REPORT CARD: Pro-Marriage Student Harassed at Providence; Nuncio Urges Evangelization in Schools; Weigel on Youth Synod
Providence College student harassed for Catholic teaching
The administration of Providence College is reportedly ignoring threats made against a resident advisor (RA) who is being targeted and harassed for simply promulgating Catholic teaching on marriage.
After the RA posted a message on a bulletin board affirming Catholic teaching on marriage, the board was vandalized shortly after, and a cartoon was posted depicting him being raped. He told LifeSiteNews that he was also mobbed and threatened in the hallway numerous times. It was bad enough that security relocated him to an undisclosed location on campus.
Sadly, the college’s president, a Dominican priest, merely said “it belongs to a Catholic college to consider the views of those who disagree with the Church’s teaching.”
The response from Vice President of Student Affairs Kristine Goodwin was even worse. Goodwin sent an email to student leaders encouraging them to attend a protest against homophobia on campus.
Thankfully, a number of faculty at Providence College, mainly from the theology and philosophy departments, are publicly supporting the student who is being threatened and harassed for standing up for the Church’s teaching on marriage.
The Ocean State Current has a petition from certain faculty members saying that the bulletin board posted by the student “faithfully and thoughtfully represents the teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage.”
“We reject the notion that the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage, or its teaching on homosexuality, is bigoted or homophobic, or that these teachings present a threat to the wellbeing of homosexual persons,” they said. “Rather, those teachings, which some of us address in our courses, are rooted in two millennia of reflection on the Gospel and on human nature and aim at the flourishing of all persons.”
They continued: “A Catholic college, in particular, has the responsibility to create an environment in which the teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage and sexuality can be openly presented, debated, and defended.”
Apostolic Nuncio urges new evangelization in Catholic schools
Speaking at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, talked about the need for a new evangelization, according to the Catholic Herald.
“The need for this missionary spirit is becoming more urgent as challenges in transmitting the faith grow in an increasingly secularized world,” he said. “Against the new horizon of a changing, highly secularized, globalized and technologically driven culture that often expresses itself in post-Christian or anti-Christian fashion, there is a need for a renewal in ecclesiastic studies so that the Church may be both a missionary church and an effective missionary church.”
“A new evangelization… is the core of the new missionary spirt that must take hold of the Church,” he added.
Weigel: Suggestions for upcoming Synod on youth ministry
George Weigel wrote a piece in Catholic World Report suggesting that the upcoming Synod in October, which will discuss youth ministry and vocational discernment, could benefit from inviting some prominent American leaders in youth ministry and vocational discernment.
He suggested Msgr. James Shea, president of the Newman Guide-recommended University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D.; Curtis Martin, founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS); Anna Halpine, president of the World Youth Alliance, a network of pro-life young people all over the world; Bishop David Konderla of Tulsa, who was the director of campus ministry at Texas A&M for eleven years; and Father Thomas Joseph White, OP, who co-created the Thomistic Institute to bring serious Catholic ideas to prestigious universities across the U.S.
Catholic colleges can transcend liberal/conservative dichotomy
In an interview with Crux, Michael Griffin, senior vice president of Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Ind., talked about the importance of the college’s Catholic identity and the goal of making students “scholars, leaders, citizens, and disciples.”
“The Holy Cross niche” he said, “involves the combination of a robust, all-in Catholicism with a very personal environment of small classes and lots of mentoring.”
“We have to show the unity of reason and faith, science and religion, career and vocation, the world and the Church. Closing those gaps is exactly what is needed today,” he said. “A Catholic college is the place where students can un-learn the false dichotomies of today and re-learn the integration that is at the heart of the Catholic intellectual tradition.”
He emphasized the need for a Catholic college to “deconstruct the most dangerous dichotomy of all: L]liberal and conservative.” As an example, he pointed to students attending the March for Life one week and then marching in support of the Dream Act the next.
“That’s what I mean by all-in Catholicism,” he said, “and that’s a reason to exist!”
Notre Dame alumni group opposes “contraceptive culture”
The Sycamore Trust, an organization committed to promoting the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, is urging Catholics to publicly join Bishop Kevin Rhoades in condemnation of university president Father John Jenkins’ decision to offer contraception coverage for employees and students in its insurance plan.
The Trust states that such a plan will “promote a contraceptive culture.”
“This is the fourth time Fr. Jenkins has publicly brushed off his and the University’s bishop. Recall The Vagina Monologues and Queer Film Festival and the honoring of President Obama and Vice President Biden,” states the Trust. “It is time for all alarmed by the growing breach between Notre Dame and the Church to speak up.”
The Trust is inviting all concerned Catholics to urge the Fellows and the Trustees of the university to exclude contraceptives from the university’s insurance policies.
Priest: College of the Holy Cross more ‘politically correct’ than Catholic
Father Seán Connolly, a priest at Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Our Lady Parish in Tuckahoe, N.Y., wrote in Catholic World Report that his alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, “is more politically correct than it is Catholic or committed to the truth.”
You might recall the public hand wringing the Jesuit institution has performed over the past two years concerning the possible insensitivity of the “Crusader” moniker. After a year (plus) of “discussion and discernment,” last month the college president, Fr. Philip Boroughs, S.J., announced that Holy Cross would maintain the “Crusader” name. But now, Fr. Burroughs announced that the college would be dropping the use of the knight as its mascot and symbol.
Fr. Boroughs wrote that the image “…inevitably ties us directly to the reality of the religious wars and the violence of the Crusades. This imagery stands in contrast to our stated values. Over the coming months, the College will gradually phase out the use of all knight-related imagery.”
Fr. Connolly called the entire discussion “an embarrassment to the Holy Cross alumni and students.” More importantly, he said it’s an embarrassment to the Church.
“It is especially dispiriting because it comes at a time when our Christian brothers and sisters are being persecuted across the globe for their faith in Jesus Christ, chiefly in the Middle East at the hands of various Muslim groups,” he said. “It is appalling how little those in Catholic higher education, blinded by their desire to be respectable, think of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East as opposed to their endless concern over the faux persecution of the ‘LGBT community’ in these United States.”
Fr. Connolly wrote that the administration of Holy Cross has fallen into the mistaken prevailing wisdom that lays the blame for the clash between Christendom and Islam squarely at the feet of the Church.
You can read his whole piece at Catholic World Report. The short video of GK Chesterton on campus in the 1930s alone makes it worth it.
Comedian temporarily kicked off stage at Loyola Chicago
Comedian Hannibal Buress was temporarily pulled off the stage at Loyola University Chicago after making jokes about priests sexually abusing children, according to Consequence of Sound.
The administration of Loyola University Chicago had asked the comedian to refrain from cursing or joking about sexual abuse. He not only did so, but he did it in the crudest manner possible for which he was removed from the stage—then allowed to return fifteen minutes later.
It’s questionable whether he should have been allowed to return, but an even more pressing question was why a Catholic institution would invite him in the first place.
Sweden’s Social Democrats want to ban all religious schools
The Social Democratic Party in Sweden has proposed banning all religious schools in the country, according to the Catholic News Agency.
The Social Democrats say the banning would be done in the name of better integration of students. But Paddy Maguire, principal of Notre Dame Catholic School in Gothenburg, added that the issues that the Social Democrats are aiming to solve are actually occurring in Muslim schools, “but they are too cowardly to say so.”
So instead of going after Muslim schools, they attack all religious schools to avoid a politically correct backlash. There are 71 religious schools in the country, of which 59 are Christian, 11 are Muslim, and one is Jewish. Sweden in the past decade has seen a dramatic increase in Muslim refugees, with numbers more than doubling between 2014 and 2015 alone.
Maguire added that educators and Catholic leaders in the country are prepared to fight the proposal all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.
Notre Dame hosts pro-abortion co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, spoke about “ethical business practices” at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business last week, according to the student newspaper. The speaker is a poor choice for a Catholic college, given Ben and Jerry’s long time monetary support of Planned Parenthood as well as their filing of an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to force a Christian baker to participate in a same-sex wedding celebration.
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