REPORT CARD: Pro-Abortion Club Denied at Loyola New Orleans; Catholic Businessman Seeks Wisdom, Truth in Colleges; and more…
Loyola New Orleans will not recognize pro-abortion student club
This is great news from a Jesuit university! Loyola University of New Orleans has announced that it will not recognize nor financially support the creation of a pro-abortion student organization, according to the Loyola Maroon.
The announcement came in response to a petition that asked for the university to apologize to students who felt “unwelcome” on campus due to a student-run pro-life display on campus last month. The petition also asked for a “pro-choice” club on campus.
The university admirably stated, “While we do respect the rights of students to practice self-expression and we do provide opportunity for them to have safe spaces and voice diverging opinions, Loyola unequivocally upholds the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.”
Catholic business leader: Colleges aren’t teaching wisdom or truth
In an interview with The National Catholic Register, Frank Hanna, chairman of the board of directors of The Cardinal Newman Society and author of A Graduate’s Guide to Life: Three Things They Don’t Teach You in College That Could Make All the Difference, made an interesting distinction about the failings of college education today.
While saying that our current higher education system “does a pretty good job of transmitting information,” he says it fails in a far more important way:
College and high-school graduates today have more information than their parents or grandparents had. However, our colleges sometimes mistake information for knowledge, and so students may not have as much knowledge as they ought. Moving even beyond knowledge, it is wisdom that leads to human flourishing. But because wisdom is so often tied to questions related to transcendence, many of our colleges not only fail to impart wisdom — some of them even deny its existence, for to acknowledge wisdom is to acknowledge truth, and in a culture of relativism, many do not want to, or are afraid to, acknowledge absolute truth.
Exactly right! So many colleges, and sadly many Catholic ones, could change their motto to Pilate’s infamous question: “What is truth?”
Planned Parenthood-supporting congressional candidate is Catholic school teacher
The Associated Press reports that a Democrat primary race for a U.S. House seat in Arkansas includes a Catholic school teacher, Paul Spencer, who claims to be “pro-life” but supports federal funding of Planned Parenthood and is against overturning Roe v. Wade.
Spencer’s campaign website states, “I do not support the Federal defunding of Planned Parenthood since our society does not have a comprehensive and universally accessible health system that serves all people. Planned Parenthood provides many services such as family planning and cancer screenings to which many women would otherwise have no access.”
Ten years later, faithful Catholic colleges embrace Pope Benedict’s vision
LifeSiteNews.com reposted The Cardinal Newman Society’s report that it’s been ten years since then-Pope Benedict XVI spoke at The Catholic University of America and challenged Catholic educators to put Catholic identity and fidelity ahead of other concerns by saying, “First and foremost, every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God, Who in Jesus Christ reveals His transforming love and truth.”
“First and foremost” are the key words there.
So… how has that gone over? Well, the 28 colleges and higher education programs recognized by The Cardinal Newman Society have responded brilliantly.
It was just one year after Pope Benedict’s address that Newman Society President Patrick Reilly presented the Holy Father with a copy of the first Newman Guide as a gift in gratitude for his inspiration.
The newly expanded Newman Guide content is available online and a print edition will be available in the fall.
College of St. Joseph in Vermont faces potential closure
The board of trustees at the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vt., board of trustees is considering closing the school due to low enrollment numbers, reports the Rutland Herald.
“The CSJ trustees are considering a number of options,” Board President Arthur Kenlan said. “Our enrollment is always a challenge and is a challenge now. …It’s been pretty tough for several years.”
CSJ President Larry Jensen said, “Admissions is working hard to get more applications. It is important going forward that we increase this number. Last year we started the school year with 199 full-time undergraduate students. We really need to increase this number. We originally hoped to be over 250 for next year.”
The college is looking at possibly selling buildings or property as a way to stave off closing.
In an email to the college community, Jensen said that if the college closes, it would work to find options for its students.
Providence College student urges faithful Catholic education
Michael Smalanskas, the student at Providence College who publicly supported the Church’s teaching on marriage and received threats against his life, wrote a piece for Catholic Vote imploring Providence College (as well as other Catholic colleges) to return to their original mission.
He compared his experience of being “threatened and harassed for promoting Church teaching on marriage” with the College of the Holy Cross protecting a professor who wrote that Jesus was a “drag queen” with “queer tendencies.”
“These colleges are on the same trajectory, one just slightly behind the other, and every faithful Catholic should be concerned about where this trend could be leading,” Smalanskas wrote. “The truth is that besides crucifixes on the walls in most buildings and two required theology courses for each student, one can leave Providence College largely untouched by Catholicism, if that’s what one wants.”
He wrote that because faith education has been so “watered-down to empty platitudes about ‘love’ and ‘welcoming,’ that is all people come to expect,” so he doesn’t blame his fellow students for being outraged when confronted with actual Church teaching.
“The antidote is to finally give students what they deserve from a Catholic college or university,” he wrote. “Give them an intellectually compelling account of what the Church teaches and why.”
VIDEO: Pro-traditional marriage sign removed on Catholic campuses
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke: So how long does a pro-traditional marriage sign last on the campus of a Catholic college? The answer is not funny. The sad truth is… about five minutes.
Student activists put up signs stating, “God’s Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman,” on several Catholic university campuses including Loyola University Maryland, Georgetown University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Villanova University and St. Joseph’s University. At each of them, the signs were hastily trashed or vandalized by students or, it seems, by faculty or staff.
To contrast, they later put up pro-LGBT marriage signs, and each of those remained untouched.
When blasphemy becomes commonplace
A 1968 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, Arthur Brunell wrote a piece in the Worcester Telegram “with great sadness” about the fall of his alma mater, which he called a “once great Catholic institution” where now “blasphemy becomes de rigueur?”
“Approaching my 50th college reunion, I’ve seen many changes at my alma mater,” he wrote. “Students take fewer courses each semester, ‘religious studies’ has apparently replaced Theology, the ‘Crusader’ has become persona non grata so as not to offend anyone: The college no longer emphasizes its Catholic origins, roots, or heritage.”
Given that, he wrote that perhaps “the next logical step would be to change the name of the college,” because “certainly the image of Christ dying on the cross, the nails and the bloody wound in the side, must be offensive to someone out there. How sad.”
Writing about the recent swirling controversy concerning the college backing Professor Tat-siong Benny Liew, who infamously theorized that Jesus was a “drag king” with “queer desires,” Brunell writes, “to allow a professor, tenured at that, to bring his heretical and outlandish views before students at a Catholic institution is astounding.”
Astounding? Yes. Disturbingly de rigueur? Sadly, yes.
Copyright © 2019 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.