Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly recently joined host Jeanette De Melo on EWTN’s “Register Radio” to discuss “the good and the bad” in Catholic college commencements in 2014. The full interview is available at this link.
The Newman Society reported that approximately 20 Catholic colleges and universities are hosting scandalous speakers and honorees at graduations this year.
“It seems that we are regressing,” De Melo lamented. “We have twenty, what I would say ‘poor choices’ this year, as opposed to only six last year.”
When asked what could account for this spike in scandalous speakers, Reilly replied:
To some extent, it might be this sense promoted in certain circles, that somehow with Pope Francis, things are opening up—That the emphasis on Catholic identity and doctrinal orthodoxy is disappearing. I think our Pope has made it very clear that that’s not the case…. But some of these colleges seem to be willing to go backward… and that’s very unfortunate.
On the other hand, The Cardinal Newman Society highlighted a number of Catholic colleges and universities that chose excellent speakers and honorees at commencement.
“We’re thankful for those institutions and the way they stand up for the truth,” said De Melo.
She was impressed by The Catholic University of America’s choice of Philip Rivers, a quarterback for the San Diego Chargers who has spoken publicly about his Catholic faith and being pro-life.
“It just goes to show you that these models can come from every walk of life,” DeMelo said.
Reilly advised that, in choosing a commencement speaker or an honoree, the “choice ought to be [about] how is this going to advance the mission of the institution? And how is this going to cultivate virtue in the sense of faith in God in the students?”
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