National Catholic Register


Campus Watch

BY John Lilly

June 25-July 1, 2006 Issue | Posted 6/26/06 at 10:00 AM


Brave New Women

TIME.COM, June 12 — “On campus, a new conservative women’s anti-feminist group is rising,” reported the magazine’s website about the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW), and “they don’t distribute condoms … or march for a woman’s right to choose.”              

Founded in 2004 by Karin Agness, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, the movement kicked off with a protest of “The Vagina Monologues.”

“‘The Vagina Monologues’ was something at UVA that no one had challenged because, when feminists say something, it becomes fact,” said Agness. “It’s really important … to stand up and take on some of these issues.”

Vaulting Vocations

FRANCISCAN UNIVERSITY OF STEUBENVILLE, June 12 — Sixteen graduates of Franciscan University will enter a variety of diocesan and religious-order houses later this summer after taking part in the university’s pre-theologate program.

Born of a student-led prayer group in the 1980s, the program provides those discerning a priestly vocation with a structured prayer life in a community setting.

Thirty-three students are expected to enter the program this fall, joining 25 returning students.

Teaching Violence

NATIONAL REVIEW, June 19 — An internal study by Saudi Arabia found that government textbooks used in 2004 routinely “encouraged violence toward others.”

Despite Saudis claims “that all the objectionable material has been removed,” a new study by Freedom House finds the current curriculum no better,” as it includes, for example, “how Jews are apes and the Christians swine,” reported the magazine.

National Review concludes that the report doesn’t help to ascertain Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the War on Terror.

Ashley’s Triumph

CBS NEWS, June 10 — Abandoned at birth, Ashley Wyrick was unlikely to graduate high school, much less enjoy a happy life.

“I was left behind a rock at 6 o’clock at an intersection in Redwood City, Calif., on Dec. 30, 1987,” she told “The Early Show.” “I was … in a paper bag.”

But it was not the end of her suffering, which included the divorce of her adoptive parents and the death of her adoptive father when Ashley was 9. She was raised by his adult daughter.

Academically gifted, outgoing and just plain happy, Ashley is “the kind of kid that everybody would want,” said a teacher. “She came out of this brown bag, and look who she is. It’s amazing.”

Da Vinci Well Handled

THE MICHIGAN CATHOLIC, June 12 — The tempered response of Catholic leaders to the movie version of The Da Vinci Code was exactly what the situation called for, according to University of Detroit Mercy marketing professor Michael Bernacchi.

Classified “morally offensive” by the U.S. bishops’ Office for Film & Broadcasting, the falsehoods of the book and movie have also been outlined in television programs, books and educational materials by both Catholic and non-Catholics.

But there was no Catholic boycott or papal criticism of the film.

“The Church … could not have handled it any better,” Bernacchi told the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Detroit. “They’re at the top of their game.”