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Archbishop Urges Catholic Educators to “Dig Deep” Into Church Teaching on Gender Ideology

Feb 23, 2023

A Catholic Response to Gender Ideology Theory Addresses “Tsunami” of Gender Ideology by Jim Graves at The Catholic World Report. “We are heavily influenced by the culture around us,” says Archbishop Alexander Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland, “and many of our own Catholic people may have adopted gender identity theory.” “I want them to read this document—not just the guidelines, but to dig deep into the teaching…. Forty-three percent who identify as transgender are below the age of 25, and I think it is undeniable that social media has had a great influence on them rather than older persons or the wisdom of the Church.” Read


New York Archdiocese to Close 12 Catholic Schools by Joe Bukuras at Catholic News Agency. The Archdiocese of New York announced Wednesday that 12 of its schools will close at the end of the 2022-2023 school year, citing “detrimental” financial instability “due to shifting demographics and lower enrollment made worse by the pandemic.” “It is never a good day when we announce closures to any of our beloved schools, but the goal is always to strengthen the remaining institutions and preserve Catholic education in New York for decades to come,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, said in a Feb. 15 press release. Read


Columbia University Gets Its Own Catholic Center by John Burger at Aleteia. Columbia University, one of the premiere institutions among the Ivies, now has a proper Catholic center. The Thomas Merton Institute for Catholic Life had a “soft opening” at the upper Manhattan campus this week, as the center continues to finish construction. Named for who is most likely Columbia University’s best-known Catholic convert, the Merton Institute is being constructed at the Church of Notre Dame…. “So much about the living of the Catholic faith goes beyond worship,” said Fr. Roger Landry, the chaplain to the Merton Institute and Columbia’s Catholic religious life adviser. “We do have a place; we’ve always had a place where we’ve been able to get together to pray. But Catholicism is not a classroom. It’s not, strictly speaking, a church. It’s a way of life.” Read


Imagine No Religion by Casey Chalk at Crisis Magazine. Imagine, for a moment, not only John Lennon’s hope that “there’s no heaven,” but that there is no religious belief anywhere in the public square…. Forced to provide health insurance for morally impermissible things like abortion and contraception, or offer certain services in direct contradiction to Church teaching, many Catholic-owned businesses would fold. Catholics in public education, forced to teach explicitly anti-Catholic, immoral content would quit; and Catholic parochial schools, compelled to teach the same, would close. The same would happen to Catholic adoption agencies and Catholic relief organizations serving millions of Americans in need of various basic services. Read


The Good Catastrophe: Why Everyone Should Read Great Literature by Walker Larson at Intellectual Takeout. Great authors understand what it means to be human, what motivates a person, how one person’s choices influence the lives of those around them. They understand the most intense feelings, the deepest trials, the highest joys, the best and the worst that we are capable of, and they translate all of this into their work. Larson reminds us that by reading great works of fiction we learn almost firsthand about the complexities of human life. This is knowledge that all of us, without exception, can use quite practically: We can use our understanding of life that we glean from literature to live well ourselves. Read


This Is Not Okay by Mark Anthony Signorelli at The Classical Corner. [T]here is a temptation that classical educators must strongly resist, and it is the temptation to think that by banishing the progressive trash from our classrooms, we have made any fundamental reform in the tenor of modern education. The failings of modern education lie much deeper, and our remedies must be applied at a much deeper level. However much the political storms may rage outside our school buildings, inside, all our care should be for teaching our pupils to be articulate, well-read, thoughtful human beings, in the confidence that young people so taught will never grow up to serve the evil, stupid slogans of the day. Read


Not a Single Student Can do Math at Grade Level in 53 Illinois Schools. For Reading, It’s 30 Schools by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner at Wirepoints. The data comes straight from the Illinois Board of Education. This column focuses on schools where zero percent of kids are able to read or do math. But we could have just as easily looked at the 622 schools where only 1 out of 10 kids or less can read at grade level. That’s a whopping 18 percent of the state’s 3,547 schools that tested students in 2022. And only 1 out of 10 kids or less can do math at grade level in 930 schools…that’s more than a quarter of all schools in the state. Defenders of the current system are sure to invoke covid as the big reason for the low scores. But a look at the 2019 numbers show that the reading and math numbers were only slightly better than they are now. Read


Florida Senate Education Committee Approves School Choice Bill by Andrew Powell at Washington Examiner. The Florida Senate Education Committee approved a bill that will further expand education choice in the Sunshine State on Tuesday. The scope of authorized use of tax credits in family empowerment scholarships has… widened to include specified purchases through an empowerment educational savings account and excess funds from taxpayer scholarship funds will be authorized to go towards funding disability scholarships. Read


Canadian Catholic School Student Who was Suspended for Protesting Transgender Bathroom Policy Speaks Out by Peter Pinedo at Catholic News Agency. Josh Alexander, a 16-year-old student in the 11th grade at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Canada, was suspended this month for expressing his religious and moral objections to the school’s transgender bathroom policy…. Alexander, who is Baptist, explained that after he began attending Catholic school, “very quickly I was informed by female students that male students were using the female washrooms; this was an issue that came up in class debate and I used that platform to share my opinions as every other student had the opportunity to do, and I quoted some Scripture, I said that there is only two genders. And apparently, because there [are] transgender students in the class, this was considered bullying.” Read


St. Louis Gender Clinic Said Fifth Graders Should be Encouraged to be Transgender: Report by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. A St. Louis area gender clinic reportedly told an elementary school teacher in a local school district that a group of fifth graders who together claimed to be transgender should be accommodated. In an email to the clinic, a teacher from Parkway C-2 School District expressed concern that the group of elementary-aged children was claiming a transgender identity because one of their classmates had done the same and that it could be a result of social contagion…. In the emails… an employee at Washington University Transgender Center at the St. Louis Children's Hospital told the teacher that concerns about "contagion" were not "affirming" and that studies that showed such trends are "invalid." Read


Poll: Americans Oppose Race as a Factor in College Admission Decisions by Casey Harper at Washington Examiner. As the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether it should be legal to use race as a factor in college admissions, new polling shows Americans oppose the idea. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 62% of Americans oppose higher education institutions using race as a factor when deciding who to admit…. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the matter by June after one group filed suit against Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over their race-based admissions policy, pointing out they hurt other students. Read


Throwback Thursday


The 5 Marks of a Truly Catholic School by Elisabeth Sullivan at CatholicLink on February 1, 2021. Christians understand that the human person is made in the image and likeness of God, and is destined to be with Him forever. Respect for the dignity of all human life is a principle by which we can assess events in history, literature, science, ethics, and current events. This truth also guides all our relationships. A Catholic school, therefore, should nurture all that is human in the students it serves—the ability to observe, to listen, to attend, to remember, to imagine, to imitate, to integrate, to pray, and to love, among other traits…. It is the faith and formation of individual teachers that most powerfully transmit faith and learning…. They form children from their earliest years in the confidence and joy that come from knowing that they are loved beyond measure by God, who draws them to Himself through the beauty, order, and mystery of the universe He created. Nothing else can compare to this clear foundation for happiness and holiness—which is most fully provided when Catholic schools return to their own proven tradition. Read

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