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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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Reflective of Human Nature or Sexist?

It is sometimes difficult to keep up with our changing culture. How some people hear and read things is often at great variance between people of differing generations and those more or less sensitive to varying views about human nature and morality. A Texas school district has removed a quote that was painted above lockers at a middle and elementary school after the quote sparked criticism online this week. It reads:  “The more you act like a lady, the more he’ll act like a gentleman.”

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It was argued that it perpetuated “horrible gender stereotypes, shaming women, sexism, misogyny, and discrimination.”  Is that how everyone sees it?

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Just curious as it was reminiscent of a quote from the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen who wrote in LIFE IS WORTH LIVING:

“When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

He was also once purportedly cited at a dinner of saying, “Men will be as good as women want them to be.” Men seemed to understand and did not think it was sexist or pejorative of males.  I suppose it simply respected the assumption that men and women were wired somewhat differently.

Is this no longer regarded as a tenable proposition?

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We Awaken to the Problem

The defection from faith is an important issue and why for the past two years I invited a young FOCUS missionary named Katie to give her appeal in the parish. Along with other young adults, FOCUS ministers to our youth on college campuses. The statistics are frightful. Some 80% of our youth fall way while at college. These young adults put their careers and much about their personal lives on hold so that they might make a difference for others.

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I think in truth the issues began long before our teens headed off for college or entered the work force. Minimally Catholic kids suddenly find that they do not have the watchful eyes of parents upon them. Quickly, they are influenced by peers who have no quarter in their lives for organized religion or traditional values. Liberal faculties deride Christianity and mock the sacraments as the domain of ignorance. Professor Paul Zachary Myers is the most blatant on this list, urging college students to steal consecrated hosts so that he can document on the Internet his desecration of the Eucharist. This is not representative of a civil debate about belief; rather, it is an emotional and militant attack upon people of faith.

College campuses will sometimes have Newman Centers and/or Catholic Student Associations. But many of the Catholic students fail to get involved. The attendance of Catholic students at Mass, even at Catholic schools is often pathetic. The best numbers I have heard are at places like St. Francis in Steubenville, Ohio and Ave Maria in Florida. I know one school where the chaplain schedules Masses at midnight so that students will have less competition for their time. One is more likely to see lewd photos on Facebook than posts about religious epiphanies and retreats or time before the Blessed Sacrament. Of course, many parents might not know because they are quickly blocked from seeing what is actually going on.

I am not saying that efforts to evangelize in college are in vain. Rather, I am suggesting that more could have been done (or done differently) earlier to minimize the damage later on. Catholic schools could also be more proactive with single-sex dorms, expectations about participation at Mass, and an uncompromised message about fidelity to the faith and the living out of the commandments. However, we have a problem— when honors are granted to those who seek to strip the Church of her religious liberty— when organizations that promote a homosexual agenda and lifestyle are given funds and recognition— when health service referrals include artificial contraception and abortions— and when crucifixes are removed from classroom walls so as not to offend— then we have become our own worst enemy.

Question 6 – Extraordinary Synod on the Family

6. The Education of Children in Irregular Marriages

a) What is the estimated proportion of children and adolescents in these cases, as regards children who are born and raised in regularly constituted families?

This is essentially a census question. “Married straight couples with families now make up less than half of U.S. households, marking the first time the group has dropped below 50 percent since census data on families was first collected in 1940.” This is quite a jump. Out of the additional 11 million households since 2000, traditional husband-wife family households now comprise just 48 percent. The majority of homes have a single head, nonrelated persons and solitary residents. While other groupings have gone up, husband-wife homes went down by 5 percent.

Women are increasing leading households and/or living alone. The number of unmarried women heads among black Americans was 30 percent, three times higher than other ethnic groups. “Unmarried straight couples living together increased by 40.2 percent between 2000 and 2010, four times the national average. That’s still no comparison to the rise in the number of same-sex couples living together, which grew 80.4 percent over the same period.”

Today more couples cohabitate than are married and over 40 percent of all births are illegitimate. Many children are also being raised by one parent. The incidence of single African-American mothers is so high it has become a stereotype.

b) How do parents in these situations approach the Church? What do they ask? Do they request the sacraments only or do they also want catechesis and the general teaching of religion?

There are many children not receiving the sacraments or catechesis. Priests are not always receptive to such families when they request the sacraments for their children. I know priests who refuse to baptize babies if the parents are not married in the Church. It has angered them that I will do so. I admonish the family to get married and to live a Christian life. I tell them that baptism is not the end of something but the beginning. They are urged to witness and to share the faith. If they promise to try, and only God knows if they lie, then I will baptize the child. However, I will not baptize an illegitimate child at Mass, only in a separate service. Sometimes there is a residual faith that moves them to make the request. There might also be guilt. Grandparents might also be exerting pressure. This can become complicated when parents do not share the Catholic faith. What do you do when a Jewish or Moslem father threatens legal action should the mother get the child baptized or bring him to Mass for first communion? I took some heat a few years ago for baptizing a child who belonged to a lesbian couple. A homosexual neighbour donated the semen for one of the party’s insemination. This little girl was being raised with “two mommies.” The grandparents begged me to help. I talked to the ladies and made it clear that the Church could not and would not recognize their lifestyle. I then asked if they would pledge themselves to regular Sunday Mass attendance (without taking Holy Communion) and to raising their little girl in the Catholic faith? They said YES and the grandparents assisted. I did not want to punish the child for the parents’ sins. I baptized her. She has since attended Catholic schools, although the grandfather has passed away.

There are way too many cases where children attend catechesis simply so that they might get the sacraments. There is even a joke about it. “Confirmation is the sacrament you receive before leaving the Church.” The kids can be blunt about it. They want to get over with it. How do we set parents and youth afire with love for Christ?

c) How do the particular Churches attempt to meet the needs of the parents of these children to provide them with a Christian education?

Like so many questions in this survey, any answer given must stretch or correct the question. First, many parents are no longer even asking the basic questions of meaning, do not identify with any institutional church and are not concerned about the religious instruction of children. Second, those who are interested frequently want to minimize the impact and time involved with any religious formation. Everything else takes priority. Third, since only a very few Catholic students might be given entry into parochial schools, one would think that the emphasis would be upon parish catechesis. However, the opposite is true. Catholic school children are treated as the elite and the rest are the poor step-children. Millions of dollars go to the schools and scraps are given to parish programs. The Church does not invest proportional time, money or resources to children outside our parochial schools. Sacramental schedules follow the school year regardless of children who must get along with an hour a week of religion. We confirm children in eighth grade because that is when they leave Catholic grammar schools; and yet, the process is mostly mechanical regardless of preparedness. Efforts to raise the age for confirmation to tenth grade are struck down because such would take jurisdiction away from the Catholic school system and place it back in parish programs open to all children. Catholic schools are valuable but are becoming too expensive for many poor and immigrant Catholic families. This is causing an irony where well-to-do non-Catholics are attending parochial schools to bypass a failing public school system while Catholic children are excluded for financial reasons. This compromises the basic mission of our parishes and schools.

d) What is the sacramental practice in these cases: preparation, administration of the sacrament and the accompaniment?

Children from school and parish-based programs are lumped together for sacraments. No reconciliation is made of the fact that some get religion five days a week and the rest only once a week for an hour. As soon as the child reaches a certain age and grade they are given first communion or confirmation. Children get first confession and Holy Communion but then drop from religious education programs until junior high years. Young teens get confirmed and then, along with parents, disappear from the pews. I know this sounds terribly cynical but it is the common experience to which many pastors and catechists can attest.

Efforts that focus upon collaboration with parents suffer from the poor formation of adults who are neither informed nor motivated to assist with religious studies and homework.

Nothing of Immaculata HS is Left

See article: Demolition in Full Swing at AU Tenley Campus

Dunblane, built as a private estate in the first half of the 19th century, was home to a hunt club in the late 1880s and later an elementary school in the 20th century. Capital Hall was the former site of the Immaculata Seminary, established in 1905 by the Sisters of Providence. It subsequently became Immaculata Preparatory School and then Immaculata High School, which closed in 1986.

The sisters were in a terrible situation. They sold the place for a couple million and the president told us at a dinner afterwards that he felt bad they took the first offer. American University was prepared to pay ten times as much. The religious community had not seen a vocation from the school in a dozen years. I think we could have saved the school. Alumni and families could have purchased it. Moving the campus under new management to Maryland was a farce. The tradition was broken. Poor Msgr. Boland (the Chancellor now a retired bishop) took a lot of heat. An angry person took an ice pick to his car. He was hardly in the loop. The sisters were determined to sell. Many were sick and aging. A great high school died that could have been salvaged. It still saddens me. I recall the last graduation at St. Ann’s next door. Now even the shell is gone.

The Marriage Crisis

I regularly follow the wisdom on Msgr. Charlie Pope’s blog for the Archdiocese of Washington.  Recently, he posted on the following question:  “In the wake of the Supreme Court decisions of this week, are we coming to a point where we should consider dropping our use of the word “marriage?”  A number of Catholic voices are arguing that we should disengage ourselves both with the word “marriage” and from allowing clergy to function as civil magistrates in witnessing them for the state.  Certainly I am sympathetic with what they hope to accomplish.  However, I am already on the record, from past discussions, as opposed to such a retreat.  Both sides can play word-games.  Towards the end, he poses a second question, “Should the Catholic Bishops disassociate Catholic clergy from civil ‘marriage’ licenses?”  Again, I appreciate the underlying reasoning; we want to avoid guilt by association and giving apparent approbation.  My fear is that any such move would be contrary to a well-ordered or structured society (which is a good in itself).  It would also constitute a retreat that opponents in the public forum would exploit.  It seems to me that our laity would bear the blunt of the suffering and challenge that would come from such a move.

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I am not blind to the dire crisis we face.  It is true that marriage as an institution has been largely redefined by our society.  The movement on behalf of same-sex unions is a case in point; of course, if left unchecked it will not stop there.  Next we will see the return of polygamy.  Despite the many scandals faced by the Church, there are even depraved people pushing for pedophilia and pederasty.  There is already a bizarre effort in Australia for a man to marry his pet goat, the degradation of bestiality.  The U.S. bishops reminded us in their failed initiative that marriage is in trouble.  While I am hesitant to criticize our holy shepherds; the fact is that marriage has been in trouble for some time now and we were largely silent.  Contraception nullifies the consummation of the marital act.  Millions of abortions seek to erase through murder the fruit of marital love.  No-fault divorce allows for quick separations and remarriages.  Prenuptial Agreements insert doubt against the vows and a lack of trust from the very beginning, thus making those marriages null-and–void.  Couples fornicate and cohabitate, essentially saying that you do not have to be married to have sex.  Well, when you separate sex and marriage, you also set the stage for infidelity and adultery.  Once sex is disconnected from marriage it is very hard to reattach it with any kind of necessity.  Our society is saturated by an erotic and pornographic media that destroys courtship and sexualizes relationships.  This dilemma is so pervasive that the inner person has lost any sense of propriety or decency.  Viagra gives the old stamina to neglect their coming judgment and condoms give the young license under the illusion of protection.  Wedding dresses that once expressed modesty and femininity are increasing replaced with skimpy gowns akin to those on television dance contests.  Ours is the generation where all rights, even the right to life, are supplanted by the emerging and absolute right to have sex with anyone regardless of promises and unions.  The children are caught up in the middle of this whirlwind.  This is so much so that we even dress our little girls like the prostitutes that walk the street.

Much Ado about a Word

Msgr. Pope makes the accurate observation that the Church and society-at-large mean very different things by the word, “marriage.”  Of course, this is also the situation with many other terms as well.  While language is fluid and hard to control; it can certainly be manipulated.  Look at the word GAY.  This expression for joy or happiness has become the source for giggling when used in old songs.  It has now been exclusively usurped by the homosexual community.  Another word in peril is RELATIONSHIP.  When we hear teens or young adults use it these days, they generally mean a sexual friendship with a certain degree of exclusivity.    The word that most troubles and saddens me today is LOVE.  What precisely does it mean anymore?  We do not want to cast it off and so the dictionary definition gets longer and longer.  Look at how we use it.  “I love my car.  I love my dog.  I love my job.  I love my house.  I love donuts.  I love strippers.  I love my wife.  I love my children.  I love God.”  Then we have expressions like, “Let’s make love,” a euphemism for sex.  We give it so many meanings that the word begins to mean nothing.

What does the word MARRIAGE mean?  Is it just a civil contract to make having sex easier or more convenient?  If that is all it is, it is no wonder that couples are cohabitating without it.  Some states have argued for different types of marriage contracts, one more easily dissolved than the other.  There was even an effort to impose marriage licenses with term limits.  If after five years, if the spouses were unhappy, they could opt not to renew.  The marriages would then automatically expire.  The divorce epidemic, something which Protestant churches pamper by their failure to enforce Christ’s command in Matthew against divorce, has given us what is essentially serial or progressive polygamy, one spouse after another.  Proponents of “open” marriages suggest that couples should still be able to have sex with others outside their bond.  I know one instance where a man lives with both his wife and his mistress in the same house.  The girls share him.  Largely gone is the Catholic-Christian equation that marriage is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman who are called to be faithful to each other until the death of one of the spouses.  Marriages are rightly directed toward the good of the spouses and the generation of new human beings, children.  Stripping marriage of its propagative element is to make marriage wholly something else.  Even infertile couples must express their union in that act which by nature is directed to the generation of new human life.  That is why something like condomistic intercourse is intrinsically evil, even in marriage, yes, even among older infertile couples.  Too many couples feign the marital act and live in relationships that are not true marriages.  The large cases of annulments are cases in point.  People can share their bodies like cats and dogs but they are ignorant of the true parameters of marital love and union.  Although a natural right, they have made themselves ill-disposed to the sacrament.  Required six-month waiting periods and marriage preparation are attempts to remedy the dark situation.  However, couples frequently go through the motions and tell the moderators and clergy what they want to hear.  I recall one priest praising a couple he was working with for doing all the right things before marriage.  On the way out one evening, I overheard the prospective groom tell his girl, “What a jerk!”  Later I found out from parishioners that they had been cohabitating the whole time and only went to the priest’s Masses once-in-a-while to fool him about their religiosity.  They spent a fortune on the wedding and we never saw them again.  I heard a few years later they divorced because “they grew apart.”  When Catholics marry outside the Church, in the eyes of God they do not get married at all.  However, Catholics who marry in the Church might also start their unions with deception.  Planting lies today often leads to weeds tomorrow.

I will echo Msgr. Pope in giving the definition of MARRIAGE from the universal catechism:

[CCC 1601]  The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.

What are we to do when the definition given to marriage in no way parallel’s the understanding of the Church?

Msgr. Pope proposes that we stop using the word “marriage” and substitute instead, “holy matrimony.”  He explains:

“The word ‘matrimony’ also emphasizes two aspects of marriage: procreation and heterosexual complementarity. The word comes from Latin and old French roots. Matri = ‘mother’ and ‘mony,’ a suffix indicating ‘action, state, or condition.’ Hence Holy Matrimony refers to that that holy Sacrament wherein a woman enters the state that inaugurates an openness to motherhood. Hence the Biblical and Ecclesial definition of Holy Matrimony as heterosexual and procreative is reaffirmed by the term itself. Calling it HOLY Matrimony distinguishes it from secular muddle that has ‘marriage’ for its nomen.”

He readily admits that there are problems with trying to regulate language in such ways.  If I recall correctly, I was among those unconvinced and “perturbed that we were handing over our vocabulary to the libertines.”

We can play word games but our opponents are not fools.  They were not happy with the notion of “civil unions” and wanted “marriage.”  Don’t be surprised that they will also be speaking of their bonds in terms of “holy matrimony.”

Marriage is a natural right.  Opting to use another word is not going to change this fact.  Homosexuals and lesbians can feign marriage and the state might recognize it; but, in truth such unions are a violation of the natural law.  The debate or argument is best sustained by retention of the vocabulary.  We must insist that same-sex marriage is a fiction.  Surrendering the word would only grant them the false sense that they had succeeded in making their argument.

If we cannot even defend a word like “marriage,” then how can we defend all the ideas behind it?  This conflict is not just about marriage; it is a fight over the hearts and minds of people.  So-called same sex-marriage is just one weapon in the enemy’s arsenal.  The goal of our critics is to redefine the Church out of existence.  The government administration wants to become the sole arbiter of marriage; but more than this— it views Catholic Charities, Catholic schools, and Catholic hospitals as standing in its way.  Threats to close would only make them nationalize these institutions and they would argue that such is a “necessity” for “the public good.”  This is the goal of our antagonists.  If American society is to be remade then the Church must either change to insignificance or be destroyed.  This is the fight we face.

Ministers of the State or of the Church

My initial sentiments emerged as an aside to the courageous crusade of Bai Macfarlane against No-Fault Divorce.  The question arose as to whether clergy compromised themselves by acting as witnesses for the state, signing the marriage licenses and returning them to the courts.  Msgr. Pope continues to sign them, he says, out of holy obedience to the Archbishop.  Speaking for myself, I think we would forfeit too much by surrendering this privilege to the state.  I suspect that problems might escalate instead of get better.  Further, if the Church should opt out, would not our couples still have to get their civil licenses before Church weddings? He seems to think not, arguing that they should “in no way consider themselves as wed, due to a (meaningless) piece of paper from a secular state that reflects only confusion and darkness rather than clarity and Christian light.”  I recall arguing with a hippie years ago who regarded the marriage license as just a piece of paper.  In response, I cited that it came along with the Church sacrament and that it also respected the state’s right to regulate marriages as an integral building block to society.  The state is taking a wrong turn with these same sex unions but we should still take advantage of our rights as citizens.  That piece of paper says that as a member of society, I still have a voice and that marriage is an institution that must be acknowledged, regardless as to whether others are given such acknowledgment wrongly (in the past because of divorce and today also because of same-sex unions).  Opting out will undermine a structured society, its institutions, and the protections and rights we take for granted.

I have immigrants in my parish from Asia and Africa.  Their home nations do not give the privilege that our clergy enjoy in being able to witness marriages.  Some of them have only known tribal weddings.  Others have licenses from a judge or notary public.  While they should have immediately had their marriages solemnized by a priest, they put the process off.  Children were conceived.  Time went by, maybe years, and now they all need Church convalidations.  Would we reduce all marriages in the Church to convalidations?

If we attempt to marry people in Church who are not legally married; we will be facing all sorts of headaches.  We would be opening the door to rampant bigamy where people would be civilly married to one person and married in the Church to another— without the recourse to the legal fiction of divorce.  At present the state recognizes all Church unions even though the Church does not acknowledge every civil union.  The last thing we should want is to segregate the Church into her own private ghetto where there are “us” and “them.”  We have every right to a place in the public forum and should fight for it.  Our married couples have every right to the protections insured by law (tax incentives, inheriting property, healthcare and insurance, custodial issues with offspring, hospital visitation and the right to make medical decisions for a sick spouse, and sharing a name).  Marrying couples without civil licenses would once have opened our couples to prosecution for cohabitation.  Even if this is a bygone concern, there is still the prospect of scandal.  Some will view “married in the Church” but “not in the state” as NOT being married at all.  The children from such unions could be labeled as “bastards” by our critics.

The Church has a responsibility to be fully integrated into civil society as a constitutive part.  There will be conflicts but accommodations will have to be made that will not compromise our message and mission.  Maybe there is a need for different types of licenses from the state for religious weddings, distinguishing them from civil ones?  Indeed, there are different theologies between the churches.  Some view the clergy person as the one who performs the marriage.  Catholics view the spouses as the ministers of the sacrament to which the priest witnesses.  Episcopalians and others will probably even allow and celebrate same-sex unions.  We may become a minority voice in this society but we should not allow that voice to be silenced.  Taking our toys and going home angry will not fix the situation.  The retreat of the Church would be precisely what our enemies want.  I fear that it would further erode the foundations of our civilization.  Caesar’s empire might be pagan, but the Christian and the Church still have obligations to maintain a society that would protect our rights and freedoms.

I would maintain the status-quo with priests witnessing marriages for the state.  However, there may come a day when that is taken away from us.  We can cope with that when it comes.  Civil disobedience might then take many forms, some of which could be extremely bizarre.  One priest suggested that all our religious houses claim same-sex unions so as to get the marriage benefits and healthcare.  I know one case already where a married couple got divorced but still live together so as to have better retirement benefits.  I suspect that laws will be passed to force couples and the Church to behave.  How far do we want to press it?  Speaking for myself, I really hate retreating.

The Larger Challenge

It is my hope that we will have courageous shepherds and a supportive flock.  I foresee priests facing fines and jail time for hate-speech in regard to teaching and preaching against homosexuality.  After all, the Church’s language about marriage in the recent Supreme Court case was appraised as bigotry.  Hum, we might have to take priests entirely out of the marriage scenario if all our clergy are locked up.  Already, while the Church is currently protected, and we cannot be forced to marry homosexuals, organizations like the Knights of Columbus are not safeguarded.  At this writing the free-standing Knights of Columbus halls in Maryland have been notified that due to their state charters they must rent for the wedding receptions of homosexuals and lesbians.  The pressure is already on.

Our public schools are teaching that any reservation about homosexuality is discrimination.  What will our children then think of their churches?  Must we extract all our children from the public schools?  Who will pay to place them into Catholic institutions?  Homeschooling is an option for some but not for all.  Where are we going from here?  If the government and the media are more successful than the Church in forming consciences and teaching values; then what avenues are left?  The issue is far more complex than any nomenclature of marriage or whether priests are authorized as civil magistrates.  The question is how does the Church function and survive in a non-Christian society?

Catholics did not unanimously support the U.S. bishops in the Marriage Matters campaign.  Indeed, large numbers were vocal in opposition.  We hesitate to name names and are always fearful of our tax-exemption status.  But if we are going to be shunned in a matter similar to racists over the issue of homosexual acceptance; then we will no doubt forfeit such benefits in the days ahead.  I know I sound pessimistic and cynical.  But that is what I see coming.  The Church waited too long to find her teeth.  She is an old dog grown weak from inactivity and abandoned by her pups.  There are wolves coming.  They want the Church out of the way.  Look at the various initiatives of the current administration.  Starting with appointments in religious churches and schools, then forcing churches to violate their basic principles and next pressing upon us what was once an unthinkable depravity— all these are attempts to redefine the Church out of existence.  The president’s view of religion is seen through the prism of secular humanism.  Anything else is judged as extraneous and must go.

There are some who are pawns to those who hate the Church.  Others actually think that they are catalysts for positive change in the Church and society.  Look at all the Catholic politicians who oppose the U.S. bishops and who dissent on Church teaching.  The chief advocates in Maryland and in Washington are baptized Catholics.  Like Msgr. Pope, I have my opinions; and like him, in obedience we both defer to the Archbishop and the national shepherds of our Church.  We share our ideas, pray for courage and know that God will not abandon his children.

Faith & Values in the News

Religious Banners Removed at Catholic School

God forbid that young people at school events should get a taste of traditional American liberties, like freedom of religion and freedom of speech… NOT!  Schools can teach science and the faith of atheism but are to make no mention a Creator.  Schools can teach safe “promiscuous” sex and give away condoms, but not a penny is available for abstinence education.  Schools are forbidden to teach the 10 Commandments and then wonder why youth misbehave and get in trouble with the law.  All manner of vulgarity is tolerated but not a bible verse on a sheet… yep, these girls are real trouble-makers, but the right kind.  When Islamic religious fanatics burn the flag, destroy property and commit murder… we target our sights upon peaceful Christian cheerleaders at a school football game.  Ah, the world is insane!

Muslim Prayer Room Opens at Catholic High School

How many Catholic chapels are there in Islamic schools?  Where does courtesy end and religious indifferentism begin?  How does one reconcile this with the insistence that “Catholic identity” is not at risk in our parochial schools?  Do the Jewish children get their private prayer space as well?  What about the Wiccans and Satanists?  Do they get chapels to honor the goddess and/or the horned beast?  Certainly, we would not want to discriminate or be judgmental… would we?  Ah, the plight of radical tolerance!

7-Election 2012

It does not look good for Romney… vote with a cup of coffee.  The trouble is that the Tea Party is into another type of drink!

Ex-Priest Sues the Catholic Church to Clear His Name

If what he says is true, I really feel sorry for this guy and there needs to be justice.

The New York Times Remembers Sister Mary Rose

Rest in peace, Sister, and many thanks for saving children and Covenant House.

Children Freak When Disney Channel Cartoon is Interrupted by Porn

If trash television were not trasmitted at all then such accidents would not happen.  The truth is that our children are exposed to unhealthy and vulgar images all the time.  We cannot trust television to babysit our children.  It is a compromised media.  The providers are more interested in making money, even with virtual prostitution, then in helping parents to raise kids of good moral character and virtue.  In any case, if adults are themselves corrupted by this media, then how can they pass on anything of value without the poison of hypocrisy?

Catholic Schools in Financial Difficulty

The US Dept. of Education’s “Financial Responsibility Test” was recently announced. This test indicates that according to certain ratios, a private higher education institution may be at risk for failure. These schools are subject to extra monitoring on their use of federal student aid funds.

114 private, nonprofit, degree-granting institutions scored below 1.5, the passing level, and are thus in financial jeapardy. There are a number of Catholic institutions on the list as having financial difficulties:

Please note that Dominican College of Blauvelt (New York) which also scored a low 0.9 is no longer a Catholic institution. The college is very clear that it is an independent school with only a Catholic “heritage” or “origin”. I suppose schools like people can forfeit their souls.

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All private colleges that award federal student aid must participate in the Department of Education’s financial-responsibility test, which is based on information from their audited financial statements. The department develops a composite score on a scale of 3.0 to minus 1.0, based on financial ratios that measure factors such as net worth, operating losses, and the relationship of assets to liabilities. Institutions with scores of 1.5 to 3 pass. In addition to extra monitoring for all institutions that “fail,” those with scores below 1.0 are required to post a letter of credit with the department equal to 10 percent of the federal student aid that goes to their students annually.