Plagiarism Redux

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY, March 14 — Just weeks after Father Richard McBrien of the University of Notre Dame was cleared by the university on charges of plagiarism, the Virginia-based Cardinal Newman Society has announced evidence of a separate and far more serious case, the Catholic News Agency reported.

The Catholic-college watchdog has sent the university an 11-page comparison of Father McBrien’s 1997 book Lives of the Popes and strikingly similar — sometimes exactly the same — pages from Father J.N.D. Kelly’s 1986 Oxford Dictionary of Popes.

The Newman Society, headed by Patrick Reilly, pointed out that this situation was first reported in 1998 by Notre Dame professor emeritus Father Marvin O’Connell in the magazine Books and Culture.

Reilly said: “Notre Dame’s response to our first complaint was a whitewash, but this they cannot ignore”

Apartment Fire

THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, March 14 — A 225-bed apartment complex being built at Gonzaga University was destroyed in a catastrophic fire that stretched firefighting resources and closed a major road in Spokane. No one was injured.

The Kennedy Apartments, a $10.4 million complex, had yet to be occupied but was insured and will likely be rebuilt, reported the Spokane daily.

The local fire department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating. “It went up very fast,” said a Gonzaga spokesman.

Catholic Chair

BOCA RATON NEWS, March 8 — Florida Atlantic University may soon be one of only three public institutions of higher education to establish a Catholic chair, reported the Florida daily.

The Friends of Newman is a non-profit group that was organized in 2004 to establish a $6 million Catholic chair on the school’s Boca Raton campus that would focus on Catholic beliefs, history and culture.

It would also examine such contemporary issues as bioethics from a Catholic perspective, said Robbe Roger, president of the group.

For more information, call (561) 297-3803.

Atheists May Apply

THE SCOTSMAN, March 9 — Catholic authorities in Scotland must allow non-believers to apply for leadership positions in Catholic schools, though the Church retains the right to pass over all but practicing Catholics when it comes time to hire.

David McNab, an atheist and a math teacher at St. Paul’s High School in Glasgow, complained after he was not permitted to apply for the position of acting principal, reported the Scottish daily.

McNab was awarded more than $3,500 in damages based on the school’s alleged violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Glasgow City Council may appeal the decision’s insistence on an open application process.

Record Numbers

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10 — Evangelical-Protestant colleges are attracting record numbers of applications this year in a trend that allows the colleges to increase revenue and be more selective.

Applications have jumped between 8% and 10% at the 238 colleges that belong to the North American Association of Christian Admissions Professionals, reported the daily.

“We had thousands and thousands of applications from students who in prior years would have been admissible, but we had to wait-list them,” said an admissions officer at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.