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REPORT CARD: Bishop Condemns Notre Dame Policy; Educators Mourn Germain Grisez; Vandals Attack Campus Pro-Life Display

Bishop Rhoades condemns Notre Dame’s contraception decision

In a welcomed statement [1], Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend called on the University of Notre Dame to “reconsider its decision” to provide funding for contraception in its insurance plan, saying it contributes “to immoral activity.”

Bishop Rhoades clarified that the use of artificial birth control as a contraceptive “is intrinsically evil,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2370), and pointedly responded to Notre Dame’s reasoning that it offers such coverage because of the plurality of religious traditions and beliefs among employees.

He said that while many employees may have their own beliefs, “members of the community who decide to use contraceptives, however, should not expect the university to act contrary to its Catholic beliefs by funding these contraceptives.”

“Not providing funding for contraception would not be popular with some, but it would truly be a prophetic witness to the truth about human sexuality and its meaning and purpose,” he said. “I hope and pray that the university will reconsider its decision.”

Let’s pray that Notre Dame chooses to uphold its Catholic mission and reverses its calamitous decision.

Georgetown corrects ‘mistake,’ returns misdirected funds to faithful group

The Georgetown student group Love Saxa, which has been under fire on campus for its support of Catholic teaching on marriage, recently discovered that a sizable amount of its funding has either gone missing or has been funneled towards LGBT-friendly campus groups.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Love Saxa, has demanded that the Jesuit university return the funds to the student group and investigate how the financial mishap happened in the first place.

Georgetown claims it was simply a mistake that they misplaced the funds, according to The College Fix. [2] But they did return the money, according to the Daily Signal [3], still claiming that it was a clerical error that somehow put money for a pro-marriage group into the hands of opposing clubs.

Boston College students seek campus-wide contraception distribution

After publicizing an online poll on sexual activity on campus, the Students for Sexual Health (SSH) at Boston College is seeking a resolution from the student government in support of allowing the group to distribute contraceptives on campus.

According to BC’s student newspaper [4], the group’s very unscientific survey asked questions of fewer than 400 students on Facebook—79.9 percent of whom self-reported that they’d been sexually active while enrolled at BC.

Armed with these stats, SSH is seeking enough signatures to initiate a campus-wide vote. That vote would not bind the university. In fact, in a 2009 referendum, 90 percent of students voted to make birth control available at Health Services. Thankfully, the administration refused.

The thinking here seems to be that BC students either don’t know or don’t care about the Church’s teaching on sexuality, so therefore the university must violate the Church’s teaching on contraception. Not only haven’t these students been learning Catholic teaching at BC, but it doesn’t seem they’re learning logic either.

Catholic school goes old school with mixed ages in single classroom

After years of declining enrollment, a Catholic school in Connecticut is going old school by reviving the idea of the one-room schoolhouse—along with some 21st century interactive technology.

“Sometimes out of a crisis comes opportunity,” said Steven Cheeseman, superintendent of schools for the Bridgeport Diocese, which has pledged $250,000 to go partly towards technology to help teachers guide students of different ages through individualized lessons.

Father George O’Neill, pastor of St. Joseph Church, told the News Times [5] that “this model addresses each student not by age, but by stage, so you can use an iPad to make a track for each child and the child follows that track.”

Other area Catholic schools have already made the change and tout the program’s benefits.

“At the beginning, it is very hard to wrap your head around how to meet the needs of each learner, with two grades in one classroom,” said Cathie Mastrogiovanni, who teaches six- through eight-year-olds at St. Peter/St. Francis in Torrington, Conn. “What is great about it is I have them for two years, so when they come to me in their second year, I already know where they’re at and what they need, so I can keep taking them as far as they need to go.”

With many Catholic schools facing enrollment declines, this could become an interesting experiment—already proven to work very well in homeschooling families and groups.

College of Holy Cross denounces crusades, but keeps Crusader mascot

After months of discussions, the College of Holy Cross board of trustees decided against changing the name of its mascot, the “Crusaders,” to something they might consider less offensive, according to Inside Higher Ed. [6]

While they are keeping the mascot, the college wishes everyone to know that it’s not a fan of the Christian campaigns in the Holy Land known as the crusades.

“While we acknowledge that the crusades were among the darkest periods in Church history, we choose to associate ourselves with the modern definition of the word crusader, only which is representative of our Catholic, Jesuit identity, and our mission and values as an institution and community,” President Fr. Philip Boroughs wrote in a statement. “We are not simply crusaders, we are Holy Cross Crusaders.”

The student newspaper, however, opted to change its name from “The Crusader” to “The Spire.”

“No matter how long ago the crusades took place, this paper does not wish to be associated with the massacres (i.e. burning synagogues with innocent men, women, and children inside) and conquest that took place therein,” said an editorial.

Catholic school integrates Down syndrome students

The Catholic News Agency [7] reports on a wonderful situation at Immaculata Classical Academy, a Catholic school in Louisville, Ky., in which students with Down syndrome are integrated into each of their pre-K through 12 classrooms.

Other Catholic schools across the country have reportedly begun looking to the school as a model.

Michael Michalek founded the academy along with his wife, Penny, eight years ago after seeing a need for a Catholic school in which students like their daughter, Elena, who has Down syndrome, would not be segregated from their siblings. Since then, the school has grown to 160 students, about 15 percent of whom have special needs. It emphasizes what it calls “education of the heart.”

“Prayer is the air that we breathe. We start the day with prayer. Every class starts with a prayer and ends in a prayer,” said Penny Michaelek, who, with her husband, adopted three children with Down syndrome. “Our whole philosophy is to teach every child as if we were teaching the Christ child.”

Germain Grisez, great Humanae Vitae defender (1929-2018)

Germain Grisez, professor emeritus of Christian ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University and one of the most articulate defenders of Humanae Vitae and the Church’s teachings against contraception, died Feb. 1 from cancer, National Catholic Register reports. [8] He was 88 years old.

Grisez served as moral theology professor at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary for three decades, until 2009. One of the nation’s most respected theologians for his defense of Blessed Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, Grisez authored dozens of books and articles in philosophy and moral theology.

Russell Shaw, a longtime friend and collaborator, said, “As a scholar, he was a model of intellectual integrity. As a Christian, he was a faithful son of the Church and a devoted family man and friend.”

Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Pro-life display destroyed at Catholic college

Vandals destroyed a pro-life display of 50 blue and pink crosses titled the “Cemetery of the Innocents” in late January at Bellarmine University in Kentucky, according to The Libertarian Republic. [9]

The Catholic Students Association had erected the display as an expression of its support for life. However, vandals pulled the crosses from the ground, tossed them, and even scribbled pro-abortion messages on the signs, including, “Support Planned Parenthood.”

The fact that a Catholic Students Association is needed at a Catholic university says everything already.

University of San Diego holds ‘All Faith Service’

The University of San Diego [10] recently held its 25th All Faith Service, which included a Muslim Call to Prayer, a Buddhist lecture, a Hindu dance, a Jewish prayer, as well as a prayer of intercession following a Kumeyaay Bird Song presentation.

The event’s theme was, “Reaching Beyond Ourselves: Flourishing Together in a Globalized World.”

Would that USD stopped trying so hard to reach beyond itself and found some value in its Catholic mission!

University of Dayton cautions against using ‘husband,’ ‘wife’

Giving in to the false gender ideology, a language resource guide from the University of Dayton’s Women Center cautions against the use of the terms “husband and wife,” instead suggesting gender-neutral alternatives such as “spouse,” “partner,” and “significant other.”

“Generic occupational titles like administrator, doctor, lawyer, nurse and secretary apply to both men and women,” the guide states. “It is easier to see that these jobs can be done by a person of any gender when using gender-inclusive or gender-neutral language.”

Breitbart reports [11] that the University of Dayton described the language resource guide as an “educational resource,” and that the guide does not represent official university policy. It is, however, available on the university’s website.

Fairfield hosts pro-abortion, communist agitator Angela Davis

Angela Davis, the communist agitator who was involved in terrorism and spent time on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List in 1970, spoke recently at Fairfield University as part of its Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.

According to the Fairfield Mirror [12], Davis spoke “on topics ranging from Black History Month, to her activism, to the Time’s Up movement.”

Dr. Philip Eliasoph, professor of visual and performing arts and founder and director of the Open VISIONS Forum, stated that 29 departments on campus worked as co-sponsors to have her visit Fairfield. He called Davis “a bona fide legend in the struggle for human rights.”

Davis is a self-proclaimed communist who purchased guns for fellow militants in a plot that led to the killing of innocents. Her views on abortion also blatantly contradict Catholic teaching.