REPORT CARD: ‘New Paradigm’ Theologians; Abortion Advocacy at DePaul; Catholic Schools Opposed by Archbishop of Canterbury

Problematic theologians of the ‘new paradigm’

The group of theologians invited to a series of seminars at Catholic colleges aimed at promoting what’s been called the “new paradigm” around Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia are “noteworthy, not because of their expertise on the topics of marriage and family, but because of their public opposition to some of the Church’s long-taught traditions,” according to the National Catholic Register.

The three seminars held last month took place at Boston College, the University of Notre Dame, and Santa Clara University.

“Among the select group of theologians were Monsignor Jack Alesandro, a canon lawyer of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., who calls for changes in the way the Church views the validity of marriages; liberation theologian Natalia Imperatori-Lee of Manhattan College, who sees many aspects of helping laypeople form their consciences as a form of colonial oppression; and ethicist Kate Ward of Marquette University, who has been a board member of the dissenting organization Call to Action that advocates for the ordination of women to the priesthood,” the Register reported.

DePaul newspaper encourages ‘flexibility’ on abortion

DePaul’s student newspaper celebrated International Women’s Day by calling for more “flexible abortion laws in other countries.”

Highlighting women’s issues “largely ignored by Western media,” Carina Smith, the paper’s nation and world editor, put several countries in the spotlight—including Morocco—for its strict abortion laws.

“In Morocco, abortion is completely illegal unless the woman is married, and there is often a physical threat to the mother and the husband even if they approve the abortion together,” she wrote. “Groups are now pushing for change in Morocco, asking for comprehensive sex education to be taught in schools and for laws to be changed to allow for more flexibility when it comes to abortion procedures. For now, nonprofits and organizations have popped up around the country to help single mothers find shelter and provide for their children while gaining job skills, so they can work while unmarried.”

Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Dawkins oppose Catholic schools

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, is teaming up with infamous atheist Richard Dawkins to protest a policy that would allow more Catholic schools to open in the U.K., according to The Catholic Herald.

A controversial admissions cap mandates that new Catholic schools in the U.K. must admit at least 50 percent of students from other faiths. That mandate effectively forces Catholic schools to turn away children precisely because they are Catholic and obviously prevents some new Catholic schools from opening. But there are reports that the government may scrap the cap.

Amid reports that the conservative-leaning government will kill the mandate, Williams and Dawkins signed a letter saying it was “difficult to bring to mind a more divisive policy, or more deleterious to social cohesion” than removing the admissions cap because it would “label children at the start of their lives with certain beliefs and then divide them up on that basis.”

Great Ideas symposium at Walsh University

This is a great example of a faithful Catholic college getting students and faculty to think about the great ideas!

Walsh University will host its 43rd Annual Philosophy/Theology Symposium from March 13-17, focusing on “What are the Great Ideas: Why & Where Do They Really Matter?” with 2018 Visiting Scholar William Cathers.

Topics include “Great Ideas We Judge By,” “Great Ideas We Live By,” and “Great Ideas in the Arts.” Cathers will lead “A Socratic Seminar with Walsh Students; Teaching the Great Ideas the Way Mortimer Adler Would Have Taught Them.”

Uncertain renewal at Holy Cross College

The National Catholic Register reports that in the past year, under the guidance of Father David Tyson, Holy Cross College in South Bend, Ind., has made significant steps towards revitalizing its Catholic identity.

Could it be true? Unfortunately the Register gives few particulars that would match the Catholic identity at Holy Cross with The Newman Guide colleges. Father Tyson is the former president of the University of Portland, which decidedly does not have a strong Catholic identity, so the claims beg further study.

Still, the Newman Society has heard some good reports from Holy Cross in past years, so President Patrick Reilly struck a hopeful note in his quote to the Register: “For several years, we have been encouraged by developments at Holy Cross College and hope that one day it might be one of the model institutions in The Newman Guide. What an important example the college could set for its neighbor Notre Dame!”

Benedictine University closing Springfield campus

The Associated Press reports that Benedictine University is closing its Springfield, Ill., branch at the end of this semester and moving students to its other campuses.

Not to be confused with faithful Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., Benedictine University’s weak Catholic identity is unappealing to many Catholic families. The university ended its undergraduate programs in Springfield a few years ago and only offers adult degree-completion and graduate level classes there. It will continue those programs at other sites, including Benedictine University’s main campus in the Chicago suburb of Lisle and its branch campus in Mesa, Ariz.

Copyright © 2018 The Cardinal Newman Society. Permission to reprint without modification to text, with attribution to author and to The Cardinal Newman Society, and (if published online) hyperlinked to the article on the Newman Society’s website. The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Cardinal Newman Society.