Report Card: Science and Faith Meet in Catholic Schools; Bishops Praise Trump for School Policy Shift
Catholic-educated students better suited to deal with science/religion debate
A study from The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) suggests that while many young Catholics turn away from the faith because of the mistaken notion that modern science either disproves faith or makes it irrelevant, enrollment in a Catholic primary or secondary school, college or university or even participation in a parish-based catechetical program improves one’s ability to reconcile the claims of modern science (mainly the theory of evolution) with the Catholic faith.
For instance, the study shows that while only 22 percent of those who were not part of any formal Catholic educational program believe evolution is reconcilable with Catholicism, 42 percent of those who attended a Catholic college find evolution compatible with their faith. Pope Pius XII has stated that there is no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith.
Bishops applaud President Trump’s withdrawal of Obama’s ‘transgender’ policy
Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Bishop George Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, issued a statement expressing gratitude to the Trump administration for withdrawing the Obama administration’s mandate that all public schools, as well as all colleges and universities, should treat “a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex” by allowing them to use the restroom or locker room of their choice.
“Children, youth, and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity and respect,” they said. “All of these can be expressed without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security on the part of all young students and parents.”
“The [U.S. Education Department’s] Dear Colleague Letter sought to impose a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with sensitive issues involving individual students,” they continued. “Such issues are best handled with care and compassion at the local level, respecting the privacy and safety concerns of all students.”
Old anti-Catholic laws revived to stop vouchers
Anti-Catholic state laws from the 19th century are currently being used by some to fight public funding of all religious organizations, warned Eric Baxter, senior attorney at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. States’ “Blaine” laws are being used “to counter religious organizations and religious individuals,” he said.
Quick history lesson: President Ulysses S. Grant pushed for a federal amendment by U.S. House Speaker James Blaine of Maine that prohibited taxpayer funding of “sectarian” schools, but fortunately it failed in the Senate. Several states passed versions of the bill barring state funding of Catholic schools.
In the year 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court called such laws “born of bigotry.” But they are still in use today against religious organizations and often prevent them from receiving funds.
Their main problem, according to Baxter, is “this idea that somehow religion is not welcome in public life, when really, the First Amendment was created to ensure just the opposite.”
At Georgetown, Justice Ginsburg links same-sex and interracial marriage
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a supporter of abortion and same-sex marriage, recently spoke at Georgetown University about her new biography co-written by two Georgetown University Law Center professors.
Ginsburg shared the stories behind her own court opinions and spoke about the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, which ruled that bans on interracial marriage were unconstitutional. She said that case paved the way to legalize same-sex marriage, for which she ruled in 2013.
“Marriage had to become a relationship between equals before there could be any thought of same-sex marriage,” Ginsburg said.
Of course, this specious analogy between interracial and same-sex marriage was employed to great effect in this country in order to discredit and demonize defenders of traditional marriage. It ignores the fact that the civil rights movement was largely a Christian movement, but same-sex relationships are contrary to the purpose and nature of marriage.
Santa Clara hosts theologian who said Jesus may have been hermaphrodite
Santa Clara University has announced it will be hosting theologian Susannah Cornwall from the University of Exeter, who once suggested that Jesus may have been a hermaphrodite, to discuss “Gendered Theologies and the Common Good.” It is part of the “Gender Justice and the Common Good” program of Santa Clara’s Bannan Institute.
Cornwall is scheduled to speak at the Jesuit university about “spiritual care pathways for people undergoing gender transition in the National Health Service in England.”
“We cannot know for sure that Jesus was male,” Cornwall wrote once, in response to the debate about women bishops in the Church of England. “It can only be that Jesus’ masculine gender role, rather than his male sex, is having to bear the weight of all this authority.”
She called identifying Jesus as a man is “simply a best guess” as “we do not have a body to examine and analyze.”
Holy Angel University earns prestigious recognition
Holy Angel University in the Philippines—which is recognized in The Newman Guide for faithful Catholic education—has earned the prestigious Philippine Quality Award for its passionate commitment to education and the community. It will be presented by the nation’s president.
Catholic school serves Down Syndrome and autistic students
“Love gives everything gladly, everything again and again, daily.” Those words of Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger, who founded the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Regensburg, Germany, in 1833, adorn the wall of the Notre Dame School in Dallas, which exclusively teaches 158 students with Down Syndrome or autism, among other disabilities. The school, which was featured in the falsely named National “Catholic” Reporter, recently raised about $12 million to modernize its classrooms, cafeteria, gymnasium, playgrounds and offices as well as technology updates.
Catholic University accepts massive donation of ancient manuscripts
The Catholic University of America recently accepted a large donation of centuries old handmade Ethiopian religious manuscripts, making the faithful Catholic university one of the largest holders of such texts.
The donation from Gerald and Barbara Weiner of Chicago of more than 215 Islamic manuscripts, 125 Christian manuscripts, and 350 so-called “magic” scrolls with prayers for protection from illness is estimated to be worth more than $1 million.
“Every one of them is a treasure,” said Aaron Butts, an assistant professor of Semitic languages and literature at Catholic University.
Mark Cuban: Future belongs to liberal arts majors
Mark Cuban, the outspoken billionaire investor, foresees “much greater demand for liberal arts majors” in the next decade because of their analysis skills and creativity. He recently predicted that automation and artificial intelligence will eliminate many jobs and careers, leaving young people scrambling for alternatives. Cuban is urging young people to stay away from majors that train them in only one skill, such as finance.
PragerU Launches major effort to support school choice
PragerU, an online educational video series from radio host Dennis Prager, launched an effort last month to advance school choice.
“If you want America’s students to have better educations and brighter futures, you have to support choice and competition in education. It really is that simple,” Dennis Prager, radio talk show host and founder of Prager University, told The College Fix via email.
The campaign’s online videos will focus on fixing a broken education system and how school choice helps low-income families and special needs students. To date, more than 18,000 people have pledged their support by signing their name to the statement: “I feel strongly that families should be free to choose the best education for their children.”