Report Card: Fowl decision at Fordham, hero’s welcome for Esolen at Thomas More

Fordham denies pro-marriage Chick-Fil-A

Fordham University has reportedly denied a proposal to open Chick-fil-A on campus, after some students at the Jesuit institution protested that the restaurant chain is anti-homosexual, according to The College Fix and other sources.

Student groups such as the United Student Government, the Commuter Students Association, the Residence Hall Association and the Rainbow Alliance came out against the food chain opening on campus, because the president of Chick-Fil-A publicly supports traditional marriage.

It’s unclear if the students protesting Chick-Fil-A are familiar with the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage—or that they attend a Catholic university.

One current law student seems to know, yet has her own ideas what that means. She told The College Fix that she was “disappointed” and “troubled” because  as “a Jesuit school, Fordham should seek to challenge students to engage with, consider, respect, and be tolerant of all beliefs—especially those rooted in religious reasons.”

Professor Esolen’s big move gets widespread praise

Dr. Anthony Esolen has accepted a post at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, leaving behind Providence College and its angst about diversity and Catholic identity. The move was a decision that launched a thousand articles and blog posts.

Peter Jesserer Smith of the National Catholic Register wrote that the move “marks the end of an increasingly tempestuous showdown between Esolen and Providence over the Dominican-run institution’s direction and the beginning of a new chapter for the Catholic scholar.” Esolen will begin teaching courses at the New Hampshire Catholic liberal arts college in the fall and begin work on Thomas More’s new Center for the Restoration of Catholic Culture.

In the same piece, Dr. William Fahey, president of Thomas More (which is recognized in The Newman Guide), said Esolen’s hiring demonstrates both the college’s commitment to “excellence in teaching” and that “a small Catholic ‘Great Books’ college can continue to attract world-class faculty.”

Rod Dreher writes at The American Conservative that Esolen is not running away from something but “Running Towards Something Good.”

Esolen himself published a piece at Crisis Magazine about how one Mass at the faithful Thomas More College changed everything.

“Sometimes a single encounter with what is healthy and ordinary—I use the word advisedly, with its suggestion that things are in the order that God by means of his handmaid Nature has ordained—is enough to shake you out of the bad dreams of disease and confusion,” he wrote. “If it isn’t quite yet like meeting Saint Francis on the road, it is like meeting a bluff and jovial fellow who has just come from a conversation with that great little man of God.”

Ave Maria graduates largest class ever

Ave Maria University celebrated the school’s 13th commencement with the largest graduating class in its history with 232 graduates receiving their diplomas including 13 master’s degrees and 2 doctorate degrees.

The Newman Guide university honored Daniel D’Aniello, a veteran turned corporate executive and philanthropist, who told graduates “in this day and age, you’ll find that it’s not so easy being a person of faith in the dispassionate secular world we live in.

“As a graduate of Ave Maria University, however, you’ve not only received a top flight education in the field of your choice, but you’ve also received a strong faith-based formation. You not only can succeed professionally, but as importantly, if not more so, you are well-prepared to live your faith as an example to others.”

President Trump recognizes Catholic University of America’s Rienzi for HHS mandate challenge

In recognizing the great work of the Little Sisters of the Poor and their efforts to preserve religious liberty against the encroachment of the HHS mandate, President Donald Trump took a moment to recognize the incredible legal work of Catholic University of America Associate Professor of Law Mark Rienzi.

At the Rose Garden signing ceremony for his religious liberty executive order, the president asked the Little Sisters of the Poor to come up to the dais and asked them about their lawyers, to which they responded, they were “excellent, the best.” Trump immediately asked Rienzi, who represents the Little Sisters with his colleagues at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, to stand to be recognized and applauded.

Rienzi’s case—which went all the way to the Supreme Court and is still not entirely resolved—defends not only the Little Sisters, but also the many Catholic participants in the Christian Brothers health insurance plan, of which The Cardinal Newman Society is one. We are grateful to Rienzi and the Becket Fund for their heroic efforts.

LGBT flags wave at Notre Dame

As LGBT alumni from Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame Universities gathered on campus for the GALA-ND/SMC reunion, they were greeted with a number of “Rainbow Pride Flags” hanging from windows across campus.

Notre Dame’s student newspaper said the “show of support” from students and faculty was at least partially a protest of the upcoming commencement speech by Vice President Mike Pence.

“Students and alumni came together and said ‘we’re frustrated with the invitation of Mike Pence as the Commencement speaker on many fronts certainly,” one Notre Dame student who was involved in the flag distribution said. “Dealing with LGBT issues dealing with funding for conversion therapy, his passage of a restrictive [law] that didn’t include a civil rights exemption when it was first written [and] at one point his professed intent to enshrine marriage between one man and one woman as a constitutional amendment.”

Newman University plans ‘Catholic’ LGBTQ group

As part of its “pastoral plan,” Newman University in Wichita, Kan., has announced plans to form a an LGBTQ student support group next year, but it pledges to ensure compliance with Catholic teaching.

The university hired a diversity coordinator last year.

“The University exhorts all to hear and live the Church’s teaching that ‘the deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage (between man and woman) is essentially contrary to its purpose’ and is considered gravely sinful,” the plan reads.

As with many such groups, what’s on paper may not reflect reality. Kevin Clack, the group’s first student leader, said he believes the group will be able to discuss dating and romance but noted LGBTQ students have many other concerns. He also said he doesn’t agree with the language about Catholic teaching on marriage but thinks compromise was necessary just to get the group started.

Georgetown holds ‘lavender’ graduation

Around 120 students from Georgetown University were recognized as a part of the LGBTQ Resource Center’s Lavender Graduation.

Father Michael Zampelli, S.J., a professor in the theatre and dance department at Santa Clara University, gave the keynote speech.

Ontario Catholic schools cancel play about cross-dressing boy

Several Catholic schools in Ontario, Canada, are being accused of “transphobia” after cancelling performances of a children’s play about a cross-dressing boy.

“Boys, Girls, And Other Mythological Creatures” tells the story of an 8-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a princess. Performances were suddenly called off by five Catholic schools after several parents complained about the content of the play being inappropriate.

Kansas City archbishop bans Girl Scout cookie sales at Catholic schools

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., has cut ties with the Girl Scouts and said their cookies should no longer be sold in Catholic schools.

“No Girl Scout cookie sales should occur in Catholic Schools or on parish property after the 2016-2017 school year,” he said in a letter sent to priests in his parish.

“To follow Jesus and his Gospel will often require us to be counter-cultural,” Naumann wrote. “With the promotion by Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) of programs and materials reflective of many of the troubling trends in our secular culture, they are no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel.”

All-purpose commencement address for pro-abortion speakers

In light of the alarming number of Catholic colleges honoring speakers opposed to Catholic teaching, Catholic writer John Zmirak has offered up a humorous template for such speakers.

“Congratulations, graduates and parents of [Catholic™ university or college]. This is a proud day indeed for each one of you. I am honored to be here. I never imagined back when I was working in the trenches to [legalize abortion / limit religious freedom / destroy marriage/ imprison Catholic journalists] that I would be here today addressing you. Go [mascots]!” he wrote. “You have passed through four or five years of careful formation in the liberal arts, in the proud tradition of the [dying religious order that founded the college]. It has shaped you, as it shaped generations of [mascots] before you.”

You can read the whole thing at The Stream. Well worth it.

Cardinal Parolin: Catholic universities are important for vocation discernment

In commemorating the Italian bishops’ day for the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that Catholic schools must play a vital role in “vocational discernment.”

“In this area, a role of primary importance is held by the Catholic universities, entrusted with the mission of preparing young people able to form, with the resources of the intellect, with generosity of heart and with the strength of the Spirit, their life and the future path of humanity,” he said.

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