Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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Love & Responsibility

Love Responsibility
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 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.


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.”


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.


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.”


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.


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.”


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.


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.”


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

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

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


An Open Letter to Catholic Educators
4/6/2016
I consider my family a modern day “Pilgrim” story. My husband and I are both Catholic, and raised our four children in a church-going, close-knit family. We did the modern day “soccer parent” stuff: attending all the ball games, all the activities, all the sacraments — all the things that would help our children grow in mind, body and soul.

What we didn’t count on was the culture.

We lived in a very “liberal” part of the country, and when our kids hit teen years and turned to their peers, their peers were following the modern day “culture.” It is a culture that comes across as “loving” and “caring” and “tolerant.” Yet it is a culture that kills.


Seattle Univ. Hosts Jesuit LGBTQ Activism Conference
4/5/2016
This past weekend, Seattle University hosted the third annual “IgnatianQ” conference, an event for students at Jesuit colleges that featured speakers who oppose Church teaching on human sexuality and marriage in prior years, and promotes involvement in LGBTQ activism as part of living out Jesuit values.

“The weekend will be exploring the boundaries of sexuality, gender and spirituality and how they may affect and limit us all,” the University’s student newspaper, The Spectator, reported. “The hope is that this year’s conference will have more conversation on trans identities, as previous conferences did not place a large focus on gender,” the article later stated.


Catholic College Teaches Students About ‘Drag Culture,’ an ‘Artistic Expression’
4/1/2016
University of Dayton officials legitimized men dressing as women and performing on stage as “an artistic expression in our culture” in comments to The Cardinal Newman Society about an event held Easter Wednesday at the Catholic college that brought in an “educational drag troupe” to teach students about “drag culture.”

The event, “Rubi Girls: Transformation, An Interactive Experience,” featured the Dayton, Ohio,-based “comedic, charitable, and educational drag troupe” known as the Rubi Girls. The Rubi Girls are a “group of gay men in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s” who perform “charity-driven, comedic drag performances.” The group is comprised of “elementary school teachers, a clinical counselor, a filmmaker and business owners” who don women’s clothing and makeup for performances.


Embattled Marquette Professor Will Apologize ‘When Hell Freezes Over’
3/29/2016
Marquette University has delayed the termination of Associate Professor John McAdams, opting to suspend him without pay through the fall 2016 semester, but University President Dr. Michael Lovell is demanding an apology from McAdams as a condition of getting his job back over his November 2014 blog post criticizing a graduate student instructor who bullied a student for arguing against same-sex marriage.

McAdams said in a recent radio interview that he’ll apologize, “When hell freezes over.”

The blog post in question sparked national headlines and a heated debate about academic freedom following the University’s disciplinary actions against McAdams for exposing the philosophy instructor’s recorded comments. The instructor, Cheryl Abbate, told a student who was arguing against the acceptance of same-sex marriage that “you don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments,” calling the student’s position offensive and “not appropriate.”


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

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


Saint Mary’s College of Calif. Hosts Roundtable of Same-Sex Marriage Activists
3/3/2016
Saint Mary’s College of California hosted a roundtable discussion on Monday night “exploring the intersections of LGBT, Religion, Race, Gender and Ethnicity” featuring four activists for legalized same-sex marriage with an understanding of human sexuality not in alignment with Catholic Church teaching, causing a theology professor at the College to severely criticize the one-sided, anti-Catholic nature of the event.

“It seems to me, at a place that claims on some level to still be faith-based, we owe the students more than this,” Father David Gentry-Akin, professor of theology at Saint Mary’s, told The Cardinal Newman Society. Fr. Gentry-Akin said if the College is going to allow students to be exposed to points of view that contradict Church teaching, then event organizers “need to make sure there’s someone there who can speak credibly about the tradition of the Church on these questions.”


‘Digital Transgender Archive’ at Catholic College Promotes Social Justice, Fits Jesuit Mission, Says Professor
2/24/2016
The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass, recently launched its Digital Transgender Archive (DTA), a collection of transgender-related historical materials that the Holy Cross professor who directs the project argues fits within the College’s Jesuit mission by helping to promote “social justice.”

“As our mission statement successfully captures, Holy Cross encourages every member of our community to be passionate about truth, promote social justice and foster dialog in order to more deeply understand and respect diverse experiences,” Dr. K.J. Rawson, an assistant professor in the English department at the College, said in a news post this month on the Holy Cross website. “The DTA will further these qualities by counteracting negative and hurtful stereotypes of transgender people with more truthful and historically informed representations.”


Cardinal Burke Speaks at Newman Guide Colleges on Catholic Education’s Impact on the Culture and Family
2/24/2016
Cardinal Raymond Burke has been very outspoken in recent months about the importance of Catholic education in building a strong family culture, and he’s scheduled to give another address on Catholic education and the family this April at The Newman Guide-recommended Northeast Catholic College in New Hampshire.

From the event description: “Northeast Catholic College is pleased to announce that His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke will visit the college on April 4, 2016. His Eminence currently serves as the Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and previously served as the Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.” Following a Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Annunciation and other events during the day, Cardinal Burke will give an evening address at the College on the theme “Renewing the Family and Catholic Education.”


Visitation Policies at Catholic Colleges Should Promote Chastity, Not ‘Hook-Up’ Culture
2/23/2016
Writing in Crisis Magazine today, The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson argued that restricting opposite-sex visitation in college dorms sends a strong pro-chastity message to students, but Wilson noted that new research released by the Society shows a majority of Catholic colleges allow opposite-sex bedroom visitation behind closed doors until late into the night.

“There is no single policy that can reform college campus life, but placing greater limits on opposite-sex visitation to student residences — those that serve as bedrooms— is likely to have a significant impact on the ‘hook-up’ culture and sends a strong message in support of chastity,” said Wilson, director of communications at the Newman Society and managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.“ And that’s one thing that all leaders of Catholic colleges should be able to agree upon: chastity should be the expectation on Catholic campuses, not the exception.”


Faithful Catholic Colleges and Schools Urge Passage of First Amendment Defense Act
2/16/2016
Representatives from a number of Catholic colleges and schools recognized by The Cardinal Newman Society for their strong Catholic identity joined the Newman Society and dozens of religious and public policy organizations this week in an effort led by the Family Research Council to urge leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in order to “prohibit federal government discrimination against those who continue to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

“The very survival of Catholic education and faithful nonprofits like The Cardinal Newman Society is threatened, unless Congress intervenes and ensures our full protection,” said Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Congress needs to stand by the First Amendment and defend America’s bedrock principle of freedom of religion.”


Catholic College Professor Encourages Student Participation in Cross-Dressing Event
2/16/2016
A professor at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) in San Antonio, Texas, is encouraging students to attend and work an off-campus “drag show” where students and faculty will dress up and perform as members of the opposite sex to raise money for a course at the University. The University has distanced itself from the event, but when asked by The Cardinal Newman Society if it was appropriate for a faculty member to encourage student involvement, a spokesperson refused to comment on the “private business” of faculty.

“Our Lady of the Lake University is not the sponsor of this event and it is not taking place on campus. It is not a fundraiser for our Psychology Department,” OLLU Director of Marketing and Communications Anne Gomez told the Newman Society when asked about the drag show.


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.’”


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