Tuesday 28th July 2015

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Glass Half-Full? Half-Empty?

June 26, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

The old explanation of the difference between an optimist and a pessimist came to mind when I read S.M.’s letter in response to the May 29 edition of First Teachers. That was the column where we listed the colleges and universities that are complying with the Church’s call to be faithful to Catholic theology and the Church’s moral teachings. The column included portions of an article by Tom Hoopes in the National Catholic Register expressing his gratitude for the role that an “authentically Catholic college” played in his intellectual and moral development.
“I commend Tom Hoopes,” writes S.M., “for recognizing the elements of a truly Catholic education. His willingness to ‘pay even more in tuition for what I have received’ attests to the fact that he understands the difference between being educated and being schooled.” S.M. writes of his own experience with an authentically Catholic college: “Our children attended the University of Dallas and they were indeed educated. The list of 16 truly Catholic colleges (those abiding by the mandatum plus those employing the Oath of Fidelity) is complete to my knowledge.”
But S.M. asks us to keep things in perspective. “The numbers involved reflect the magnitude of the challenge we face. My guess is that the combined enrollment of the 16 schools is between 50,000 and 75,000 students. This population is similar to that of the University of Minnesota, one secular university, if commuter students are included in their totals. A factor of 100X would be needed to leaven our society.”
S.M. also commented on the question of tenure for high school teachers, discussed in the same edition of First Teachers. “With regard to tenure, waiting six years is a necessary improvement. However, unless a renewal with real dismissals is held every six years, little will be gained in the long run. As long as defined-benefit pensions are provided (still free?) by the public, underperforming teachers will always hang on and slide through. Since students learn as the teachers teach, shouldn’t tenure also depend on the tested knowledge of the teacher? Most of our teachers are schooled, not educated (see above).”
How should we react to S.M.’s observations? Is he describing a glass half-full or half-empty? I have to straddle the fence on this question. To be sure, the number of students enrolled in colleges loyal to the mandatum is small in comparison to those enrolled in the more established Catholic colleges, the Notre Dames, Georgetowns, and Boston Colleges of this world, schools which largely ignore Rome’s wishes in regard to the mandatum. But what does that mean?
Should we be uplifted by the success of the schools that abide by the mandatum and work even harder to expand their reach? Or, instead, concentrate our efforts on transforming the larger and better-known Catholic universities into authentically Catholic institutions? Which is the more realistic option? Is it a fool’s errand to think that we can return schools such as Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Boston College to their Catholic roots? Are they too far gone? Should we be content to live for the foreseeable future with a small number of authentically Catholic colleges, hoping that they will provide an example for other Catholic institutions? Or is doing that a version of “going Amish,” accepting orthodox Catholicism as something outside the mainstream of American life? Is that a surrender of sorts?
There are those who will argue that it is still possible for Catholic students to receive an education that will ground them solidly in their faith at places such as Notre Dame; that, for all the problems at these larger Catholic colleges, students are still able to find solidly Catholic professors of theology and philosophy on their faculties, daily Mass and the sacraments, along with the rich architectural and artistic reminders — the statues, crucifixes, and stained-glass windows — of the heritage of the Christian West.
Not an easy decision. We invite our readers to weigh in.
With that in mind, we would like to call our readers’ attention to the new edition of the Cardinal Newman Society’s Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. The Newman Society describes the 2014 guide as one that “will recommend Catholic colleges that are faithful to Catholic identity inside and out: in the chapel, in the classroom, and in the dorm. This unique guide helps Catholic students open the door to a lifetime of faith-inspired success.”
The Newman Society guide does not limit itself to the colleges that were listed in First Teachers on May 29. The guide provides a detailed description of the course of study and campus life at the schools it recommends. The guide costs $10 (plus $5 shipping and handling) and can be ordered at the Newman Society’s website: cardinalnewmansociety.org.
On another topic: the wave of commencement speakers canceled this year in the face of leftwing student protests. It is good to see that is no longer just conservatives who are expressing outrage over the phenomenon. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the occasion of his speech at this year’s graduation ceremonies at Harvard to throw a spotlight on the hypocrisy taking place.
You don’t have to agree with Bloomberg’s understanding of the career of Joseph McCarthy to applaud him for his willingness to take on the academic leftists on their home ground:
“This spring, it has been disturbing to see a number of college commencement speakers withdraw — or have their invitations rescinded — after protests from students and — to me, shockingly — from senior faculty and administrators who should know better. There is an idea floating around college campuses — including here at Harvard — that scholars should be funded only if their work conforms to a particular view of justice. There’s a word for that idea: censorship. And it is just a modern-day form of McCarthyism.”
Bloomberg added, “In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96 percent of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama. Ninety-six percent. There was more disagreement among the old Soviet Politburo than there is among Ivy League donors.”
I doubt many readers of this column are fans of Bloomberg, But you have to give credit where credit is due. Bloomberg said what had to be said to an audience that would not have listened if a conservative were the making the case. It was a classic case of bearding the lion in his den.

+    +    +

Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The e-mail address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net, and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford, CT 06492.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

More than Half of Young Catholic Families Are Latino Despite Recent Decline

More than half of young Catholic families (53 percent) identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic compared with 32 percent of all Catholics, according to a recent survey. Could the presence of Hispanic families in the Catholic Church indicate Latino congregational…Continue Reading

New York Catholic churches closing after decades of service

Parishioners in New York are losing their churches as the Catholic Archdiocese carries out an aggressive consolidation plan. The cuts are driven by declining membership, fiscal insolvency of churches, and fewer priests, according to church officials. While there are 2.8…Continue Reading

Kenyan President to Obama: You Will not Impose The ‘Gay Rights’ Agenda In Kenya

We need to speak frankly about these things” says President Kenyatta in response to Obama’s statement that Kenya must share the same values as the United States on sodomite rights issues. Kenyatta, at the press conference this morning in Kenya,…Continue Reading

Nancy Pelosi: Ignore Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies, Investigate Pro-Lifers

nancyp

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has no interest in digging deeper into the revelations that the Planned Parenthood abortion business is selling the body part of aborted babies Instead, she wants the Obama administration to investigate the pro-life activists who…Continue Reading

Carly Fiorina to Planned Parenthood: You Deny Ultrasounds to Show Women Life Within Them, but Use Ultrasounds to Preserve Organs of Their Dead Babies

Venezuela’s bishops caution against the adoption of no-fault divorce

The Venezuelan bishops last week warned that marriage and families in their nation will be weakened as a result of a court decision ruling that spouses can divorce without any evidence of wrongdoing on either’s part , Christian Telegraph reports…Continue Reading

Rationing? Obamacare Health Care Plans Have 34 Percent Fewer Doctors, Hospitals

According to the Washington Examiner, a new study reveals that Obamacare plans have 34% fewer doctors and hospitals than other health insurance plans. The information was released today by Avalere Heath and proves that exchange networks actually provide fewer heart…Continue Reading

Cdl. Vincent Nichols to Expand LGBT Ministry

WESTMINSTER, July 21, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales, is pushing to expand the Church’s ministry to those in the LGBT community. Monsignor Keith Barltrop, parish priest of St. Mary…Continue Reading

LA gets three new auxiliary bishops, including Fr. Robert Barron

Los Angeles, Calif., Jul 21, 2015 / 07:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Known for his online videos which tackle everything from the saints, to the “new atheism,” to the latest blockbuster film, Fr. Robert Barron will have a new responsibility: auxiliary…Continue Reading

New video: Planned Parenthood official haggles over baby body part prices, jokes ‘I want a Lamborghini’

July 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A second video allegedly showing a senior Planned Parenthood official negotiating for fetal tissue and fetal parts for profit has been released. In the video, released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Dr. Mary…Continue Reading

Bravo . . . Brit Hume

The recent assault on Archbishop Chaput is a taste of what awaits many others.

No small part of the extraordinary success of the pro–“gay marriage” movement has been its ability to sell the idea that this really is No Big Deal. Same-sex-attracted men and women, the claim goes, simply want what other people want…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis: Multiply good works like the loaves and fishes

pope113

(Vatican Radio) Before the recitation of the Marian Prayer before the faithful in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recalled Sunday’s Gospel about the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. The Pope explained that “Jesus satisfies not only material hunger, but the most profound of hungers, the hunger for meaning in life, the hunger for God.” He went on to say that  “in the face of suffering, loneliness, poverty and difficulties of so many people,…Continue Reading

How PPFA Manipulates Women Into “Donating” Their Babies’ Organs

By DAVE ANDRUSKO (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News Today, July 15, 2015. All rights reserved.) + + + We’ve discussed at some length a shocking hidden-camera video in which two undercover investigators are shown discussing with a high-ranking PPFA official how these supposed “procurers” of fetal tissue could work with Planned Parenthood affiliates to harvest intact baby body parts. I would also like to talk about…Continue Reading

Analyzing The Heterodoxies Of The “Shadow Council”

By MAIKE HICKSON As some readers might recall, on May 25, 2015, the presidents of the German, Swiss, and French Bishops Conferences had organized a private conference at the Gregorian University in Rome. This “Shadow Council,” as it soon was called, was criticized for its secrecy and obliqueness. The suspicion arose that this meeting was intended for preparing some revolutionary strategies and argumentation in order to promote the liberalizing agenda at the upcoming October 2015…Continue Reading

In the meeting on climate change and modern slavery, the Pope warns against the idolatry of technocracy

Vatican City, 22 July 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon Pope Francis greeted the participants in the meeting “Modern slavery and climate change: the commitment of cities” and in the Symposium “Prosperity, people and planet: achieving sustainable development in our cities ”, held in the Vatican’s Casina Pio IV by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, whose chancellor is Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. The events were attended by the mayors of major cities, local administrators and various…Continue Reading

Aggressive Obama, Passive National GOP . . . Is Third-Party Option Starting To Look Better?

By DEXTER DUGGAN House Speaker John Boehner said the recently released sting video of a national Planned Parenthood official at lunch, munching away and chatting about how to “crush” unborn babies to harvest their organs for money, was “disgusting.” Republican Boehner finally seemed to have found his voice in a Washington where he usually blends…Continue Reading

Is This What Determines Our Position On Common Core?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The mail that we receive at First Teachers is overwhelmingly opposed to Common Core, the federal government’s effort to establish education standards for the country. Certain of our correspondents object to what they see as a liberal bias in Common Core’s curriculum, while others object to what they believe are confusing…Continue Reading

When Trump Talks, People Should Listen

By REY FLORES How many of you recall the old E.F. Hutton television commercials where everyone on an airplane would stop and listen to one man when he says, “My broker is E.F. Hutton, and E.F. Hutton says….” The voiceover would then state: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Donald Trump can do the same…Continue Reading

Thinking About The Church And Our Lives As Catholics

By PHILIP TROWER (Editor’s Note: This essay is an abridged version of a 2009 talk Philip Trower gave to the David Foster Summer School in England.) + + + I want this evening to share some thoughts with you about what being a Catholic has come to mean to me since I was received into…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Like A Prophet Warning Of A Nightmare

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, by Anthony Esolen (Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Wilmington, DE, 2015); 222 pp. Available through www.isibooks.org. When many hear the word compulsion, they think of a totalitarian society or a state of imprisonment or associate the word with some addiction like drugs…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Like Love, Assent To Faith Is A Matter Of The Will

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Reaction to my column last week titled “Where Is There Room to Disagree With Jesus? In Hell!” included the following note from a Facebook follower. Kim wrote, “Perhaps the question posed to you was not worded correctly. How about this onea. . . . Is there a line where Catholic teachings are not something Catholics…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Why Is The Gospel Message Unique Among Religions?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 12 In this series of articles on apologetics, we have followed a logical sequence, moving from the simpler to the more complex. So, first we saw how it makes sense that truth is objective, and not subjective; that is, our minds do not create the truth, they learn it, discover it, and grasp it from…Continue Reading

The Four Marks Of The Church — Catholicity

By DON FIER Part 3 As we continued to examine the third mark of the Church last week, that she is catholic (or universal), we saw that all mankind is called to belong to the one true Church, the new People of God. Christ’s clear mandate to His apostles was to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In our parish it is a custom following the final blessing at Mass for the priest to lead the congregation in a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and a Hail Mary. This past Sunday during that prayer, I was reminded of the tradition in the late 1940s and the 1950s to offer prayers for the conversion of Russia following…Continue Reading

Put On The New Self

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 Eph. 4:17, 20-24 John 6:24-35 In the second reading today St. Paul calls his Ephesian converts to a deeper conversion, emphatically stating: “I declare in the Lord.” He could not have used any language that would have been stronger to make his point. And what…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Martha

By CAROLE BRESLIN A popular pilgrimage among the Catholics of southern France takes visitors to the Grotte de la Sainte-Baume, located in the hills of Provence about 20 miles east of the port of Marseilles. To reach this holy site, the driver must cover miles of winding, ascending roads to the foot of the mountain. Then the pilgrim ascends a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading