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Catholic College Leaders’ Excuses for Honoring Pro-Aborts
Catholic College Leaders’ Excuses for Honoring Pro-Aborts
5/26/2016 |Opinion| If you’ve ever wondered why so many Catholic colleges think it’s okay to honor abortion advocates at their commencement ceremonies, a former Jesuit university president recently helped shed some light on the issue.

The Jesuit publication America Magazine posted a three-part series on its website this month about scandalous commencement honors at Catholic colleges. In parts one and two of the series, Father Jim McDermott, S.J., of America spoke with me about concerns raised by The Cardinal Newman Society regarding former President Bill Clinton being chosen to give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, Calif. The interviews also touch on the broader issue of the damage done to a college’s Catholic identity — and the potential spiritual harm done to students — when Catholic colleges choose to hold up individuals as worthy of praise and emulation who publicly advocate for the murder of unborn children.

About Catholic Education Daily

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society to inform Catholics about the latest developments from the world of Catholic education. Catholic Education Daily contributes to the Society's mission to promote and defend faithful Catholic education. Please direct your questions and comments about our news to Editor [at] CardinalNewmanSociety [dot] org.

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Honor of Biden ‘Crushed’ Student’s Hope for Notre Dame’s Catholic Identity
 
Honor of Biden ‘Crushed’ Student’s Hope for Notre Dame’s Catholic Identity
5/25/2016 || A recent University of Notre Dame graduate said that after four years of working to strengthen Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, her hope that the University would “reverse its course toward secularization” was “crushed” by the commencement honor of abortion advocate Vice President Joe Biden.

Writing at Ethika Politika, Alexandra DeSanctis stated that she skipped her graduation ceremony this month over the scandal:

I spent four years working, praying, and fostering the hope that Notre Dame would reverse its course toward secularization and instead embrace its Catholic identity in a meaningful way. That hope—shared by many students, alumni, and outside observers more dedicated than myself—was crushed, perhaps even deliberately, by [University of Notre Dame President] Fr. Jenkins’ decision to honor Biden, and, as much as I wanted to celebrate my graduation, seeing four years of work and prayers shot down before my eyes wasn’t the right way to do that.


Catholic College Presidents Hopeful for Resolution in HHS Mandate Challenge
 
Catholic College Presidents Hopeful for Resolution in HHS Mandate Challenge
5/24/2016 || The presidents of two Catholic colleges involved in the U.S.Supreme Court challenges to the HHS mandate applauded the Court’s recent decision to vacate all lower court rulings and expressed their hope that a positive resolution for religious freedom would soon be reached.

“I am pleased that Supreme Court has offered us a way forward which doesn’t require us to participate in the provision of the services which we find to be morally objectionable,” said Catholic University of America (CUA) President John Garvey in a press release. “We will move forward in our conversations with government officials with the sincere hope that our religious exemption, as well as that of our co-plaintiffs, is ensured.”

Last week, the Supreme Court unanimously vacated all previous lower court decisions in Zubik v. Burwell, a case challenging the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate. The mandate forces Catholic colleges, schools and organizations to provide morally objectionable health insurance coverage for their employees. CUA and Thomas Aquinas College (TAC), along with several Catholic high schools, are co-plaintiffs in the case.


NRLB Rulings Highlight Catholic Identity Concerns at Two More Colleges
 
NRLB Rulings Highlight Catholic Identity Concerns at Two More Colleges
5/24/2016 || Earlier this month, Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., became the second Catholic college to win a favorable ruling against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) since its new standard of evaluating the religious function of faculty was implemented. But both Marywood and Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., in a separate NLRB decision, ultimately saw their religious freedom arguments rejected due to the colleges’ own lack of emphasis on the role of faculty in their religious missions.

While the Catholic Church supports the concept of unions, The Cardinal Newman Society has consistently argued that the greater issue at stake in the ongoing labor disputes is the NLRB’s unconstitutional oversight in deciding the Catholicity of colleges. In December 2014, religious colleges won a significant concession from the NLRB when it abandoned its previous assessment test, evaluating whether a college has a “substantial religious character” by prying into matters of worship, curriculum, teaching, hiring policies and student recruitment.

The NLRB’s new approach seeks to determine whether specific faculty members serve a religious function. In many of these cases, the NLRB has actually exposed Catholic identity concerns at colleges in attempts to justify its jurisdiction. The cases highlight the need for Catholic colleges to strengthen their policies, handbooks and hiring documents by clearly defining the specific role of faculty in furthering their religious mission.


Gonzaga Alumni Seek Changes Out of Concern for Students
 
Gonzaga Alumni Seek Changes Out of Concern for Students
5/23/2016 || While Gonzaga University, a Jesuit Catholic institution in Spokane, Wash., is known around the country for its basketball program, concerned alumni are working for policy changes in hopes that the University will one day be known for having a strong Catholic identity, which they say Gonzaga is currently lacking.

One of the major issues for alumni who are members of the group 1887 Trust is the lack of exemplary witnesses to the Catholic faith among the faculty and staff at Gonzaga, and the subsequent impact on students. Gonzaga parents and alumni formed 1887 Trust in 2013 following a significant uptick in Catholic identity concerns.

“When I attended Gonzaga, I saw some of its faculty stray from teaching the truths of the Church and was saddened that a majority of students would leave the University misguided,” Blair Kelly, who graduated from Gonzaga in 2013, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Kelly said it was disheartening to see faculty in the classroom “reject the rich, 2,000-year-old intellectual tradition of the Church for academic fads and trends that embrace a largely secular view.”


Students at Catholic Seattle Univ. Confused About Gender
 
Students at Catholic Seattle Univ. Confused About Gender
5/19/2016 || Several students at Seattle University, a Jesuit Catholic institution, expressed confusion about the differences between men and women in a recently released video, seeming to buy into the gender ideology that Pope Francis has warned is a threat to the family.

The Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) conducted interviews with several students said to attend Seattle University. During the exchanges, students in the video:

-Showed confusion when asked if there’s a difference between men and women.

-Said what an individual thinks about his or her gender matters more than biology.

-Stated that differences between males and females don’t matter, and that gender is just a social construct.

-Said people should use the restroom based on their “gender identity” rather than biological sex.



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