Saturday, October 10, 2015

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The Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic Education News Wire

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Special Report: Engineering Programs Flourish at Faithful Catholic Colleges
The expansion of faithful Catholic higher education and the growing options for Catholic families are evidenced in the successful and emerging engineering programs at several colleges recommended in The Cardinal Newman Society’s Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

So we decided to take a closer look at these high-demand engineering programs and how they fit with a solid liberal arts formation. We also spoke with several educators at the colleges to learn more about their respective programs and the benefits of pursuing a degree in engineering at a faithful college.

There can be many tough decisions when selecting a college, but having to choose between faithful Catholic education and a degree in engineering should not be one of them, the educators agreed.

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

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

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

Independent Catholic Schools Association Celebrates 20 Years
The National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS), which promotes faithful Catholic education among its members, celebrated its 20th anniversary this past year. The organization has thrived over the past two decades through its commitment to connecting independent schools across the world and offering support. 

“Our schools share a common vision and mission, which is the salvation of souls and academic excellence,” said Eileen Cubanski, executive director of NAPCIS, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “Every decision our schools make is focused on those two goals.”

“Twenty years ago, we saw the number of Catholic homeschooling families and Catholic independent schools growing exponentially,” Cubanski explained. These schools had unique visions for inculcating the Catholic faith to respond to the growing interest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Louis Joliet Society Advocates Catholic Renewal at Marquette University
A group of concerned alumni, parents and associates are pushing for Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., to renew its commitment to Catholic identity after numerous scandals in recent years. The Louis Joliet Society exposes events at Marquette that endanger its Catholic identity, and the group hopes its efforts will spur change and renewal at the Jesuit institution.

The Louis Joliet Society aims to “reignite a genuine reverence for the Catholic intellectual tradition the University was founded to advance, bring clarity to the concept of true Catholic identity and communicate why it is so critical that Marquette sustain this identity in our increasingly secular world,” said Mary Jarvis, a founding member of the group, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

The Newman Society has reported multiple issues and scandals at Marquette University over the years.

Sisters of Life Praise Faithful, Pro-Life Catholic Colleges for Nourishing Vocations
A faithful Catholic college’s influence on its students can yield extraordinary fruits, in particular, the knowledge and passion to pursue one’s vocation to religious life—and in the case of a student called to the Sisters of Life, a strong pro-life focus is especially important. That’s what two of the Sisters of Life who graduated from colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College recently told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Sister Agnus Dei, a 2006 alumna of The Catholic University of America (CUA), and Sister Mary Louise Concepta, a 1999 alumna of Franciscan University of Steubenville, shared how their college educations helped form their spiritual lives and nourish their religious vocations.

Notre Dame Theologian Moss Attacks Pope Francis Again with Outrageous Claim
Just before Pope Francis visited the United States last week, Notre Dame theologian Candida Moss took the opportunity to attack the Holy Father with the unfounded claim that he “alienates” sterile women.

The professor of biblical studies and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame has earned a reputation for outrageous claims. In 2013, she wrote and heavily promoted a book claiming that early Christian martyrdom stories were exaggerated to combat heresy centuries later. Last year, she launched a new attack claiming that the Church makes life “impossible” for infertile women, accusing Pope Francis of a chauvinistic approach to women and criticizing the Holy Father for his stern warnings against gender theory—again, for the purpose of promoting a book, Reconceiving Infertility.

Last week, Moss co-wrote an article with Yale professor Joel Baden at The Daily Beast, criticizing Pope Francis for urging married couples to welcome children into their families.

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

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

Pope Francis Visit to Little Sisters ‘Huge Boon’ to Catholic Educators
Pope Francis’ unscheduled visit with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, D.C., is an enormous benefit to faithful Catholic educators who are struggling for religious freedom and depending on the Little Sisters’ case, says Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly.

“What a huge boon to Catholic educators who yearn for relief from the Obama administration’s HHS mandate and protection of their First Amendment rights. This brings attention to the case that represents not only the Little Sisters but so many of us whose rights are denied,” said Reilly.

While the stop was not on the Holy Father’s scheduled itinerary for Wednesday, the Vatican confirmed the significance of the visit and the Holy Father’s continued push for religious freedom.

Catholic Colleges Ideal Fit for ‘New Evangelization,’ Scholars Agree
There is no better place for the mission of the Catholic Church to flourish than in faithful Catholic colleges, according to scholars presenting at The Fidelity and Freedom Symposium at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.

Franciscan University hosted the symposium over the weekend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Church’s constitution on higher education issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990. Speakers included Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, University president Father Sean Sheridan, TOR, and theologian Dr. Scott Hahn, who all agreed that faithful Catholic colleges are a vital and fitting place for the mission of the Church and the New Evangelization.

“I would propose that there is perhaps no other institution within the Church as perfectly suited to advance the Church’s mission of the New Evangelization as a Catholic university,” said Dr. Hahn, the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Professor of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University. A Catholic education “is not just to get a major, and then a diploma and then a job. It’s to develop nothing less than a Catholic worldview.”

Dissident Theologian Blasts Catholic Teaching Prior to Sacred Heart University Lectures
Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., has announced an October lecture series featuring Tina Beattie, a feminist theologian who attacked Catholic teaching during Saturday’s Women’s Ordination Worldwide conference. Beattie has publicly dissented against Church teaching on issues including abortion, same-sex marriage and women’s ordination.

The Curtis Lectures at Sacred Heart will take place from October 13-15 and are organized by Michael Higgins, the University’s vice president for mission and Catholic identity, who was previously president of two Canadian Catholic institutions: St. Thomas University in New Brunswick and St. Jerome’s University in Ontario. Beattie will speak on three topics during the series: “Creations and Creatures,” “Human Dignity and Women’s Rights and Maternal Ethics” and “Sacramentality and the New Creation,” according to a University press release.

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

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

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

Students from Faithful Catholic Colleges Attend, Serve at Papal Events
Several colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College have sent students and staff to Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia to attend events surrounding the visit of Pope Francis to the United States.

Today Pope Francis-watchers gather at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., which has eagerly anticipated the Holy Father’s visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, adjacent to the University. More than 500 students participated in community service activities as part of the University’s “Serve with Francis Day” on September 13. Many academic lectures and discussions have also revolved around Pope Francis’ call to service.

CUA’s School of Architecture and Planning elected two students todesign the altar for today’s papal Mass in the Basilica. And “[t]he liturgical committee is in high gear at the Basilica, preparing the altar, hanging the crucifix, and preparing tens of thousands of communion wafers,” the University reported yesterday.

Faithfulness of Catholic Colleges Should Be Defining Difference, Says Franciscan University President
Catholic colleges will prove their faithfulness and strong Catholic identity by embracing what the Church has asked of them, according to Father Sean Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Yet other Catholic colleges are floundering in their Catholic identity largely due to their failure to recognize the gift and wisdom of Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Church’s constitution on Catholic higher education.

Franciscan University hosted a symposium over the weekend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae, issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990. Fr. Sheridan’s presentation, titled “Embracing the Gift of Ex corde Ecclesiae to Challenge the Culture,” discussed the document as a “roadmap” that should be embraced by all Catholic colleges as evidence of their faithfulness and proud Catholic identity.

“We as a Catholic institution are supposed to be different than the secular institution down the road. We are supposed to be known for who we are, our identity as Catholic, as faithful in the way in which we present the academic endeavors in which we engage,” Fr. Sheridan said. “Catholic ideals ought to permeate all activities of a Catholic university.”

Why Do Colleges Require the Oath of Fidelity?
At the beginning of a new school year, professors at some of America’s most faithfully Catholic colleges take the Vatican’s Oath of Fidelity to protect against scandal and fortify the colleges’ Catholic identity. It stands in stark contrast to the infidelity and confusion emanating from some other Catholic campuses.

Some colleges—like Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo.—ask all faculty members to take the Oath. At least another 14 Catholic colleges require the Oath from their theology professors, and The Catholic University of America (CUA) requires theology professors to have the “canonical mission,” which is necessary for granting pontifical degrees.

But still, among nearly 200 Catholic colleges in the United States, 17 is a minority.  What inspires these uncommon colleges to require the Oath, and are there any real benefits?

“Theology faculty are asked to the take the Oath of Fidelity, so that they become mindful of the fact that they are witnessing, studying, teaching and handing down truth of which they are not the author,” said Dr. Mark Zia, associate professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “Jesus Christ forever remains the Teacher, and both professor and students are his pupils as they respectfully probe the mysteries of salvation.”

Newman Guide Colleges Rated ‘Best Buys’ in 2015 Rankings
Colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for their strong Catholic identities and academics also rank well in leading secular guides, including the 2015 editions from USA Today and U.S. News and World Report. The publications look at factors such as affordability, freshman retention rates, student loan default rates and student-to-teacher ratios.

“These rankings prove that students can opt for strong, faithful Catholic colleges without sacrificing secular prestige,” said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide.

“But we caution against placing too much importance on rankings that ignore the most important elements of a truly good education—elements that are the primary criteria forThe Newman Guide,” Wilson added. “All things considered, we believe The Newman Guide colleges are superior to all other options, because of their holistic approach to academics and the integration of faith in their studies and campus life.”

Children Need ‘Spiritual Game Plan’ for College, Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
College can be a turbulent time for young men and women, and therefore parents need to do everything within their power to form their children in the faith and send them off to college with a ‘spiritual game plan,’ said Catholic evangelist Curtis Martin in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society leading up to his presentation at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next week.

Martin is the founder and CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), a Catholic missionary organization with more than 450 missionaries serving on more than 110 college campuses across the country. FOCUS utilizes small-group Bible studies, large-group events and one-on-one mentorship to help students discover and deepen their personal relationships with Christ and the Church, equipping them to be lifelong Catholics who transform the culture for Christ. Martin will present on the topic, “What’s ‘New’ About the New Evangelization.”

“I would say that it's absolutely essential for parents to do all they can to form their children in the Catholic faith,” Martin said. “But, to send your child to a university, Catholic or secular, without a spiritual game plan, is to play spiritual Russian roulette with their soul.”

Catholic Scholar Weigel Calls for Repairs to ‘Deficit’ in Catholic Higher Education
The modern Catholic college exists to form and equip students to be missionary disciples and therefore can no longer ignore its responsibility to care for the moral and spiritual well-being of students, according to acclaimed author and theologian George Weigel.

Weigel, author of the Saint John Paul II biography Witness to Hope and distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., gave this year’s opening lecture at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., during which he addressed the responsibility that Catholic colleges have to faithfully fulfill their mission and purpose.

“The Catholic college and university of the 21st century and the third millennium exists to equip disciples for mission. It exists to deepen the human and intellectual formation of witnesses to Christ,” Weigel told The Cardinal Newman Society in a separate interview. Catholic higher education must be world-transforming, he said.

New Book Goes Back to the Basics of Authentic Catholic Education
A new primer on Catholic education will help Catholic educators better understand the Catholic intellectual tradition and build a foundation for morally forming students. The book, Renewing the Mind: A Reader in the Philosophy of Catholic Education, is written by Dr. Ryan Topping, who spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society on how his book will benefit Catholic education.

“It’s no secret that Catholic schools have suffered in recent years in North America, and in most other places,” said Topping, who is also a fellow at The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H. “One way we can rebuild is by helping parents and teachers deepen their understanding of the principles that support their practice.” He hopes that Renewing the Mind “in due time will become a standard text in Catholic teacher-training programs and courses in the philosophy of education across the English speaking world.”

Topping’s book has come at a time when Catholic education is being renewed to better integrate students’ moral and spiritual formation with their academic formation. The sources and works which his reader highlights are directed toward this integration.

Spiritual Formation Needed at Catholic Colleges, Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
Catholic colleges need to reconnect with the spiritual and moral roots that once made their education so unique, said Father Dempsey Rosales Acosta in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society leading up to his presentation at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Fr. Dempsey, who is an assistant professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, will present on the topic “Lectio Divina: Praying with Scripture to Connect with the Living God.” His talk will focus on the essential need for prayer within family life—but prayer and a vibrant spiritual life are also needed in higher education, and the World Meeting will be a prime opportunity to remind both families and colleges of this great need, he said.

“To conceive of prayer as an element disconnected or outside of Catholic education at any level would be a grievous mistake. The living connection with God through prayer is what actually gives us the proper reason for everything that we learn and do,” said Fr. Dempsey.

Catholic Colleges Praised for Supporting Pregnant Students
Catholic colleges dominate a new list of the “best colleges for pregnant and parenting students,” according to a report released today by Students for Life of America (SFLA). 

“Catholic universities are the majority on this list, because they are living out the teachings of the Church, making their campuses friendly to students who are pregnant and parenting and helping them to accept new life and move forward with their education,” said SFLA President Kristan Hawkins in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “Children are blessings no matter the circumstances that they may have been conceived under,” she said, “and they deserve every chance at life as anyone else.”

Beth Rahal coordinates SFLA’s Pregnant on Campus Initiative, which works to make campuses more accessible and supportive to pregnant women and parents. “We are happy to see so many Catholic colleges and universities on this list,” she told the Newman Society. “They are shining examples of creative ways to change the culture on campuses to welcome and support women in unplanned pregnancies. This is what being pro-life looks like—helping women and their babies.”

Dominican Sisters Credit Newman Guide Colleges in Preparing for Religious Vocations
In Nashville, Tenn., you can hear more than country music—you can hear appreciation for faithful Catholic colleges emanating from the convent of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, who responded to an exclusive Cardinal Newman Society interview published yesterday at Aleteia.

Several of the sisters credited Newman Guide-recommended colleges for helping lead them to their religious vocations, according to the article by the Newman Society’s Kimberly Scharfenberger, titled “From Campus to Convent, Sisters Grateful for Catholic Education.”

The Sisters of St. Cecilia is a Dominican teaching order based in Nashville. The sisters shared how Catholic education played a vital role in leading them to religious life. In particular, they were impacted by the unique opportunities only a Catholic college could provide: a strong foundation in theology and philosophy, encouragement in the spiritual life and positive exposure to various religious orders.

Theology Sets Faithful Catholic Colleges Apart from Secular Education, Say Scholars
Even as students and alumni anxiously await the outcome of the University of Notre Dame’s ten-year curriculum review, amid fears that required theology courses might be reduced, representatives of faithful Catholic colleges in The Newman Guide say that it is theology that sets a Catholic college apart from its secular counterparts.

 “Since theology is the discipline that has been tasked with leading us into greater knowledge and love of God, it would be absurd to omit this most important study in a four-year curriculum at a Catholic institution,” Dr. Mark Zia, associate professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., told The Cardinal Newman Society. “A ‘religious studies’ department is not enough; only a theology department will suffice.”

The Church’s constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990, states that the study of theology “plays a particularly important role” at Catholic colleges and “serves all other disciplines in their search for meaning.” Ex corde Ecclesiae encourages a strong theological curriculum and even requires every Catholic college to “have a faculty, or at least a chair, of theology” in order to help ensure fidelity to Catholic teaching at the college.

Seven Catholic Colleges Remove Planned Parenthood Links Following Newman Society Report
Seven Catholic colleges have responded to a Cardinal Newman Society report by removing or editing website pages that indicated links between the colleges and Planned Parenthood. But more than three weeks after the report exposed scandalous associations with the nation’s largest abortion provider, most other colleges cited in the report have taken no action to correct the problem. 

“We communicated with each of the colleges and urged them to dissolve any relationship with Planned Parenthood,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “The colleges that did take action deserve our gratitude, and we pray that they will take steps to prevent such problems in the future.” 

Prompted by the recent videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s abhorrent practices, the Newman Society’s report, A More Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood, identified 63 connections between 27 Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood since May 2011.

Catholic Education Begins with Family, Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
Catholic families are the first and best educators of their children when it comes to issues of marriage and family, and they have the opportunity to lay a strong Catholic foundation upon which Catholic schools and colleges can build, said Christendom College president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society in advance of his address to the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

O’Donnell, who was appointed by Saint John Paul II as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family, will speak at the World Meeting on the topic, “Rebuild My Church… and Start from the Foundation: Living as ‘Domestic Church.’” He will focus on the challenges of Christian marriage and family and the central role that the family plays in the evangelization of the modern world.

“Catholic education has to start very early,” said O’Donnell. “It shouldn’t just be at college. It should start in the home through mom and dad.”

Holy Angel University in Philippines Sets Example on Mandatum, Catholic Identity
In a public ceremony held last week at Holy Angel University in Angeles City, Philippines, theology professors took the Oath of Fidelity in the presence of Archbishop Florentino Lavarias and received the mandatum, setting an example for other universities in the largely Catholic country and around the world.

At the ceremony, University President Dr. Luis Maria Calingo expressed his hope that others would replicate its public action, in which Holy Angel joined the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila in declaring conformity to the 1990 apostolic constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae.

“We hope that more Catholic colleges and universities in the Philippines would follow our lead and do the same,” he said.

Catholic Education ‘Antidote to Hook-up Culture,’ Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
Catholic colleges have the opportunity and crucial responsibility to help students embrace a life of virtue, by providing a faithful liberal arts curriculum that is the perfect counter to the “hook-up culture” and environment of “casual sex” that has become stereotypical of modern college campuses, according to World Meeting of Families speaker Erika Bachiochi.

The Cardinal Newman Society interviewed Bachiochi, a legal scholar specializing in Catholic sexual ethics and Catholic social teaching who will give a presentation titled “No Strings Attached? Responding to the ‘Hook-up’ Culture” at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The author of Women, Sex and the Church: A Case for Catholic Teaching and a regular contributor to the Mirror of Justice blog has been described by papal biographer George Weigel as “one of the intellectual leaders of the new Catholic feminism in the United States.”

“The best education a Catholic college can offer is one that is robustly dedicated to the liberal arts tradition,” she said. “This sort of classical training in faith, intellect, will and desire provides both the structure and content for the development of the virtues needed for living a life of sexual integrity.”

Pope Francis Will Find U.S. Catholic Education Struggling, But Many Signs of Hope
When Pope Francis arrives in the United States on September 22, he will find Catholic education not only in a crisis of truth and faith but also fighting for survival, Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly writes in a special issue from Inside The Vatican commemorating the Holy Father’s upcoming visit.

However, the renewal begun by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, is already taking hold in America and offers a new sense of hope for those who desire authentic and faithful Catholic education, Reilly explains.

In his article, “The ‘Crisis of Truth’ (and the Renewal) in American Catholic Education,” Reilly details the struggles in Catholic schools and colleges and the response needed to restore faithful education.

New Education Major at Belmont Abbey College Focuses on Moral Formation
A new major at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., will prepare aspiring Catholic school teachers to guide students in moral formation, first and foremost. The Catholic Educational Studies major is distinct from the College’s Elementary Education major, as it focuses specifically on students who want to teach in a Catholic setting, explained the program’s director, Dr. Laura Campbell, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Campbell said that the major’s focus on Catholic spiritual formation is necessary in today’s educational world. “Students who desire to teach in a Catholic middle or secondary school or in a Catholic parish need to learn about the mission and vision of Catholic education,” she said. “It is not enough to have attended Catholic schools.”

Facing Supreme Court Decision, Thomas Aquinas College Refuses to Compromise Catholic Beliefs
Last week, Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif., appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for relief from the “HHS Mandate” with The Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. But should the Court fail to protect their religious freedom, TAC President Dr. Michael F. McLean told The Cardinal Newman Society that his faithful college is prepared to pay significant fines rather than violate its beliefs.

In an interview with the Newman Society, McLean discussed the pressing need for religious freedom from the sterilization and contraceptive mandate, especially for Catholic colleges that wish to maintain their sincerely held religious beliefs.

On August 25, attorneys for TAC submitted a brief to the Supreme Court, urging the Court to take up the College’s case and refuting the government’s latest arguments against exempting the College from the federal mandate. The College explained why it should be exempted from the HHS mandate and any government requirements that would compel it to go against its Catholic identity and mission by facilitating free contraceptive, abortifacient and sterilization coverage for its employees.

Classroom Ethics: Are Planned Parenthood Videos Morally OK?
A debate among pro-life advocates over the ethics of undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted babies’ body parts is the sort of discussion that college students need to have today, says a prominent moral theologian.

The organization behind the videos—The Center for Medical Progress (CMP)—has faced criticism by pro-life legal scholar Robert George, who reportedly accused the group in a Facebook post of “Telling lies to gain access to Planned Parenthood.” But some moral theologians at Catholic colleges defend the practice, even while acknowledging the moral complexity.

While this topic is undoubtedly “difficult,” it is nevertheless “very important for people to think about,” said Dr. Janet Smith, professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. She said that it is crucial for students to wrestle with topics such as this at the college level, even though there may not be agreement on the answers.

Manhattan College Faculty Do Not Preserve Religious Environment, Government Finds
The trickle-down effect of Catholic identity concerns and unconstitutional oversight from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reared its ugly head at yet another Catholic college, with the latest ruling stating that adjunct faculty at Manhattan College do not perform a specific religious function within the institution.

As has been the case with other NLRB rulings against Catholic colleges, the regional Board’s recent unconstitutional interference into the affairs of several Catholic colleges has exposed Catholic identity concerns. This week, the NLRB upheld its decision that Manhattan College is not exempt from federal oversight, noting that the hiring and interview practices fall well short in maintaining a Catholic environment.

Newman Society, Pro-Life Leaders Demand Attention to Planned Parenthood Scandal
Following the release of an investigative report exposing outrageous ties between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood, The Cardinal Newman Society has joined with pro-life leaders to demand media coverage of Planned Parenthood’s horrific practices.

Brent Bozell, president of Media Research Center and a member of the Newman Society’s board of directors, organized the joint letter to network news chiefs at ABC, CBS and NBC. “Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business and targets college students and other young adults, luring them into the Culture of Death,” said Newman Society President Patrick Reilly, who signed the letter.  “Americans need to know what their tax dollars and even some Catholic institutions are supporting.”

Other leaders listed among the 28 signers include Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Lila Rose of Live Action, John-Henry Westen of, Steven Ertelt of, and Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition.

Archbishop Cordileone Thanks Newman Society, Supporters for Letters
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone recently sent a letter of thanks to The Cardinal Newman Society and all of the supporters who wrote him in April and May, encouraging his efforts to improve the Catholic identity of schools under the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

“The words of support and assurance of prayers humbled me greatly,” the Archbishop wrote in the letter. “Over the past number of months, I have become aware that people, both nationally and internationally, understand and appreciate the importance of my work, especially in regards to the Catholicity of our high schools.”

Earlier in the year, the Newman Society invited and collected more than 7,300 notes from more than 27 countries to deliver to Archbishop Cordileone, so he would know of faithful Catholics’ continued support for his efforts. 

Catholic Educators Depend on Supreme Court Appeal Challenging HHS Mandate
A last-ditch appeal by the Little Sisters of the Poor to the Supreme Court for relief from the Obama administration’s “HHS Mandate” is also of great importance to many Catholic educators and The Cardinal Newman Society, which like the Sisters are participants in a unique Catholic health care trust that lies at the center of the case.

In addition to the Newman Society, the case involves Catholic schools and colleges including Iona College, Lewis University, Manhattan College and Belmont Abbey College, a faithfully Catholic institution that is recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

Last Friday, the Christian Brothers Health Benefits Trust was granted temporary relief by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to continue providing morally sound health insurance until the Supreme Court rules on the Trust’s lawsuit with the Little Sisters. The Trust and the Sisters had been granted an injunction by the Supreme Court in 2013 pending a new hearing in the Tenth Circuit, but was then denied reliefby the appeals court last month. The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Catholic Colleges Should Aspire to Faithfulness, Not Prestige, Says Newman Guide Editor
Catholic colleges need to be concerned with the Church’s standards of excellence rather than the standards of prestige set forth by their secular counterparts, argues The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, director of communications and managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

His comments echo the arguments of George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and biographer of Saint John Paul II, who recently argued at First Things that the University of Notre Dame and other Catholic colleges need to stop looking to prominent secular colleges in the Ivy League as models of higher education.

“Catholic colleges don’t need to reinvent the wheel or look to the Ivy Leagues as an example of excellence,” argues Wilson. “The Church has already provided fundamental standards to help them fulfill their Catholic mission. Being Catholic is not an obstacle to excellence or prestige; in fact, being faithfully Catholic is precisely why many colleges are exceptional.”

Archbishop Cordileone’s Teacher Contract Successfully Affirms Catholic Values, Says Newman Society Expert
After months of harassment and nasty criticism by opponents of Catholic moral teaching—including dissident groups like Call to Action, politicians, and even many Catholic school teachers—Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has successfully reached a contract agreement with high school teachers in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

While the contract language is not as strong as many other diocesan employment documents, Archbishop Cordileone prevailed in expressing the important moral responsibilities that teachers must accept while working at a Catholic school, says Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs for The Cardinal Newman Society.

In his recent piece for Crisis Magazine, Guernsey praised Archbishop Cordileone for his “shepherd’s heart” in “moving his flock closer to the heart of the Church and the loving heart of our Savior dwelling within.” Guernsey evaluates the new preamble to the Archdiocese’s updated employment documents, finding much that is commendable but also room for improvement in future contracts.

World Meeting of Families Speaker Urges Faithful Catholic Education
Faithful Catholic education is essential to reclaiming a true understanding of marriage and human sexuality and renewing family life in the United States, according to Dr. John Grabowski, associate professor of moral theology and ethics at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C.

Grabowski will speak on virtue at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, when the Holy Father visits in September. He has taught moral theology at CUA since 1991, was appointed with his wife to the Pontifical Council for the Family by Pope Benedict XVI, and was recently chosen by Pope Francis to be part of the Synod on the Family in October.

“Education in a Catholic sense always has to be about more than passing on information, it has to be about formation of the person in the life of faith in the life of the Christian community,” said Grabowski. “That means we have to be concerned about how are we forming people in virtue and not simply giving them information and preparing them for careers.”

CUA Promotes Marriage, Family Life in Advance of Pope’s Visit
When Pope Francis visits The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., next month on his way to the World Meeting of Families, he will find a university striving like other faithful colleges to teach Catholic wisdom about marriage and sexuality in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and confronted by a highly secular society that rejects Catholic values.

Father Jude DeAngelo, OFM, chaplain and director of campus ministry at CUA, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society and discussed the importance of the University’s outreach to students who may be confused in today’s society.

Fr. DeAngelo said that the social issues raised by the Supreme Court decision “are best addressed by the life-giving message of the Gospel through our preaching” and personal ministry to students. “Our chaplains and campus ministers seek out students who have rejected the Church’s teaching and practice for any reason and try to establish supportive relationships,” said Fr. DeAngelo.

Jesuit University’s Faculty Not Held to Religious Standards, Government Finds
The chain of events stemming from the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) unconstitutional oversight of Catholic colleges has taken a predictable turn, with the latest ruling stating that professors at Seattle University do not perform a religious function within the Jesuit university.

As has been the case with other NLRB rulings against Catholic colleges, the regional Board’s recent unconstitutional interference into the affairs of Seattle University has exposed Catholic identity concerns. This week, the NLRB upheld its decision that the University is not exempt from federal oversight.

“Traditional assumptions about religious freedom in our country are quickly eroding,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Strong Catholic identity is now the surest safeguard of this fundamental liberty for Catholic colleges and schools. Those institutions that have sold their religious mission down the river for decades now find themselves in a tight spot, but faithful Catholic colleges and schools have the surest footing to protect their freedom.”

Catholic Colleges Must Take Steps to Instill Pro-Life Values on Campus
Tacit acceptance of abortion is being fostered even at some Catholic colleges, as evidenced by The Cardinal Newman Society’s recent report exposing connections between Planned Parenthood and many Catholic colleges. Given the influence Catholic colleges have over students, these institutions need to take the opportunity to instill pro-life values in students, leaders from pro-life campus organizations told the Society.

“It should come naturally to Catholic colleges to support pro-life groups, enabling them to witness to the Church’s teaching on the grave immorality of abortion as well as being a resource for pregnant and parenting students on campus,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America (SFLA), said.

It is imperative for Catholic colleges to spread the pro-life message, as 46% of abortions are performed on college-aged women and “more than 70% of women getting abortions report some kind of religious faith,” Hawkins reported. Additionally, SFLA has found that “79% of Planned Parenthoods are located within 5 miles of a college campus.”

Newman Society Report Reveals Planned Parenthood Ties to Catholic Colleges
The Cardinal Newman Society has published a new report exposing engagement between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood, calling on Catholic educators to dissolve any associations with the nation’s largest abortion business and to teach students about the dignity of every human life. 

Prompted by the recent videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s abhorrent practices, including the harvesting and selling of aborted baby body parts, reporters Justin Petrisek and Kimberly Scharfenberger searched Catholic college websites for connections to the abortion giant. The results prove that Planned Parenthood is still a corruptive and powerful force, even on Catholic campuses that claim to uphold Catholic values. 

The report, A More Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood, was summarized in a Crisis Magazine article this week by Petrisek and Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. Several media outlets and Catholic websites have picked up the story, including New Oxford Review,, Fr. Z’s Blog, Townhall, New Advent, Church Militant and Spirit Daily.

Catholic University of America to Welcome Pope to Campus for Third Time
Next month, the Holy Father will come to the nation’s capital to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception adjacent to The Catholic University of America (CUA). This is the third time that the University has had the privilege of welcoming a pope.

“We are overjoyed that Pope Francis will not only be coming to Washington but will be on the campus of our pontifical University,” President Garvey said on CUA’s website. “I know that it will be a great thrill for our students, faculty, and staff to see the Holy Father and to know that as he looks out over the congregation during the Mass, he will also be seeing the pathways and buildings that members of our community frequent every day on their way to and from class.”

Pope Francis’ impending visit marks an ideal opportunity to reflect on the last papal visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In 2008, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visited CUA and presented an address to administrators and educators on the importance of Catholic education.

Gates Foundation Gave $1.2 Million to Loyola Marymount for Common Core Events
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a day of Common Core pep rallies across California last month, including a $1.2 million grant to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles. Both LMU and St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, hosted events to get educators excited about the controversial school standards embraced by many public and Catholic schools.

The Loyola Marymount and St. Mary’s College rallies on July 31, titled “Better Together: California Teachers Summit,” were among 33 coordinated events across the state involving more than 15,000 teachers. They gathered to share best practices and learn how to implement Common Core standards in their schools, amid a lot of glitz and glamor—including video presentations from Harrison Ford, John Hamm and Meryl Streep.

The Summit was not only for public school teachers, and at least some Catholic school teachers were present, according to EdSource.

Ex Corde Ecclesiae a Roadmap for Catholic College Renewal, Says Franciscan Univ. President
If Catholic universities truly wish to change the culture, they must embrace the roadmap laid out for them by Saint John Paul II in Ex corde Ecclesiae, said Franciscan University of Steubenville president Father Sean Sheridan, T.O.R., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Franciscan University will host a symposium in September to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Church’s constitution on Catholic higher education issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990. Fr. Sheridan’s presentation is titled “Embracing the Gift of Ex corde Ecclesiae to Challenge the Culture.”

“If Ex corde Ecclesiae is embraced as a roadmap for guiding Catholic universities for mission, as it was intended to be, the gift of Ex corde to Catholic universities and the Church becomes evident,” Fr. Sheridan told the Newman Society.

Atheist Clubs Don’t Belong at Catholic Colleges, Experts Say
As Christian affiliation and Church attendance among young peoplecontinue to decline, Catholic colleges have a unique opportunity to evangelize students on campus and ensure that the Catholic faith is fostered in every student. Yet several Catholic colleges have official student organizations dedicated to atheism or “freethinking,” despite the dangers that such groups might present to students’ faith.

Dr. Douglas Flippen, professor and chairman of philosophy at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., told The Cardinal Newman Society that such clubs conflict with a college’s Catholic identity.

“Any Catholic college or university which admits atheists among its members who have no interest in gaining a Catholic vision of reality, and then allows them to form communities of atheists within the larger community, has simply abandoned the common good peculiar to itself,” Flippen said.

Academia Desperately Needs Faithful Catholic Teaching, Argues Acclaimed Sociologist
The academic world needs faithful Catholic teaching now more than ever, especially as colleges become firmly entrenched in mainstream secularization, Father Paul Sullins recently told The Cardinal Newman Society. This October, Fr. Sullins will receive an award for his contributions to social science at the Society of Catholic Social Scientists’ (SCSS) annual conference, which shares and produces faithful Catholic scholarship to evangelize the culture. 

“The Catholic academy today is largely secular, with only a nominal connection to the Catholic faith, with the result that serious, faithful Catholic professors often feel isolated and face significant professional and institutional headwinds in their careers,” Fr. Sullins, who is an emeritus professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America, explained. 

This year, the conference will be held at Newman Guide-recommended Franciscan University of Steubenville, which is also the home turf of the SCSS. “Our purpose is to bring Catholic scholarship and social science to the cause of evangelization,” Dr. Stephen Krason, president of the SCSS and political science and legal studies professor at Franciscan University, told the Newman Society.

Faithful Catholic Schools Depend on Faithful Teacher Prep., Says U. Dallas Education Chair
If faithful Catholic schools are to survive, there needs to be faithful teacher training programs to prepare the next generation of Catholic educators, argued Dr. Janette Boazman, chair of the University of Dallas education department. Boazman spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about the University’s new Catholic teacher certification program, and how it will prepare teachers to lead students in moral formation.

“Catholic school leaders and teachers have a duty to be models of moral behavior for their students,” said Boazman. “It is their integrity that brings forth their ability to truthfully guide students morally and spiritually, and to minister to others in the educational setting.”

The new graduate-level teacher certification program at University of Dallas is described as being “[r]ooted in church doctrine and educational research.” Current and aspiring Catholic school teachers will be taught “to provide a Christian education that integrates faith into all teaching and learning experiences.”

Catholic Colleges Must Regain the Art of Temperate Drinking, Says Author
Catholic colleges need to be mindful of the moral and spiritual state of their students, said Dr. Michael Foley, associate professor of patristics at Baylor University, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Foley, who recently authored Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour, noted that the statistics surrounding college drinking are becoming too drastic to ignore and that Catholic colleges must go beyond the public safety approaches of their secular counterparts.

“Catholic institutions are rightly trying to address this problem,” he said. “I do not know what the solution to college drinking is, but I do know that there will be no adequate solution without administrators caring about the moral character and immortal welfare of their students’ souls.”

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