Report Card: Catholic Standards; Colleges that Deny Truth; Hope for Scholarship Tax Credits
Newman Society’s standards for Catholic education featured
In a piece by Catholic News Service about how the classical approach to education is making gains, Denise Donohue, deputy director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s K-12 programs, talks about the Society’s Catholic Curriculum Standards for Catholic educators.
“The standards rely primarily on the Church documents on Catholic education with additional resources coming from Catholic and classical authors,” said Donohue. “The standards are premised on the key components of the integral formation of the human person, man’s intellectual ability to understand objective reality, the dignity of the human person and the acquisition of virtue, a synthesis of faith, life, and culture, and the development of a Catholic worldview to bring the student deeper into the heart of the Catholic Church.”
A dozen U.S. dioceses have implemented the Society’s curriculum standards in over 390 schools for almost 120,000 students. Other schools have adopted sections of the standards as well.
Catholic colleges that deny truth are not ‘friendly’ to anyone
Dissident advocacy group New Ways Ministry released a list of “gay-friendly” Catholic colleges and universities, including those which have “some type of lesbian/gay student group, support group or ally group.”
Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly has a very different (and Catholic) take in The National Catholic Register. “What’s a ‘gay-unfriendly’ Catholic college?” he asks. “I don’t know of any.
“My experience of the faithful Catholic colleges in our Newman Guide is that they are the friendliest, most generous places on earth — and none are on the New Ways list,” he says. “The problem for New Ways Ministry, I suspect, is that Catholic institutions that stick to the truth of the human person — even in a loving way — and don’t conform to the ‘new ways’ that distort marriage and sexuality.
“The most unfriendly act is to lead someone into sin and falsehood,” Reilly says. “What too many of these ‘friendly’ Catholic colleges are doing, by supporting ‘gay’-centered activities that avoid and even distort truth, is scandal and quite dangerous to their students.”
Pro-abortion speaker to kick off Villanova’s leadership institute
Villanova University will officially launch the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership this fall on the university’s campus. Author Anne-Marie Slaughter, who heads the think tank New America, will deliver the opening’s keynote address.
Slaughter is a vocal Planned Parenthood activist who tweeted in 2015, “I stand with Planned Parenthood @PPFA because I believe everyone should have access to the care they need.” She also encouraged followers to donate to the abortion giant.
Last year she tweeted out a New York Times story headlined “Late-Term Abortion was the Right Choice for Me,” calling it, “Beautiful and powerful.”
There’s nothing “beautiful” about killing unborn children. Let’s pray that Villanova’s choice for a speaker to kick off the Institute’s existence isn’t indicative of the work they’ll be doing.
Jesuit student conference features abortion march founders
Women’s March coordinators Bob Bland and Breanne Butler were among the speakers at this year’s National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference (NJSLC) held at Georgetown University.
The five-day conference drew more than 360 students and advisors from 27 Jesuit institutions. The event is billed as an opportunity to discuss higher education and to improve the schools through sharing ideas while connecting to the Jesuit values.
The pro-abortion Women’s March on Washington platform says organizers “do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education.” The March banned pro-life groups from participating.
Also, conference speaker Father David Hollenbach, S.J., has publicly questioned Catholic teaching that abortion is always sinful, comparing judgments about abortion to prudential judgments about war and the death penalty. He also publicly opposed the U.S. bishops’ implementation of the mandatum, a Canon Law requirement that theologians pledge to teach authentic Catholic doctrine.
Chicago Archdiocese pushes for tax credits for private school scholarship contributions
Leaders of the Archdiocese of Chicago met with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in an effort to create a tax benefit for those who contribute to scholarships for parochial and private schools, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
The Republican governor has lauded the proposal, but it has drawn the opposite reaction from Democrats and the Chicago Teachers Union. The governor wants to create scholarships to help low- and middle-income students afford private schools. Donors would be granted tax credits for their contributions.
Republicans want a 100-percent tax credit, but there’s a move to reduce it to 75 cents per dollar or less. Democrats are also pushing to make it a pilot program that would have an expiration date.
And speaking of tax credits for education scholarships…
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states currently offer companies and individuals a tax credit for contributions to scholarship programs.
Members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Catholic Education met with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Congress, and now there is growing optimism about a federal tax credit scholarship program, reports Crux Now.
“We want to keep the drum beating about this,” said Greg Dolan, associate director for public policy for the USCCB’s education secretariat.
Wyoming Catholic College to welcome largest class
Wyoming Catholic College is welcoming its largest class ever, with 59 freshman entering the Newman Guide college.
WCC President Dr. Glenn Arbery says the fact that the students hail from 26 different states shows the Catholic college’s “national appeal.”
“It’s especially encouraging that with this dramatic growth, we have been able to maintain the caliber of students entering,” he says. “From test scores, to high school GPA, to personal integrity, these are some of the brightest young Catholic minds.”
St. Michael’s College president says school has lost its way
In a stunning speech, the president of the University of Toronto’s St. Michael’s College, David Mulroney, accused the college, founded in the 19th century by Basilian priests, of being embarrassed about being Catholic.
Speaking at an international conference of Roman Catholic educators and communicators in Quebec City, Mulroney also said the school had a “negative” culture of binge drinking with many cases of “women being objectified.”
One particular event on campus called “Cowboys and Schoolgirls” was especially troublesome, and he showed a disturbing video of the event.
“If I’ve been concerned about anything at St. Mike’s, it’s… that we have gravitated to a situation where only one perspective was possible, and that is a perspective found at a lot of Catholic universities which is a sort of left, progressive agenda.”
Toronto Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins has reportedly pushed for greater control of the college but has been consistently rebuffed.
Cristo Rey Network’s vision includes an ‘explicit’ Catholic identity
In an interview with The National Catholic Register, the Cristo Rey Network’s president and CEO talks about the need for creating schools with a strong Catholic identity for urban youth.
“Our schools are explicitly Catholic,” says Elizabeth Goettl. “Not all of our students are Catholic, so we do this work because we are Catholic, not because the students we’re serving are all Catholic.”
Goetti said that most of the schools are supported by a religious sponsor such as the Jesuits, Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Charity, or even sometimes the local bishop. “Catholic identity is critical,” she says. “Of the 10 Cristo Rey mission-effectiveness standards, the first standard is that the school is explicitly Catholic.”
St. Louis Catholic educators taught that teaching is a ministry
Teaching at a Catholic school is a ministry. This should be a given for veteran educators, but almost 200 first-year Catholic teachers for the Archdiocese of St. Louis heard this message loud and clear during their orientation.
“All around this archdiocese of ours, children are wondering about you,” said Stephanie Welling, associate superintendent for school personnel. “How will you respond to that call? How will you bring each child and parent that you meet closer to Jesus Christ this year?”
Superintendent Kurt Nelson said teachers must remember that “being a teacher in a Catholic school is a ministry. Part of your responsibility is to teach by word and example and attitudes — the Gospel.”