Report Card: Catholic college ‘defends’ abortion, U.S. bishops tap faithful theologian
Lecturer at Catholic university under fire for calling abortion murder
A lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium is under fire for calling abortion “murder” in a document to about 100 students.
The 15-page document, which contained philosophical arguments concerning the taking of unborn human life, has created a firestorm on campus which include the college itself calling the document “contrary to its values” and threatening possible sanctions against the professor, Stéphane Mercier.
A special adviser to the university president on gender politics, Tania van Hemelryck, said on television that the University “defends the fundamental right to abortion, and particularly women’s right to choose.” Sadly, that’s not defending the unborn or the Catholic faith.
Faithful theologian appointed doctrinal advisor to U.S. bishops
Loyola Marymount University philosophy professor Chris Kaczor has been appointed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to be one of four doctrinal consultants to its Doctrine Committee. He will advise the U.S. Catholic bishops as they shape church policy and teaching.
Kaczor, an author of 12 books primarily on Catholic ethics and bioethics, will serve as the committee’s primary consultant on ethics.
“This appointment is an honor for Loyola Marymount University and for the College,” said Robbin Crabtree, dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. But before coming to LMU, Crabtree consulted for a Planned Parenthood-sponsored clinic and was involved with a pro-abortion rights organization. And Kaczor is one of an embattled minority of Catholic professors at LMU; he has predicted that the University will lose its Catholic identity entirely “within a generation.”
Bishop Zubik, Catholic leaders to be honored at Franciscan University’s 2017 commencement
In what will surely be an inspiring and faithful commencement ceremony, the Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh and other Catholic leaders highlight the list of honorees and speakers at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s commencement ceremonies which will see more than 620 students graduate.
Bishop Zubik will receive an honorary doctorate of Christian ethics for his courage and fidelity as the shepherd of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Patrick Lencioni, a best-selling author and co-founder of The Amazing Parish, which helps parishes transform from maintenance into missionary communities, will receive an honorary doctorate of business science.
Dr. Ryan Anderson, author and the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, will also receive an honorary doctorate for his persuasive defense of Catholic values in the public square as well as his role as a religious freedom expert.
Thomas Aquinas College remembers pro-life leader who died tragically young
Twenty years after the death of Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) student Angela Baird, a pro-life leader at the Santa Paula, California school who was killed in a tragic hiking accident in 1997, the College is remembering her extraordinary life.
Jonathan Daly, who is now the college’s director of admissions, was with her after the accident and said that even thought she was in terrible pain, she offered her own sufferings “for the aborted babies” before passing away.
Remarkably, Angela used to pray in front of an abortion clinic all alone but upon her passing, a majority of the student body showed up at the clinic to pray. Some years later, when students arrived to pray on the anniversary of her death, they discovered that the clinic was closing.
She is remembered in a beautiful piece at The National Catholic Register.
Pro-abortion Congresswoman honored at Georgetown
Last week Georgetown University hosted its fourth annual OWN IT summit which included honoring pro-abortion Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Florida with the 2017 OWN IT Trailblazer Award as an outstanding female leader.
University President John DeGioia said the summit was a “testament to the strength of our university’s commitment to fostering a sense of inclusiveness.” But inclusivity apparently does not include the unborn.
Catholic school replaces non-Catholic principal after 27 years
As part of its effort to place greater emphasis on Catholic identity, Norfolk Catholic School, an apostolate of Sacred Heart Parish in Nebraska, has replaced its non-Catholic principal after 27 years. Jeff Bellar will remain as high school activities director and will work with alumni.
“In a time of need, I was asked to be principal. I assumed that role and have fulfilled it to the best of my abilities,” said Bellar. “When I took the position as principal, it was not seen as a drawback to be a coach and not of the Catholic faith. With the recent focus of the vision of Sacred Heart Parish on greater Catholic identity in our school, I was informed that moving forward, the parish needs the principal to be Catholic and spending full time on the academic program.”
The Cardinal Newman Society believes that Catholic schools should set clear moral standards and, whenever possible, hire Catholics who are truly prepared to be a living witness for the faith in all that they do and teach every day and in every way.
Court strips Christian university of religious rights
Yet another court has stripped a Christian school of its “ministerial exception” by ruling that an unmarried professor can sue for wrongful termination after it was learned she was pregnant.
The unmarried professor argued that Northwest Christian University’s decision to fire her was discriminatory, because if she were married she’d still have her job. The university countered that she refused to either marry the child’s father or stop living with him and that it requires all professors to live in conformity with Biblical Christianity.
The Supreme Court has previously ruled in Hosanna v Tabor that religious schools have rights to hire and fire for mission and to decide who is and who is not serving a religious mission. But the professor’s argument that she didn’t qualify as a minister because she was not tasked with leading prayers or any outwardly religious duties held sway with the U.S. District Court in Oregon.
Although this is not a Catholic university, the case is significant because it shows, once again, the willingness of courts to strip religious institutions of their religious liberty rights.
Two Catholic colleges to merge?
Two Catholic universities just outside Miami are exploring a “strategic alliance” which could possibly result in a full merger.
Barry University, which is sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Mich., and St. Thomas University, which is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Miami, have both received approval from their respective boards to begin conversations.
While the schools, which are only about eight miles apart, have faced enrollment issues and budgetary constraints, both insist that’s not the driving force behind the move.
“It’s really not about finances at all,” said Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale, St. Thomas University’s president. “It’s about creating whatever kind of synergies we can create in order to strengthen the institutions to a point where we can be seen as leading Catholic institutions — whatever form that takes.”