Monday, November 30, 2015

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The Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic Education News Wire

The Cardinal Newman Societys Catholic Education Daily
Catholic Colleges in Trojan Condom Report Challenged to Defend Church Teaching
Catholic colleges have a moral obligation to defend the dignity of all human life and should ensure that their sexual health resources do not contradict Church teaching, Brother Ignatius Perkins, O.P., director of health services for the Dominican Friars, Province of St. Joseph, and former dean of the School of Nursing at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., told The Cardinal Newman Society.

In early November, the annual Sexual Health Report Card released by condom-maker Trojan ranked 140 major campuses — nine of which were Catholic colleges — on their access to sexual health information and resources including contraception and condoms. The inclusion of the nine Catholic colleges has again raised the issue of how and why contraception and condoms are available on many Catholic campuses despite its direct contradiction of Church teaching.

Professor: Notre Dame Manufacturing in China Violates Catholic Social Teaching
The University of Notre Dame announced last month that it would begin a pilot program to manufacture University-licensed products in two Chinese factories, a move criticized as a violation of Catholic social teaching by a Notre Dame theology professor.

“The new policy violates Catholic social teaching,” wrote Associate Professor of Theology Todd Whitmore, who opposed the new program in a letter to the editor published in the November 5 issue of The Observer, Notre Dame’s official campus newspaper.

Whitmore, who has taught Catholic social teaching at Notre Dame every semester for the last 25 years, argued the policy specifically breaches “’the principle of cooperation with evil.’ In this case, the evil of denying workers their rights.”

Did Pope Francis Say ‘Don’t Proselytize’?
Catholic education, done rightly, is a special and important means of evangelization, the mission of the Church. It brings young people to Christ and provides for the integral formation of mind, body and soul. 

And so, judging from the reaction that I have been hearing from some parents and educators, there is a bit of consternation over Pope Francis’ strong words last week against “proselytism” in Catholic schools. My colleagues from The Cardinal Newman Society who were present for the Holy Father’s conversation with educators — part of the World Congress on Education, a Vatican conference to address the “educational emergency” that leaves young people ignorant of Christ — also noted the Holy Father’s words with some concern.

Newman Society’s Guernsey Reflects on World Congress with Educators, Pope Francis
After a week in Rome with more than 2,000 educators from Catholic schools and universities around the world, it is time to remind ourselves of the continued need for faithful Catholic education, and that its efforts will only be successful if they are rooted in the truth and tradition of the Church, said Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs for The Cardinal Newman Society.

While the recent Congress, “Educating for Today and Tomorrow: A Renewing Passion,” hosted by the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education was a rich, multi-cultural experience, it left certain issues untouched and in need of further clarification.

In his recent piece “Challenges and Ambiguities at the World Congress on Education” for Crisis Magazine, Guernsey reflected on his time at the Vatican and Castel Gandolfo, which he described as “an amazing and rich experience.”

Catholic Education ‘Still Worth Fighting For,’ Says World Congress Presenter
Catholic educators should be encouraged by the commitment and passion shown at the Vatican's recent World Congress for education, Michael Van Hecke, president of the Catholic Textbook Project, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview conducted last week from Castel Gandalfo where the event was held.

The value and worth of Catholic education was edified by the central themes of the Congress, particularly the Christocentric approach to education, said Van Hecke, who was invited to speak at the “Educating Today and Tomorrow: A Renewing Passion” Congress and who also serves as headmaster of a Newman Society Honor Roll school, Saint Augustine Academy, in Ventura, Calif.

“Two things struck me particularly. One was the real commitment and passion by virtually every speaker about the importance of really making sure everybody keeps Christ in Catholic education, and [two] that Catholic education is still worth fighting for,” he told the Newman Society.

Universities Will Find Success in Faithful Teacher Formation, Curriculum, Says Congress Presenter
Teacher formation and a strong, value-oriented curriculum are critical to the success of good Catholic universities, especially in a culture that can be exceedingly motivated by self-interest, Dr. Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, rector of the University of Navarra in Spain, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview conducted during the recent World Congress, “Educating Today and Tomorrow: A Renewing Passion,” in Rome.

“In a Catholic university we are supposed to be also good Catholic professors, so why not emphasize the need to explain, to know and to live his or her faith,” Sánchez-Tabernero told the Newman Society.

As one of the presenters during the University sessions of the World Congress hosted by the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education last week, Sánchez-Tabernero spoke on the need to train faculty and offer continued faith formation as professors rise through the ranks of a university.

Notre Dame Professor Forced to Leave Project Aimed at Faithful Catholic Education
In an unexpected turn of events, University of Notre Dame professor Father Bill Miscamble, C.S.C., has been forced to disassociate himself with a new project recommending Notre Dame professors supportive of the University’s Catholic identity and mission, an unfortunate development which reflects poorly on the University, William Dempsey, chairman of the Notre Dame alumni group Sycamore Trust, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Earlier this month, Fr. Miscamble helped unveil, a website which gives detailed recommendations to students who are seeking an authentic Catholic education during their time at Notre Dame. The website currently features profiles of approximately 100 faculty in the College of Arts and Letters, but as of last week will no longer feature contributions from Fr. Miscamble, a respected and tenured professor of history at Notre Dame.

Newman Society Reports From Rome: Analysis of Education World Congress Day 3
Dr. Guernsey, Mr. Laird and other representatives of The Cardinal Newman Society were in Rome for the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education’s “Educating Today and Tomorrow: A Renewing Passion” World Congress. Here they reflect on the third day of the Congress, reporting from Castel Gandolfo overlooking Lake Albano in Italy.

“When we reflect back on Gravissimum [Educationis], very clearly it states that the teachers are almost entirely responsible for the fulfillment of the mission of a Catholic school. They are ground zero. They are where the action happens, and so we need to make sure our teachers have special qualities of mind and heart. And Gravissimum goes on to encourage the teachers to let them know how important it is, and how important that they model, both with their lives and their actions, the Gospel.”

Newman Society Reports from Rome: Analysis of Education World Congress Day 2
International presenters at the second day of the World Congress on Catholic Education stressed that “integral formation” of students must be first and foremost in Catholic education, according to The Cardinal Newman Society’s on-site attendees Dan Guernsey and Bob Laird.

“Presentations have almost unanimously recorded the importance of integral formation; forming the entire student — mind, body, soul, spirit — in a rich, Catholic community,” said Guernsey, who is the Newman Society’s director of K-12 education programs.

“This is very important for Catholic schools around the world, but particularly in the United States, where we’re dealing [with] issues with state-sponsored curriculum,” he noted.

Fordham Changes Restroom Signs as Part of ‘Gender Inclusive’ Campaign
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.’”

As Faithful Educators Gather in Rome, Newman Society Poised to Provide Answers
After talking to numerous educators and witnessing many global perspectives on education, it is clear that The Cardinal Newman Society is well-positioned to continue answering the educational emergencies developing in the United States, said the Newman Society’s vice president for program development Bob Laird, who is currently attending the World Congress on Catholic education.

“It is very clear that The Cardinal Newman Society is poised to provide answers to the challenges discussed during the Congress,” said Laird, noting the Society’s keen grasp of pertinent education issues including religious freedom, Catholic identity, student life, curriculum and academics.

“The Cardinal Newman Society is poised to be a leader in Catholic education at both the K-12 level and at the college-university level because it has over the years continued to use the rich history and tradition of the Catholic Church as a backdrop for moving forward into the future,” he said.

Pro-Abortion Presidential Candidate O’Malley Defends Planned Parenthood at Catholic College
Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley invoked his Catholic faith and defended his support for Planned Parenthood and legal abortion on Tuesday during a campaign stop at Loras College, a Catholic liberal arts college in Dubuque, Iowa. 

n a statement released yesterday to The Cardinal Newman Society, the College defended O’Malley’s presence on campus for a student-organized event while insisting that the candidate’s appearance “in no way constitutes an endorsement by the College” of his views. But Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly said the event compromised the College’s Catholic identity. 

Newman Society Reports From Rome: Analysis of Education Congress Working Document
The document, which remains to be discussed this week, is not without some potential problems. We’ll see how these develop over the next couple of days.

Among the challenges of the document are that there are no references to Scripture, and that it does not seem to have the same amount of footnoting or references to Christ as previous documents.

About 10,000 words, this document is the same size as the Vatican’s earlier document in 1977, The Catholic School. In that document there were 48 references and approximately 35 references to Christ or Jesus. In this current document as it is right now, we only have eight references and about five references specifically to Jesus.

Better Education of Church Teaching on Contraception Needed at Catholic Colleges
Educators at faithful Catholic colleges recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that students can greatly benefit from more thorough catechesis of Church teaching on contraception and human sexuality, which appears to be lacking at some Catholic colleges based on the statements and actions of students on campus. 

“Some students come to college with a strong Catholic formation, others are non-Catholic and still others have never given Church teaching on these issues a second thought,” Dr. Richard White, associate professor and chair of the theology department at Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “No matter where they’re coming from, students greatly benefit if the college has courses in the curriculum dedicated to addressing Church teaching on contraception and human sexuality.”

At World Congress in Rome, Newman Society Raises Common Core Concerns
When it comes to the “educational emergency” developing in the United States, it is essential that Catholic schools maintain a strong Catholic identity in “an era of nationalized curriculum” and relativism, Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs for The Cardinal Newman Society, said in an interview from Rome where he is attending the Vatican’s World Congress on education.

“Education is not just about skill development and it's not just about the quantification of abilities to make a buck. It really is about creating fully alive and fully functioning people,” Guernsey told Rome Reports, noting the insufficiency of a nationalized curriculum and standards for Catholic schools.

“The Common Core is this new set of state standards that's gone in throughout the United States. And they're very secularized, very utilitarian, very much based on college and career,” he said.

Vatican Envoy to Jesuits and Bishops: Reform Education
The Vatican ambassador’s message, delivered during Monday’s gathering of U.S. bishops in Baltimore, was crystal clear: place priority on the renewal of Catholic identity in Catholic education and restore the great legacy of Jesuit institutions.

It’s an appeal that should make every Catholic parent stand up and cheer! It certainly got our attention at The Cardinal Newman Society, where for 22 years we have urged greater support for faithful Catholic education and the end to scandal and dissent at many Catholic colleges.

When Pope Francis was elected, I openly wondered whether our Jesuit pope would acknowledge the elephant in the room: the open disregard for papal authority and doctrinal fidelity at many of America’s Jesuit colleges.

U.S. Bishops Elect Bishop Murry as New Education Committee Chair
Bishop George Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, Ohio, has been named the new chair for the Committee on Catholic Education by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at its general assembly in Baltimore this week, succeeding Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, Neb.

The Committee on Catholic Education guides the educational mission of the Church in the United States at all levels, including elementary, secondary, college and college campus ministry. The Committee also advocates for public policy which supports the teaching of the Church and the educational rights and responsibilities of parents.

Bishop Murry was elected over St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson, who is a canon lawyer and has been chair of the bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, in a final count of 132-106. Bishop Murry will serve as chairman-elect for one year before beginning a three-year term as chairman.

Scott Hahn: Studying Sacred Scripture of ‘Critical Importance’ for Catholic Schools and Colleges
Commenting on the 50th anniversary of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council’s dogmatic constitution on divine revelation, biblical scholar Dr. Scott Hahn told The Cardinal Newman Society that it is "of critical importance for Catholic schools and colleges to focus on teaching Sacred Scripture" in the classroom. 

"The power of the Word of God to transform our lives cannot happen, it cannot be realized, if people don't know [the Word]." said Hahn, the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, chair of biblical theology and the new evangelization at the Newman Guide-recommended Franciscan University of Steubenville. 

Papal Nuncio Calls Jesuit Educators to Re-Affirm Their Catholic Identity
In an address to U.S. bishops gathered in Baltimore this week, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò called on all Jesuits and their respective schools to show “respect to their great tradition” and take the lead in “re-affirming the Catholic identity of their educational institutions.”

“The Society of Jesus has had a long and proud tradition of imparting a rich Catholic faith and a deep love for Christ, which in great part is carried on through their mission of education,” Archbishop Viganò said in his opening address to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) general assembly. “It is my hope that, with respect to their great tradition, after the example of our Holy Father, they [the Jesuits] would take again the lead in re-affirming the Catholic identity of their educational institutions.”

Archbishop Viganò said these educational leaders need to “regain firm command of the helm of their institutions through the storms of the present times,” noting that their actions “must always be set by Christ, never allowing influence and wealth to dictate what might be an improper orientation for a Catholic school or university.”

Catholic Colleges Sponsor Chapters of Group Supporting Planned Parenthood
Emmanuel College in Boston recently joined a number of Catholic colleges across the country in officially sponsoring a chapter of Her Campus, an organization that supports contraception and recommends Planned Parenthood to students, despite the potential Catholic identity concerns of being linked in any way to America’s largest abortion provider. 

Any college student can apply to be a campus correspondent with Her Campus and establish remote chapters at their universities, but not all of those chapters get official recognition and funding from their respective universities. In Emmanuel College’s case, the Her Campus chapter “secured its position as an official club on campus” in October, according to the student newspaper The Hub.

Cardinal Burke: Marriage Catechesis Should Be Priority for Catholic Schools, Colleges
Sound catechesis on marriage is “a great, great responsibility” for Catholic schools and colleges, Cardinal Raymond Burke told a representative of The Cardinal Newman Society on Sunday following an address on “Sacred Liturgy and Holy Matrimony” in London, England.

Cardinal Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and ecclesiastical advisor to the Newman Society, was speaking at the annual conference of Centre International d’Etudes Liturgiques (CIEL) UK, a group dedicated to the study of sacred liturgy and its effects on the culture. Following his comments, the Cardinal was asked about the responsibility of Catholic schools and colleges to provide sound catechesis on marriage.

New HHS ‘Gender Identity’ Rule Could Impact Bathroom Use at Catholic Schools
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’
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 Social Scientists: Facts About Unborn Life are Clear, Defund Planned Parenthood
The Society of Catholic Social Scientists (SCSS) called for an end to federal funding of Planned Parenthood in a recent statement, with the group’s president urging other Catholic academic groups to follow suit, following the release of a series of undercover videos that shocked the public and led to investigations of America’s largest abortion business for potentially illegal activity.

The recent revelations of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the harvesting and selling of aborted baby organs and body parts “must finally awaken us to the horrific reality of the actions of this government-supported organization,” the SCSS statement read.

Dr. Stephen Krason, president of the SCSS and political science and legal studies professor at the Newman Guide-recommended Franciscan University of Steubenville, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about academic groups’ responsibility to speak out about such issues.

New Chicago Superintendent of Catholic Schools Puts Faithful Identity at Forefront of Mission
For the new superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, a faithful Catholic identity is the most important element of any Catholic school and should be given top priority.

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago announced Dr. Jim Rigg as the appointed superintendent of Catholic Schools for Chicago in August. Rigg, who began his new position in October, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about his plans for helping the archdiocese foster and nourish its schools and students.

“Our children are growing up in a world that is increasingly filled with confusing and conflicting messages,” he said.

Bishop Rhoades Challenges Insufficient Planned Parenthood Response from Saint Mary’s College
Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend in Indiana published a strong message this week criticizing the recent support for Planned Parenthood at Saint Mary’s College and the unsatisfactory response by the administration, insisting there’s no excuse for a positive portrayal of Planned Parenthood, “Just as we would be rightly scandalized to see a public display portraying a racist organization like the Ku Klux Klan in a positive light.”

“The actions taken by the students and faculty in support of Planned Parenthood illustrate that even at a Catholic college, there are those who cling to the conviction that Planned Parenthood is an organization dedicated to the well-being of women,” said Bishop Rhoades in hisofficial statement on the diocesan website. “While I do not doubt the sincerity of those who hold this view, I do challenge them to seriously re-examine for what this organization stands in light of our common humanity and our Catholic faith.”

College Presidents: Embracing Ex corde Ecclesiae Strengthened our Catholic Colleges and Identity
For the past 25 years, the principles of the Catholic Church’s apostolic constitution on higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, have been implemented with mixed success in the U.S., as evidenced by the many abuses of Catholic identity reported by The Cardinal Newman Society, but recent interviews with presidents of Newman Guide-recommended colleges confirm that those principles can be successfully implanted and reap tremendous benefits for the colleges and students when administrators embrace the document’s norms.

“Ex corde Ecclesiae continues to have a central importance in the world of Catholic higher education for it was issued by St. John Paul II who himself was a professor and educator deeply committed to an authentic vision of Christian education,” Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, president of Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., told the Newman Society.

“It is a clear and timely response to the secularization of so many Catholic colleges and universities who, in seeking to imitate their secular counterparts, impoverished the Church’s contribution to higher education,” he said.

Catholic College Denies Planned Parenthood Internship Credit, Others Linked to Abortion Giant
While some Catholic colleges suggest Planned Parenthood for internships and job opportunities, officials at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., denied academic credit to a student who secured a public affairs internship with a local Planned Parenthood, citing respect for the “basic tenets and beliefs of the Catholic Church” and the organization’s continued advocacy for the “murder” of living persons.

“One of [the Catholic Church's] most fundamental convictions is that abortion is sin and is murder of a living person,” said Karen Talentino, vice president of academic affairs at Saint Michael’s, “so given that we are a Catholic college, I think it makes sense that we would not form a formal relationship with an organization that not only performs abortions but is an advocate for continuing to perform abortions.”

New Website Helps Students Find Authentic Catholic Education at Univ. of Notre Dame
In response to numerous concerns from students and parents over the years about the quality of Catholic education at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame history professor Father Bill Miscamble, C.S.C., launched a new project this week,, that he told The Cardinal Newman Society will help students find professors supportive of the University’s Catholic mission and an authentic Catholic education.

“I want to encourage serious Catholic students to attend Notre Dame. But they should come here with a clear-headed recognition that they must be very intentional in choosing their teachers and courses,” Fr. Miscamble said. “If they do so, they will find an education that allows them to face deep questions of meaning and serves to deepen and enrich their Catholic faith.”

The website, which is in its beginning stages, features profiles of approximately 100 faculty in the College of Arts and Letters personally recommended by Fr. Miscamble for their supportof the University’s Catholic mission. Fr. Miscamble hopes to expand the website soon to include the faculty from the other colleges including business, science, engineering and architecture.

Focus on “Success” at Liberal Arts Colleges Shouldn't Exclude Virtue
A true liberal arts education has the responsibility to teach students wisdom and virtue, yet far too many liberal arts colleges get swept up in focusing on “success,” imparting to students elitist notions of worldly standards, said the former liberal arts dean of Mount St. Mary’s University in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Too often, colleges today shirk [their] authority” to impart wisdom, said Dr. Joshua Hochschild, who was the dean of the Mount’s College of Liberal Arts and is currently an associate professor of philosophy. “Instead of trying to shape and redirect the immature desires and interests of students, colleges submit to and try to satisfy those desires and interests.”

Hochschild explained that college education is “an odd business,” because although the college should aim to please its “customers,” or students, they must also bear in mind that “the customers, by definition, are asking a very fundamental question: what is worth being interested in?”

Catholic Educators, Not Just Little Sisters, Will Have Their Day in Court
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
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.

CUA President: Pray for Religious Freedom, “Only So Much Lawyers Can Do”
As a potential U.S. Supreme Court decision approaches on the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate impacting the religious freedom of Catholic colleges and The Cardinal Newman Society, the true future of religious freedom in the United States is in the hands of families and educators who take their faith seriously and pray, Catholic University of America President John Garvey told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“The future of religious liberty is in our own hands, and it’s going to survive or not depending on whether we think religion itself is important,” Garvey said. “There’s only so much that lawyers and academics can do to change the picture about religious freedom that we have in America.”

While lawyers are still important, the key to a successful defense of religious freedom will be found in those families and educators who make their faith important, stand up for their religious beliefs, understand the importance of faithful education and pray, Garvey stated.

Boston College Hosts Pro-Abortion Albright
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.”

World Congress on Education Participant Discusses Hopes, Expectations
A participant of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education’s upcoming “Educating Today and Tomorrow: A Renewing Passion” World Congress recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that the Congress will likely form solutions to real educational issues, and is a sign of the Church’s interest in renewing Catholic education across the globe.

Richard Greco is one of the educational leaders selected to participate in the World Congress and is also president of The Montfort Academy in Mount Vernon, N.Y., which is recognized as a School of Excellence on the Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll.

“The goal of Catholic education is to, first and foremost, help form souls and to help souls get to Heaven,” Greco told the Newman Society.

Planned Parenthood Event Moved Off Campus After Saint Louis Univ. President Steps In
On Tuesday, Saint Louis University joined the growing list of Catholic colleges dealing with support of Planned Parenthood on campus after concerns about a potentially scandalous event prompted University President Fred Pestello to intervene, leading to the event being moved off campus, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Saint Louis University (SLU) chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) was scheduled to host a “Myths, Truths and Facts: Planned Parenthood” forum at the University law school until contacted by President Pestello on Monday afternoon to ask for a meeting.

Planned Parenthood has been at the center of controversy following the release of undercover videos detailing its trafficking in aborted baby body parts, and The Cardinal Newman Society investigative report “A More Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood” detailing past and present relationships between the organization and Catholic colleges.

Educators: Common Core Standards Incompatible with Catholic Education
Administrators from Schools of Excellence on The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll recently told the Newman Society that Common Core State Standards pose a significant conflict to Catholic curricula, and found the standards severely wanting in crucial areas of faithful Catholic education such as intellectual and moral formation.

“Regardless of the standards employed, Catholic identity must be at the core of instruction and pedagogy, implemented by faithful administrators and teachers who understand the importance of their role in the formation of students,” Jamie Arthur, senior fellow and manager of the Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll, pointed out.

The Newman Society has documented numerous concerns about the controversial Common Core State Standards through its Catholic is Our Core program.

Fire Theologians, Not Columnists
There is more than irony in the recent attempt by several theologians to discredit New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, because he dared to write about the tragic confusion surrounding the Synod on the Family without having a theologian’s “professional qualifications.”

There is great desperation in the move — and hypocrisy.

The hypocrisy lies in the demand for credentials, when the field of theology is itself seriously lacking in that regard.

About half of Douthat’s critics are professors of theology at Catholic colleges and universities. Under canon law, they must have the mandatum, a recognition from their local bishop that they pledge to teach in fidelity to Catholic doctrine. But do they? At least a few seem to be headed in the opposite direction.

Common Core Architect to Keynote National Catholic Education Conference

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has announced that Common Core architect David Coleman will keynote the association’s annual convention next March in San Diego, Calif., raising anew concerns that the Catholic association remains devoted to the Common Core standards despite serious concerns about their impact on Catholic schools.

This comes soon after the NCEA’s assertion of a “new direction” including “more fulsome advocacy” and “serving as the national voice for Catholic schools,” a role that appears to subvert the leadership of Catholic bishops in advocating and representing diocesan schools. By its own count, more than 1,000 Catholic elementary and secondary schools in America are not represented among the NCEA’s membership.

Bishop, Students Fight for Pro-Life Message Following Planned Parenthood Display
Pro-life students and faculty at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana should be applauded for standing up for their pro-life views in the aftermath of a controversial Planned Parenthood display on campus, Fort Wayne – South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“I am grateful to the pro-life students and faculty at Saint Mary’s College who are standing up for the sacredness of human life and the true dignity of women,” said Bishop Rhoades. “All Catholic colleges are called to live faithfully their Catholic identity and mission, which includes a commitment to the sanctity of life and the true dignity of women. This necessarily includes opposition to Planned Parenthood and its callousness toward women and their unborn children.”

Newman College Ireland Finds Temporary Campus, Continues Evangelizing Mission
A new Catholic college in Ireland, founded on the educational principles of Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman, has procured a temporary campus in Northern Ireland and is beginning the work of evangelizing an increasingly secularized Irish people.

“As young people graduate from Newman College with a full knowledge of the Church and culture, having lived a life consistent with Catholic moral teaching for four years, they’re going to be the leaven in society in so many ways,” Nick Healy, co-founder of Newman College and former president of Newman Guide-recommended Ave Maria University, told The Cardinal Newman Society. “Some will become priests or religious, others professionals, mothers and fathers with good families — the faith naturally expands from there.”

Newman Guide Colleges Receive High Marks on Core Curriculum
A number of Catholic colleges and universities recommended in The Cardinal Newman Society’s The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College received high rankings from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) last month in their “What Will They Learn? 2015-16” report that rates colleges on having a “solid core curriculum” for general education.

“What Will They Learn?™ rates each college on how many of seven core subjects the institution (or, in many cases, the Arts & Sciences or Liberal Arts divisions) requires,” according to the report’s ratings criteria. “The subjects are: Composition, Literature, Foreign Language, U.S. Government or History, Economics, Mathematics, and Natural or Physical Science. The grade is based on a detailed examination of the latest publicly-available online course catalogs at the time of review.”

Catholic Education’s Challenge, 50 Years after Vatican II
Later this month, educational leaders from around the world, including representatives from The Cardinal Newman Society, will gather in Rome to mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissimum Educationis, and to reflect on the future of Catholic education. The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education has released an instrumentum laboris entitled Educating Today and Tomorrow: A Renewing Passion to help guide the presentations and discussions. Cardinal Newman Society participants will be reporting and reflecting upon the events from Rome.

At this moment it is good to reflect briefly on the seminal document Gravissimum Educationis, promulgated in 1965. The declaration covers a variety of topics including the importance of education generally for all men, the importance of schools, access to schools, the primary role of parents in education, moral education, types of Catholic schools, the importance of teachers and the need to coordinate educational efforts.

Faithful Catholic Colleges Lead K-12 Programs to Renewal, Says Scholar
Faithful Catholic colleges are producing a wave of strong Catholic schools across the country, signs of a growing renewal in Catholic education, Dr. Christopher Blum, professor and academic dean of the Augustine Institute, a Catholic graduate school and educational non-profit, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“For every one renewed Catholic or Christian college, there are dozens of schools and home-schooled cooperatives staffed by its graduates, men and women who have dedicated themselves to the high task of ordering their work by wisdom,” said Blum in his new book, Rejoicing in the Truth: Wisdom and the Educator’s Craft.

“It is an indisputable fact that where colleges and universities go, high schools and middle schools soon follow,” he said.

Administration Silent as University-Sponsored Paper Endorses Assisted Suicide, Abortion, Gay Marriage, Contraception
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.”

To the Critics of Douthat: Yes, We Want (Your) Credentials
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat is a faithful Catholic who often writes about the Church. His latest column regarding the controversial Synod on the Family in Rome, “The Plot to Change Catholicism,” was strongly criticized in a letter to the editor by more than 50 signers, many of them theologians from Catholic colleges and universities.

But rather than answer or challenge Douthat’s observations, the signers pouted that “Mr. Douthat has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject.” In other words, only elite intellectuals in the ivory tower are allowed to comment on the Church.  In other words, only elite intellectuals in the ivory tower are allowed to comment on the Church. 

It is a rich irony that most theologians at Catholic colleges refuse to tell students and parents whether they have obtained the mandatum.

New ‘Virtuous Leadership’ MBA Program Counters Crisis in Business Leadership
Catholic colleges have been concerned with the importance of virtue and character since the beginning of the university system, and this is what makes them best equipped to still form strong leaders today, University of Mary president Monsignor James Shea told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview about the launch of the University’s new Virtuous Leadership MBA program this week.

“We know that virtue is indeed something that is missing in American public life and business life. Our culture has become in some senses a breeder of ‘small-souled’ people,” said Msgr. Shea. The virtuous leader however “looks very different from many of those who aspire to or who are in positions of leadership today” because they place their character and greatness at the service of others, he said.

“Hold up any person who aspires to a position of leadership. Hold up a Donald Trump, hold up a Hilary Clinton, and then ask questions about greatness and humility. I think that’s almost an extraordinary litmus test,” Msgr. Shea pointed out.

Newman Society Marks 50th Anniversary of Gravissimum Educationis with Teacher Resource
The Cardinal Newman Society has released a new resource to help Catholic educators discuss and embrace Gravissimum Educationis, the Vatican II declaration on Catholic education, as the Church this week celebrates the declaration’s 50th anniversary.

"This is an exciting new tool for Catholic dioceses and schools to turn attention to one of the Church’s most important but lesser-known documents of the Second Vatican Council, while forming faculty to know and love the authentic mission of Catholic education,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society.

The Newman Society has made the resource publicly available online.

Faculty, Students Bolster Pro-Life Efforts at Notre Dame Despite HHS Mandate Policy
With the University’s lawsuit against the contraception mandate of the Obama administration still unsettled, temporarily allowing contraception and abortifacient coverage in campus health plans, students and faculty at University of Notre Dame told The Cardinal Newman Society there was a renewed focus on pro-life efforts on campus, which they agreed are increasingly important for a strong Catholic identity.

“Of course there is disappointment among pro-life faculty at the decision of the Notre Dame administration to include contraception in the University's health insurance coverage. But that does not discourage us in our continuing efforts to build a pro-life culture here at the University,” Father Bill Miscamble, CSC, professor of history and president of the University Faculty for Life chapter at Notre Dame, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Dominican Friars Supported in Vocations, Spiritual Formation at Newman Guide Colleges
Friars from the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in Washington, D.C., recently shared their vocation stories with The Cardinal Newman Society and credited much of their spiritual growth and vocational assistance to institutions recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

In recent months, The Cardinal Newman Society has reported on several religious orders with members who graduated from Newman Guide colleges, including the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, the Sisters of Life and the Benedictine Monks of Norcia. Their testimonies indicate that the importance of faithful Catholic education cannot be overstated in producing vocations and moral formation among young people from all walks of life.

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