This was reaffirmed by Pope Francis, who laments the falsehood of ‘gender ideology’: ‘It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality. Let us not fall into the sin of trying to replace the Creator.’


Newman Society Discusses Commencement Scandals in Three-Part Series
5/12/2016
Over the past week, the Jesuit-run publication America Magazine ran a three-part series on its website featuring interviews with The Cardinal Newman Society on the topic of scandalous commencement honors.

In part one of the series, the Newman Society discussed its opposition to former President Bill Clinton being honored at Loyola Marymount University’s commencement, and the broader Catholic identity issue of honoring individuals opposed to the Church’s moral teachings.

The Newman Society pointed out during the interview regarding Clinton: “[H]e might say a bunch of wonderful things [at the commencement]. But the University, choosing to honor this person and present this person as a role model, that’s the real issue. It’s going against the mission of the University in many ways to prop up people who are active opponents of Church teaching around the world.”


Why One Alumnus Removed His Son from the University of San Diego
5/12/2016
It is no surprise that parents are increasingly worried about their children “losing the faith” at many Catholic colleges in the midst of growing Catholic identity concerns and scandals on campus. Even alumni of Catholic colleges, such as Charles LiMandri, a University of San Diego (USD) alumnus and father of five, feel their alma maters are no longer true to their Catholic mission.

“I have had too many parents tell me that their kids went to USD and lost their faith,” LiMandri told The Cardinal Newman Society. A graduate of the class of 1977, LiMandri removed his son from USD out of concern for the University’s dwindling Catholic identity. He now heads Alumni for a Catholic USD, a group dedicated to restoring the University’s Catholic identity and mission. “People need to know what has happened at USD in the hope of eventually changing it, and in the meantime avoiding its potential destructive impact on the spiritual lives of their sons and daughters.”


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.


Congresswoman Wants to Shame Catholic Colleges for Defending Church Teaching
5/10/2016
A member of Congress from Massachusetts is hoping to use the force of the federal government to brand faithful Catholic colleges as discriminatory against students who experience same-sex attraction or gender identity issues.

Rep. Katherine Clark introduced legislation in Congress recently to force faithful Catholic colleges and other religious institutions of higher learning to publish documents “in a prominent location” on their websites if they request religious exemptions from“gender identity” applications of Title IX — exemptions that were explicitly written into the federal education law to protect religious education.

The bill also requires the Department of Education to publish the same information on its website. But following lobbying from LGBT activist groups, the Department has already voluntarily published a searchable database in April of all colleges that have ever requested religious exemptions to Title IX.


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.


Top 10 Signs of Renewal in Catholic Schools
5/5/2016
There are exciting things happening in Catholic education, The Cardinal Newman Society has concluded after reviewing hundreds of articles about Catholic elementary and secondary schools published during the 2015-2016 academic year.

A number of schools on the Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll are expanding and have implemented new programs and curricula to further nourish students in the faith while providing an excellent academic education. These changes involve a number of schools rejecting Common Core, including an entire diocese in Michigan. And we were encouraged to see strong defenses of the faith and Catholic identity in diocesan schools from bishops in Nebraska, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Springfield, Ill., in the areas of morality and human sexuality.

The list below shows that while there are still areas of concern in K-12 education, many examples of faithfulness in Catholic education can be found across the country.


Top 10 Signs of Renewal in Catholic Colleges
5/5/2016
The 2015-2016 academic year was a good one in many ways for Catholic higher education, The Cardinal Newman Society has concluded after reviewing hundreds of news reports about positive signs of strong Catholic identity. These examples show that faithful Catholic education is flourishing on many campuses, forming students morally, spiritually and intellectually, in sharp contrast to the scandals at many wayward Catholic universities.

Representatives from the colleges who spoke with the Newman Society during this school year cited their Catholic mission as the core of what makes their education unique and successful. Instead of a hindrance, fidelity to Church teaching is the key to their growth and success.

Our recap of articles published this year by The Cardinal Newman Society includes new initiatives aimed at stronger marriage preparation, efforts to combat the scourge of pornography, healthy visitation policies in student housing, the defense of religious freedom and more.


Diocese: Catholic School Teachers Have Duty to Be ‘Moral Exemplars’
5/5/2016
Fort Wayne – South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades’ pre-contract document to his diocesan school teachers deserves high praise for emphasizing adherence to Catholic moral teachings both inside and outside the classroom, said Dr. Denise Donohue, deputy director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s K-12 education programs. Donohue added that the well-cited and detailed document is important for the protection of Catholic identity in the diocese’s schools.

The document states that faculty and staff of Catholic schools are not to publicly reject the moral teachings and laws of the Church. And in no way are they to cooperate, take part in or condone practices contrary to those teachings, including same-sex marriage, abortion, assisted suicide, adultery, in vitro fertilization or gender ideology. Additionally, the mission of Catholic schools is not limited to teachers but includes all “administrators, educators, coaches and moderators,” according to the document.

“It’s important in a world where both adults and children are confused about even their male or femaleness for bishops to promulgate teaching documents, especially documents that focus on man’s proper relationships with others, and most especially with God,” said Donohue.


Catholic Colleges Embrace Gender Ideology in Housing Policies
5/3/2016
The College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit, Catholic institution in Worcester, Mass., will implement a new housing policy in the 2016-2017 academic year that embraces gender ideology, which Pope Francis has called a threat to the family.

The updated housing policy “will allow students of different sexes to room together based on gender identity,” according to an April 29, 2016, report in the campus newspaper The Crusader.

At the University of San Francisco (USF), the gender-inclusive housing description was recently updated to indicate that students at the Jesuit-run institution should develop their own understanding about gender identity, including recognition that “human beings are not necessarily male or female as ascribed by their assigned gender at birth.”


Marquette Professor Claims Breach of Contract in Suit Against University
5/2/2016
Marquette University Associate Professor John McAdams filed a lawsuit against the University on Monday for “illegally suspending” him in the fall of 2014 and “making the decision to terminate his tenure and fire him from Marquette” over a blog post. The post criticized an instructor who called a student’s defense of marriage “homophobic.”

The suit, filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, makes several breach of contract arguments and seeks to have McAdams reinstated as a tenured professor at Marquette.

“Marquette University guarantees its tenured faculty academic freedoms, including the right to free speech,” the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), which is representing McAdams, stated in a press release. “That right was violated when Marquette suspended Professor McAdams for blogging about an incident between an undergraduate student and a graduate instructor where the Instructor told the student that any discussion on gay marriage in an ethics course would be considered homophobic and inappropriate.”


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.”


Newman Society on EWTN: 'The Catholic University as Witness'
4/29/2016
Patrick Reilly, founder and president of The Cardinal Newman Society, will appear on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) program "Franciscan University Presents" next week to discuss the special witness Catholic colleges and universities are called to give.

Reilly will join the show's host Michael Hernon, vice president of advancement at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn from the Franciscan University Theology Department for a discussion on “The Catholic University as Witness.”

“A Catholic institution of higher education is a place of learning. But it’s also a place of witness,” the episode description states. ”It’s where young people learn how to know their faith and to live it. It’s also where the culture at large can encounter the wisdom of Christ.”


Lavender Graduations Harmful to Students at Catholic Colleges
4/28/2016
At least eight Catholic colleges across the country are hosting “lavender graduations” this spring — many of them as part of an annual campus tradition — to celebrate and honor students with same-sex attraction (SSA) or who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ).

Lavender graduations and similar ceremonies for seniors have been announced at the College of St. Rose, DePaul University, Georgetown University, Loyola Marymount University, St. Mary’s College of California, Santa Clara University, Seattle University and the University of San Francisco.

Although intended as a compassionate gesture to students, the ceremonies reinforce harmful ideologies about sexuality and gender that contradict Catholic teaching and have been deplored by Pope Francis. They potentially lead students into sinful activity and undermine a Catholic college’s claim to teach the truths of the Catholic faith.


Jesuit Priests’ Proposal to Challenge Planned Parenthood at Georgetown Was Rejected
4/28/2016
Two Jesuit professors at Georgetown University lobbied to have a pro-life speaker on-stage with Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards when she spoke on campus, but the proposal — made to help facilitate the “free exchange of ideas” — was rejected by the organizers of the event, the campus newspaper The Hoya reported.

“It’s wounding to me that students in a Jesuit school would reject the good counsel of two senior Jesuit professors,” theology professor Father Stephen Fields, S.J., told The Cardinal Newman Society. “We had a plan to promote the FULL free exchange of ideas, and so heal a deep rift on our campus. It pains me that the Lecture Fund seems to have put its own career plans over our community’s integrity.”


Serving LGBT Students in Catholic Schools
4/28/2016
How do Catholic schools best serve students who struggle with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria (popularly called “transgendered”)? What should a school’s policies prescribe in order to prevent confusion, disputes and even litigation? 

Previously, these questions were often addressed behind closed doors, as administrators worked quietly on a case-by-case basis and often within traditional moral norms. However, since this past summer’s Supreme Court ruling supporting same-sex marriage and the social acceptance of superstar Bruce Jenner’s gender dysphoria, Catholic schools face an increasingly public challenge to their teaching and mission. 

This dynamic became painfully evident in the recent decision by a Rhode Island Catholic school, which ignited a national firestorm by refusing to admit transgendered students and then was pressured to reverse its policy within just a couple of days. The correct instinct that a Catholic school cannot accommodate willful gender confusion gave rise to a weak position statement, holding that transgendered students could not be admitted due to a lack of facilities to accommodate them. Activists seized upon the opportunity and offered to “crowd source” the necessary facilities, forcing the school to reverse its policy of strict exclusion. 


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.”


Special Report: Church Leaders Honored by Faithful Catholic Colleges
4/26/2016
Even while at least 11 Catholic colleges have made scandalous choices for commencement speakers and honorees this year (see our separate roundup), colleges recognized in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College by The Cardinal Newman Society will instead highlight their strong commitment to Catholic education by honoring top leaders in the Church and strong role models for their students.

“If Catholic families want to know which Catholic colleges stand with the Church and which do not, a college’s choice of commencement speaker and other honorees is often a public signal of its priorities and concern for its students’ formation,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “We’re proud of the faithful colleges that are such a necessary contradiction to our wayward institutions, and we’re grateful to our Church leaders for demonstrating their support of faithful Catholic education by their presence on commencement day.”


Wyoming Catholic College Picks New President: Dr. Glenn Arbery
4/26/2016
The Newman Guide-recommended Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., announced on Monday that Dr. Glenn Arbery will succeed Dr. Kevin Roberts as the College’s next president.

Arbery served as academic dean and an associate professor of humanities before being named interim president. He has taught literature at three other Newman Guide-recommended institutions: the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Thomas More College of Liberal Arts and the University of Dallas. 

“Having devoted much of my professional life to the cause of liberal education, I’m excited to lead such a stellar institution, and I’m greatly honored, greatly humbled at the opportunity,” Arbery said in a video message accompanying the College’s announcement. He added: “This college will continue to pass on the great tradition of the West, and to provide the coherent, spiritually hopeful education founded on the Rock of the Church, so needed in this world today.”


Fr. Schall: On 'Building the World You Want to Live In'
4/22/2016
The text of an address, no doubt, reads differently from the listening to it. A lecture proposes a position, a “where-I-stand” sort of thing. A lecture is not a debate or a disputation. It can be witty, solemn, pedantic, chatty, disorganized, moving or implausible. It can be informative, logical or illogical, persuasion or unpersuasive. What is said also tells us much about what is left unsaid. Silences and absences are also, as the phenomenologists tell us, quite revealing.

Cecile Richards’ lecture at Georgetown University read rather like a pep rally to garner enthusiasm for the big game — “young people leading the charge.” The“Hoyas for Choice” group was congratulated for distributing “10,000 condoms last semester! Because of yousomeone somewhere is having safer sex!” One hardly knows whether to laugh or cry, mostly laugh, I think. Chesterton said somewhere that sex by definition is, like life itself, unsafe. If we eliminate its risk, I suspect, we also eliminate romance, something not a few writers have been noticing to be the case on most campuses. Friends with everyone, friends with no one. Sex with everyone, sex with no one. “Safe” sex means: “Protect me from my partner.”


Encourage, Enact and Enforce: Witnessing to the Church’s Teachings on Chastity During the College Years
4/22/2016
The Church has always taught the beauty of human sexuality and that each person, made in the image and likeness of God, should live chastely, according to his vocation. Although not a recent phenomenon, our society has in many ways become blind to these beautiful teachings of the Church and has espoused a radically new, secular view of the human person. This new philosophy has affected all aspects of the moral life, not only those that involve human sexuality.

The sexual revolution, heralded as liberation in the 1960s, eventually took its toll even in our Catholic institutions of higher learning.


Georgetown University Rally for Planned Parenthood Endangered Souls
4/21/2016
Georgetown University officials must take full responsibility for the scandalous, immoral and anti-Catholic comments made by the president of Planned Parenthood to students yesterday — with the full approval and defense of the nation’s oldest Catholic university — and they should make immediate changes to their speaker policy to uphold truth and avoid endangering the souls of their students.

The administration’s disclaimers about not endorsing guest speaker views and appealing to free speech arguments cannot be taken seriously as excuses to what students were exposed to yesterday. There was no academic benefit for students, nor was this event an attempt to aid students in the pursuit of truth and knowledge. Cecile Richards’ lecture at Georgetown was nothing more than a pep rally for Planned Parenthood and the terrible, evil work that organization is openly committed to doing.


LMU Jesuit Community Rector Endorses Honor of Pro-Abortion Clinton
4/21/2016
The rector of the Jesuit community at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, Calif., thinks LMU is justified in honoring the life of former President Bill Clinton as long as it’s clear that the University is ignoring all of the immoral and evil actions committed in the past, and present, by Clinton when bestowing that honor.

The student-run Los Angeles Loyolan recently reported that Father Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., rector of the LMU Jesuit community, responded to protests and criticisms of LMU’s honoring of Clinton by expressing his full support of the decision.

“In conferring this honor LMU does not endorse all of Mr. Clinton’s past or current policies nor condone all his actions,” Fr. Deck stated. “Rather, the University recognizes the extraordinary service he has given to civil society and his lifetime connection to Catholic and Jesuit higher education as a Georgetown University alumnus.”


Planned Parenthood’s Richards Peddles Abortion at Georgetown, Students Confirm
4/21/2016
Georgetown University blocked concerned Catholics and reporters from attending today’s campus lecture by Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, but tweets from participating students revealed faithful Catholics’ worst fears: Richards spoke to a packed auditorium, flagrantly advocating abortion, deriding pro-lifers and scandalizing students at the nation’s oldest Catholic university.

Richards was introduced by the student group H*yas for Choice, according to a tweet from The Hoya’s Twitter page, once again demonstrating the substantial leeway given by Georgetown to this “unofficial” pro-abortion club. “I can’t wait to come back when this [H*yas for Choice] is a recognized campus group,” Richards reportedly stated upon taking the stage. “A girl can dream.” H*yas for Choice is responsible for numerous scandals at Georgetown, such as hosting “choice weeks,” protesting pro-life conferences and pushing for contraception distribution on campus.

As expected, the event seems to have been a platform for Richards to indoctrinate students with pro-abortion rhetoric and repeatedly attack the dignity of human life. Richards reportedly denied that Planned Parenthood ever sold fetal tissue and claimed abortion is a “basic human right.”


Still No Vote on Religious Freedom Bill Backed by Catholic Educators
4/19/2016
The Daily Signal recently pointed out that almost a year has gone by without a vote since the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) was introduced in Congress. The Cardinal Newman Society, a number of Catholic educators and dozens of religious and public policy organizations signed a letter last February urging House leadership to schedule a vote on the bill.

A representative of the Family Research Council, which sponsored the letter, told the Newman Society that a formal response has yet to be received. The letter was addressed to Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise.


Conference Supports Priests as Indispensable to Faithful Catholic Education
4/19/2016
Catholic schools used to rely heavily on the involvement of priests as educators and administrators, but their presence in the classroom has dwindled over the years. An annual conferenceput on by the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) seeks to reinforce the necessity of involving priests in Catholic education, and organizers are already seeing successful results.

“Catholic education ought to be seen as the primary engine of Pope John Paul II’s ‘new evangelization,’” remarked Father Peter Stravinskas, executive director of CEF, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “Being a Catholic school teacher is not a job but a vocation, an apostolate.”


USF Basketball Coach Doesn’t Want Faithful Catholics on the Team?
4/19/2016
The head women’s basketball coach at the University of San Francisco (USF) recently announced her same-sex marriage to an assistant coach, and suggested that any student-athletes who have “an issue” with her sexuality and relationship are not welcome on the team.

On March 31, USF coach Jennifer Azzi publicly announced that she was in a same-sex marriage with her top assistant, Blair Hardiek, during an Anti-Defamation League awards ceremony. She was there introducing Golden State Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts. Welts became the first senior sports executive to openly acknowledge his same-sex attraction in 2011 while president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns basketball team.


USF President, A Priest, Congratulates Staff on Same-Sex Marriage
4/19/2016
University of San Francisco (USF) President Father Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., was reportedly “quick to offer congratulations” to two USF women’s basketball coaches who recently went public with their same-sex marriage. Fr. Fitzgerald previously told The Cardinal Newman Society that the University “does not endorse views on marriage that are inconsistent with the teaching of the Church,” but all of the statements from USF officials so far are very positive and supporting of the coaches' relationship.

During an Anti-Defamation League awards ceremony on March 31, USF’s head women’s basketball coach Jennifer Azzi publicly announced that she was in a same-sex marriage with her top assistant, Blair Hardiek. At that time, The Mercury News reported that the University’s athletic director, Scott Sidwell, offered his public support to Azzi: “At USF, we respect the dignity of each person ... We are a community of inclusive excellence. We have a commitment to Jennifer, to our students, our staff, women’s basketball program, and the athletics department.”


Govt. Admits HHS Mandate Alternatives Possible, Good News for Catholic Educators
4/19/2016
The federal government recently admitted in a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that it does not need to force religious objectors to provide contraceptive coverage as part of the HHS mandate, meaning a Court victory for Catholic colleges and schools, and others challenging the mandate, could be in sight, according to Becket Fund for Religious Liberty senior counsel Mark Rienzi.

“The government has now admitted ‘yes, we can get people contraceptives without involving nuns,’” said Rienzi in a recent press call discussing the briefs requested by the Court last month. “That’s a pretty logical point. It shouldn’t have taken five years of litigation to admit that, but it’s good that they have admitted it. And now it’s a pretty easy path to consensus for the Court.”

In a surprise twist last month, the Supreme Court asked both the government and petitioners against the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate to submit additional briefs. The briefs, according to the Court’s request, were meant to explain ways in which the objectionable coverage could be provided to employees while also preserving the religious freedom of employers — including Catholic colleges, schools and nonprofits — seeking to live out their sincerely held beliefs.


Archdiocese Plans Mass for Life in Response to Georgetown Planned Parenthood Invite
4/15/2016
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington will celebrate a Mass for Life next week following what is sure to be a blatant promotion of abortion and contraception by the CEO of Planned Parenthood in her address to students at Georgetown University.

The Georgetown student-run Lecture Fund is hosting Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards on April 20 at 2 p.m. in the University’s Lohrfink Auditorium. A description of the event on the Lecture Fund’s Facebook page promotes the “services” of Planned Parenthood, but doesn’t specifically mention the words “abortion” or “contraception.” The description certainly doesn’t mention that Planned Parenthood commits more than 300,000 abortions each year, or that Richards is responsible for the deaths of almost three million babies since becoming the head of Planned Parenthood.


Newman Society: Loyola Marymount Betrays Catholic Mission in Clinton Commencement Scandal
4/15/2016
Loyola Marymount University’s choice to honor disgraced, pro-abortion former President Bill Clinton as its spring 2016 commencement speaker on May 7 is a new low in the University’s repeated betrayal of its Catholic mission. The scandal deserves the outrage of faithful Catholics everywhere, most especially those families who rely on LMU to provide the Catholic education that the University holds itself out as providing.

Former President Clinton is an extremely poor choice for honor and presents a very bad moral example to LMU’s students. LMU President Dr. Timothy Snyder touted Clinton in the commencement speaker announcement as “one of the great statesmen of our time.” “His commitment to improving the lives of other people, during and beyond his career in U.S. politics, embodies the ethos of becoming women and men with and for others. President Clinton will inspire our graduates as they seek to lead lives of meaning, purpose, and global impact,” Snyder continued. But President Clinton’s record is one of scandal, immorality and support for the destruction of innocent human life. And his Clinton Foundation continues to partner with and fund some of the largest organizations around the world dedicated to snuffing out babies in the womb — such as Planned Parenthood.


Nebraska High Schools Stuck With Harmful ‘Transgender’ Policy
4/14/2016
Nebraska’s high school athletic association voted to promote harmful gender ideology in schools last Friday, approving a policy that encourages students struggling with “gender identity” issues to undergo hormone therapy to participate on sports teams of the opposite sex. The bishops of Nebraska strongly opposed the policy, and stated they’ll continue to push for a requirement that student participation in sports be determined by biological sex.

The Cardinal Newman Society reported in January that the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) Board of Directors adopted a policy allowing high school students to play sports based on their preferred gender identity. The previous policy recognized biological sex at birth as the determining factor for allowing students to play on boys’ and girls’ sports teams. The NSAA Representative Assembly decided against reinstating the sex-at-birth policy in a vote on April 8.


Catholic Education is the Key to Pope Francis’ Plan for Renewing Families
4/14/2016
Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation released on Friday, Amoris Laetitia, “Love in the Family,” is the next step in a long plan for renewing Catholic families, Stephan Kampowski, professor of philosophical anthropology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, told The Cardinal Newman Society. Kampowski said the document reiterated parents’ fundamental role in education and stressed faithful education as central to strengthening families.

“With Amoris Laetitia, Francis wants to renew the Church’s pastoral care of the family,” said Kampowski, who co-authored The Gospel of the Family, a book which engaged and challenged Cardinal Walter Kasper’s controversial comments leading up to the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family in 2014. “Indeed, education is the key to the renewal desired by the Holy Father,” Kampowski noted.

Amoris Laetitia is reportedly the longest such document in the history of the papacy. And while much of the media coverage focused on how the Holy Father would address the issue of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, significant portions of the document sought to emphasize the need for faithful Catholic education and the fundamental role of parents in the education of their children.


Scandal: More ‘Drag Shows’ at Catholic Colleges
4/13/2016
Annual drag shows — where individuals dress up and perform as the opposite sex — have become a consistent presence on several Catholic college campuses, punctuating the spring semester with scandal and disregard for Church teaching on human sexuality. Despite the Holy Father’s repeated warnings against gender ideology, and in one university’s case, censure from the Vatican’s Congregation for Education, Catholic colleges continue to harm students and their Catholic mission with these outrageous events. 

Just this past week, Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. “It is a source of concern that some ideologies of this sort, which seek to respond to what are at times understandable aspirations, manage to assert themselves as absolute and unquestionable, even dictating how children should be raised,” the Holy Father stated. “It needs to be emphasized that ‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.’”


Former Franciscan Univ. President Honored for ‘Courageous Witness to the Faith’
4/13/2016
Father Terence Henry, TOR, former president of Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and a member of the Board of Directors of The Cardinal Newman Society, will be honored for his service to Franciscan and his “courageous witness to the faith” during the University’s commencement ceremonies this May.

“Committed to life issues, Father Henry directed Franciscan University’s filing of a lawsuit in 2012 opposing the federal government’s mandate that would force provision of health insurance coverage counter to its religious principles,” the University stated in a press release. “In addition, he established the Franciscan University Institute of Bioethics, which provides a solid Catholic response to secular assaults on the dignity of human life, marriage, and other human life issues. While president, he joined students and alumni and attended every March for Life in Washington, D.C.”


USD ‘Drag Show,’ Criticized by Vatican, Continues Under New President
4/13/2016
For the past four years, the University of San Diego (USD) has hosted and promoted a “drag queen show” featuring students dressed up as members of the opposite sex. In 2014, the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education said these drag shows at USD have caused “scandal.” Faithful Catholics were hopeful that with the installation of a new University president last year, these scandalous events would come to an end. But USD is scheduled to host its fifth annual drag show on April 14.

Billed as “Celebration of Gender Expression: Supreme Drag Superstar,” the Facebook event description for the 2016 show notes that the University’s PRIDE organization is “ECSTATIC to be having this event again this year … Get your tickets ASAP because we have sold out every year!”

PRIDE is officially recognized at USD as “a campus community supporting and identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and pansexual individuals, and allies.”


Pope Francis Stresses Faithful Education in Light of Family Crisis, Says Theologian
4/12/2016
Pope Francis clearly stated the need for faithful Catholic education in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia released on Friday, and warned against any attempts by schools or teachers to impose ideologies contrary to the teachings of the Church, theologian and author Dr. Edward Sri told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Pope Francis went out of his way to reiterate the Catholic teaching that parents are the primary educators of their children,” said Sri, who teaches at the Augustine Institute in Greenwood Village, Colo., noting that schools should never replace parents. “The Pope, however, points out a division between parents and schools in some cases.”

“I think about how many moral issues — topics such as abortion, pre-marital sex or the definition of marriage — are presented in educational settings today,” Sri continued. “In some cases, a certain ideology is being imposed upon the children in the classroom — a certain agenda that is directly at odds with what the parents want for their children.”


Catholic Colleges Must ‘Have the Courage’ to Defend Marriage, Says Bishop
4/11/2016
Catholic colleges and universities must gather their courage and defend their Catholic identity and mission from cultural and legal challenges to the Church’s teachings on the nature and truth about marriage, and on sexuality and gender as well, according to Diocese of Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted.

“I think it is very important that we learn how to present the teaching about femininity, masculinity and marriage in as persuasive a way as possible,” he said in an interview with the Newman Guide-recommended Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif. “I think we need always to make an effort to do that because the truth has power within itself. It does not depend on our energy or on anything else; we must simply have the courage to say the truth. It has its own inner power.”

“In the coming years, our institutions — and we personally — will be challenged on these things,” Bishop Olmsted added, noting the tough road ahead for Catholic education when it comes to defending its beliefs on marriage, gender and sexuality.


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