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Catholic Tuition Backfiring

11/08/2008 Comment

In the rush of election coverage, other important Register coverage hasn’t gotten the play it should have.

The Cardinal Newman Society’s Center for Higher Education produced a study with QEV Analytics that surveyed current students and recent alums of Catholic higher education. This news broke on the Register’s website ... on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Read the story (linked from the home page or by clicking here) but the findings include:
60% say abortion should be legal.
60% say premarital sex is not a sin.
57% say same-sex “marriage” should be legal.
39% saw officials or staff encouraging contraceptive use.
31% saw officials or staff encouraging acceptance of homosexual activity.

How could this be? How is it that Catholic parents pay good money (and a lot of it) for a Catholic education at a Catholic school ... and get a thoroughly secularized son or daughter back from the process?

Pope Benedict XVI reiterated the call for stronger Catholic Identity at The Catholic University of America on April 17 this year, when he said:

“Teachers and administrators … have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church’s magisterium, shapes all aspects of an institution’s life, both inside and outside the classroom.”

He added:

“In virtue of [academic] freedom you are called to search for the truth wherever careful analysis of evidence leads you. Yet it is also the case that any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and the teaching of the Church would obstruct or even betray the university’s identity and mission.”

Our Catholic Identity Survey has found some schools that are in compliance with Church guidelines. (It’s always available under the “Resources” tab above.)

— Tom Hoopes

Filed under academic freedom, canon law, catholic identity, weekend commentary

About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.