Sunday, May 01, 2016

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The Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic Education News Wire

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College Students Learn to Battle Catholic Identity Abuses on Campus
4/29/2016
Catholic college students who attended this month’s “Standing Up for Faith & Freedom” seminar in Virginia told The Cardinal Newman Society that not only do they want to see an end to Catholic identity abuses on campuses, but they want to be part of the solution in rebuilding faithful Catholic education.

“Yes, we are fighting an uphill battle,” said Joseph Shaneyfelt, a senior at the Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “In a time when political correctness and fear of ‘offending’ people is running rampant on college campuses across the United States, we need to be first and foremost adamant in saying we are Catholic.”

Shaneyfelt and dozens of fellow Catholic college and high school students recently took part in the two-day seminar organized by Young America's Foundation (YAF). The seminar was intended to train students on how to defend their principles on Catholic campuses, especially those that misuse and misrepresent their Catholic identity.


Newman Society on EWTN: 'The Catholic University as Witness'
4/29/2016
Patrick Reilly, founder and president of The Cardinal Newman Society, will appear on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) program "Franciscan University Presents" next week to discuss the special witness Catholic colleges and universities are called to give.

Reilly will join the show's host Michael Hernon, vice president of advancement at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn from the Franciscan University Theology Department for a discussion on “The Catholic University as Witness.”

“A Catholic institution of higher education is a place of learning. But it’s also a place of witness,” the episode description states. ”It’s where young people learn how to know their faith and to live it. It’s also where the culture at large can encounter the wisdom of Christ.”


Lavender Graduations Harmful to Students at Catholic Colleges
4/28/2016
At least eight Catholic colleges across the country are hosting “lavender graduations” this spring — many of them as part of an annual campus tradition — to celebrate and honor students with same-sex attraction (SSA) or who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ).

Lavender graduations and similar ceremonies for seniors have been announced at the College of St. Rose, DePaul University, Georgetown University, Loyola Marymount University, St. Mary’s College of California, Santa Clara University, Seattle University and the University of San Francisco.

Although intended as a compassionate gesture to students, the ceremonies reinforce harmful ideologies about sexuality and gender that contradict Catholic teaching and have been deplored by Pope Francis. They potentially lead students into sinful activity and undermine a Catholic college’s claim to teach the truths of the Catholic faith.


Jesuit Priests’ Proposal to Challenge Planned Parenthood at Georgetown Was Rejected
4/28/2016
Two Jesuit professors at Georgetown University lobbied to have a pro-life speaker on-stage with Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards when she spoke on campus, but the proposal — made to help facilitate the “free exchange of ideas” — was rejected by the organizers of the event, the campus newspaper The Hoya reported.

“It’s wounding to me that students in a Jesuit school would reject the good counsel of two senior Jesuit professors,” theology professor Father Stephen Fields, S.J., told The Cardinal Newman Society. “We had a plan to promote the FULL free exchange of ideas, and so heal a deep rift on our campus. It pains me that the Lecture Fund seems to have put its own career plans over our community’s integrity.”


Serving LGBT Students in Catholic Schools
4/28/2016
How do Catholic schools best serve students who struggle with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria (popularly called “transgendered”)? What should a school’s policies prescribe in order to prevent confusion, disputes and even litigation? 

Previously, these questions were often addressed behind closed doors, as administrators worked quietly on a case-by-case basis and often within traditional moral norms. However, since this past summer’s Supreme Court ruling supporting same-sex marriage and the social acceptance of superstar Bruce Jenner’s gender dysphoria, Catholic schools face an increasingly public challenge to their teaching and mission. 

This dynamic became painfully evident in the recent decision by a Rhode Island Catholic school, which ignited a national firestorm by refusing to admit transgendered students and then was pressured to reverse its policy within just a couple of days. The correct instinct that a Catholic school cannot accommodate willful gender confusion gave rise to a weak position statement, holding that transgendered students could not be admitted due to a lack of facilities to accommodate them. Activists seized upon the opportunity and offered to “crowd source” the necessary facilities, forcing the school to reverse its policy of strict exclusion. 


Special Report: Catholic Commencement Scandals Dishonor Class of 2016
4/26/2016
Research conducted by The Cardinal Newman Society reveals that at least 10 Catholic colleges will be honoring individuals at their 2016 commencement ceremonies who have publicly opposed Church teaching in their statements and actions.

By honoring those who disregard Catholic teaching, and holding them up as role models for students, administrators at these Catholic colleges send a dangerous message to students, betray the religious mission of their institutions and disregard the guidance of the U.S. bishops.

“Families who choose a Catholic education deserve much better than this,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “By passing over the opportunity to present good role models for students — people who embrace not only a call to leadership but God’s call to virtue and faith — a Catholic college falsely honors those who oppose moral truths and dishonors its graduating students.”


Special Report: Church Leaders Honored by Faithful Catholic Colleges
4/26/2016
Even while at least 10 Catholic colleges have made scandalous choices for commencement speakers and honorees this year (see our separate roundup), colleges recognized in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College by The Cardinal Newman Society will instead highlight their strong commitment to Catholic education by honoring top leaders in the Church and strong role models for their students.

“If Catholic families want to know which Catholic colleges stand with the Church and which do not, a college’s choice of commencement speaker and other honorees is often a public signal of its priorities and concern for its students’ formation,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “We’re proud of the faithful colleges that are such a necessary contradiction to our wayward institutions, and we’re grateful to our Church leaders for demonstrating their support of faithful Catholic education by their presence on commencement day.”


Wyoming Catholic College Picks New President: Dr. Glenn Arbery
4/26/2016
The Newman Guide-recommended Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., announced on Monday that Dr. Glenn Arbery will succeed Dr. Kevin Roberts as the College’s next president.

Arbery served as academic dean and an associate professor of humanities before being named interim president. He has taught literature at three other Newman Guide-recommended institutions: the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Thomas More College of Liberal Arts and the University of Dallas. 

“Having devoted much of my professional life to the cause of liberal education, I’m excited to lead such a stellar institution, and I’m greatly honored, greatly humbled at the opportunity,” Arbery said in a video message accompanying the College’s announcement. He added: “This college will continue to pass on the great tradition of the West, and to provide the coherent, spiritually hopeful education founded on the Rock of the Church, so needed in this world today.”


Fr. Schall: On 'Building the World You Want to Live In'
4/22/2016
The text of an address, no doubt, reads differently from the listening to it. A lecture proposes a position, a “where-I-stand” sort of thing. A lecture is not a debate or a disputation. It can be witty, solemn, pedantic, chatty, disorganized, moving or implausible. It can be informative, logical or illogical, persuasion or unpersuasive. What is said also tells us much about what is left unsaid. Silences and absences are also, as the phenomenologists tell us, quite revealing.

Cecile Richards’ lecture at Georgetown University read rather like a pep rally to garner enthusiasm for the big game — “young people leading the charge.” The“Hoyas for Choice” group was congratulated for distributing “10,000 condoms last semester! Because of yousomeone somewhere is having safer sex!” One hardly knows whether to laugh or cry, mostly laugh, I think. Chesterton said somewhere that sex by definition is, like life itself, unsafe. If we eliminate its risk, I suspect, we also eliminate romance, something not a few writers have been noticing to be the case on most campuses. Friends with everyone, friends with no one. Sex with everyone, sex with no one. “Safe” sex means: “Protect me from my partner.”


Encourage, Enact and Enforce: Witnessing to the Church’s Teachings on Chastity During the College Years
4/22/2016
The Church has always taught the beauty of human sexuality and that each person, made in the image and likeness of God, should live chastely, according to his vocation. Although not a recent phenomenon, our society has in many ways become blind to these beautiful teachings of the Church and has espoused a radically new, secular view of the human person. This new philosophy has affected all aspects of the moral life, not only those that involve human sexuality.

The sexual revolution, heralded as liberation in the 1960s, eventually took its toll even in our Catholic institutions of higher learning.


Georgetown University Rally for Planned Parenthood Endangered Souls
4/21/2016
Georgetown University officials must take full responsibility for the scandalous, immoral and anti-Catholic comments made by the president of Planned Parenthood to students yesterday — with the full approval and defense of the nation’s oldest Catholic university — and they should make immediate changes to their speaker policy to uphold truth and avoid endangering the souls of their students.

The administration’s disclaimers about not endorsing guest speaker views and appealing to free speech arguments cannot be taken seriously as excuses to what students were exposed to yesterday. There was no academic benefit for students, nor was this event an attempt to aid students in the pursuit of truth and knowledge. Cecile Richards’ lecture at Georgetown was nothing more than a pep rally for Planned Parenthood and the terrible, evil work that organization is openly committed to doing.


LMU Jesuit Community Rector Endorses Honor of Pro-Abortion Clinton
4/21/2016
The rector of the Jesuit community at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, Calif., thinks LMU is justified in honoring the life of former President Bill Clinton as long as it’s clear that the University is ignoring all of the immoral and evil actions committed in the past, and present, by Clinton when bestowing that honor.

The student-run Los Angeles Loyolan recently reported that Father Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., rector of the LMU Jesuit community, responded to protests and criticisms of LMU’s honoring of Clinton by expressing his full support of the decision.

“In conferring this honor LMU does not endorse all of Mr. Clinton’s past or current policies nor condone all his actions,” Fr. Deck stated. “Rather, the University recognizes the extraordinary service he has given to civil society and his lifetime connection to Catholic and Jesuit higher education as a Georgetown University alumnus.”


Planned Parenthood’s Richards Peddles Abortion at Georgetown, Students Confirm
4/21/2016
Georgetown University blocked concerned Catholics and reporters from attending today’s campus lecture by Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, but tweets from participating students revealed faithful Catholics’ worst fears: Richards spoke to a packed auditorium, flagrantly advocating abortion, deriding pro-lifers and scandalizing students at the nation’s oldest Catholic university.

Richards was introduced by the student group H*yas for Choice, according to a tweet from The Hoya’s Twitter page, once again demonstrating the substantial leeway given by Georgetown to this “unofficial” pro-abortion club. “I can’t wait to come back when this [H*yas for Choice] is a recognized campus group,” Richards reportedly stated upon taking the stage. “A girl can dream.” H*yas for Choice is responsible for numerous scandals at Georgetown, such as hosting “choice weeks,” protesting pro-life conferences and pushing for contraception distribution on campus.

As expected, the event seems to have been a platform for Richards to indoctrinate students with pro-abortion rhetoric and repeatedly attack the dignity of human life. Richards reportedly denied that Planned Parenthood ever sold fetal tissue and claimed abortion is a “basic human right.”


Still No Vote on Religious Freedom Bill Backed by Catholic Educators
4/19/2016
The Daily Signal recently pointed out that almost a year has gone by without a vote since the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) was introduced in Congress. The Cardinal Newman Society, a number of Catholic educators and dozens of religious and public policy organizations signed a letter last February urging House leadership to schedule a vote on the bill.

A representative of the Family Research Council, which sponsored the letter, told the Newman Society that a formal response has yet to be received. The letter was addressed to Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise.


Conference Supports Priests as Indispensable to Faithful Catholic Education
4/19/2016
Catholic schools used to rely heavily on the involvement of priests as educators and administrators, but their presence in the classroom has dwindled over the years. An annual conferenceput on by the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) seeks to reinforce the necessity of involving priests in Catholic education, and organizers are already seeing successful results.

“Catholic education ought to be seen as the primary engine of Pope John Paul II’s ‘new evangelization,’” remarked Father Peter Stravinskas, executive director of CEF, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “Being a Catholic school teacher is not a job but a vocation, an apostolate.”


USF Basketball Coach Doesn’t Want Faithful Catholics on the Team?
4/19/2016
The head women’s basketball coach at the University of San Francisco (USF) recently announced her same-sex marriage to an assistant coach, and suggested that any student-athletes who have “an issue” with her sexuality and relationship are not welcome on the team.

On March 31, USF coach Jennifer Azzi publicly announced that she was in a same-sex marriage with her top assistant, Blair Hardiek, during an Anti-Defamation League awards ceremony. She was there introducing Golden State Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts. Welts became the first senior sports executive to openly acknowledge his same-sex attraction in 2011 while president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns basketball team.


USF President, A Priest, Congratulates Staff on Same-Sex Marriage
4/19/2016
University of San Francisco (USF) President Father Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., was reportedly “quick to offer congratulations” to two USF women’s basketball coaches who recently went public with their same-sex marriage. Fr. Fitzgerald previously told The Cardinal Newman Society that the University “does not endorse views on marriage that are inconsistent with the teaching of the Church,” but all of the statements from USF officials so far are very positive and supporting of the coaches' relationship.

During an Anti-Defamation League awards ceremony on March 31, USF’s head women’s basketball coach Jennifer Azzi publicly announced that she was in a same-sex marriage with her top assistant, Blair Hardiek. At that time, The Mercury News reported that the University’s athletic director, Scott Sidwell, offered his public support to Azzi: “At USF, we respect the dignity of each person ... We are a community of inclusive excellence. We have a commitment to Jennifer, to our students, our staff, women’s basketball program, and the athletics department.”


Govt. Admits HHS Mandate Alternatives Possible, Good News for Catholic Educators
4/19/2016
The federal government recently admitted in a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that it does not need to force religious objectors to provide contraceptive coverage as part of the HHS mandate, meaning a Court victory for Catholic colleges and schools, and others challenging the mandate, could be in sight, according to Becket Fund for Religious Liberty senior counsel Mark Rienzi.

“The government has now admitted ‘yes, we can get people contraceptives without involving nuns,’” said Rienzi in a recent press call discussing the briefs requested by the Court last month. “That’s a pretty logical point. It shouldn’t have taken five years of litigation to admit that, but it’s good that they have admitted it. And now it’s a pretty easy path to consensus for the Court.”

In a surprise twist last month, the Supreme Court asked both the government and petitioners against the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate to submit additional briefs. The briefs, according to the Court’s request, were meant to explain ways in which the objectionable coverage could be provided to employees while also preserving the religious freedom of employers — including Catholic colleges, schools and nonprofits — seeking to live out their sincerely held beliefs.


Archdiocese Plans Mass for Life in Response to Georgetown Planned Parenthood Invite
4/15/2016
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington will celebrate a Mass for Life next week following what is sure to be a blatant promotion of abortion and contraception by the CEO of Planned Parenthood in her address to students at Georgetown University.

The Georgetown student-run Lecture Fund is hosting Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards on April 20 at 2 p.m. in the University’s Lohrfink Auditorium. A description of the event on the Lecture Fund’s Facebook page promotes the “services” of Planned Parenthood, but doesn’t specifically mention the words “abortion” or “contraception.” The description certainly doesn’t mention that Planned Parenthood commits more than 300,000 abortions each year, or that Richards is responsible for the deaths of almost three million babies since becoming the head of Planned Parenthood.


Newman Society: Loyola Marymount Betrays Catholic Mission in Clinton Commencement Scandal
4/15/2016
Loyola Marymount University’s choice to honor disgraced, pro-abortion former President Bill Clinton as its spring 2016 commencement speaker on May 7 is a new low in the University’s repeated betrayal of its Catholic mission. The scandal deserves the outrage of faithful Catholics everywhere, most especially those families who rely on LMU to provide the Catholic education that the University holds itself out as providing.

Former President Clinton is an extremely poor choice for honor and presents a very bad moral example to LMU’s students. LMU President Dr. Timothy Snyder touted Clinton in the commencement speaker announcement as “one of the great statesmen of our time.” “His commitment to improving the lives of other people, during and beyond his career in U.S. politics, embodies the ethos of becoming women and men with and for others. President Clinton will inspire our graduates as they seek to lead lives of meaning, purpose, and global impact,” Snyder continued. But President Clinton’s record is one of scandal, immorality and support for the destruction of innocent human life. And his Clinton Foundation continues to partner with and fund some of the largest organizations around the world dedicated to snuffing out babies in the womb — such as Planned Parenthood.


Nebraska High Schools Stuck With Harmful ‘Transgender’ Policy
4/14/2016
Nebraska’s high school athletic association voted to promote harmful gender ideology in schools last Friday, approving a policy that encourages students struggling with “gender identity” issues to undergo hormone therapy to participate on sports teams of the opposite sex. The bishops of Nebraska strongly opposed the policy, and stated they’ll continue to push for a requirement that student participation in sports be determined by biological sex.

The Cardinal Newman Society reported in January that the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) Board of Directors adopted a policy allowing high school students to play sports based on their preferred gender identity. The previous policy recognized biological sex at birth as the determining factor for allowing students to play on boys’ and girls’ sports teams. The NSAA Representative Assembly decided against reinstating the sex-at-birth policy in a vote on April 8.


Catholic Education is the Key to Pope Francis’ Plan for Renewing Families
4/14/2016
Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation released on Friday, Amoris Laetitia, “Love in the Family,” is the next step in a long plan for renewing Catholic families, Stephan Kampowski, professor of philosophical anthropology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, told The Cardinal Newman Society. Kampowski said the document reiterated parents’ fundamental role in education and stressed faithful education as central to strengthening families.

“With Amoris Laetitia, Francis wants to renew the Church’s pastoral care of the family,” said Kampowski, who co-authored The Gospel of the Family, a book which engaged and challenged Cardinal Walter Kasper’s controversial comments leading up to the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family in 2014. “Indeed, education is the key to the renewal desired by the Holy Father,” Kampowski noted.

Amoris Laetitia is reportedly the longest such document in the history of the papacy. And while much of the media coverage focused on how the Holy Father would address the issue of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, significant portions of the document sought to emphasize the need for faithful Catholic education and the fundamental role of parents in the education of their children.


Scandal: More ‘Drag Shows’ at Catholic Colleges
4/13/2016
Annual drag shows — where individuals dress up and perform as the opposite sex — have become a consistent presence on several Catholic college campuses, punctuating the spring semester with scandal and disregard for Church teaching on human sexuality. Despite the Holy Father’s repeated warnings against gender ideology, and in one university’s case, censure from the Vatican’s Congregation for Education, Catholic colleges continue to harm students and their Catholic mission with these outrageous events. 

Just this past week, Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. “It is a source of concern that some ideologies of this sort, which seek to respond to what are at times understandable aspirations, manage to assert themselves as absolute and unquestionable, even dictating how children should be raised,” the Holy Father stated. “It needs to be emphasized that ‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.’”


Former Franciscan Univ. President Honored for ‘Courageous Witness to the Faith’
4/13/2016
Father Terence Henry, TOR, former president of Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and a member of the Board of Directors of The Cardinal Newman Society, will be honored for his service to Franciscan and his “courageous witness to the faith” during the University’s commencement ceremonies this May.

“Committed to life issues, Father Henry directed Franciscan University’s filing of a lawsuit in 2012 opposing the federal government’s mandate that would force provision of health insurance coverage counter to its religious principles,” the University stated in a press release. “In addition, he established the Franciscan University Institute of Bioethics, which provides a solid Catholic response to secular assaults on the dignity of human life, marriage, and other human life issues. While president, he joined students and alumni and attended every March for Life in Washington, D.C.”


USD ‘Drag Show,’ Criticized by Vatican, Continues Under New President
4/13/2016
For the past four years, the University of San Diego (USD) has hosted and promoted a “drag queen show” featuring students dressed up as members of the opposite sex. In 2014, the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education said these drag shows at USD have caused “scandal.” Faithful Catholics were hopeful that with the installation of a new University president last year, these scandalous events would come to an end. But USD is scheduled to host its fifth annual drag show on April 14.

Billed as “Celebration of Gender Expression: Supreme Drag Superstar,” the Facebook event description for the 2016 show notes that the University’s PRIDE organization is “ECSTATIC to be having this event again this year … Get your tickets ASAP because we have sold out every year!”

PRIDE is officially recognized at USD as “a campus community supporting and identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and pansexual individuals, and allies.”


Pope Francis Stresses Faithful Education in Light of Family Crisis, Says Theologian
4/12/2016
Pope Francis clearly stated the need for faithful Catholic education in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia released on Friday, and warned against any attempts by schools or teachers to impose ideologies contrary to the teachings of the Church, theologian and author Dr. Edward Sri told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Pope Francis went out of his way to reiterate the Catholic teaching that parents are the primary educators of their children,” said Sri, who teaches at the Augustine Institute in Greenwood Village, Colo., noting that schools should never replace parents. “The Pope, however, points out a division between parents and schools in some cases.”

“I think about how many moral issues — topics such as abortion, pre-marital sex or the definition of marriage — are presented in educational settings today,” Sri continued. “In some cases, a certain ideology is being imposed upon the children in the classroom — a certain agenda that is directly at odds with what the parents want for their children.”


Catholic Colleges Must ‘Have the Courage’ to Defend Marriage, Says Bishop
4/11/2016
Catholic colleges and universities must gather their courage and defend their Catholic identity and mission from cultural and legal challenges to the Church’s teachings on the nature and truth about marriage, and on sexuality and gender as well, according to Diocese of Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted.

“I think it is very important that we learn how to present the teaching about femininity, masculinity and marriage in as persuasive a way as possible,” he said in an interview with the Newman Guide-recommended Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif. “I think we need always to make an effort to do that because the truth has power within itself. It does not depend on our energy or on anything else; we must simply have the courage to say the truth. It has its own inner power.”

“In the coming years, our institutions — and we personally — will be challenged on these things,” Bishop Olmsted added, noting the tough road ahead for Catholic education when it comes to defending its beliefs on marriage, gender and sexuality.


Pope Francis: Sex Education Must Accept ‘Body as It Was Created’
4/8/2016
In his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia released today, Pope Francis addresses sex education for children and adolescents, highlighting the importance of teaching “God’s plan” for human sexuality and marriage. The Holy Father repeats his rejection of a modern “ideology of gender” and says children should be taught to “accept their own body as it was created,” denying “transgender” claims that separate biological sex and gender.

The teachings reaffirm the emphasis of The Cardinal Newman Society’s Human Sexuality Policies for Catholic Schools, released last month to help Catholic educators ensure school policies that promote loving pastoral care and consistent fidelity to Catholic doctrine.


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

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

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


Notre Dame Sends ‘Mixed Signals’ by Honoring Both Biden and Little Sisters of the Poor
4/6/2016
By presenting prominent awards to both Vice President Joe Biden and the Little Sisters of the Poor, the University of Notre Dame has once again set up a contradictory example of how Catholic colleges should act in the public sphere, said alumnus and Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn.

“All in all, it’s a sad message Notre Dame sends: Principles are a fine thing—just don’t let them get in the way of a comfortable place in society,” he wrote, commenting on the contradictory nature of honoring pro-abortion Biden and the staunchly pro-life Little Sisters of the Poor at two separate events in the coming weeks.

On Saturday, the Little Sisters of the Poor will receive the 2016 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal, a lifetime achievement award for “heroes in the pro-life movement” meant to honor those who have “served to proclaim the Gospel of Life by steadfastly affirming and defending the sanctity of human life from its earliest stages,” according to its description.


Details Released for Planned Parenthood Event at Georgetown
4/6/2016
The Georgetown University student-run Lecture Fund announced new details this week about its plans to host Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards on campus this month. The scandalous invitation — and the administration’s refusal thus far to step in and cancel the event — has led the Archdiocese of WashingtonGeorgetown studentspro-life leaders and even a South African cardinal to join The Cardinal Newman Society in publicly criticizing the University for compromising its Catholic identity.

The Lecture Fund is officially calling the event “A Conversation with Cecile Richards.” The “conversation” will take place Wednesday, April 20 at 2 p.m. in Lohrfink Auditorium. The lecture will be closed to the public.

A description of the event on Lecture Fund’s Facebook page doesn’t specify the extent of Richards’ lecture, and offers no biographical information about Richards other than noting that she is the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The rest of the event description reads as a promotion of Planned Parenthood and the “services” the organization provides.


Forming a Faithful Laity
4/6/2016
Last December, speaking to Catholic school parents, Pope Francis stressed the importance of Catholic education at every level, from childhood through the university.

He emphasized the Church’s traditional understanding of the role of parents, noting, “It is your right to request an appropriate education for your children, an integral education open to the most authentic human and Christian values. As parents, you are the depositories of the duty and the primary and inalienable right to educate your children.”

He has more than once lamented how, due to rising costs and other factors, few children today experience the beauty of the Catholic faith as conveyed by Catholic schools.

One of the important functions of good Catholic schools in our times is, to quote from another talk by Pope Francis, to prevent “these ideological colonizations, that poison the soul and the family.” We can expect additional comments on the family and education this month, when the pope will issue an apostolic exhortation concerning last fall’s Synod on the Family.


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

What we didn’t count on was the culture.

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


Newman Society Interviews President of Wyoming Catholic on Decision to Step Down
4/6/2016
Dr. Kevin Roberts, president of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., announced this week that he will be leaving the College to take position in the public policy arena in Texas. The Cardinal Newman Society spoke with Roberts on Monday about his decision to leave the College, the state of Catholic education and what the future holds.

During the interview, Roberts looked back on some of the successes during his tenure at Wyoming Catholic, a faithful Catholic institution recommended in The Newman Guide for Choosing a Catholic College. And Roberts offered some candid advice to Catholic college administrators and faculty on defending Catholic education and identity on campus, such as instituting faithful policies and personally living out the Gospel.


Catholic Colleges Prepare Responses to SCOTUS HHS Mandate Request
4/5/2016
The U.S. Supreme Court is seeking alternatives to the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate that would provide coverage for these services while preserving religious freedom, and Catholic colleges involved in challenging the mandate are preparing to respond.

“There are numerous ways for the government to preserve religious freedom without forcing contraceptive coverage on objecting religious organizations and colleges,” Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) legal counsel Quincy Masteller told The Cardinal Newman Society, noting that the Supreme Court justices may now be recognizing the moral dilemma facing religious organizations and colleges.

Last week, the Supreme Court made an unusual request, asking both the government and religious organizations to submit additional briefs exploring possible alternatives to the mandate. The alternatives, according to the Court, should spare religious non-profit organizations from performing any role in providing objectionable coverage while also assuring that those services are available to employees through other means.


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

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


Wendy Davis Hypes Abortion at Notre Dame on Feast of the Annunciation
4/5/2016
Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation on Monday, when the Virgin Mary said “yes” to God and Christ was conceived in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit. But at the University of Notre Dame, a number of students spent Monday night on campus listening to former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis describe the benefits for women of choosing abortion or using contraception.

During Mass on Monday, Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to open their hearts to God and to say “yes” to his message of salvation. “Mary’s ‘yes’ opens the door to Jesus’ ‘yes’: I have come to do Your will, this is the ‘yes’ that Jesus carries with him throughout his life, until the cross” he said. “Today,” he said, “is a beautiful day in which to thank God for showing us that path, but also for thinking about our lives.”

Davis’ message ultimately taught students at the nation’s most recognizable Catholic university that saying “no” to God’s plan for the creation of life and to the Church’s teachings on human dignity can help women achieve worldly success.


Notre Dame Faculty Call on University to Rescind Award to Biden
4/4/2016
The local bishopstudentsalumni and now a group of faculty have joined The Cardinal Newman Society in criticizing the University of Notre Dame administration for its scandalous decision to award abortion and same-sex marriage advocate Vice President Joe Biden with “the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics.”

“Notre Dame claims to award the Laetare Medal ‘annually to an American Catholic in recognition of outstanding service to Church and society.’ But our Faculty for Life Chapter agrees with Bishop Kevin Rhoades that the awarding of the Laetare Medal to Vice-President Biden is a scandalous violation of the University’s moral responsibility (as the American bishops wrote in 2004) never to honor those who act in defiance of fundamental moral principles about the sanctity of life,” the Notre Dame chapter of University Faculty for Life stated in a resolution that passed unanimously on April 1.

The resolution stated that Biden has “conspicuously rejected Church teaching about life” for decades, citing positions taken by Biden during his political career.


Mich. Diocese Shifts to Classical Curriculum, Avoids Common Core
4/1/2016
Educators and parents are increasingly dissatisfied with secular standards that neglect to emphasize virtuous development in K-12 academics, but one diocese in Michigan has responded by making the bold decision to implement a classical, liberal arts curriculum for all diocesan schools. And the diocese’s superintendent of Catholic schools, Mark Salisbury, told The Cardinal Newman Society that the program has been widely well-received by teachers and students and is improving education for the entire diocese.

“We are enthusiastic about our early successes,” Salisbury shared. “Teachers are happy with the results as well. We have improved our ability to teach students how to write well, students are learning and memorizing more poetry” and the curriculum’s integration of Latin studies “has helped students with English grammar, vocabulary and critical thinking skills.” 


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

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


SCOTUS Request for Alternatives to HHS Mandate a Hopeful Sign for Catholic Colleges?
3/31/2016
The U.S. Supreme Court’s unusual request of parties in the HHS mandate case to submit alternatives for contraception coverage that avoids forcing religious organizations to cover services in their health insurance contrary to their faith could be an optimistic sign for Catholic colleges and schools looking to preserve their religious freedom, according to several plaintiffs and lawyers involved in the cases.

“This is encouraging news,” said Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) President Michael McLean, according to a press release issued on Tuesday. “It suggests that the justices are looking for a solution that satisfies the government’s policy aims without getting religious organizations, such as the college, involved in furnishing access to morally objectionable coverage.”


Gonzaga Must Hire Faithful Catholics to Preserve its Catholic Identity
3/31/2016
Recent articles by notable academics regarding Catholic higher education provide an opportunity for reflection on the direction of Gonzaga’s Catholic identity. Writing in America Magazine, Michael Naughton, Don Briel, and Kenneth E. Goodpaster call on Catholic university faculty and administrators to avoid the temptation to remake their organizations in the image of other academic institutions, but instead to work to maintain “a distinctive Catholic vision, and with that, ultimately, their universities’ true meaning, purpose and unique identity.” Meanwhile, at Catholic World Report, Loyola Marymount University Professor of Philosophy Christopher Kaczor reacts to a recent survey of LMU faculty that raises questions about the Catholic identity of Gonzaga’s sister Jesuit university, questions that should be of concern to the Gonzaga community as well. 


D.C. Archdiocese Paper Rebuffs Georgetown Students’ Free Speech Focus in Richards Scandal
3/31/2016
Following its criticism of Georgetown University’s decision to allow Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) President Cecile Richards to speak on campus in April, an editorial in the Archdiocese of Washington’s Catholic Standard has exposed the flaws in student arguments that defend the decision as a free speech issue but overlook the essential Catholic identity conflict at the heart of the matter.

“The real issue is the invitation itself, and what it says about the values and priorities of some of the students at the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit-run university, and their lack of respect for Georgetown’s identity and mission,” stated the Catholic Standard, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.


Sexuality Policy Guide Addresses Urgent Need of Catholic Schools
3/31/2016
To help Catholic schools protect their Catholic identity while compassionately addressing issues of human sexuality — including the sometimes thorny issues of same-sex attraction and gender identity — The Cardinal Newman Society has released a new resource with valuable guidance on forming policies in these areas. Fully consistent with Church teaching, the guide can help schools prevent confusion and even litigation while strengthening their important work of evangelization.

"Human Sexuality Policies for Catholic Schools" was developed by Dr. Denise Donohue and Dr. Dan Guernsey, deputy director and director (respectively) of K-12 programs for the Newman Society. Their work draws partly upon the counsel and policy recommendations of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian organization of top legal experts on religious freedom, and the teaching documents of several popes, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and key Vatican congregations.


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

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

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


NCAA Won’t Punish Catholic Colleges for Title IX Gender Identity Exemptions
3/23/2016
Catholic colleges and universities that requested exemptions from the new gender identity provisions of Title IX in order to protect their religious missions will not receive any backlash from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) — at least for now.

A group of over 80 “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ), sports, religious and youth advocacy groups” signed a letter to the NCAA on March 9 petitioning the athletic association to “take action to divest from all religious based campuses who have requested discriminatory Title IX waivers toward LGBTQ youth.”

“These requests are directly in conflict with the NCAA’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion of all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,” according to the letter.


Public Called to Join in Prayer and Fasting on Day of HHS Mandate Arguments
3/22/2016
Members of the Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) community will be joined by other Newman Guide colleges in observing a day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday, March 23 — when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the cases against the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate — and the public is being encouraged take part in praying for religious freedom.

TAC President Dr. Michael McLean asked that friends of the College and supporters of religious freedom everywhere join students, faculty, staff and alumni in praying for the justices, and for the future of religious freedom in the United States.


Notre Dame Professor Appointed to Pontifical Academy for Life
3/22/2016
A professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, O. Carter Snead, was recently appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life and will be working with Pope Francis and the Curia on “all matters relating to the inalienable dignity of human life from conception to natural death,” he told the Newman Society.

“As a member [of the Academy], I will participate in research, programming, and production and dissemination of reports that help the Church in its efforts to build a culture of life worldwide,” said Snead, who is also the director of the University’s Center for Ethics and Culture.

The Pontifical Academy for Life was founded in 1994 by Pope Saint John Paul II and takes a three-pronged approach to defending life: using academics and research to inform the public, fostering a culture of life by spearheading social initiatives, and working with the media to share its latest developments and accomplishments in defending life.


Notre Dame, Joe Biden Betray The 'Common Good'
3/22/2016
In a video posted on the University of Notre Dame’s website, President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., cited the University’s commitment to the “common good” as explanation for its controversial decision to award the Laetare Medal, “the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics,” to Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner.

“One of our great challenges today is people who disagree often will vilify, attack, demean the opposition and then they can’t work with the opposition,” Fr. Jenkins said. “So we come to this impasse of acrimony of intransigence, and it doesn’t serve society.

“There’s a wonderful Catholic concept of the common good,”he said. “What is the common good? What would serve everybody? You and I may disagree, or Boehner and Biden may disagree, but we have to recognize that whatever we think, we have to act for the common good.”


HHS Mandate Seeks to Silence Catholic Institutions on Dignity of Human Life
3/21/2016
It is essential that Catholic colleges and schools defend the dignity of all human life when it is challenged, which makes it “particularly egregious that the federal government is trying to silence the few institutions who are,” Helen Alvaré, George Mason University School of Law professor, told The Cardinal Newman Society in comments on the challenges to Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

“If Catholics really believe that the relationship between a man and a woman provides a unique glimpse of the love of God, and if we reflect on the stunning fact that sexual relations make all human children, it seems clear that Catholics have a particular responsibility to educate on the matters challenging the dignity of human life,” she said. But the Obama administration’s contraception mandate threatens the ability of Catholic colleges and schools to fulfill that responsibility.


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