REPORT CARD: Georgetown Honors Pro-Abortion Senator; Archbishop Chaput Warns Against Faddish Theology; Opinion Trumps Truth at Notre Dame

Georgetown honors pro-abort politician

Senator Dick Durbin’s bishop recently banned the politician from receiving the Eucharist in his diocese, but that didn’t stop Georgetown University President John DeGioia from presenting the pro-abortion senator with the Timothy S. Healy, S.J. Award for devoting “his life to the core Jesuit value of service to others.”

Durbin, a Georgetown alumnus, said in a statement that “Father Pedro Arrupe challenged all alumni of Jesuit schools to engage in the struggle for justice on behalf of the most vulnerable in our society. I have tried to meet that challenge during my time in office and am honored to be recognized by my fellow Georgetown alumni.”

Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, told LifeSiteNews that this honor “only widens the gulf between Georgetown’s leaders and faithful Catholic families.

“How can America’s oldest Catholic university publicly honor a champion of abortion who has just been denied the Eucharist by his own bishop?” Reilly asked. “This honor directly opposes the pro-life work of the Church and Georgetown’s own Catholic mission.”

Reilly added that Georgetown’s decision to honor Durbin “reinforces the precedent that has been established over 50 years of dissent and secularization across much of Catholic higher education.”

Schools affirm pro-life policy, despite union opposition

After an Ontario Catholic teachers’ union with a long history of opposing Catholic moral teaching pushed a Catholic school board to repeal a pro-life motion they’d passed, the Halton Catholic District School Board dug in its heels. Their motion prohibited any of its 50 schools from donating to charities that support abortion, contraception, sterilization, euthanasia, or embryonic stem-cell research.

After “a stunning twist at literally the 10th hour after one trustee had a change of heart,” one trustee who had voted to defeat the motion early in the night asked for it to be raised against and this time voted for it, LifeSiteNews reported.

Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) representatives had labeled the motion as “needlessly divisive” and scolded trustees for “taking such a narrow view of Catholic values.”

Trustee Helena Karabela said “it is refreshing that some Catholic trustees chose to promote the Catholicity of the Catholic institution and students under their care.”

Franciscan University honors Father Michael Scanlan

Franciscan University of Steubenville has posthumously honored its former president, Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, with the 2018 Poverello Medal, the faithful Catholic college’s highest non-academic award, in recognition of his success in reinvigorating the university’s faithfulness and evangelical spirit.

“Very few college presidents could not only reinvigorate Catholic higher education… but also be an evangelist, a writer, [and] a Catholic media figure,” Franciscan’s spokesperson, Tom Sofio, told Catholic News Agency.

Father Scanlan, who served as the university’s president from 1974-2000, died in January 2017. Franciscan honored him on March 3, the university’s Mission Immersion Day, a day of preparation for nearly 300 students who leave on mission trips this spring.

Archbishop warns against ‘faddish theology,’ poor catechesis

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput recently warned against “faddish” theology and said the Church is suffering the effects of poor catechesis, according to Catholic News Agency.

“Christian faith is more than good will and kind intentions. Conscience is more than our personally sincere opinions. A healthy conscience needs a strong formation in the commonly held truths of the Catholic community. Without it, conscience can very quickly turn into an alibi machine. The world is a complicated place. It requires sound Catholic reasoning skills rooted in the teaching of the Church.

“The trouble is that we’ve now had at least two generations of poor catechesis and very inadequate conscience formation. So when voices tell us to leave today’s hot button moral decisions to the ‘adult consciences’ of our people, we might want to agree—ideally—but before we do, we need to examine what exactly that means. We have a great many otherwise successful, credentialed adults who see themselves as Catholic but whose faith education stopped in the sixth grade. Recovering the discipline of good Catholic moral reasoning is urgent…”

When asked for advice on how Catholics should deal with “faddish theology,” he said: “Ignore the nonsense, read, watch and listen to good Catholic material, and live your faith in conformity with what the Church has always taught. The basics still apply on marriage, sex, honesty, and everything else. There are no new paradigms or revolutions in Catholic thought. Using that kind of misleading language only adds confusion to a confusing age.”

Student: Notre Dame should offer more than contraception

The University of Notre Dame’s student newspaper ran an abhorrent, yet predictable letter from a student thanking the “Catholic” university for offering insurance plans with contraception. But as is always the case, the student makes clear they don’t want the “progress” to stop.

“The University has taken a great step forward toward sexual health in providing coverage for certain simple contraceptives, and we should acknowledge that, but we should also demand that they provide us the opportunity to obtain the simplest of all contraceptives,” the student wrote. “Access to condoms allows all students on campus to make this same conscientious decision of what is right for them.”

It’s easy to see that compromising Catholic teaching only leads to further compromise and finally a full abjuration of the truth.

Georgetown: No investigation into misdirected funds

Georgetown University will not investigate how funds donated to Love Saxa—a student group that promotes the Catholic teaching on marriage—were misdirected towards groups such as the LGBT Resource Center.

After receiving a letter from the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Jesuit university returned $518.89 to the club.

Our readers will remember that Love Saxa was labeled a “hate group” by some students because it supports traditional marriage. Soon after, students created a petition to have the group tossed off campus. After a weeks-long investigation and a marathon meeting, the university’s Student Activities Commission voted 8-4 to let the group remain a recognized student organization.

The entire piece is worth a read.

Sycamore Trust: Notre Dame president puts opinion over truth

Despite the objection of his bishop, University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins has elevated his private judgment over Church teaching with his decision that the university should “cooperate with moral evil” by offering insurance plans that include contraception.

“Notre Dame will now, surely for the first time and against the strong objection of Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes, furnish students and employees with the means to commit acts the Church teaches are intrinsically immoral, knowing many will do so,” the Sycamore Trust wrote in its latest report. “Unless reversed by the Fellows or the Board or through the intervention of Father Jenkins’s religious superiors, this action will radically undermine the university’s claim to Catholic identity and underscore its evident abuse of the judicial system.”

In a statement, Bishop Rhoades said, “I strongly disagree with Notre Dame’s decision to provide funding for contraception in its health insurance plans, which involves it even more directly in contributing to immoral activity. The Catholic Church clearly teaches that contraception is an immoral action that contradicts the truth of marital love.”

Instead of acting on principle rooted in Catholic teaching, the Trust said that Fr. Jenkins seems to be searching for a “compromise” that will draw the least criticism.

“The lesson to students here is not simply that Notre Dame evidently does not regard the use of contraceptives as seriously immoral, but that it does not regard what they are used for by unmarried students as seriously immoral,” the group said. “There is no call for a Catholic institution to fill in for Planned Parenthood.”

Boston College won’t offer contraceptives on campus

A recent Boston College Students for Sexual Health referendum advocating condoms distribution received 94 percent support from students who voted. However, a Boston College spokesperson told the student newspaper that the Jesuit university’s stance on distributing contraceptives on campus was unchanged.

“As with Notre Dame, Georgetown, Holy Cross, and most Catholic colleges and universities, Boston College does not permit the public distribution of condoms on campus,” Jack Dunn said. “We take this position out of respect for our commitments as a Jesuit, Catholic university, and we ask our students to be respectful of these commitments and the code of conduct that governs all BC students.”

Good decision, but when a Catholic institution compares itself to Notre Dame and Georgetown as evidence of its Catholic identity, I think we know how much it values Church teaching.

Wheaton College wins religious liberty victory

Wheaton College, a Christian liberal arts college, recently won a victory for religious freedom when a judge ruled in Wheaton v. Azar that any government attempt to force the college to provide services like the morning-after pill in its healthcare plans would violate federal civil rights laws.

In a first, the district court’s order will permanently protect Wheaton from any current or future version of the mandate.

“The government is not above the law—that’s why we have civil rights laws. Wheaton should never have had to go to court to protect its rights in the first place. This order ensures we won’t have to come back,” said Diana Verm, legal counsel at Becket, a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions.

Wheaton College President Phillip Ryken said, “We are grateful to God that the court recognized Wheaton’s religious identity and protected our ability to affirm the sanctity of human life.”

Three Christendom alumni to be ordained to the diaconate

Three Christendom alumni will be ordained to the diaconate over the next month: John Killackey, Steven Wood, and Br. John Mark Solitario, OP. This is their final step before becoming priests in the coming year.

Christendom College issued a news release saying that the three “are part of a rich history of alumni who have joined the religious life after graduating from Christendom, including 83 priests, 54 sisters, five brothers, two transitional deacons, one permanent deacon, and 28 men currently studying for the priesthood.”

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