National Catholic Register


Campus Watch

Higher ed in the headlines.

BY John Lilly

November 26-December 2, 2006 Issue | Posted 11/22/06 at 10:00 AM


Chastity Endorsed

CARDINAL NEWMAN SOCIETY, Nov. 13 — Leaders of Catholic educational institutions and other Catholic organizations have endorsed a statement calling on Catholic colleges and universities to conform with Church teachings on sexuality.

The statement is titled “Addressing Same-Sex Attraction and the Virtue of Chastity on Catholic Campuses.” It was distributed to participants at last month’s Catholic Leadership Conference in Denver by the Cardinal Newman Society and subsequently mailed to each of the U.S. bishops in advance of their annual meeting this month in Baltimore.

The 55 signers include presidents and trustees of Ave Maria College, Ave Maria University, Christendom College, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Magdalen College, the International Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools, and the Catholic Family Network of home-schooling parents.

“Many Catholic colleges have been tarnished by sex-related scandal in recent years, including homosexual activism, rampant sexual activity among students, and recent revelations of sexual abuse of students in Washington State,” said Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society.  “It is urgent that educators support the Church’s call to chastity, not only because these are Catholic institutions, but because unhealthy behavior puts students at risk physically, emotionally and spiritually.”

Christian Student Wins

THE KANSAS CITY STAR, Nov. 11 — Missouri State University has settled a lawsuit filed by a Christian social-work student.

Emily Brooker, a May 2006 graduate, alleged that professor Frank Kauffman violated her freedoms of speech and religion by demanding that students sign a letter supporting homosexuals who want to be foster parents. Brooker refused to sign the letter because it contradicted her Christian beliefs.

According to the lawsuit, the university’s School of Social Work filed a grievance against Brooker, claiming that by refusing to sign the letter she had violated the school’s standards.

After the university investigated Brooker’s allegations, she was awarded $9,000 and granted the right to attend Missouri State to pursue a master’s degree in social work free of charge for two years. The university also committed to clear Brooker’s official record of the grievance.

Following the investigation, Kauffman voluntarily gave up his post as director of the master of social work program and was reassigned to non-classroom duties.

Inspired by Ave Maria

JACKSON CITIZEN PATRIOT, Nov. 11 — Ave Maria University is in the process of relocating from Ann Arbor, Mich., to Naples, Fla., but some of its professors are working to create an in-state replacement, the Michigan daily reported.

Four professors founded a new school called Solidarity in September in Jackson, Mich. Three of the four professors also teach at Ave Maria.

Right now, the school has only 32 students and is not yet accredited. But the school’s founders plan to develop the school into an accredited four-year college with more than 1,000 students, modeled on the departing Ave Maria.

“We are picking up where Ave Maria left off,” Thomas Grace, Solidarity’s chairman, told the Patriot. “Our draw is similar to Ave Maria, attracting high-school graduates from all over. There are no Catholic colleges in this area, and there is definitely a need for one.”