REPORT CARD: CUA President Promotes Catholic Identity; Franciscan Honors Fr. Scanlan; Diocese Requires Students to Stand for Anthem

CUA president: Catholic schools shouldn’t be an ‘echo chamber’

In a recent interview with Crux, the president of the Catholic University of America, a Newman Guide-recommended school, spoke extensively about the importance of Catholic identity and warned against Catholic colleges and universities becoming an “echo chamber” which crushes debate.

“Universities should be places where there can be civil exchanges of ideas, debates, and discussions,” John Garvey said. “We do ourselves a disservice if we consent only to engage with people in an echo chamber, who align with our every position or commitment.”

Of course, debate isn’t an end in itself—it is one means of discovering truth, and a Catholic university eagerly embraces truth, especially the truths of our Catholic Faith. Garvey said that a university’s Catholic identity shouldn’t be confined to the theology department but “should be expressed in all its operations.” As examples, he pointed to CUA’s single-sex residence halls and its support of pregnant students with residential options.

“The Catholic identity of a school should also be lived out in all of its academic programs. It’s not enough to ‘put them in dialogue’ with theology [as the massively flawed Land O’Lakes Statement said],” Garvey continued. “We should build great English departments, physics departments, art departments informed by the Catholic intellectual tradition. We should want our students to be educated in the fullness of the tradition—and to build and create beautiful things as well as good things.”

Same-sex marriage advocate leads BC seminar on Amoris Laetitia

A number of cardinals, priests and theologians gathered at Boston College to discuss how best to implement Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, the 2016 apostolic exhortation that has sowed confusion, especially when it comes to the reception of the Eucharist for divorced and remarried Catholics.

The event, which included five panel discussions, took place Oct. 5-6 and was reportedly organized by Boston College theologian Fr. James Keenan, SJ. Father Keenan said the conference’s mission is to “fortify and further the ongoing reception of Amoris in the U.S.”

In 2003, Fr. Keenan testified against a Massachusetts amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman and reportedly argued that “as a priest and as a moral theologian, I cannot see how anyone could use the Roman Catholic tradition to support [the amendment].” He lamented that the bill would deny “gays and lesbians” the “full range of human and civil rights.”

Cardinal Blasé Cupich and Cardinal Kevin Farrell attended the event, according to The Tablet.

New video honors Fr. Michael Scanlan’s legacy

Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, who was president of Franciscan University from 1974 to 2000—and is credited with transforming the struggling school into a Catholic education leader—is being honored in a new video titled A Father to Us All.

Father Scanlan died earlier this year.

The video features Franciscan University President Fr. Sean Sheridan, TOR; Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap.; and Dr. Scott Hahn discussing Fr. Scanlan’s amazing impact on both the college and Catholic culture in our country. It also highlights his work as a “spiritual father,” his leadership in retreats and pilgrimages, and his work with students administering the sacraments and offering spiritual guidance.

Pope Francis invites believers, non-believers to Pre-Synodal Meeting

Pope Francis recently announced that before the bishops meet for the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “Youth, Faith and Vocation Discernment,” the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops will convene a meeting with young people from all across the globe including Catholics and those of different beliefs (including non-believers).

The meeting is slated for March 19-24, 2018, while the synod is scheduled for October, according to Vatican Radio.

“The Church wants to listen to the voice, the sensitivity, of faith and also the doubts and criticisms of young people,” the Pope said. “Following this, conclusions of the March Meeting will be transmitted to the Synod Fathers.”

Gender theory advocate writes preface to Pope’s new book

A new book by Pope Francis titled Learning to Learn: Reflections on Education Issues reportedly has a preface written by a gender theory advocate, according to Breitbart.

Italian Education Minister Valeria Fedeli has been “undoubtedly the most tenacious and ideological supporter of the manipulation of school programs at every level according to the dictates of gender theories,” the report says.

The Holy Father has been a strong critic of gender theory, saying that an appreciation of gender differences is “necessary for our own self-awareness in an encounter with others different from ourselves.”

Diocese: Students must stand for national anthem

The Diocese of Rockville Center warned students at its three high schools that if they fail to stand for the national anthem before sports games they will face discipline, according to Breitbart.

“This is a reminder that all student-athletes and spectators are expected to stand during the playing of the National Anthem at school sporting events, without any gestures of demonstration or protest,” said a statement by spokesman Sean Dolan.

Dolan said this is not a new policy created in light of NFL players kneeling, but a long-standing diocesan policy.

Georgetown student newspaper calls for hiring conservatives. Really.

In a surprising move, Georgetown University’s student newspaper called out the university administration for hiring only leftist professors and for its lack of “ideological diversity” among its faculty, according to MRCTV.

A recent editorial from The Hoya’s editorial board urges the Jesuit university to “remedy its lack of politically conservative professors by considering a diversity of viewpoints when hiring instructors, from assistant professors to those with tenure, and by ensuring that no bias exists against conservative educators in the hiring process.”

“Georgetown falls short on its commitment to this ideological diversity in the makeup of its instructional corps,” because students want to be exposed to and challenged by “myriad viewpoints.”

“Allowing one specific political ideology a monopoly on our campus can foster dangerous levels of intolerance for contradictory beliefs,” the editorial said. “The results of permitting such ideological homogeneity have been witnessed at college campuses nationwide, including at Middlebury College, where violent protests erupted in response to a speech by author Charles Murray, and at the University of California, Berkeley, which has become a battleground for free expression.”

Kudos to The Hoya.

Anti-Catholic activist named chair at Santa Clara

Comedian and CNN host W. Kamau Bell has been named the Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts at Santa Clara University for 2017-18. The Jesuit university’s website says, “Bell will mentor and engage with students, faculty, and the Santa Clara University community.”

Bell is a self-declared critic of the Church, as well as a supporter of same-sex marriage and abortion.

About the Catholic Church,  Bell said, “You’re not going to find a bigger critic of the Catholic Church than me. You can find a bigger one, but I certainly feel like I have no room for that. My wife is Catholic, we got married in a Catholic church, and I think that’s how you become a critic, because you see it up close.”

Dennis Gordon, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Arts and Humanities at SCU said, “As students struggle with their own identities and to understand why our nation is divided along so many lines, [Bell] offers a greater understanding of the dangers that racism, sexism, homophobia, income inequality, and the dumbing-down of our political discourse present.”

Comedian laughs off university’s demand for apology

The lesson here is be careful whom you invite to speak.

Comedian Nick Cannon is laughing off a request from a Catholic college president to apologize for the content of his recent comedy routine on campus.

Georgian Court University President Dr. Joseph Marbach invited the comedian to perform during the GCU Reunion and Homecoming Weekend 2017 in front of students, parents and families in attendance.

Marbach later told People magazine that, “because of the anticipated nature of the audience and the context of being a Catholic university, we asked Mr. Cannon to avoid vulgarity and explicit sexual content in his performance. Unfortunately, he repeatedly chose to ignore this request.”

Following the event, People reports that Marbach sent an email to the “GCU Community” apologizing for the event and expressing his “profound disappointment” in the “offensive” routine.

“Mr. Cannon blatantly disregarded the terms of our contract, and much of his act ran counter to what we stand for at GCU,” he continued. “While comedy often explores serious social issues in ways that are fun and thought-provoking, Mr. Cannon’s act crossed the line. His words were offensives and do not represent our Mercy core values.”

Cannon was unapologetic, tweeting, “I ain’t apologizing for s— LOL… wait, I’m sorry your university doesn’t believe in freedom of speech!!!”

File this story under, “How did they not see this coming?”

Gonzaga welcomes former Black Panther, abortion advocate Angela Davis

Gonzaga University’s website is announcing that it is “proud to present” a lecture by Angela Davis later this month.

Davis is a radical activist with past associations to the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party USA, and she has supported abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

Davis was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List after she went on the run following the kidnapping and murder of a judge in California. The judge was killed with a gun allegedly purchased by Davis. After her capture, leftists rallied to her cause and labeled her a political prisoner. She was acquitted of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. After her release from prison, Davis traveled to the Soviet Union and received the Lenin Peace Prize in 1979.

In her book, Racism, Birth Control and Reproductive Rights, she wrote, “Birth control—individual choice, safe contraceptive methods, as well as abortions when necessary—is a fundamental prerequisite for the emancipation of women,”

Brian Cooney, English professor and director of Gonzaga’s Center for Public Humanities, said of Davis, “She is certainly one of the most important voices on behalf of justice—not just racial justice, but class justice, justice for women, justice for the LGBTQ community, and more—that we have had in America in the last half century.”

Marc Lamont Hill applauded at Saint Bonaventure for backing abortion

Author and Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill recently spoke at Saint Bonaventure University and was applauded for his defense of abortion.

Hill’s book, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond, was chosen as the “All Bonaventure Reads” book for fall 2017. When asked by a young man in attendance if the “vulnerable” included the unborn, Lamont answered that it didn’t.

“I believe in a woman’s right to reproductive freedom and the right to determine what to do with their own bodies,” said Hill to loud applause and whoops from many in attendance.

Appalling.

UK Catholic school promotes gender confusion

In an effort to “promote greater wholeness for transgender individuals,” a Catholic all-girls school in London, England, has ordered students to use the “preferred pronoun” of pupils who do not identify as female.

Marian Doyle, headteacher at Sacred Heart High School, recently informed parents that “as a Catholic school,” students should begin “using the young person’s preferred pronoun and addressing them as them with their preferred name, recognizing their intent to live as the person they believe God created them to be, and refraining from any judgement.”

One parent was quoted in the Catholic Herald saying that the policy was “dangerous” and likely to confuse young people.

In a statement, Doyle said: “Our community not only has a duty to uphold and maintain its charism but also to operate within the law, and as a Catholic school we must look to ensure we respond to different situations for young people, whatever they may be, with compassion, dignity and respect. In this, we seek the guidance of Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels to support us in our response.”

Student group delivers free condoms to DePaul students

Students for Reproductive Justice, an unofficial student group at DePaul University, is distributing condoms on campus and delivering birth control to student’s doors, according to DNA Info.

“It’s not just us handing out condoms. We’re really trying to make an impact on our community,” said one student organizing the effort.

She also said that “the professors I’ve talked to have been very supportive.”

Shockingly, she related her efforts with the work of a saint. “I personally think—and I think everybody in our group does too—that this is actually a very Vincentian act. The whole DePaul Vincentian motto is, ‘Do what must be done.’ And this is doing what must be done.”

Somehow, it seems that St. Vincent DePaul would not promote the Culture of Death.

Receive the latest on Catholic Education

Related Articles