Friday, February 12, 2016

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La Salle Univ. Students Approve of Gender-Neutral Housing in Online Ballot
2/10/2016
Over 79 percent of the students at La Salle University in Philadelphia who voted in a student government ballot initiative want the University to enact a gender-neutral housing policy for campus townhouses according to the referendum results published by the La Salle Students’ Government Association (SGA) on Monday.

As The Cardinal Newman Society previously reported, an SGA referendum on “Should a gender neutral housing policy be enacted in the townhouses?” was opened up to students for online voting from January 25 until February 5. Under the proposal, male and female students could live together under the same roof, but, “Restrictions would include having the double room being single gender and the bathrooms having designated genders.”


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

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

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


Catholic Colleges and Schools Take Active Role in Struggle Against Pornography
2/4/2016
Recognizing the “widespread problem of pornography in our culture today,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recentlypublished their formal statement “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography” which calls on teachers, religious educators and others who work with young people to “create an environment suitable for learning chastity” and to be “vigilant over technological access” to pornography. The Cardinal Newman Society spoke with several faithful Catholic colleges and schools about how they are responding to the bishops’ call.

The U.S. bishops make it clear in their statement that pornography is “a grave sin against human dignity” that “dehumanizes the persons depicted” as sexual objects. Pornography use “also has direct connections with sins such as adultery, domestic violence, the abuse of children in child pornography, and sex trafficking,” according to the bishops. “It also can be implicated in contraception use and abortion, given that it promotes and even celebrates promiscuity and a view of sexuality devoid of love or openness to new life.”


La Salle Univ. Students Vote on Gender-Neutral Housing, Administration Avoids Debate
2/3/2016
Administrators at La Salle University in Philadelphia have decided not to weigh in on a student government ballot measure being voted on this week to allow gender-neutral townhouses on campus despite Catholic identity concerns raised by the student who proposed the measure.

A La Salle Students’ Government Association (SGA) ballot initiative on “Should a gender neutral housing policy be enacted in the townhouses?” was opened up to students for online voting on January 25 and will close February 5. Under the proposal, male and female students could live together under the same roof, but, “Restrictions would include having the double room being single gender and the bathrooms having designated genders.”

According to the ballot description, “This change would allow La Salle students to prepare themselves for the future in which men and women must work side by side in effective and appropriate relationships.” If the referendum passed — a majority of favorable votes from at least 10 percent of the undergraduate student population — it would still require approval from the University administration.


Loyola Marymount Deletes Regard for Catholic Mission From Facilities Use Policy After LGBT Conference on Campus
2/3/2016
Following inquiries from The Cardinal Newman Society about a recent conference on campus promoting LGBT advocacy, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles deleted language from its website specifying that every group which sought to hold an event at the University would need approval from the administration “to ensure [the group] supports the mission of the university.”

On the weekend of January 16-17, LMU opened its facilities to a group of “LGBTQ/SSA Mormons, their families, friends, and church leaders” for a conference titled “Knit Together in Unity & Love.” The event included several LGBT rights advocates, including a transgender woman, and addressed topics such as “Thriving as a Gay Mormon,” “Learning how to be an effective Ally for LGBT Mormons” and “Supporting and Empowering our LGBT Young People.”


‘Gender-Inclusive Housing’ Pilot Program Launched at Univ. of San Francisco
2/2/2016

The Jesuit-run University of San Francisco (USF) launched a pilot program for the 2015-2016 school year offering “gender-inclusive housing” to students who “identify as transgender” or “do not wish to be identified by any sex or gender identity,” embracing and promoting a view of human sexuality at odds with Church teaching and the statements of Pope Francis and the U.S. bishops.


The description on the USF website defines gender-inclusive housing as “an option for two or more students to share the same room regardless of their sex, gender, or gender identity,” and states that the housing option is intended to support the University’s mission “to create safe, affirming, and inclusive communities by providing options for students of varying identities and preferences.”


Concerned Faculty, Staff Cite Hostility Towards Catholic Values at Marquette
1/29/2016
A group of concerned faculty and staff members at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., recently gathered to discuss the University’s dwindling Catholic identity and the increased occurrences of Catholic teaching being discouraged, and even silenced, in University settings.

Participants of the group, Concerned Catholics at MU, wished to remain anonymous, but their meeting minutes were provided to The Cardinal Newman Society, and indicated that approximately 20 staff and faculty members were in attendance.

Last year, Marquette announced that it would conduct a “climate study” to determine the positivity and inclusivity of the University’s atmosphere. The study’s final report cited several concerns about ongoing hostility towards Catholic values.


Catholic Colleges Should Claim Title IX Exemptions, Says Newman Society President
1/27/2016
As Title IX interpretations have expanded to include discrimination policies grounded in gender theory, Catholic colleges should have no qualms about claiming constitutionally-protected exemptions, said The Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly in an interview with National Catholic Register.

“Of course these colleges have no interest in sex discrimination. They have had no problems complying with Title IX,” said Reilly. “But now things are changing, and the Obama administration is pushing the extreme gender ideology that Pope Francis has strongly warned against. The law could be used to force practices that violate our beliefs and even natural law, unless religious educators claim the exemption that Congress gave them to uphold the First Amendment.”


Gloria Steinem Awarded ‘Peace Prize’ for Book Dedicated to Abortionist, Praised by Catholic College Professor
1/14/2016
The pro-abortion Gloria Steinem has “inspired millions” and promotes “peace” with her version of radical feminism according to a philosophy professor at the University of Dayton, a Catholic and Marianist research university in Ohio, who praised Steinem's winning of a "literary peace prize" last month for her latest book, dedicated to the abortionist she obtained an abortion from in 1957.

“Gloria Steinem is a fearless feminist leader who has inspired millions of people to defend their own rights and the rights of others,” Dr. Rebecca Whisnant, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Dayton, told the University’s student newspaper, Flyer News. “That she is being honored with this award underlines the fact that women’s rights are essential not only in and of themselves, but for peace, security and a livable human future.”


Cardinal Wuerl: Firing Employees Opposed to Church Teaching Protects Mission of Catholic Schools
1/11/2016
Catholic schools have “an obligation” to terminate employees who actively oppose Church teaching and whose conduct “undermines the Church’s ability to fulfill her mission,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., recently wrote in a blog post addressing the firing of a Church employee found to be in a same-sex marriage.

“The purpose of our parishes, schools, ministries and other Catholic entities — ‘and the task of those who work for them — is to lead people to Jesus,’” explained Cardinal Wuerl, citing his May 2015 pastoral letterBeing Catholic Today: Catholic Identity in an Age of Challenge. “That purpose and task is challenged by a secular culture that is in contradiction to traditional concepts of marriage, family, the common good and objective right and wrong.”

In his blog post, Cardinal Wuerl responded to a recent employment issue at a parish in Germantown, Md., where a music minister was terminated after his same-sex marriage was discovered by the pastor.


Univ. of San Diego: Student Demands ‘Inconsistent With Our Catholic Identity’
1/7/2016
Responding to a list of “demands” by student groups focused on racial and LGBTQ issues, a University of San Diego (USD) official told The Cardinal Newman Society there are items on the list “that are inconsistent with our Catholic identity,” and that such proposals would be vetted through a process of working with students to initiate change “in a constructive and respectful fashion.”

“In this process,” said Peter Marlow, associate vice president of communications at USD, “any fringe ideas that may be contrary to our Catholic identity would be vetted by a broad audience and even broader perspectives and priorities.”

Marlow told the Newman Society that the newly installed University president, Dr. James Harris, who began his tenure this past August, recently met with four of the students involved with publishing the demands “to help steer them toward submitting their ideas via the strategic planning process” currently underway at the University. The process, scheduled for completion by early fall, is collecting “ideas for the future” from USD student groups, faculty, alumni, administrators, trustees, community members and other friends of USD.


Keep ‘Harmful’ Gender Ideology Out of High School Sports, Say Nebraska Bishops
1/6/2016
The bishops of Nebraska issued a warning this week about “harmful” and “deceptive” gender ideology, saying they are strongly opposed to any proposals up for consideration this month by the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) allowing biological male students to participate as females in a girls’ sport and biological female students to participate as males in a boys’ sport.

“Parents have always appreciated school activities as playing a vital role in the mature development of their school age children. It would be unjust to allow a harmful and deceptive gender ideology to shape either what is taught or how activities are conducted in our schools,” wrote Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln and Bishop Joseph G. Hanefeldt of Grand Island in a joint statement released January 4. “This would certainly have a negative impact on students’ and society’s attitudes towards the fundamental nature of the human person and the family.”


Opinion: Major Issues We’re Following in Catholic Education in 2016
1/4/2016
The Cardinal Newman Society’s reporting in 2015 highlighted numerous issues — positive and negative — impacting faithful Catholic education in the U.S., and we expect many of these issues to continue trending into 2016.

In the past year, Newman Society reporters covered cultural and institutional threats to faithful Catholic education, including the U.S. Supreme Court marriage ruling, problems with Common Core, Planned Parenthood’s close ties to Catholic colleges, ongoing HHS mandate lawsuits threatening religious freedom and scandalous commencement speakers at Catholic colleges. Yet, many faithful Catholic colleges and schools have responded with vigor to the current challenges and demands of our modern society.

Below, in no particular order, are 10 important issues that we will be following in our news coverage throughout 2016:


Ruling Against Fontbonne Academy Restricts School’s Freedom to Hire for Mission
12/18/2015
A Catholic school’s freedom to hire according to its mission and ask its teachers and staff to serve as models of the faith has been dealt a significant blow following a court ruling on Wednesday which asserts that the Catholic mission of Fontbonne Academy cannot be extended to include non-teaching positions.

“As an educational institution, Fontbonne retains control over its mission and message. It is not forced to allow Barrett to dilute that message, where he will not be a teacher, minister or spokesman for Fontbonne and has not engaged in public advocacy of same-sex marriage,” Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins wrote in the ruling according to an Associated Press report.

The Cardinal Newman Society previously reported on the Catholic identity concerns such a precedent would pose for hiring policies at other Catholic schools.


Belmont Abbey College on Title IX: Legitimizing Gender Identity ‘Spiritually Harmful’
12/16/2015
Following charges of “discrimination” from a national LGBTQ activist group, Belmont Abbey College defended its request to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for a Title IX exemption in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society, saying the ED’s broadening of Title IX to include “gender identity” threatened the College’s religious mission and would force the College to advocate practices that are “spiritually harmful.”

“A policy which would legitimize gender identity issues, particularly according to the interpretation put forward by employees of the Department of Education, would, first of all, abdicate the responsibility of the college community as a whole to act in accord with its fundamental identity as a community which publicly identifies itself as in communion with the Catholic Church,” Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., chancellor of the College, told the Newman Society.

He added that, based upon the “essential characteristics” of a Catholic college outlined in the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic universities Ex corde Ecclesiae, such a policy “would abdicate the college's responsibility as an educational and intellectual community to contribute the insights of Catholic faith and reflection to the public discussion on the issues of gender identity … would contradict fidelity to the Christian message as it comes through the Church” and “would abdicate responsibility to serve the transcendent goal of life by advocating practices which, according to the Church's teaching, are spiritually harmful.”


Final Report from Synod Echoes Vital Need for Families in Catholic Education
12/15/2015
The emphasis on the educative role of families and the supportive nature of Catholic schools are encouraging signs coming from the Vatican’s final English translation of the Synod on the Family report, said The Cardinal Newman Society’s deputy director of K-12 education programs Dr. Denise Donohue.

“It is edifying to see the document reiterate Gravissimum Educationis’s emphasis on the family as the primary place for formation and the role that Catholic schools play in assisting them,” Donohue said, referring to the Church’s declaration on Christian education issued by Blessed Paul VI in 1965.

“The parental role should be strengthened and reinforced by the school through formation and education programs, as stated in the document, that increase knowledge in all areas of life and learning, especially in areas of human love and flourishing,” she said.


Marquette Changes Restroom Signs for Transgender Students and Guests, Blasted by Alumni Group
12/10/2015
Marquette University in Milwaukee is currently in the process of implementing gender-neutral restrooms on the ground floor of residence buildings to accommodate individuals who consider themselves transgender, a move which has prompted a Marquette Catholic renewal alumni group to question the University’s devotion to maintaining its Catholic identity.

“Marquette has, once again, decided to mock the faith upon which it was founded,” the Louis Joliet Society, an alumni group dedicated to restoring and preserving Marquette’s Catholic identity, said in a statement on its website.

“The Church and Pope Francis have repeatedly decried gender ideology as destructive to souls, yet here we have a Catholic university pandering to that ideology,” Mary Jarvis, a member of the Louis Joliet Society, said in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.


Conference Teaches Students to Defend ‘Conservative Ideas’ on Catholic Campuses
12/9/2015
One of the most important ways of protecting the Catholic identity of Catholic colleges and schools is to equip students with the knowledge and tactics to counter opposition to their beliefs during their time on campus, conservative leaders who spoke at a program on faith and freedom told The Cardinal Newman Society in recent interviews.

“Students have a vital role to play in helping to change their campuses towards a more authentic Catholic identity,” Nicholas Hahn, editor of RealClearReligion and one of the speakers at the event, “Stand Up for Faith & Freedom: How to advance conservative ideas at Catholic schools,” told the Newman Society.

The two-day seminar, organized by Young America's Foundation (YAF), a “principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement,” was conceived as a counter to the “Leftists on campus” who believe “being a faithful Catholic means adopting the Left’s ideology,” according to the program description.


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

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


Lawsuit Sparks Debate Over Moral Expectations of Non-Teaching Staff in Catholic Schools
12/3/2015
A lawsuit in Massachusetts is reigniting debate about the responsibilities of non-teaching staff at Catholic schools to uphold the moral principles and serve as models of the faith, raising concerns for the religious freedom of Catholic schools to fire employees whose public statements and actions contradict Church teaching.

On Tuesday, the Norfolk Superior Court heard arguments from both parties in an ongoing legal battle between Fontbonne Academy, an all-girls Catholic school based in Milton, Mass., and Matthew Barret, who was told he could not work at Fontbonne Academy as food services director in July 2013 after the school found out that Barret is in a same-sex marriage.


Students Can Change Gender on University Records Under Proposed Policy at Catholic DePaul
12/1/2015
DePaul University in Chicago recently proposed a policy that would allow students to choose preferred genders and change their names up to three times for use on class rosters and other college records despite the fact that “gender theory” is opposed to Church teaching on human sexuality, and is a danger to society according to Pope Francis.

“Largely, the policy would provide a better option for transgender and transitioning students who do not use their legal names,” The DePaulia reported. “Further, the policy would enable an optional ‘unspecified’ gender option instead of male or female.”

Such a policy would present a conflict for DePaul’s Catholic identity, as Church teaching does not support gender theory and ideology.


Fordham Changes Restroom Signs as Part of ‘Gender Inclusive’ Campaign
11/23/2015
Fordham University recently approved the removal of common restroom signage indicating use for either the male or female sex at one building on the Lincoln Center campus, embracing part of a student-led campaign to make the University more “gender inclusive.” 

According to The Fordham Observer, the changes to signs in the Leon Lowenstein building were pushed by The Positive, a student activist group. The restroom signage initiative started during the 2015 spring semester when The Positive reportedly entered into dialogue with Fordham’s administration and student government.

The Observer reported that new signs were installed in single stall restrooms in the Leon Lowenstein building’s third floor. The new signs are “void of gender icons, include braille, the latest New York State handicap symbol and simply say ‘restroom.’”


New HHS ‘Gender Identity’ Rule Could Impact Bathroom Use at Catholic Schools
11/16/2015
A proposed federal anti-discrimination rule threatening the religious freedom of health care providers could soon weave its way into Catholic schools and colleges, forcing them to allow students who claim a “gender identity” different than their biological sex to enter restrooms and changing rooms of the opposite sex, and mandating health coverage for abortion and “gender transition” surgeries and therapy, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Jonathan Scruggs told The Cardinal Newman Society.

ADF filed an official comment on Thursday with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding its rule proposed in September that reinterprets and expands a federal ban on sex discrimination in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to include a broader ban on “gender identity” discrimination in health programs.

“The bigger concern for schools is that the Department of Education will begin to promulgate its own rules and attempt to rely on the proposed HHS rule as a means to justify the DOE’s misinterpretation of Title IX,” Scruggs told the Newman Society. “And if that happens, then every school would be forced to allow persons who claim one gender identity into the restrooms and changing rooms designated for the opposite sex.”


Priest: Acceptance of Sexual ‘Identities’ in Catholic Schools Will ‘Inevitably Hurt Students’
11/13/2015
As Catholic school districts in Canada struggle to develop and implement “transgender policies,” one priest in the Diocese of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada, told The Cardinal Newman Society that any school policies or programs leading students to embrace gender “identities” will “inevitably hurt students who are trying to live the Catholic Faith.”

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


Catholic Educators, Not Just Little Sisters, Will Have Their Day in Court
11/9/2015
While much of the media attention has been focused on the Little Sisters of the Poor following the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Friday to hear religious freedom challenges to the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate, a number of Catholic colleges and schools will be represented in the seven cases the Court agreed to rule on during their next session that begins on March 21.

“The question before the Supreme Court concerning the Little Sisters of the Poor and the HHS Mandate has implications far beyond the Little Sisters themselves,” said Bob Laird, vice president for program development and director of higher education programs at The Cardinal Newman Society. “It will affect every non-profit faith-based organization in the U.S. including faithful Catholic colleges and universities — and Catholic elementary and high schools —whose very existence is based upon their freedom to teach, celebrate, and witness to their Catholic faith in the classroom, on the campus, and in the local community.”


Former Transgender Woman Blasts Saint Louis Univ. for Hosting Transgender Activist
11/9/2015
In an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society, author, speaker and former transgender woman Walt Heyer was highly critical of Saint Louis University for agreeing to host transgender activist Laverne Cox, a man who lives as a woman, Monday night to discuss understanding “womanhood with a modern perspective” despite the Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality and gender identity.

“Transgender activists should not be allowed to encourage students toward apostasy in the teaching environment of a Catholic university,” Heyer told the Newman Society.

Heyer, who spent eight years as a woman after “sex change” surgery, currently works to raise awareness for those who regret their transgender surgeries and the resulting physical and psychological harm.


Boston College Hosts Pro-Abortion Albright
11/6/2015
Boston College, a Jesuit, Catholic institution, hosted an event on campus Wednesday featuring former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a known public advocate for legal abortion, despite the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) policy and instruction that “those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” should not be given “awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

The event, the first “Colloquium” organized by the Boston College alumni group Council for Women of Boston College, promoted Albright as an “exceptional thought leader” for considering “contemporary issues through the lens of women’s leadership.”


Administration Silent as University-Sponsored Paper Endorses Assisted Suicide, Abortion, Gay Marriage, Contraception
11/2/2015
The editorial staff at the University of San Francisco’s official student paper, the San Francisco Foghorn, issued statements in opposition to Catholic teaching in recent months supporting assisted suicide, the right to an abortion, contraceptive use, Planned Parenthood and same-sex marriage without any public efforts from administrators to rebuke the publication and protect the University's Catholic identity posted either online or in response to questions from The Cardinal Newman Society.

“All of our staff members believe that assisted suicide should be legalized for terminally ill people who truly believe that it is the only option they have left,” an October 15 Foghorn staff editorial stated, celebrating the legalization of assisted suicide in California by Governor Jerry Brown. The students added that “terminally ill citizens’ should have right to die [sic] on their own terms and the right to exert control in their lives one last time.”


Cardinal Burke Urges Genuine Catholic Education to Renew Culture
10/29/2015
Cardinal Raymond Burke last week gave us yet another trove of wisdom to contemplate, just as the Synod on the Family came to a close. This time, it was about Catholic education, and it came with a stern warning. 

In prepared remarks last week given to representatives of Voice of the Family, Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, warned parents about the threats to their children from wayward Catholic schools while arguing that faithful Catholic education at home and in schools is needed to transform the culture.


‘Coming Out Day’ at Catholic Colleges Risks Betraying the Faith, Harming Students
10/28/2015
While many Catholic colleges and universities are using the occurrence of “National Coming Out Day” to sponsor events promoting lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) identities and lifestyles throughout the month of October, such events could actually be harmful to the students and risk betraying the Catholic faith, according to information from the Catholic Medical Association and Courage International, a Catholic apostolate that ministers to persons with same-sex attraction.

“Events like ‘Coming Out Day’ run the risk of equating a person's identity with his or her sexual attractions, which, although they form a significant part of a person's experience, are only one factor in the whole complex reality of what it means to be a human being,” said Father Philip Bochanski, associate director of Courage International, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Promoting events that reduce a person's identity to his or her sexual attractions betrays our Catholic faith in the dignity of the human person, and does a disservice to those it claims to defend,” he said.


Georgetown, Other Catholic Colleges Celebrate LGBTQ Instead of Respect Life Month
10/21/2015
Catholic bishops in the U.S. have encouraged all Catholics to celebrate Respect Life Month in October, but Georgetown University and other Catholic colleges are instead celebrating lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) lifestyles and identities all month long, showing what one Georgetown pro-life leader called “a complete disregard not only for Catholic doctrine on this campus but also for the human rights issue of abortion.”

“I am very disappointed with Georgetown,” said Georgetown Right to Life president Michael Khan in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “We celebrate LGBT History Month and so-called ‘OUTober’ [in October] with a variety of events, panels and speakers … but for [recognizing] Respect Life Month [we have] absolutely nothing. No events. No emails. Nothing.”

This year marks the University’s 11th annual “OUTober” celebration recognizing national LGBT History Month in October, with events lasting from October 7 to November 20. The celebration began by recognizing National Coming Out Day with a “Coming Out in Red Square” event where students are asked to walk through a mock door frame and “‘come out’ as proud LGBTQ Hoyas and Allies,” according to the University’s OUTober webpage.


Synod Confronts ‘Gender Ideology,’ Threat to Education
10/21/2015
An adiutor, or expert, at the Synod on the Family in Rome says that the growing threat to families from the spread of gender ideology, particularly the danger it poses to all levels of education, has been discussed at length during the Synod.

“[Gender ideology] has enormous implications for Catholic education at every level – including college,” said Dr. John Grabowski in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Grabowski is a professor of moral theology and ethics at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and an adiutor assisting the Special Secretary and the Relator at the Synod. “The concern about ‘gender ideology’ has been discussed in the Synod, both in the general assembly and in small groups.”

“College students are growing up in a culture that tells them that they are self-creating subjects whose personal reality is constituted by their own perception of their bodies and attractions,” Grabowski noted.


Fordham Law Professor Urges End to ‘Religious, Gendered’ Marriage
10/9/2015
A professor of law at Fordham Law School, Ethan Leib, recently published an essay detailing methods to end state recognition of religious marriages, calling them exclusionary and oppressive to women.

The essay, titled “Hail Marriage and Farewell” and published in the Jesuit university’s Fordham Law Review, claims that marriage is “a largely religious, gendered, and bourgeois institution” that should be disestablished due to its traditional underpinnings, and replaced by “secular unions, free of gender scripts and the normativity of bourgeois domesticity.”

Leib noted that the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges can pave the way for the disestablishment of marriage.


White House Shouldn’t Interfere with Catholic Education, Says Catholic Schools Expert
10/7/2015
Catholics must continue to push for the religious freedom needed to carry out the mission and purpose of Catholic education, despite White House attempts to interfere with Catholic schools, argued Dr. Jamie Arthur, senior fellow and manager of The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll, in a Breitbart op-ed yesterday.

“Catholics who value the mission of Catholic education will continue to demand religious freedom so that we can live out our faith—without intimidation or any type of persecution—for generations to come,” Arthur wrote.

Last month, the Newman Society reported that the White House assisted the Human Rights Campaign—which claims to be the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization—in obtaining tickets for fired Catholic school teacher Margie Winters and her same-sex partner Andrea Vettori to attend Pope Francis’ visit to the White House. 


Theologians at USF, Santa Clara Undermine Church Teaching
10/7/2015
With the start of a new academic year, some theologians are again using their positions as Catholic professors to undermine Church teaching. Recent examples include Vincent Pizzuto of the University of San Francisco (USF) and Gary Macy of Santa Clara University (SCU), both Jesuit institutions.

“Professors at Catholic colleges, especially professors of theology, have a responsibility to uphold Church teaching,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Students deserve the opportunity to learn the beauty and truth of the Faith without distortion or misrepresentation.”

Pizzuto, associate professor of theology and director of the Catholic Studies program at USF, was recently featured in a Newsweek article that highlighted his reasons for leaving the Catholic faith


Philadelphia, Springfield Dioceses Protect Catholic Identity with Parent Agreements
9/28/2015
In recent months, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois have released versions of a “family-school agreement,” which they hope will aid in strengthening both Catholic families and the Catholic identity of diocesan schools.

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


Newman Society Laments White House Invitation for Fired Catholic School Teacher
9/23/2015
The special invitation of a fired Catholic school teacher and her same-sex partner to today’s meeting between Pope Francis and President Barack Obama encourages discrimination against Catholic schools and further undermines their religious freedom, said two leaders of The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Today the Holy Father had to plead for religious freedom in a nation that was founded on that very principle,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Catholic schools and colleges are under assault for refusing to reject Catholic teaching, and for insisting that educators teach and model the Catholic faith. Forcing them to do otherwise would destroy Catholic schools.”

“More than one-fifth of America is Catholic,” Reilly said. “At a time when our human and constitutional right to choose an authentic Catholic education is threatened, it’s offensive that a fired school teacher would be held up as a hero.”


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.


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.


‘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.”


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.”


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.”


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.


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

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

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

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


Catholic Conference on Homosexuality to Help Educators, Students
5/20/2015
Leading up to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September and the Vatican Synod on the Family to be held in October, the Catholic apostolate Courage International has organized a special conference on ministering to people with same-sex attraction and communicating Catholic teaching on homosexuality to schools, students and parishes.

Courage already hosts an annual conference, but this special conference in Plymouth, Mich., on August 10-12—titled “Welcoming and Accompanying Our Brothers and Sisters with Same-Sex Attraction”—is unique in its focus on the questions outlined in the Lineamenta for the Synod on the Family.

The beauty of Courage’s apostolate is that its presence “makes plain to the world that the Church does understand this question and does have a very practical and thoughtful response,” Father Paul Check, executive director of Courage, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.


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