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Catholic universities and colleges continue to ignore Ex Corde Ecclesiae

This year marks the 20th anniversary of what was supposed to be the implementation of St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities there are very few Catholic college administrators willing to even discuss the document.

Healy Hall of Georgetown University. (Wikipedia)

As we approach the 20th anniversary of what was supposed to be the implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, there still are very few Catholic college administrators willing to even discuss the document. And even fewer bishops willing to enforce it. Refusing to comply with the document’s mandatum requiring all Catholic colleges to teach “in communion” with Church doctrine—and be accountable to their bishops—most Catholic college and university administrators have spent the past few decades to ignoring it.

The few exceptions are Catholic colleges and universities such as Franciscan University—where Ex Corde Ecclesiae guides hiring, curriculum and student life—and Ave Maria University, which recently re-published the papal document in a beautifully bound book and distributed it widely across campus. (It is also available on the University’s website.) But Ex Corde Ecclesiae is very much a “dead letter” on most Catholic campuses.

In fact, the reason that Ave Maria University decided to appeal to the Holy See through the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, DC for permission to reprint the papal document was because printed copies of the papal document are almost impossible to obtain. Ave Maria’s Provost Roger Nutt wrote in the Prologue:

Ex Corde Ecclesiae has been an inspiration and guide to the university since its founding, the document is used for orientation of new faculty and other formation opportunities on campus…It is our hope that this Ave Maria University reprint of Ex Corde Ecclesiae will facilitate interest in John Paul II’s vision for Catholic higher education and provide greater clarity to all the faithful about what the Church expects from her universities.

While Ave Maria University must be lauded for the important role Ex Corde plays on its campus, most of those working on the majority of the more than 200 Catholic campuses in the U.S.  have long forgotten it.  In fact, the document was most likely “dead” from the moment of its release in 1990, as the majority of Catholic college presidents refused, and continue to refuse, to implement it. One Catholic college professor, who was then the vice president of the Catholic Theological Society of America,  called it the “death” of Catholic higher education. Notre Dame’s then-president Fr. Edward Malloy, along with Fr. Donald Monan, then-chancellor of Boston College, responded to the release of the document by publishing an article in America calling it “positively dangerous.”

Warning of “havoc” if it were adopted, the faculty senate at Notre Dame voted unanimously for the guidelines to be ignored.  Mission mostly accomplished.  Fiercely resisted, it took more than ten years for Catholic campuses to even pretend that they were beginning to implement it in 2002. Ten years later, in 2012, the Office of the Secretariat of Education at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a Final Report for the Ten-Year-Review of the Application of Ex Corde EcclesiaThe USCCB’s “Final Report” was a one-page, self-congratulatory and platitudinous document that lauded “ongoing dialogue” and a “spirit of collaboration”—but said nothing about what was really happening in Catholic higher education.

The 2012 USCCB report ignored Notre Dame’s providing the highest honors to pro-abortion politicians including President Barack Obama and then-Vice-President Joe Biden.  Notre Dame’s President John Jenkins rejected any pretense of “collaboration” with the presiding bishop, the now-deceased Bishop John D’Arcy, who publicly pleaded with him to reverse the decision to honor President Obama with an Honorary Degree at Commencement. The report also ignored Georgetown faculty’s lobbying for abortion and same-sex “marriage”, and its student pro-abortion club Hoyas for Choice. And it ignored Notre Dame’s “Coming Out Closets” event celebrating the GLBTQ community on campus. It also ignored the many Catholic universities with close ties to Planned Parenthood—the largest abortion provider in the country.

In fact, in 2011—the year before the USCCB released its “final report” of the great progress made by Catholic colleges—the Cardinal Newman Society reported 150 connections between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood.  The connections included recommending Planned Parenthood as a health resource, hiring faculty who currently or previously worked at Planned Parenthood centers, hosting events and fund raisers for the organization, and encouraging students apply for internships and volunteer opportunities at various Planned Parenthood facilities. None of this was mentioned in the celebratory assessment of Ex Corde’s implementation in 2012.

Further, the single-page USCCB report was lauded by Catholic News Service and National Catholic Reporter, which proclaimed: “Bishops, colleges find good collaboration in Ex Corde review”, and even Our Sunday Visitor published a headline that pronounced: “Progress Seen in Boosting Catholic Identity on Campuses.”

Today, ten years later, most Catholic college faculty and administrators continue to resist any attempt by the bishops to “interfere” with the activities on their campuses—even when those activities are blatant violations of Catholic moral teachings. This independence was codified in a symbolic manifesto issued in 1967 at a meeting of the U. S. Catholic academic leaders in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin, led by Notre Dame’s longtime president, the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh. What became known as the “Land O’Lakes Statement” declared:

To perform its teaching and research function effectively, the Catholic university must have a true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the academic community.

This quest for independence from the Church continues. Last year, students at Loyola Marymount held a major fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in is campus dining hall. Describing the event on an online university calendar as “an opportunity for us to raise money for a cause we really care about and have fun at the same time,” a statement from Loyola Marymount portrayed the event as a “living example that LMU embraces its mission, commitments, and the complexities of free and honest discourse.”

Still, there is some hopeful news. Earlier this academic year, University of Dayton administrators revoked an invitation to speak at a campus conference that had been issued to Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, a Special Rapporteur within the United Nations and a long-time advocate for expanding access to abortion and reproductive choice. Honoring abortion providers in a Facebook post on “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day,” Dr. Mofokeng suggested that, “If you’ve ever had one or know of a person who was assisted by a provider, take a moment today to call or send a card just to say Thank you.  They do a tough job and seldom get the appreciation they so deserve.”

Dr. Mofokeng was never an appropriate speaker for a faithful Catholic campus. But it is clear that many on Dayton’s faculty thought she was and pushed back on the decision to disinvite Mofokeng. It was courageous for Dayton’s administration to revoke the invitation. They should be admired, not criticized, for this. But the campus has had problems in the past. It was only a few years ago that the University of Dayton was negatively sanctioned by the Cardinal Newman Society for congratulating some of the graduates of their sociology program who are pursuing careers at Planned Parenthood as a Center Director or Program Administrator.

The University of Dayton revocation should give faithful Catholics hope because it is a sign that the war to reclaim the Catholic identity on Catholic campuses is not yet lost. Dayton, like some other Catholic colleges, has published guidelines for guest speakers which ask (on page 20) “How does the speaker/theme of the event advance the educational goals of UD as a Catholic and Marianist university?” If the published guidelines had been followed, Dr. Mofokeng would not have been invited in the first place.

Thankfully, there are many faithful faculty and administrators on Catholic campuses who will never give up. But what kind of support can they expect from their bishops?  According to Barbara H. McCrabb, the Assistant Director for Higher Education at the USCCB, there are no plans for a twenty-year assessment of the implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae.  “The U.S. application called for a five and ten year assessment,” McCrabb told CWR, “at this time there are no plans to do an additional review.”

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About Anne Hendershott 101 Articles
Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.  She is the author of The Politics of Envy (Sophia Books, 2020)


  1. Of the release in 1990 of ex Corde Ecclesia, we read that it was branded “the ‘death’ of Catholic higher education;” [and then] “Notre Dame’s then-president Fr. Edward Malloy, along with Fr. Donald Monan, then-chancellor of Boston College, responded […] by publishing an article in America calling it ‘positively dangerous.’”

    And, yet, the Introduction to the document pinpoints the real danger: “On an even more profound level, what is at stake is the very meaning of the human person.”

    With the very meaning of the human person clearly on the chopping block of modern-day Secularism, what thinking person today gives a rat’s sass about autonomous college administrators’, and their plush ivory towers as their meaning of higher [!] education?

  2. “To perform its teaching and research function effectively, the Catholic university must have a true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the academic community.”

    Aah that much sought after autonomy.

    Eve certainly had many followers.

  3. Christendom College in Northern Virginia is among the handful of Catholic Colleges that have implemented Ex Corde Ecclesiae. “And by their fruit you will know them.” In its 40+ years of existence, 100 graduates of Christendom College have been ordained to the priesthood. I wonder how Georgetown U or Boston College’s numbers would compare over the same period proportionately to their student bodies.

  4. Roman distinctive’s should be respected in Catholic universities. Wherever Christ is honoured nothing is lost.
    Excellence in learning is underscored by godliness. Ethics should govern our motives.

  5. Any article published in “America Magazine” is automatically suspect. Looking for Church teaching? You won’t find it in the Jesuit “America Magazine.” I have an eighty-three year old friend who thinks this publication is just wonderful, but having listened to her understanding of Catholic teaching, I can understand why. She has little comprehension of what Catholics must believe. Her catechesis must have been nil or she just wasn’t listening, so James Martin’s take is good enough for her. I’ve tried talking to her, but it does no good. Unfortunately, many “cradle Catholics” have little knowledge of Church teaching. I am grateful to be a “cradle convert.”

  6. “If you’ve ever had one or know of a person who was assisted by a provider, take a moment today to call or send a card just to say Thank you. They do a tough job and seldom get the appreciation they so deserve.”

    Can a fetus sign a preapproval form for these procedures? I doubt they would send a thank you note either.

  7. Thanks for this update. Bravo to Ave Maria University for republishing Ex Corde Ecclesiae. Maybe the time is right for getting the document into the hands of faithful parents and concerned alumni.

  8. Among the apostate signatories the 1967 Land of Lakes Statement is: Theodore McCarrick (at the time President of the University of Puerto Rico).

    In 2022, only some 20 of the 200 “so-called-Catholic” universities and colleges in the US can now be recommended to parents by the Cardinal Newman Society, which annually surveys these “so-called-Catholic” schools and publishes a list of the colleges committed to Ex Corde Ecclesiae (ECC).

    Commitment to ECC involves the presiding Bishop certifying (with a document called a Mandatum) that faculty teaching theology at the schools believe in and teach the divine and moral theology of the Catholic Church. That seems like a fairly simple mark of Catholic identity, no?

    And 90% of the “so-called-Catholic” universities reject having theology faculty who believe in and teach Catholic theology.

    Hence, the Chair of Theology at Fordham U (one of the apostate universities signing the Land of Lakes Statement in 1967) is Professor Hornbeck, a non-Catholic sodomist in a fake “marriage” to another man.

    And let this sink in: if 90% of the “so-called-Catholic” universities reject believing and teaching Catholic theology, then it logically follows that 90% (or whatever the gigantic % is) of US Catholic Bishops likewise reject it, because ECC requires concerted action by both the university theology faculties and the Bishops.

    And consider this: the USCCB has a bureaucrat called the “Director” of Higher Education, in which the above-named Ms. McNabb earns a salary as the “Assistant Director.” Their goals, according to the USCCB web site, include “implementing” ECC in the “so-called-Catholic” Universities of the US. They actually wrote a document “implementing ECC” in the US. They are purportedly paid to help the USCCB in “implementing ECC.” 32 years after ECC was written, the USCCB has directed things so that 90% of “so-called-Catholic” Universities (and Bishops) ignore ECC.

    90% reject Catholic theology and morality.

    That’s precisely what one expect would result from the Land of Lakes manifesto of 1967, a product of the mind of the criminal sex predator and fraud McCarrick and his company of like-minded frauds.

    So now in 2022 we have it, THE MCCARRICK ESTABLISHMENT: the fraudulent USCCB and its 90% of “so-called-Catholic” universities, the vanguard of abortion and “queering the Catholic Church” (as devoted LGBTQIA ideologues like to put it).

    • Well, we can always count on you to bring McCarrick into the discussion even though the article has nothing to do with him. You’re consistent, although consistently misguided. I’ll give you that.

      • Sir:

        Naturally, if there is a topic that concerns the Land-of-Lakes Statement, as this does, then it is right to note that the topic concerns the co-signers of the Land of Lakes Statement, which means it concerns McCarrick.

        It is always right to say what happened, especially when most Catholic people have little or no idea how we have gotten to this abyss.

        If you prefer to insist that an article dealing with the Land of Lakes Statement doesn’t involve its co-signers, then you are free to do so. I will leave it to others to judge what is more appropriate: speaking the truth about what has indeed happened, or as you apparently prefer, being silent about it.

        In turn, I am free to assert that the cause of epidemic unfaithfulness in tbe US Church is Bishops like McCarrick who for 50 years cultivated unfaithfulness, and those in the USCCB now who still do his bidding.

        The vast majority of Bishops of the US Catholic Church, with notable exceptions, have “the mind of McCarrick,” and to this day they hold and teach his deceitful McCarrick Doctrine of the Eucharist, which he confected in collusion with them and their then-President of the USCCB in 2004, and refuse to do their duty to uphold Canon 915 (to withhold Holy Communion from CINO politicians etc).

        I have told the truth, and most Catholic people are unaware of the truth of things in our Church, and those that come here that don’t know it will be edified to learn it, because the truth will set you free…free of false shepherds…whom Jesus condemned in no uncertain terms.

        The sense I get from your repeated requests about McCarrick and company, is that you prefer peace and quiet while the house is burning. If I mistaken about that, and this is not what concerns you, then you are welcome to state your concerns. I prefer to sound the alarm.

  9. The Church has always taught that a doctrine of the church to have validity that it has to not only be promulgated by the magisterium but also accepted by the faithful. In this case, I would conclude that the faithful have rejected the doctrine.

      • What is “truth”? For centuries the church taught eating meat on Friday was a mortal sin. It also taught that women must have their hair covered in church. Slavery was perfectly acceptable. All these ideas were doctrines of the church.
        What is “truth”? LOVE! It it doesn’t come from love it is false. Jesus said, “Love God with all your might and all your soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.” That is truth!

        • An evocative question, originally posed by the Procurator to The King of the Jews on a certain Friday.

          Just to comment on 2 things you mentioned…rather than going further…

          As to fasting and abstinence, these are not doctrines of faith, they are disciplines. As to eating meat on Friday, you may be conflating 2 things, which is understandable, but it seems it is nonetheless a misunderstanding. I believe it is correct that the Church taught that Catholics should abstain from meat on Fridays as a discipline, and that breaking a fast or abstinence rule was not in itself even a sin, and certainly not a mortal sin. My best sense is that the Church taught then that deliberately receiving Holy Communion after deliberately breaking the rule of fast and abstinence, and knowing that offense against the discipline before Holy Communion, without having confessed it, was a mortal sin. Incidentally, while the disciplines of fasting and abstinence much reduced post-Vatican II, I believe that the Church still holds that deliberately receiving Holy Communion, after deliberately ignoring the very minor fast or abstinence rules now in effect, and not confessing the breaking of the discipline rule, is a mortal sin.

          As to slavery, your knowledge may indicate otherwise, and if so I welcome being corrected, but I believe you are mistaken that the Catholic Church had “a doctrine” that “slavery was OK.” I believe it is correct to say that slavery was a universal practice in the world, and that Jesus and the apostles who addressed the topic counseled slaveholders to treat slaves jusy, snd counseled believers who were slaves not to revolt. I am aware, in apparent contradiction to your statement, that a number of Pontiffs, including one or more in the 19th century, condemned slavery and the slave trade as evil. Of course, many Bishops, including our intrepid US Bishops in the 19th century, ignored the Pope’s condemnation of slavery, and being trusty politicians (as they remain to this very day), outright defended slavery in the US, while doing some “virtue-signaing” and made the jesuitical distinction that the Pope was only condemning the slave trade (i.e., homegrown slaves good, imported slaves bad). It was the converse of the 19th century English hypocrisy on slavery (English commerce in slave trade good; but we English remain clean, as we don’t tolerate slavery “inside” England). So it seems that over time, some Pontiffs outright condemned slavery, while I’m sure other Pontiffs failed to condemn it. Eventually, in the US, a civil war was fought to end it. As I mentioned, the Pope at the time had condemned slavery, and the US Bishops equivocated. But none of the above seems to support your assertion that the Church had “a doctrine” saying “slavery was OK.” If you have some evidence to support your claim, I welcome seeing it.

          I will just leave it there, and as always I welcome your evidence about the purported “doctrines” you have asserted.

          • Unfortunately, many Catholics were not taught the differences between Catholic disciplines and doctrine. Instead they were taught that everything the Church said had equal moral and religious authority from God. So the doctrine of the real presence had the same intrinsic divine origin as not eating meat on Friday. As people questioned some of the disciplines of the Church they were accused of being “cafeteria Catholics” because they rejected various disciplines. Since they were never taught the differences between disciplines and doctrine, when they would start to question doctrines, instead of being kindly and lovingly instructed about the doctrines they would be condemned. As a result, they walked out the door of the church never to return. That is why the second largest denomination in the US is lapsed Catholics. It is also why dioceses across the nation are consolidating and closing parishes.
            I know many lapsed Catholics who are good, prayerful people who have a strong believe in God but reject the Church because they have no idea what the Church stands for or believes. Things they were taught as “doctrines” were Church disciplines or ethnic customs related to the Church. The Church needs to develop an “elevator pitch” which opens up the heart of the Christian message that could be expressed to anyone in any language. This message must be expressed at a level all people can understand, e.g. a fifth grade reading level. Instead, of using one and two cent words to express the Christian message like Jesus did, the Church uses quarter and dollar words and then tries to couch its language even more confusing the faithful.
            The Christian message is very simple. God loves you no matter who you are! Like a loving parent, God will never cease loving you, though, at times, like any loving parent, God might be very disappointed in you.
            In Pope Francis’s encyclical Amoris Laetitia, he mentioned LOVE more than in all the Constitutions, Declarations and Decrees from the Second Vatican Council. The Roman liturgy only mention LOVE in one or two optional prayers yet the Liturgy of St John repeatedly say God loves us and that God is a “lover of Mankind.”
            “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” I John 4:16

    • Surveys have suggested that a majority of Catholics do not profess belief in the Real Presence. Should we then say that this doctrine has then been rejected and conclude something about that?

  10. Parents and the public should be made aware of the Colleges that are not following the Church’s teachings. When students quit enrolling they will change their policies.

  11. Ex Corde was a solution in search of a problem. A small fraction of Catholic young adults attend Catholic universities, and active Catholics are in the minority there as they are everywhere else. An even smaller fraction of their course-load is religion.

    A far more helpful frontier: something addressing the very real and engaging issue of the faith (active or dormant) of Catholic young adults. Many have adopted their parents’ abandonment at First Communion. Catholic schools K-12 often emphasize sports and the usual secular bits other prep schools promote.

    What was the point of Ex Corde? To bring professors in line? Cancel the progressive scholars? Face it: most bishops had no problem with their Catholic universities. And even the ones who hewed close to Ex Corde weren’t immune from sex and cover-up scandals. Maybe Ex Corde could have emphasized basic ethics as well as theology.

    If a parent asked for my advice: don’t fear sending your daughter or son to a secular university with a good campus ministry (however you define it). Being intentional and committed about the faith is easier in many ways where Catholicism (or some brand of it) isn’t embedded in the institution. Young people need to be Catholic not because their parents or their school is. But because they choose it and respond to God’s grace as an adult.

    • My son attends a “so-called Catholic,” or “fake Catholic,” or whatever you want to call it university. I wish sincerely that the university conformed better to Ex Corde Ecclesiae. However, my son’s school still has much to recommend it, and I would recommend it to Catholic parents and students ten times out of ten over any secular university.

      About 7/10 students at my son’s school identify as Catholic, and at least half of them are “active” as judged by regular Mass attendance. There are convenient opportunities to attend Mass, adoration, and Catholic prayer groups at the university’s two chapels and at the Jesuit parish associated with the university, and many of the students avail themselves of these opportunities. There are a few required core courses in theology and philosophy which further the Catholic students’ maturation in their faith. There is a lot of “wokeness” on campus, but less than at the secular schools with which I am familiar, particularly less in the areas most offensive to Catholic morality. There are crucifixes in every classroom and laboratory, which I think is not trivial.

      My son attended Catholic schools K-12 and strongly preferred to attend a Catholic college. At first, I was dismissive toward his college’s Catholic identity. I thought it was “fake.” But my son has been happy with how the college supports his Catholic identity and practice, and with the easy friendships he has been able to make with fellow Catholics there. It sounds high-minded to say young people “need to be Catholic not because of their parents or school but because they choose it in response to God’s grace,” but in my experience many Catholic young people choose to attend universities that support their Catholic faith, even if quite imperfectly, rather than ones where they are in a small religious minority and under active assault because of their faith and values. I think that is a good choice, and I hope that the more devout students can influence their professors and administrators to be more mindful of ECC.

      • That’s a good witness to your son’s and your experience. My daughter favored Catholic schools in her college search. I remember well one tour guide who touted her school’s commitment to the Ignatian vision. Another at a different school who basically said they were Catholic but didn’t make a big deal of it.

        At some point in life, unless a son or daughter is going to work for a Catholic entity, they will be in a world where the rooms don’t have crucifixes on walls, where there isn’t daily Mass offered, and where the Catholic or committed religious population is a minority. Faith and its practice will depend on their own commitment, and not the influence of friends or older adults in charge. What is the best age for that? The end of middle school? High school grad? College grad? I suspect the answer will be different for all of our children.

        The problem isn’t really Ex Corde or people partly ignoring it. It’s the continuation of a way of being Catholic that presumes a wider religious culture that props up an immaturity in the faith: outward practices and surface obedience. This isn’t working. Both traditional-leaning and progressive Catholics have failed to recognize and adapt in this. Faculty loyalty pledges won’t keep young adults in the Church. Ex Corde’s larger hopes? Pretty much a failure.

  12. Priests have their own role. They have to realize the seriousness of it. So do we.

    Somebody labeled Fr. Ebanks’ homily a “stone age sermon”. Found at BIG PULPIT, March 17 2022 –

  13. My kid happens to go to one of these accursed colleges; yes the administration bows to the world but the majority of my son’s fellow students are good, smart and faithful kids who want to be good followers of Jesus Christ by helping others and hope to one day bask in his glory. A while back the Holy Spirit gave me the wisdom to realize that throwing rocks is not as effective as praying for these great Catholic institutions of higher education, (Satan revels in division). Change can come through one repentant heart at a time because the Holy Spirit is greater then the political will of the wicked.

    • By all means, pray, but for the souls of the misguided educators. What would be even more ‘effective’ is to stop spending good $money$ on these apostate educational dung heaps and send your kids to a college where they can get a true education.

  14. To repeat my previous comment a little more directly: Bravo to Ave Maria University for republishing Ex Corde Ecclesiae. I think the time may be right to get this document into the hands of faithful parents and concerned alumni.

  15. Obama was the most pro-abortion President in American history. He or any politician that supports the slaughter of the unborn should not be getting honorary degrees from any university let alone a Catholic one like Notre Dame. They should be called places of lower learning not higher learning. The abortion of the unborn is a grave mortal sin and must not in any way shape or form be accepted. Ave Maria University and the Franciscan University must be applauded and rewarded with their promotion of Ex Corde Ecclesiae Document. John Paul II WE LOVE YOU! PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!

    • Actually, the highest one could place Mr Obama is #3. Mr Clinton didn’t wait three days for executive orders. Mr Nixon’s SCOTUS was responsible for Roe v Wade; and I would place him easily at #1 on that list. His own justices ruled 3-1 for it. That said, in order to be “pro-abortion” I think one actually has to acquire one directly, finance one, or commit the act.

      I think we Catholics do well to collaborate with anyone who is with us on our agenda, and encourage and invite others, of any political party or view, to consider our values. We get nowhere by calling names, and in fact, we contribute to the culture of complaint by indulging in insults.

  16. The reason “catholic” colleges continue to do this is multi-fold. One, its the MONEY. In the ever growing competition to sign up students, anything which may cause a student to look elsewhere,like being faithful to catholic teachings, is rejected. Two, a lot of the time these anti-catholic events happen without the knowledge of the PARENTS who are paying the tab. Just like the recent “woke” agenda in our schools, parents were rolling along thinking their kids were getting an education, when in reality they were getting an indoctrination. At the very least, parents of college kids should subscribe to the campus newspaper to be informed. I bet they would get an eyeful. Finally, they do this because the church hierarchy, Bishops,and Pope place ZERO CONSEQUENCES on them for allowing actions that fly in the face of Church teaching. They too, are “afraid” of pocketbook issues and “offended” students going elsewhere. I say, let them go. Allowing abortion Days and Planned parenthood fundraisers, etc, at Catholic colleges is outright disgusting. It should be prohibited. In addition I have no idea if catholic schools are receiving funds from the church or the Bishops funds, but if so, colleges in non-compliance of catholic teaching should be barred from getting those funds. Finally, I would urge every alumni of every Catholic college to STOP donating to your school if you discover that they are supporting and/or approving damaging secular points of view. And write the administration and tell them why you will no longer donate. With this crowd, money talks.

  17. I seem to recall a University in Chile whose Catholic identity was removed by the local Bishop until changes were made and they were…what would be the ramifications of removing the Catholic identities of the (190??) Catholic Universities engaged in willful defilement of our Catholic identity other than make it easier for Catholic parents to discover the real 20 or so Catholic Universities in America and reward them ( talk about real social justice ).

  18. (Breaking my own rule not to comment more than once on any particular article). To echo TJ above – parents and alumni pull the strings here. And bravo (again) to Ave Maria University for republishing Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

  19. If the Church won’t take a stand against these heresies on campus, and in no way try to enforce clear church policy, how are we as Catholics to take a meaningful stand against the insanity gripping current society? Let us know. We need some back up out here.

  20. I am trying to add to the idea that the foundation of Catholic education is in true piety. But if it is getting cancelled -as, even in seminary- then that will have consequences, among them, a re-conditioning coming back into the institution -institutionalization.

    We are hearing that we mustn’t be “rigid”. But what does it mean in a given setting? If your St. Vincent de Paul Conference President is an active promoter of Family Planning and of wrong teaching, but he is “not rigid” and therefore acceptable/qualified for the leadership and must not be exposed or countered -obviously there is a serious problem.

    ‘ In our country, since the mid-60s of the last century (I indicate an approximate date), progressivism took over almost all the houses of priestly formation, and “little houses” were created with small groups promoted by some bishops; in them (this is my opinion) an integral formation was not developed; they were a kind of imitation of the progressive seminaries. If a bishop managed to exclude his own seminarians from that current, whose harmful fruits are undeniable, and adjusted their formation to the great ecclesial Tradition, he was frowned upon by “officialdom.” On my part, at the end of the 70s, I was entrusted with the organization of the Diocesan Seminary of San Miguel, of which I was later rector for a decade, paternally supported and accompanied by the first two bishops of that diocese. Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, took me from there to make me Auxiliary Bishop. Being dedicated to priestly formation, I do not know what was thought of me and the seminary I was directing; it was enough for me to have the approval and support of the Bishop. But there were some cases in which a seminary with a traditional orientation, and to which young people from different parts of the country came, had to suffer from a bad reputation created by the ubiquitous progressivism. ‘

  21. With the coming of Praedicate Evangelium the Holy See will be paying more attention to continuity. My initial sense is that there is an over-emphasis on -imbalance to- laity, that is inconsistent with VATICAN II.

    It is as if VATICAN II could be a mere stop on a longer journey, but the vehicles are exchanged at the stop; and the new vehicles serve their own refreshment later, not from the stop.

    Concurrently at this time Pope Francis is making comments on education.

    Where I live “living waters” and “missionary discipleship” are more than just symbol and purpose, they are “cultural”, one preceding Pope Francis by many years and then the other one appearing concurrently. They are integral in the charismatic movement and the clustering of parishes.

    I think it’s a possibility that this choice of wording /kind of language will reverberating, here.

  22. To Jerzy Ribs again:

    As I am not given an option to you to reply directly, I reply here.

    Your detour about bad teaching on disciplines vs doctrine, whether or not such narrative itself has its basis in fact, does not change the fact that disciplines are not doctrines.

    As to God loving all, no one can dispute that this is the nature of God, and the God-Man Jesus.

    And yet the “God who so loved the world and sent his only begotten Son” has also granted His Son the authority as Final Judge at the Last Judgment. And the same Good Shepherd, who loves all and was crucified in self-sacrifice to save us all from sin, has warned that many men will be sentenced to eternal separation from God, which He calls Hell.

    God is Love, and Reason, and Justice. His justice includes the Last Judgment. And his warnings about sin are not minor, they are demanding. “I say, even when a man looks at a woman with lust, be has committed adultery in his heart.”

    That’s a fairly high bar…

  23. “This quest for independence from the Church continues.”

    By their fruits shall you know them.

    I found out the truth concerning the Catholic Church while attending a “Catholic” university. What struck me as very out-of-place was the militant atheist who resided on my floor.

    No Catholic university should admit an atheist, but then I discovered before the school year was over that it wasn’t Catholic. I am not aware of any Catholic schools in existence unless one counts homeschooling.

  24. Asking inquisitively, which is closer to VATICAN II, Catholic faith and Catholic laity?

    Is there a divergence somewhere? Is the Vatican issuing documents irrespective of what went before?

    I found both articles at BIG PULPIT. In the Vatican document, the is only ONE SINGLE reference to Ex Corde; and it is at footnote 24.

    ‘ This dialogue between reason and faith does not constitute a contradiction, because the task of Catholic institutions in scientific research is “to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth” [24]. ‘

    • Fr. Stravinskas suggests that the new document from the Congregation on Catholic Education, “Instruction on Identity”, relates with primary and secondary schooling.

      Read it carefully, it’s scope is not merely “schools” but “education”, it is a guiding instrument, across the whole Church, using references that themselves cite “institutes” and “universities” etc.

      “In relation to what falls within the remit of the Congregation for Catholic Education” (para. 2), it declares “general criteria intended for the whole Church to safeguard ecclesial unity and communion” that “will have to be further adapted to the different contexts of the local Churches scattered throughout the world according to the principle of subsidiarity and of the synodal path, according to the different institutional competences” (para. 4).

      From what can be gathered so far, the synodal path is meant to offer up new ideas about how doctrine is (re-)framed and how discipline is (re-)directed. Presumably the synod is looking for people who can qualify in these “missions”.

      In my understanding, a dicastery is a sort of tribunal, it makes authoritative decisions for authorized practical purposes. It hears; it weighs to authorize; it authorizes; it initiates; it ratifies; it transmutes; and it brings some things to a termination.

      I suspect this is what is going to ensue.

      I think it would be an unfortunate turn to bring governance down to generalist documents and/or to individualization of decisions within dicasteries.

  25. As you might have heard, Cardinal Peter Turkson was appointed the new chancellor for both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

    Within the first LIFESITE article are a number of links showing Cardinal Turkson’s activities. The quotation is for openers -from the article.

    Cardinal Turkson was a speaker at the October 2021 meeting of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago. The article describes a very close ecumenism happening with the Holy Father and Cardinal Cupich and this group.

    During the recent “consecration of humanity” in March 2022, there was a further get-together in Chicago, of Catholic prelates and lay-people trying to discern the “opposition” to the Holy Father.

    ‘ In January, Turkson joined the WEF once again for the Forum’s most recent summit, which specifically centered around the “Great Reset.” In an interview with the National Catholic Register shortly after, Turkson explained the Vatican’s involvement with the WEF, saying “we need to be open” to the Reset.

    “We need to have our eyes a bit more open to all of this because, since the pandemic began last winter, Pope Francis invited us to create a commission to follow this,” he said, referring to the Vatican COVID-19 Commission, which Turkson oversees. ‘

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