Culture Wars Come for 'Woke' Catholic Schools

Jul 14, 2022

Education Culture Wars Come for 'Woke' Catholic Schools by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. The culture wars over critical race theory, gender theory, and coronavirus protocols that ignited a nationwide movement of parent activism have spread beyond public education. Once seen as a refuge from activist public school teachings and pandemic closures, Catholic schools are in the midst of their own internal struggles of whether to wade into cultural touchstone debates or hold firm to religious teachings. “The reality is these are very troubling times, within and outside the church,” Bishop Thomas Daly of the Diocese of Spokane said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “[It's a] challenge when we have Catholic schools, Catholic bishops, religious orders, and institutions within the church who have, quite frankly, gone ‘woke.’” “When the church goes down the path of ‘wokeism’ ... we are unfaithful to Christ's mission that he's entrusted the church ... [and] we cause [great] harm.” Read

American Federation of Teachers Convention Promotes CRT,

Abortion, and Green Energy by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. Proposed resolutions under consideration at the annual convention for the American Federation of Teachers this week include vows to support critical race theory, classroom discussions on gender identity and sexual orientation, and demands for student loan forgiveness…. The union’s women’s rights committee is set to review three resolutions that all condemn the Supreme Court for its ruling overturning Roe v. Wade last month…. Supreme Court Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch are all mentioned by name in the resolution. Read

Green Bay Diocese Issues Gender Identity Policy Consistent with Biological Sex by Maisy Sullivan at Catholic News Agency. The Diocese of Green Bay has added a clause to its education policy manual that prohibits the use of pronouns and wearing clothes that do not align with a person’s biological sex. With 54 Catholic schools in the diocese, this policy will apply to around 9,000 students. It will also affect 12,000 people who attend religious education classes. The punishment for violation of the policy, which took effect July 1, can range from corrective action to suspension or expulsion. “The Church teaches that our identities as male and female are part of God’s good design in Creation, that our bodies and sexual identities are gifts from God, and that we should accept and care for our bodies as they were created,” the policy reads. Read

‘Limited to No Difference’: Masks Are Useless in Schools, Study Finds by Reagan Reese at The Stream. Masks in schools were not effective in preventing the number of COVID-19 cases in schools, a Research Square study found. The study focused on two school districts in the 2021-2022 school year from Fargo, North Dakota, one with a mask mandate and one without in fall 2021. North Dakota Fargo Public Schools and West Fargo Public Schools had different policies, but there was “no significant difference” between the rate of cases among students in each school, the study found. Read

Raising a Family in the Digital Age: A Technology Guide for Parents by Clare Morell, Patrick Brown, Noelle Mering, and Mary Hasson at Ethics and Public Policy Center. This 20-page resource is designed to help educate parents about the harms and dangers of today's technologies and equip them with practical tools to protect their children. Read or Download

Throwback Thursday

Unity, Truth, and Catholic Social Thought by Robert P. George at First Things on July 13, 2018. Catholic social teaching is Catholic moral teaching; Catholic moral teaching includes Catholic social teaching. It is a mistake—a common one, yet a profound error—to speak and think of “social” and “moral” teaching as separate and distinct categories. We need to begin treating this way of speaking (and thinking) as unacceptable. There is one unified, integrated teaching about how we as Catholics should conduct our lives in this world and what we should promote to our fellow citizens as the just, love-affirming, liberating, life-giving way. The polarization of our politics and culture is much remarked on. And today we find the same polarization, or something uncomfortably like it, in the Church. It is sometimes said to pit “liberal” social-justice Catholics against “conservative” pro-life and pro-family Catholics…. We should first be focused on the question, “What is true?” Then we can unite around true principles, precisely because they are true. Read