Monday, February 08, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis
‘Gender-Inclusive Housing’ Pilot Program Launched at Univ. of San Francisco
2/2/2016
The Jesuit-run University of San Francisco (USF) launched a pilot program for the 2016-2016 school year offering “gender-inclusive housing” to students who “identify as transgender” or “do not wish to be identified by any sex or gender identity,” embracing and promoting a view of human sexuality at odds with Church teaching and the statements of Pope Francis and the U.S. bishops.

The description on the USF website defines gender-inclusive housing as “an option for two or more students to share the same room regardless of their sex, gender, or gender identity,” and states that the housing option is intended to support the University’s mission “to create safe, affirming, and inclusive communities by providing options for students of varying identities and preferences.”


Opinion: Major Issues We’re Following in Catholic Education in 2016
1/4/2016
The Cardinal Newman Society’s reporting in 2015 highlighted numerous issues — positive and negative — impacting faithful Catholic education in the U.S., and we expect many of these issues to continue trending into 2016.

In the past year, Newman Society reporters covered cultural and institutional threats to faithful Catholic education, including the U.S. Supreme Court marriage ruling, problems with Common Core, Planned Parenthood’s close ties to Catholic colleges, ongoing HHS mandate lawsuits threatening religious freedom and scandalous commencement speakers at Catholic colleges. Yet, many faithful Catholic colleges and schools have responded with vigor to the current challenges and demands of our modern society.

Below, in no particular order, are 10 important issues that we will be following in our news coverage throughout 2016:


Catholic Education ‘Extends God’s Love’ as a Spiritual Work of Mercy
1/4/2016
Catholic professors and teachers have a distinctive calling during this Jubilee Year of Mercy to educate — or “instruct the ignorant” — as a Spiritual Work of Mercy, carried out by offering students the knowledge of God’s created world and fostering the gift of faith, Sister Anne Catherine, O.P., of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Education is a work of mercy because it extends God’s love in the world,” Sr. Anne Catherine noted. “It is a mercy for teachers to offer their students solid content knowledge and to teach them skills that will help them go forward and take their place in the world.”

But it is especially important “that teachers help students experience wonder in learning about God’s created world and in discovering how deeply they are loved,” she said.


Year of Mercy a Reminder That Catholic Education Should Bring Students to Christ
12/31/2015
The Year of Mercy should be a constant reminder for Catholic colleges this year to not only provide a faithful Catholic education but to make sure that that education is ultimately an encounter with Christ, Ave Maria University President Jim Towey told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“The Catholic college, if it does its job well, leads students in the pursuit of truth, the fullness of which resides in Jesus Christ,” said Towey. “Whether it’s in biology or business, students are invited to encounter Christ, and at a Catholic college that encounter should be facilitated in each and every aspect of operations — student life, residence life, even in the cafeteria.”


Theology Professors ‘Dispel Ignorance’ as Spiritual Work of Mercy
12/21/2015
The call to “instruct the ignorant” as a Spiritual Work of Mercy is carried out by Catholic educators as part of the Church’s mission, and reflecting on that work during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Catholic University of America theology professor Dr. John Grabowksi told The Cardinal Newman Society that theology professors have a responsibility to dispel ignorance and the lack of knowledge of Christ by introducing students to Him in the Scriptures, sacraments, liturgy and tradition of the Church.

In the Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee Year, Pope Francis lamented, “Perhaps we have long since forgotten how to show and live the way of mercy.” And as part of its celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the U.S. bishops have invited the faithful to learn more about and live out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, one of which is “Instructing the Ignorant.”

Education, or to “instruct the ignorant,” is a work of mercy because it responds to a drive and a need that is part of our very makeup as human beings, Grabowski told the Newman Society. “We want to know. We want to pursue truth, especially the truth about God.”


Final Report from Synod Echoes Vital Need for Families in Catholic Education
12/15/2015
The emphasis on the educative role of families and the supportive nature of Catholic schools are encouraging signs coming from the Vatican’s final English translation of the Synod on the Family report, said The Cardinal Newman Society’s deputy director of K-12 education programs Dr. Denise Donohue.

“It is edifying to see the document reiterate Gravissimum Educationis’s emphasis on the family as the primary place for formation and the role that Catholic schools play in assisting them,” Donohue said, referring to the Church’s declaration on Christian education issued by Blessed Paul VI in 1965.

“The parental role should be strengthened and reinforced by the school through formation and education programs, as stated in the document, that increase knowledge in all areas of life and learning, especially in areas of human love and flourishing,” she said.


Pope Francis Defends Parents’ ‘Right’ to Ask for Authentic Catholic Education
12/10/2015
In comments to the Catholic Schools Parents’ Association (AGESC) on Monday, Pope Francis encouraged parents to strengthen the Catholic identity of schools by defending their “inalienable right” to educate their children and request that Catholic schools embrace Christian values and a proper understanding of the human person.

“It is your right to request an appropriate education for your children, an integral education open to the most authentic human and Christian values,” Pope Francis stressed, according to Zenit’s translation of his comments. “As parents, you are the depositories of the duty and the primary and inalienable right to educate your children, thus helping in a positive and constant way the task of the school.”

“It is up to you, however, to see that the school is up to the measure of the educational task entrusted to it, in particular when the education proposed is expressed as ‘Catholic,’” he told the parents gathered at the Vatican.


Marquette Changes Restroom Signs for Transgender Students and Guests, Blasted by Alumni Group
12/10/2015
Marquette University in Milwaukee is currently in the process of implementing gender-neutral restrooms on the ground floor of residence buildings to accommodate individuals who consider themselves transgender, a move which has prompted a Marquette Catholic renewal alumni group to question the University’s devotion to maintaining its Catholic identity.

“Marquette has, once again, decided to mock the faith upon which it was founded,” the Louis Joliet Society, an alumni group dedicated to restoring and preserving Marquette’s Catholic identity, said in a statement on its website.

“The Church and Pope Francis have repeatedly decried gender ideology as destructive to souls, yet here we have a Catholic university pandering to that ideology,” Mary Jarvis, a member of the Louis Joliet Society, said in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.


How Can Catholic Colleges Celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy?
12/7/2015
The Jubilee Year of Mercy inaugurated by Pope Francis is an ideal time for all Catholic colleges to reintroduce students and the greater college community to the transformative power of God’s love, Father Nathan Malavolti, TOR, vice president of pastoral care and evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

The Jubilee of Mercy begins on December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and concludes on November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The “motto” of the Holy Year is “Merciful like the Father.”  “We want to live this Jubilee Year in light of the Lord’s words: Merciful like the Father,” said Pope Francis. “The Evangelist reminds us of the teaching of Jesus who says, ‘Be merciful just as your Father is merciful’ (Lk 6:36).”


Pope Francis Calls Educators to Dual-Role as Teachers and Witnesses
12/3/2015
Speaking to catechists and teachers in Uganda last week, Pope Francis encouraged the educators to follow the example of Christ and the Ugandan martyrs, stressing that they must teach the faith fearlessly and be witnesses of its truth and power.

“The message you bring will take root all the more firmly in people’s hearts if you are not only a teacher but also a witness,” the Holy Father said, according to Vatican Radio’s translation. “You teach what Jesus taught, you instruct adults and help parents to raise their children in the faith.”

Pope Francis thanked those gathered for their sacrifices and devotion to the essential task of educating children and families, and stressed that teachers reflect Christ in their vocation and are called in their own way to be martyrs. He urged educators to echo the “fearless testimony” of the Ugandan martyrs, 21 companions who along with Saint Charles Lwanga were killed in the 1880s by King Mwanga for teaching the faith and later canonized by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1964.


Students Can Change Gender on University Records Under Proposed Policy at Catholic DePaul
12/1/2015
DePaul University in Chicago recently proposed a policy that would allow students to choose preferred genders and change their names up to three times for use on class rosters and other college records despite the fact that “gender theory” is opposed to Church teaching on human sexuality, and is a danger to society according to Pope Francis.

“Largely, the policy would provide a better option for transgender and transitioning students who do not use their legal names,” The DePaulia reported. “Further, the policy would enable an optional ‘unspecified’ gender option instead of male or female.”

Such a policy would present a conflict for DePaul’s Catholic identity, as Church teaching does not support gender theory and ideology.


Did Pope Francis Say ‘Don’t Proselytize’?
11/25/2015
Catholic education, done rightly, is a special and important means of evangelization, the mission of the Church. It brings young people to Christ and provides for the integral formation of mind, body and soul. 

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


Newman Society’s Guernsey Reflects on World Congress with Educators, Pope Francis
11/25/2015
After a week in Rome with more than 2,000 educators from Catholic schools and universities around the world, it is time to remind ourselves of the continued need for faithful Catholic education, and that its efforts will only be successful if they are rooted in the truth and tradition of the Church, said Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs for The Cardinal Newman Society.

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

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


Catholic Education: Antidote to ‘Ideological Colonization’ in America
10/22/2015
In a recent essay for First Things, we encouraged the Synod of Bishops to promote Catholic education as both an evangelistic opportunity and a cultural antidote to ideological colonization.

Here we encourage all Catholics to support the education of the next generation of Catholics, as a communal responsibility, particularly in light of the challenges of ideological colonization.

Faithful, well-formed Catholics are essential to the Church’s evangelizing mission. And Catholic education offers an unparalleled opportunity to evangelize (and catechize) the next generation — a generation increasingly disconnected from God and religious practice, and vulnerable to harmful ideologies.


White House Shouldn’t Interfere with Catholic Education, Says Catholic Schools Expert
10/7/2015
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. 


Notre Dame Theologian Moss Attacks Pope Francis Again with Outrageous Claim
9/29/2015
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.


Pope Francis Visit to Little Sisters ‘Huge Boon’ to Catholic Educators
9/24/2015
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.


Newman Society Laments White House Invitation for Fired Catholic School Teacher
9/23/2015
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
9/23/2015
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.


Children Need ‘Spiritual Game Plan’ for College, Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
9/18/2015
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.”


Spiritual Formation Needed at Catholic Colleges, Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
9/16/2015
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 Education Begins with Family, Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
9/10/2015
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.”


Catholic Education ‘Antidote to Hook-up Culture,’ Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
9/8/2015
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
9/3/2015
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.


World Meeting of Families Speaker Urges Faithful Catholic Education
8/25/2015
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
8/25/2015
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.


Catholic University of America to Welcome Pope to Campus for Third Time
8/19/2015
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.


Pope Francis Says Families Should Beware of ‘Strange Ideas,’ ‘Ideological’ Teaching in Schools
6/17/2015
The forecast in Rome on Sunday called for rain, but the only things descending on the Vatican were crowds of families for the opening of the Ecclesial Congress of the Diocese of Rome, where Pope Francis encouraged parents to remember their essential role as the primary educators of their children, making sure to educate them against the cultural ideas destroying the family.

“Yes, it’s true, there is a rain of families in Saint Peter’s Square,” said Pope Francis as he joyfully greeted the crowds. The Holy Father thanked parents for joining him and for their willingness to be examples of the moral and spiritual life for their children. He stated that the educational task of parents is becoming especially difficult in an increasingly relativistic and secular world.


Pope Francis Weighs In On Role of Teachers, Coaches as Witnesses
5/21/2015
Pope Francis last week said that the influence of a Catholic educator “depends more on what he is as a person and the way he lives than what he says,” and even athletics coaches—whom he included as educators—must be “formators” and therefore need their own “solid formation” to prepare forgiving witness to the faith. 

The Pope’s words are especially timely in the United States, as many bishops have been working to better define the Church’s expectations for Catholic school employees, even while some teachers in San Francisco are demanding a right to dissent. 

“[H]ow important it is that a coach be an example of integrity, of coherence, of good judgment, of impartiality, but also of joy of living, of patience, of capacity to esteem and of benevolence to all, especially the most disadvantaged!” Pope Francis stated, according to ZENIT’stranslation. “And how important it is that he be an example of faith!”


Pope Francis: Parents Should Assert Proper Role as Educators, Not Yield to ‘Experts’
5/21/2015
Pope Francis yesterday made a forceful plea for parents to reassert their role as primary educators of their children, an argument that has great significance for Catholic schools and homeschooling families and puts education in the spotlight as the Church prepares for the World Meeting of Families in September in Philadelphia and the Synod on the Family in October in Rome.

Pope Francis began by expressing his joy at seeing so many families gathered with their children, according to Zenit’s translation of the address. He noted that the “essential characteristic of the family” is its “natural vocation to educate the children so that they grow in responsibility for themselves and for others.” Speaking directly to parents, he encouraged them not to shrink away from this unique and God-given role in education.

“Jesus himself went through family education,” Pope Francis explained. “In this case also, the grace of the life of Christ leads to fulfillment what is inscribed in human nature. How many wonderful examples we have of Christian parents full of human wisdom! They show that a good family education is the spinal cord of humanism.”

Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs for The Cardinal Newman Society, said that the Holy Father’s recognition of the parents’ special role is important to the Church. “You have to know and love the sheep you shepherd,” Guernsey said. “You have to be with them where they are and lead them to truth in the light of faith. No one knows (or should know) the young sheep better than its mother and father.”


Vatican to Address ‘Educational Emergency’ at World Congress Marking Key Anniversaries
5/11/2015
Marking the anniversaries of two critical Vatican documents on education, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education is preparing for a World Congress this year to address the growing “educational emergency” in Catholic education.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissium Educationis, issued by Pope Paul VI in 1965, and the 25th anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, Ex corde Ecclesiae, issued by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1990.

But while the anniversaries call for celebration of the important mission of Catholic education, the Congregation for Catholic Education plans to discuss some of the more critical concerns in education when its World Congress meets in Rome on November 18-21.

“As part of these celebrations, the Congregation aims to re-energize the Church’s commitment to education, by means of this World Congress,” the Congregation states on its website. “In the years following the Second Vatican Council, the Magisterium has repeatedly spoken of the importance of education, and has also invited the Christian community to play its part in education – particularly in the face of today’s obvious, and often critical, ‘educational emergency.’”


San Diego University’s Drag Show Snubs Vatican, Challenges New Bishop
4/17/2015
On Thursday, the first full day in office for San Diego’s new Catholic bishop, the Catholic University of San Diego (USD) hosted a “drag show” that the Vatican last year described as “scandalous.”

Attorney Charles LiMandri, who founded Alumni for a Catholic USD and helped file a petition to the Vatican against the University’s annual cross-dressing event, spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society to discuss why USD is continuing to ignore the Vatican and even the recent words of Pope Francis.

Last year, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education responded to the petition submitted by LiMandri and Thomas McKenna, founder and president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family. The Congregation’s letter deemed the drag show a “scandal” and declared its intentions “to act through administrative channels to the competent ecclesiastical authority in San Diego.”

But despite the Vatican’s response, the University held its fourth edition of the event on April 16, Bishop Robert McElroy’s first full day as the bishop of San Diego. The show was titled “Celebration of Gender Expression: Supreme Drag Superstar IV.”

“We have the opportunity and a clean slate with a new bishop and a new president,” LiMandri said. “I am hoping and praying that this is the last drag show at USD.”

“I feel very sorry for the students who are there [at USD] now,” he added, “because they are not only being deprived of the experience of an authentic Catholic education, but they are being given something directly opposite it under the guise of a Catholic education. And that’s very tragic.”


Vatican’s New Education Prefect Opposes ‘Relativistic’ Culture, Defends Family
4/9/2015
Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, who was recently named by Pope Francis to serve as prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, has a strong record of defending marriage and family against a culture that increasingly dilutes the importance of those sacred institutions.

His appointment comes at a time when Catholic education and religious freedom are under attack by advocates for the redefinition of marriage and sexual morality, and just months before the Synod on the Family later this year.

In a 2013 speech on the defense of the natural family, Cardinal Versaldi urged the Church to resist a “relativistic and subjective culture,”ZENIT reported. As modern culture becomes increasingly embroiled in redefinition, it becomes more necessary than ever to safeguard “the full and objective meaning of marriage,” Cardinal Versaldi said.


Catholic School Launches Campaign to Pray One Million Hail Marys for Pope’s Safety
3/12/2015
The prayer campaign quickly spread throughout the school community and now to the St. Charles Catholic and Brother Martin diocesan high schools. More than 730,000 Hail Marys have been recorded so far, the Clarion Herald reported at the time of publication.


Notre Dame Professor Continues to Criticize Pope Francis, Undermine Church Teaching
3/12/2015
Candida Moss, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, recently criticized Pope Francis for calling attention to the destructive potential of “gender theory.” Moss alleged that the Holy Father “consistently sells women down the river.”


Pope: Holiness and Study of Theology Are Inseparable
3/11/2015
In a letter to the grand chancellor of the Catholic University of Argentina, Pope Francis reflected on the unique vocation of theologians and how theology and holiness are connected.


Notre Dame Launches Online Theology Program for Hispanic Catholics
3/2/2015
Esther Terry, the program director for Camino, stated in the release that the program’s ultimate goal is to use technology and social communications "to walk with others and lead to an encounter in Christ."


Christendom President to Address Thousands at World Meeting of Families
2/18/2015
The three-day programming portion of the event will feature presentations and breakout sessions that address topics such as strengthening familial bonds, the challenges families face in the 21st century, and other family life issues.


Pope Francis Speaks with Young People Online as Part of Education Initiative
2/10/2015
Pope Francis recently held a Google Hangout session with handicapped young people across the world in conjunction with his education project, Scholas Occurrentes, a global project dedicated to promoting peace and education to children everywhere.


Pope Francis Grants Papal Knighthood to Prof at University of St. Thomas in Houston
2/5/2015
An English professor at the University of St. Thomas in Houston was recently named a knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great. Pope Francis bestowed the honor on Clinton Brand for his assistance integrating Anglican customs into Catholic liturgy.


Univ. of Mary Student Experiences Rare Encounter with Pope Francis
1/30/2015
During a papal audience in Rome, sophomore Andrew Meyer reportedly traded zucchettos with the Holy Father as he passed by, greeting crowds of students and visitors.


Pope Explains Place of Education in Interreligious Dialogue
1/27/2015
Pope Francis recently spoke with members of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies and emphasized proper education in order to foster interreligious dialogue, but warned against a comfortable approach that simply affirms everything, according to Zenit.


George Weigel Explains How Catholic Universities Can Help Prepare for 2015 Synod
1/16/2015
The Cardinal Newman Society spoke to George Weigel of the Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., about his recent article, to discern how Catholic colleges and universities can participate in laying the groundwork in the lead up to the Ordinary Synod in October.


Pope Francis Stresses Religious Freedom as ‘Fundamental Human Right’
1/14/2015
Pope Francis recently called for the genuine expression of religious freedom and fruitful worship of God, when speaking to the crowd gathered at the canonization Mass for Saint Joseph Vaz in Sri Lanka.


Pope Francis Encourages Seattle Univ. President to Provide Witness to Faith for Students
1/7/2015
Seattle University President Father Stephen Sundborg, S.J. recently met with Pope Francis in the Vatican. Fr. Sundborg related to the Pope the problem of relativism on campus and the Holy Father responded with advice including encouragement to provide a witness to the faith.


Catholic Colleges Must Launch ‘Revolution of Love of God’ to Protect Religious Freedom
1/6/2015
While the continuing attacks on the religious freedom of Catholic institutions can be traced back to a failure by believers to witness to the Faith, students formed by faithful Catholic university education have an opportunity to turn things around, argues Kathryn Lopez.


Pope Sends Condolences on Passing of Former Congregation of Catholic Ed. Secretary
12/31/2014
Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau, a Jesuit who served in several Catholic education capacities throughout the Church, died on December 26 in Tokyo at the age of 86. Pope Francis sent a personal telegram to the Jesuits praising the archbishop and offering his condolences.


Pope Francis Discusses Importance of Education with Italian Prime Minister
12/23/2014
The Holy Father recently met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and discussed the role of education in helping the next generation of Europe, according to ZENIT. The discussion reportedly took place as part of an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on December 13.


Aquinas College Conference to Examine Family in Church and Society
12/16/2014
Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., will host the ninth annual St. Thomas Aquinas Forum on the “role of family in the Church, in society, and in God’s plan from the beginning,” the College recently announced. The Forum will take place from February 13 – 14, 2015.


DeSales Student Meets Pope Francis Following Prestigious Vatican Internship
12/11/2014
Senior Alexandra Romanyshyn was granted the audience in recognition of her work as an intern with the Pontifical Council for Culture at the Vatican.


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