The following February 20 story by Anne Hendershott appeared in the online version of Catholic World Report.
….Last month, the Office of the Secretariat of Education at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released what they called The Final Report for the Ten Year Review of the Application of Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the United States.
Unfortunately, the Ten Year Review provides almost no information about the progress that has been made in implementing the papal document on the 230 Catholic campuses throughout the country. Rather than providing facts about the implementation, the Ten Year Review is a one-page, self-congratulatory, platitudinous document that lauds “ongoing dialogue” and a “spirit of collaboration,” but says almost nothing about what is really happening in Catholic higher education.
In fact, any Catholic who has been paying attention to the culture and curricula on many of these campuses can be forgiven if he felt like he had stepped into a chapter of George Orwell’s 1984 when reading a recent headline in the National Catholic Reporter, which proclaimed: “Bishops, colleges find good collaboration in Ex Corde review.” That same Catholic must have been even more surprised to read a headline in Our Sunday Visitor that claimed: “Progress seen in boosting Catholic identity on campuses.”
Good collaboration with bishops? Boosting Catholic identity? For faithful Catholics, it must have seemed like just yesterday there was yet another serious scandal on a Catholic campus. That is because it was just yesterday. In fact, this month alone included a long list of scandals on Catholic campuses. Leading the list are the annual productions of The Vagina Monologues, most scheduled on or around Valentine’s Day. This year, performances of the play were held on 12 Catholic campuses, up from nine last year; among other things, the play favorably portrays homosexual relations, adult-child sex, and abortion.
Beyond these annual events, on many Catholic campuses students can get class credit through internships at Planned Parenthood, serving as clinic escorts. Pro-abortion speakers and promoters of same-sex marriage continue to be honored on many campuses. On Friday, February 15, Providence College hosted a lecture by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) despite his 100 percent pro-abortion voting record in the Senate.
Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas recently became the first Catholic school in Texas to revise its student handbook to protect transgendered students, faculty, and staff of the university from discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
Last semester, dozens of Catholic campuses celebrated Gay Awareness Month in October, as well as National Coming Out Day on October 11, with many campuses—as the University of Notre Dame has done in the past—constructing “coming out closets” on campus to encourage students to “come out” as gay or lesbian.
At Notre Dame’s Coming Out Day celebration a few years ago, students were invited to “eat rainbow cupcakes, and come out of a giant glittery closet.” Other schools, including the University of San Diego, Santa Clara University, and DePaul University, held “Drag Queen Shows” replete with professional drag queens and cross-dressing students.
It is unlikely that there was any collaboration between San Francisco’s archbishop and the University of San Francisco when Vincent Pizzuto was selected to chair the Department of Theology and Religious Studies Department in 2012. Pizzuto was “ordained” a priest in 2006 in the Celtic Christian Church, which is not in communion with Rome. His church’s website states that Pizzuto has presided at same-sex weddings, and his published work—including “God Has Made it Plain to Them: An Indictment of Rome’s Hermeneutic of Homophobia,” in the Winter 2008 edition of Biblical Theology Bulletin—is openly critical of Catholic teachings. Still, Pizzuto not only teaches Catholic theology at USF, he also heads the theology department—supervising other theology professors in the department who are teaching Catholic theology. It is difficult to believe that USF and the presiding bishop are working collaboratively in implementing Ex Corde Ecclesiae….
To understand how such a vacuous report could be disseminated by the USCCB, one has to go back to November 14, 2010, when the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education approved a 10-year review of the application of Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the United States. Headed by Most Rev. Thomas Curry, then an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, the Committee on Catholic Education set the goals and the guidelines for the 10-year review. (Curry recently resigned as bishop in the wake of the release of documents showing that he deliberately and knowingly took steps to conceal the abuse of children from law enforcement and to protect abusive priests.)
The guidelines for the 10-year review guaranteed that no data of substance would be collected or analyzed to determine effectiveness. Rather than collecting data to assess effectiveness and progress toward meeting the goals of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the committee stated that the purpose of the review was to “provide a reference tool for both bishops and presidents of Catholic institutions.” Rather than collecting specific information that could be quantified and analyzed, the review was to simply consist of a “conversation between a bishop and each university president within his diocese.” In lieu of collecting facts to inform a report that would assess progress toward goals, the review was described by Bishop Curry and his committee as “not a report, but rather an opportunity for a bishop and a president to meet and discuss the Application of Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the United States.”
It was anticipated that “this 10-year review, modeled on the five-year review of 2006, will occur in a spirit of ecclesial communion and will yield an appreciation of the positive developments and remaining challenges in our collaborative efforts to ensure the implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae in the United States.” Rather than a real assessment, the purpose of the review was identified as simply providing an opportunity for the bishops and the presidents to talk with one another—to “dialogue.” The words “dialogue” and “conversation” are used frequently in the one-page report on the 10-year review, as were “positive” and “progress.” The reviewers also promise “continued dialogue…for greater cooperation in advancing the mission of the Church.”
….In a phone conversation with CWR on Thursday, February 7, 2013, Sr. John Mary Fleming, the new executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Catholic Education, helped put the report into context by saying that the 10-year review was “never designed to be an attempt to assess the past.” And although Sr. Fleming acknowledged that “the relationship between the bishops and the college presidents was fractured in the past,” she spoke optimistically about the future, lauding the bishops for “focusing on how they can reach out to create a culture of communion and support.”
Acknowledging that challenges do remain, Sr. Fleming pointed to the one sentence within the report admitting that “there is still work to be done.” Sr. Fleming also pointed to the formation of a group of bishops and college presidents who will be working under Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, the current chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education. According to Bishop McFadden, the working group will “continue the dialogue about strategic subjects on a national level….”
To read entire story, click here.
Layperson. Priest. Bishop. Pope. Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the World.
Hmm. No ”USCCB” in that chain.
What a joke the whole thing is. The bishops care not in the least what goes on at these “Catholic” colleges and universities. These institutions were founded by devout men and women, religious orders who taught according to the traditions of the Catholic Church. Now they are run by heretics and apostates who mock God by allowing degenerates to have the run of the place. The ‘spirit’ of Vatican II continues unabated, wreaking havoc in the Church. The rot will continue until we have bishops with backbone.
The USCCB needs to clean out many of their employees and some Committee Bishops.
All good Bishops should quit sending the USCCB Diocese assessment money (forced dues) until this is done.
The false report put out by the USCCB is a disgrace.
It is dishonest for the USCCB to pretend that most Cardinals/Bishops have done a good job or even a reasonable job regarding most Catholic Universities and Colleges in the USA.
The Diocese Bishop is ultimately responsible for everything “Catholic” within his own Diocese. He can force removal of the name “Catholic” from any non-compliant University or College, and can excommunicate those Catholics in charge who gravely violate Church teaching.
The “APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION of the SUPREME PONTIFF JOHN PAUL II on CATHOLIC UNIVERSITIES” (aka “Ex Corde Ecclesiae”) can be found on the Vatican web site. It went into effect in August of 1990.
For all Catholic parents and Students preparing for College – this is a must read.
Everyone must report known violations to the appropriate Diocese Bishop.
Cardinals and Bishops – do your own jobs.
I do not understand why everyone thinks that the Diocese Bishops can force the removal of “Catholic” from any originations name. There are churches that call themselves Catholic but are not. The Catholic Church does not have the exclusive right to the name Catholic.
“ongoing dialogue” = no action = amchurch
When the University of San Francisco has a non-Catholic as head of its theology department, namely this Pizzuto character, I don’t see much progress happening.
So much for Catholic identity — who’s next? A Wiccan?
Sorry to tell you this, but some of them have had Wiccans speak on their campuses!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
The wiccans should be swept out.
Endless “dialogue” while souls are lost
Rainbow cupcakes. Perfect. Catholic higher education is mired in something indescribable, and there has been little progress if any in ten years. Bishops have to be leaders, and leaders have to be tough at times. Until that happens, arm-waving about “progress” is just fatuous nonsense.
Surprised to learn we have 230 Catholic campuses. Under the guidance of the bishop conference they appear to be dedicated to the same homosexual agenda as the secular colleges. Our youth is corrupted in college. Our Church is being destroyed from within by the homosexual mafia.
Fortunately a few serious institutions remain, such as Thomas Aquinas College in Ventura/Santa Paula. From there the Catholic remnant will emerge.
It would seem the bishops have raised the white flag and surrendered to the secular – progressives in the culture wars, or else many were with them all along.
After ten years, I’m glad to see that there are no more universities giving honors to politicians who don’t share Catholic views, gay clubs and lavender graduations with teachers and administrators in Catholic schools who don’t see anything wrong with this because their consciences…. Bishop Curry couldn’t even clean up LMU, which is in the archdiocese, much less anywhere else.
We are doing such a great job teaching the Faith that we have students openly promoting birth control while attending our prestigious Catholic institutions.
So between this year’s Religious Education Conference (LA) pro-abortion keynote speaker, Mark Shriver, and the National Catholic Educational Association (where, for instance, they had Garrison Keillor speak a couple of years ago), it seems clear that pro-life issues are not important in Catholic education nor to organizations who supposedly represent teaching the Faith.
Catholic identity? It seems that if you have a crucifix somewhere on campus (this means from kindergarten to college and, heaven forbid, there aren’t any Islamic complaints), that proves your school is Catholic (though you might have to cover it up if the President of the United States gives a speech there).
Why aren’t mandatums required of all who teach any subject in a Catholic school and enforced? Why are not all teachers and staff practicing Catholics? The list goes on and on and on and it appears it will remain so for another ten years thanks to the USCCB, “where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the sky is not cloudy all day.”
“Sr. Fleming” must be dismissed, as well as any staff, supervisor, priest, and bishop that reviewed and approved this “report”. And why not have some statistical background as part of the report? Instead, the USCCB shows its true colors, and mind-numbing misuse of the English language, in producing religious pablum. The fact of no useful report means only one thing — that the USCCB, and its many bishops, simply refuse to pay any attention to the Pope, to his wishes, and will continue to “Vagina Monologue” the faithful regarding Catholic education (also including K-12).
This is yet further proof that Vatican II implementation is based on the premise that there is a “New Church” and that any agreement on Papal authority is meaningless in America. The bishops do not care one whit about conforming “academic freedom” to Ex Corde Ecclesiae.
Of course, these same people will raise up in great anger — at risk of a coronary — at the mere mention of Tradition and inclusion of the TLM at each parish level.
The outright refusal of bishops to recognize Summorum Pontificum marks their departure as leaders to whom obedience is “owed”. Toss ’em out! If only Bl. John Paul II had stood up to the German bishops when they threatened schism regarding the Latin Mass, we would all be in much better shape. Let them go. Disband the USCCB. Bring in men that are not afraid of puffed up professors and threats of making Catholic colleges academically second-rate institutions.
Dialog with who? You are Bishop, you are talking while souls are being lost!! Negotiating with the Devil!! What deal do you think you are going to get from him if not your soul being roasted?
Are there chanceries in Hell?
Trust you me, its the worst place like ever.
Use your Newman Guide..
What I don’t think will ever sink in to Anne Hendershott is that these exact same things that she is always complaining about also go on in dioceses and archdioceses around the country. Why should colleges and universities be held to a stricter standard than the bishops themselves?
Everything that needs to be cleaned up within the Church must be done.
The Bishops have their own job:
Priests have their own job,
and the Laity has their own job.
It is fraudulent for any University or College to take tuition money when it pretends to be Catholic, yet violates anything in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”.
Young adults should not be subjected to this fraud.
When they are taught false teachings, that is what they pass on to their children in the future.
We all must insist that Bishops do their own job within their own Diocese.
Don’t expect any Bishop to know everything that goes on. Report abuses to him with a copy to the US Papal Nuncio.
The saddest joke at the REC was those who told us that there are many good speakers, and we should concentrate on them and not the many, far too many, bad ones. In other words “as long as some solid doctrine is taught,(very little actually) we should allow the heresies” utter madness!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Well, Kenneth, as I’m sure you know, the devil did exactly what the REC did, by quoting Scripture to Jesus but also twisting it by several means.
Archbishop Gomez will have to answer to God for not teaching against the REC (Religious Education Conference).
For a pro-abortion key-note speaker to other heresies and schisms that are promoted.
Mr. Fisher, I hope someone in your group held up a “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” for all to see.
The CCC is the enemy of heresy, schism, confusion, scandal and therefore – ultimately Satan.
The CCC is our weapon provided by the Magisterium.
The atrocious bureaucratic non-speak in which these back-n-forth memos are couched is an insult to anyone who reads them, certainly to JPII and anyone who believes colleges or universities using the term “Catholic,” should have some recognizable relation to Catholic identity.
Bishop Cordileone, the situatin at USF is so toxic you MUST do something!
The term “Catholic Education” has long been a misnomer. Education as a whole, whether Catholic or secular, has beccome the province of liberals. Liberals, irrespective of religious denomination, scoff at believers. They are far too sophisticated to understand how any rational human being can still believe in God. Why, pray tell, have many popes condemned liberalism as an erroroneous philosphy? Education no longer anchored in faith is a tragic illusion.
Check out the Cardinal Newman Society website [and Guide] if you want to get the real info on “Catholic” Colleges and Universities.