Mission and Governance

Putting an End to Catholic Commencement Controversies

Spring is here, with pomp and circumstance. It is also the season of controversies over the choice of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients at America’s Catholic colleges. Will the annual conflicts ever end? Perhaps there is a way. And it would be none too soon. More than a decade after the University of Notre […]

The Biden Administration Poses New Threats to Catholic Education

In just the first months of the Biden administration, Catholic educators have been confronted by serious threats to their freedom to teach and witness to the Catholic faith. We knew the storm was coming. Over the last four years, schools and colleges enjoyed a brief respite before the anticipated return of Obama-era policies like the mandate for […]

New Threats to Religious Freedom Under Biden Administration

The Cardinal Newman Society hosted a webinar on February 17, 2021, for diocesan and Catholic education leaders, in which Eric Kniffen, legal counsel to the Newman Society and a former attorney for the Becket Fund and the U.S. Department of Justice, assessed early and proposed actions of the Biden administration that could affect Catholic schools. […]

Working with Nontraditional Families in Catholic Schools

As evangelical educational communities, Catholic schools not only teach academic subjects but also help their members on the road to personal holiness and sanctity in all areas of their lives, with a special concern for those areas most in need of healing and growth in each individual’s situation. With their focus on young children and […]

Not All Families Are a Good Fit for Catholic Schools

The Catholic educational project is best served when the school and the family work in harmony. Even though a Catholic school will be inclined to admit academically qualified students whenever possible, there are times when admission must be denied for moral reasons connected to the student or family. While this may be difficult for secular […]

Protecting the Human Person: Gender Issues in Catholic School and College Sports

Everything in Catholic education must serve its mission: which entails the pursuit of truth, the integral formation of the human person, the sanctification of students, and service to the community. Athletics are particularly well-suited to achieving elements of this mission. Sports, correctly balanced, can be particularly effective in developing virtue, building community, and providing a […]

Community Matters to a Catholic School’s Mission

It is through the Catholic Church and its mission of salvation and evangelization that the Catholic school receives its mandate to form students in the faith and life of the Gospel, bringing them into communion with the Church and the Holy Trinity. The Church holds the ultimate truth in faith and life and charges her […]

Key Points on Supreme Court’s Espinoza Ruling on Public Benefits for Catholic Education

The following summarizes the June 30th Supreme Court ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. Educators should consult their attorneys for professional legal advice. Bottom Line: The Espinoza ruling effectively nullifies “Blaine amendments” in state constitutions, ensuring that Catholic schools and colleges have equal access to public benefits. Caution is strongly urged to avoid […]

Key Points on Supreme Court’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Ruling on Ministerial Exception

The Cardinal Newman Society is working on detailed guidance to help Catholic schools and colleges strengthen their ability to claim the “ministerial exception” in light of the July 8th Supreme Court ruling in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Agnes Morrissey-Berru (combined with St. James School v. Darryl Biel, as Personal Representative of the Estate […]

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Key Points on Supreme Court’s Bostock Ruling on Sex Discrimination

The Cardinal Newman Society hosted a webinar on June 17, 2020, for Catholic education leaders, in which Gregory Baylor, senior counsel and director of the Center for Religious Schools at Alliance Defending Freedom, offered a brief assessment of the June 15th Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. The following summarizes our understanding […]

homeschool student

Could You Be Schooling at Home… Indefinitely?

With the kids at home, now may be a great time to experiment with Catholic homeschooling and decide whether it is a good fit for your family. “School-at-home,” of course, is not the best representation of homeschooling. Especially in the upper grades, the fixed schedule of online classes allows little flexibility, and parents are not […]

The Nondiscrimination Dance

Last month, eighth-grade students at Notre Dame Academy (a Catholic school in Toledo, Ohio) took a field trip to Chicago to see The Nutcracker. Just minutes before the curtains opened, however, the trip chaperones decided the class should leave. The chaperones had discovered that the onstage parents of Clara, the main character, would be portrayed as […]

Protecting Your Right To Educate: How Catholic Education Can Defend Against Emerging Legal Threats

Half a century into a sexual revolution that has upturned notions of sexual morality and even gender identity, Catholic education is under attack like never before. Religious schools and colleges are facing protests and lawsuits, while presidential candidates are promising to revoke schools’ tax-exempt status—all because Catholic educators hold fast to Church teachings that were […]