Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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Catholic College to Honor Leader of Pro-Abortion Groups Amid Protest of Cardinal Dolan
The Cardinal Newman Society has discovered that the Jesuit Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., will honor at Sunday’s commencement ceremony—alongside Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York—human rights activist Lois Whitman, who works for a pro-abortion group and serves on the boards of two pro-abortion organizations.

But several hundred students and faculty are protesting the Cardinal, not Whitman—and the College president has praised the protest, which labels Cardinal Dolan “homophobic,” as a reason for “celebration.”

A petition at Change.org asks Le Moyne College to rescind its invitation to Cardinal Dolan to deliver Sunday’s commencement address and receive an honorary degree. The petition has reached 709 signatures and was organized by students, alumni and “some members of the faculty,” Le Moyne President Linda Le Mura told FOX News on Thursday.

The petition states that “the graduating class of 2015 and the graduates, along with staff and other students, do not approve of this choice.” It goes on to claim, without evidence, that Cardinal Dolan has made “homophobic comments and does not represent the ideals we have come to know Le Moyne to represent.”

Lavender Graduations, Ceremonies on Eight Catholic Campuses

“Lavender graduations” and celebrations—commencement-related events intended exclusively for homosexual students and their “allies”—continued this year on Catholic campuses, despite confusing students about Catholic teaching and acceptance of homosexual behavior.

In April, Pope Francis addressed the problems with “gender theory” and urged acceptance of sexuality as male and female:As we all know, sexual difference is present in so many forms of life, in the long scale of the living. However, only in man and in woman does it bear in itself the image and likeness of God…Man and woman are [the] image and likeness of God!

This year, the Society found that at least eight Catholic colleges are hosting or have hosted lavender graduations and celebrations.

Georgetown Honors Abortion Advocates at Commencement Ceremonies
Despite the U.S. bishops’ policy banning Catholic honors topeople who publicly oppose Catholic teaching, Georgetown University will honor two prominent advocates for legal abortion at its graduation ceremonies next week, The Cardinal Newman Society has discovered.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will address the graduating class of the School of Foreign Service on May 16, and he will receive an honorary doctorate. He is a vocal advocate for universal access to abortion and contraception around the world.

Last May, Pope Francis met with Ban Ki-moon and other U.N. leaders to press for respect for human life, insisting that “life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death.” But in September, Ban Ki-moon publicly reiterated his support for “the importance of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights,” quoting a Filipino woman who said, “A woman should have the right to choose how many children she wants. It’s a basic human right.” The U.N. has consistently defined “reproductive health” to include abortion as well as contraceptives.

Commencement Speakers Can Exemplify Colleges’ Catholic Identity
Every year, Catholic colleges are given a distinctive opportunity in commencement ceremonies to highlight their Catholic identities and missions by selecting commencement speakers who exemplify Christian ideals.

“Honoring faithful Catholic leaders at commencement is an excellent way to signal to graduates what matters most, namely, the importance of carrying the Catholic faith into lives of service to the Church, family and society at large,” said Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, which recognizes colleges for their strong Catholic values.

Commencement speakers and honorees who especially highlight a college’s Catholic identity include Church leaders and lay people who are successful in various careers while standing publicly in support of the Catholic faith. They stand in stark contrast to the scandalous commencement choices at eight Catholic colleges previously identified by The Cardinal Newman Society.

Scandalous Commencement Honors Announced at Eight Catholic Colleges
At least eight Catholic colleges have announced scandalous speakers or honorees at their 2015 commencement ceremonies, according to The Cardinal Newman Society’s annual review of college graduations. Many colleges wait to release the names of their honorees and speakers, so it is too soon to know if this represents an improvement over last year’s report, which exposed at least 20 scandalous commencement ceremonies. 

In 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a document requiring Catholic institutions to withhold honors and platforms from public opponents of Church teaching. The document, Catholics in Political Life, stipulates that “[t]he Catholic community should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” 

The Cardinal Newman Society has identified the following Catholic colleges that are acting in direct contradiction to their Catholic mission of education.

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

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

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

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

Small Number of Strong Catholic Colleges ‘Heartbreaking,’ Says Conservative Leader
The fact that most Catholic colleges today still do not fully embrace their Catholic identity is “heartbreaking,” conservative leader L. Brent Bozell III observed in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College recommends just 20 U.S. colleges and another seven online and international programs that have a strong Catholic mission and adhere to Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican constitution on Catholic higher education.

“When you’ve got a nation of 60 million Catholics and less than two dozen true Catholic colleges and universities—I mean, the math doesn’t add up,” said Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center and a member of the Newman Society’s board of directors. “It just doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. So many are going in the wrong direction, but only a few are heading in the right direction.”

Newman Society Pledges to ‘Expose’ Colleges that Honor Marriage Opponents
Corporations calling for the legal redefinition of marriage should be barred from receiving honors and awards at Catholic educational institutions, argued Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly in a recent interview with Breitbart News.

Cardinal Newman Society Statement Opposing Honors and Platforms for Proponents of Legal Redefinition of Marriage
On March 5, 2015, 379 corporations and business groups submitted an amicus brief, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to declare “marriage rights” for same-sex persons. Such a ruling conflicts directly with Catholic teaching and the position of the U.S. Catholic bishops.

Archbishop Criticizes Xavier Univ. (La.) for Choice of Commencement Honorees
Archbishop Aymond of New Orleans recently expressed his disappointment in some of Xavier University of Louisiana’s honorary degree recipient selections for its 2015 commencement. Several of the University’s honoree choices support positions contrary to Catholic teaching.

St. Gregory’s Univ. Invites Former Catholic Charities President to Deliver Commencement
Fr. Snyder's "extensive background in charitable work and leadership will serve as an inspiration to our graduates as they prepare to leave their own extraordinary marks throughout our community and the world," St. Gregory's President Dr. D. Gregory Main stated.

Catholic Elms College to Host Pro-Abortion Rights Congressman as Commencement Speaker
The College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Mass., is set to host Congressman John Lewis of Georgia as the College’s 2015 commencement speaker, according to a news release, despite his voting record consistently in favor of legal abortion.

Notre Dame Trustees Elect Fr. Jenkins to Third Term as President despite Catholic Identity Concerns
The University of Notre Dame recently announced that Father John Jenkins, C.S.C. has been elected by the Board of Trustees to serve a third five-year term as president of the University, despite the many instances of Catholic identity abuse that have occurred during his tenure.

Sen. Bob Casey Gives Graduation Speech for Notre Dame’s Catholic Education Program
The Alliance for Catholic Education program hosted U.S. Senator Bob Casey to deliver the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony for master’s degree recipients this past weekend

Magdalen Grads Told at Commencement: We Need You to Be Saints
“We need more bright, young minds to embrace the cross of self-giving —to choose the hard road of dying to self,” said Dan Burke, the executive director of EWTN’s National Catholic Register.

Dr. Jonathan Reyes to Thomas More College Grads: You Were Made to Share in Divinity
Reyes, executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, imparted three words—“Gift, Magnanimity, and Encounter”—to graduating students.

Trinity President Ironically Criticizes Commencement Season Controversies
Patricia McGuire, who once accused those who protested President Obama’s commencement honor at Notre Dame of "religious vigilantism," is now calling for an end to the “bread-and-circuses spectacle” of celebrity commencement speakers.

Fr. Terence Henry: Christendom Grads Fight Culture of Death on ‘Front Lines’
Fr. Henry was awarded the Pro Deo et Patria Medal at Christendom College’s commencement exercises for “outstanding service to God, the Church, and the country” and for living his “faith concretely in the public square.”

Seton Hall ‘Stood Firm’ after Faculty Resisted Pro-life Author’s Graduation Speech
“As it happened, despite the preceding faculty machinations, the event itself went off beautifully and without incident,” Catholic author Mary Eberstadt told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Never Stop Studying Christ, Priest Tells Holy Apostles College Grads
Fr. Mullady, who serves as an adjunct faculty member at Holy Apostles in Cromwell, Conn., told students to “strive for accuracy” in presenting the Faith to others.

Cardinal O’Brien Tells Thomas Aquinas College Grads: Witness to the Truth
Cardinal O’Brien recently told graduating students of Thomas Aquinas College that they have been “formed for a mission: and that mission is nothing less than the rescue of the civilizational project of the West.”

George Weigel at University of Dallas: Take Up Task of Cultural Renewal
“If the generation of which this Class of 2014 is a part is going to meet the challenge of giving America, and the West, a new birth of freedom, it will do so because it becomes a generation of saints...”

NFL Star Philip Rivers Tells Catholic University Grads to Never Give Up
Addressing members of the class of 2014 from the steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Rivers said that, “No matter where one is on his or her faith journey, it is fitting to say Nunc Coepi.”

Register Radio Zeros in on Good and Bad in Catholic Commencements
“It seems that we are regressing,” lamented Jeanette De Melo. “We have twenty, what I would say ‘poor choices’ this year, as opposed to only six last year.”  

Newman Society President: Graduation Scandals Insult to Pope St. John Paul II
The National Catholic Register recently featured insights from Society President Patrick J. Reilly on the selection of commencement speakers and honorees by Catholic colleges and universities.

Thomas More College Hosts Dr. Jonathan Reyes of USCCB at Commencement
Dr. Jonathan Reyes, who is the executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, will speak at the College's graduation on May 17.

Ave Maria Students Getting Married Share Family Values, President Says
Ave Maria University in Florida boasts a record number of students who are engaged to be married in its graduating class of 2014.

Walsh Univ. Honors Member of USCCB Justice and Peace Committee at Graduation
Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, honored its commencement speaker Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love, Catholic University of America politics professor, at graduation ceremonies on May 4.

DeSales Univ. to Honor ‘Highest-Ranking Laywoman in Roman Curia’ at Graduation
Flaminia Giovanelli, who studied at the Vatican’s School of Library Science and the Pontifical Gregorian University, is fluent in Italian, French, Spanish, and English.

Helen Alvaré to Deliver Commencement Address at Benedictine College
Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., announced that it will host Vatican consultor and George Mason University law school professor Helen Alvaré as its commencement speaker.

SPECIAL REPORT: A Decade after Bishops’ Policy, Catholic Commencement Scandals Make Sudden Return
The Cardinal Newman Society has identified at least 20 Catholic colleges and universities that are hosting scandalous speakers and honorees at commencement ceremonies in 2014.

Aquinas College (Tenn.) Confers First Graduate Degrees
Aquinas College will host Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V., of the Sisters of Life as its commencement speaker and Bishop David Choby of Nashville will celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass.

Some Seton Hall Faculty Oppose Catholic Author Mary Eberstadt as Graduation Speaker
Mary Eberstadt is a Catholic author who has written extensively about the culture of life, the damage of contraception, and the need for families to focus on raising children.

University of Dallas Students Request Pope Francis as 2015 Commencement Speaker
The initiative started out as a joke, but turned more serious when the students found out that the Pope would be visiting the United States in the summer of 2015.

Loyola New Orleans to Honor Pro-Abortion Rights Political Analyst at Graduation
Pro-abortion rights former presidential advisor and CNN political analyst David Gergen will be honored during the University's commencement ceremony next month.

Boston College to Honor Pro-Abortion Rights Secretary of State John Kerry at Graduation
John Kerry, a Boston College Law School graduate and former senior US senator from Massachusetts, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the University’s 138th annual commencement exercises.

Bishop Rhoades to Deliver Mount St. Mary’s University Commencement Address
Bishop Rhoades, who served as a professor and then rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary from 1995-2004, will address the University’s graduating class of 2014 on May 11.

Loyola University of Maryland to Honor Pro-Abortion Rights Mark Shriver
The University’s website also touts Shriver being senior vice president of U.S. Programs at Save the Children, a pro-contraceptive charity reportedly associated with Planned Parenthood.

Birth Control Advocate to Be Honored at St. John’s University Graduation
St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., recently announced that Hugh Evans, the CEO of Global Poverty Project and a strong proponent of birth control as a means of erasing poverty, will be honored with a doctor of laws degree.

Jesuit USF Set to Honor Cosponsor of Freedom of Choice Act
University of San Francisco announced that it will give an honorary degree at commencement to Norman Mineta, a past U.S. transportation secretary, congressman, and cosponsor of FOCA.

Jesuit Criticized by Vatican for ‘Erroneous’ Theology to Give Santa Clara Commencement Speech
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith pointed out that certain propositions in Liberation theologian Father Jon Sobrino's books are “not in conformity with the doctrine of the Church” including the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Saint Peter’s University to Honor Mayor Who Officiated at Same-Sex Marriages
Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Jesuit University at its commencement ceremony next month.

College of the Holy Cross to Honor Former Obama Speechwriter at Commencement
Jon Favreau, a Catholic, recently compared a recent law in Kansas that protected the religious freedom of business owners to Jim Crow Laws.

University of San Francisco to Honor Public Supporter of Same-Sex Marriage
The Honorable John V. Roos will receive an honorary degree and deliver the commencement speech on May 17 for the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Wyoming Catholic College to Host Bishops Conley, Etienne at Commencement
The College’s Baccalaureate Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Paul Etienne of the Diocese of Cheyenne, with Bishop James Conley of the Diocese of Lincoln con-celebrating and serving as homilist.

Notre Dame’s Fr. Miscamble to Deliver Ohio Dominican U. Commencement
“Fr. Miscamble is a courageous and compelling proponent of Catholic higher education and the need for all Catholic universities to work to restore and strengthen their Catholic identities,” said ODU President Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D.

Cardinal, Bishop, EWTN Exec. to Be Honored at Franciscan Univ. Commencement
Cardinal DiNardo will be the main celebrant at the University’s Baccalaureate Mass, while Bishop Monforton will assist with the University’s exercises for graduate students.

Christendom College to Honor Fr. Terence Henry at Commencement
Fr. Terence Henry, chancellor and former president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, will preside over Christendom’s Baccalaureate Mass and receive the Pro Deo et Patria medal in May.

University of Dallas Announces George Weigel as Commencement Speaker
Weigel, a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is especially renowned for his biographies on Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Thomas Aquinas College Announces Cardinal O’Brien as Commencement Speaker
The Cardinal will also serve as the principal celebrant and homilist at the College’s Baccalaureate Mass and will receive the College’s highest honor, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Medallion.

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