Xavier Honors Archbishop Pittau
XAVIER UNIVERSITY, Nov. 29—Xavier University will confer an honorary doctorate in the humanities upon Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau on Dec. 2. The convocation will keynote the school's celebration of the 450th anniversary of St. Francis Xavier's arrival in Japan. Archbishop Pittau, who has served in Rome since 1981, including tenures as president of the Pontifical Gregorian University and secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, is a fitting choice for the distinction and the occasion. He is a former missionary to Japan and a former president of Sophia University in Tokyo, a close affiliate of Xavier.
A Jesuit and a native of Italy, Archbishop Pittau joined the Sophia faculty in 1963, serving as professor, academic dean, chair of the board of trustees and rector of the Jesuit community before being named president.
Merit Makes the Grade in Texas
In 1996, Texas’ last year of “affirmative action,” blacks made up 4.1% of the students at the University of Texas at Austin. In the second year of the new program, the number of blacks has returned to 4.1%.
The Hispanic population stood at 14.5% in 1996; it is now at 13.8%. The program has also been less divisive than “affirmative action,” which emphasizes racial quotas rather than meritorious performance.
Texas Gov. George W. Bush strongly supports the program and will likely use the positive results to help his presidential run next year.
The merit-based programs modeled in Texas are quickly spreading to other populous states. George's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, implemented a similar program that would grant the scholarships to high school seniors in the top 20%.
In California, where “affirmative action” was rejected in a statewide vote, Gov. Gray Davis has promised slots to students in the top 4%, the Times said.
The newspaper went on to say, “Over the past decades, U.S. Catholics have watched as the same secularizing trends that have all but erased the Protestant foundations of America's leading universities threaten to do the same to the country's 235 Catholic colleges and universities.
“Even non-Catholics would likely regard the prescription the bishops have endorsed as a tautology: that theologians advertised as Catholic actually teach ‘authentic Catholic doctrine’ and that a majority of a Catholic university's trustees and faculty be Catholic as well. From the outcry this has provoked you might think the bishops had called for reinstating the rack.
“There's nothing to prevent a Catholic theologian who does not have a mandate from his bishop from continuing to teach what he is teaching at the same school — he just can't call it ‘Catholic.’ Even more to the point, if the presidents of these nominally Catholic institutions really do believe that the implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae imposes a burden incompatible with their mission, there is nothing to prevent a Boston College or a Notre Dame from dropping the word ‘Catholic’ and continuing down their merry path. Either way, wouldn't we all be better off knowing who stood where?”
The editorial included an anecdote about the Pope's reaction to a group of American college officials who visited Rome to lobby against Ex Corde.
To their concern about losing federal dollars, the Pope is reported to have said with a smile, “Then I think you will have to learn to get along without the American government's money.”
Union Demands Dismissal of Volunteer Teacher
The complaint was filed by a paid, union-member teacher. When the Williamstown school district's finances hit a low point four years ago, Bill Corrow — a retired English teacher with a master's degree — began teaching “Conflict in the 20th Century” at Williamstown Middle High School.
School officials say Corrow has “an extensive reading list and a lot of expectations” for students — in other words, he piles on the work, but the kids are learning and improving, according to CNSNews.com
School Superintendent Clif Randolph says he stands firmly in support of Corrow. He said the case is about union control rather than teaching. “Our attitude is that, if Robert Frost was alive today, does that mean we couldn't use him to teach poetry to our students?”