Across the country this month, many Americans celebrated “wins” for Catholic schools and religious freedom at the Supreme Court—and rightly so. But it would be a mistake to believe that Catholic education is secure without substantial fortification.
In fact, the Catholic identity of our schools and colleges may be in far greater danger than it was before the summer began. There is much that Catholic educators can do to improve their prospects for the future, but it will require strong faith and fortitude.
This Court session proved that the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment still offer some cover for faithful education. But thanks in part to the Supreme Court’s Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia ruling issued in June—finding that employers may not discriminate based on homosexual or transgender status or behavior—Catholic educators must be prepared for the impact of secular and ideological devastation in the surrounding culture. The pressure on Catholic schools and colleges to compromise the Faith will be intense.
Moreover, any legal protection for Catholic education provided by this Court must be considered within the broader context of the Bostock ruling and how it impacts state laws, accreditation and membership in athletic associations. Some attorneys express optimism that
Catholic schools and colleges will win even greater protections under federal law following Bostock. It’s just as likely that our refuge, such as it is, may be temporary.