Report Card: More Skewering of Land O’ Lakes by Fr. Rutler, National Catholic Register

Posted July 26, 2017 1:29 am by Matt Archbold

Fr. Rutler on Land O’ Lakes and Cardinal Newman

You will not find a more interesting piece about the Land O’ Lakes Conference than Father George Rutler’s piece for Crisis Magazine concerning how the destructive fads of the Land O’ Lakes conference mirror what Blessed John Henry Newman faced in the 19th century.

“Instead of challenging the cultural neurosis, the Church succumbed to it,” Fr. Rutler wrote of the Land O’Lakes conference.

Nursing an inferiority complex to secular institutions, Rutler argues that the heads of Catholic colleges at the Land O’ Lakes conference shared an unspoken belief that their shared faith was an impediment to prestige.

“Newman saw even more clearly than those at Land O’ Lakes that there is a distinction between natural knowledge and revealed knowledge, and that indoctrination is malignant only when it does not see the difference” Fr. Rutler wrote. “Orthodoxies should be thought out, lest they become independent of reason. The ambiguous Catholicism of Land O’ Lakes invoked a phantasm guised as freedom for truth but which was nothing more than liberty to reject truth.”

Kudos to National Catholic Register for Land O’ Lakes coverage

In two issues this month, The National Catholic Register ran outstanding articles on the 50th anniversary of the tragic Land O’ Lakes Statement that opened the floodgates for secularization in Catholic higher education. The articles are highly recommended—as is a subscription to the Register, which consistently does a great job of covering Catholic education.

The Register editorial, “The Myth of Autonomy: Catholic Universities Needed, Now More Than Ever”, argues that the Church must offer an education that helps young people understand their true worth as well as preparing them to lead holy lives to inspire a broken world.

Anthony Esolen, a fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, writes that “Land O’ Lakes must go down in history as a case of the maximum possible error: a prediction that flies in the face of what the predictors could have seen had they not shut their eyes to the obvious, and that is therefore proved in short order to have been disastrously and absurdly wrong.”

Reporter Stephen Beale writes that the only fitting response to the 1967 Land O’ Lakes Statement is a renewed commitment and devotion to fidelity, as many faithful Catholic colleges have done. Beale has a second article on the statement’s impact on Catholic higher education and the great example of the colleges recommended in the Newman Society’s Newman Guide.

Beale says that the Land O’ Lakes Statement “unleashed a tide of secularization among those universities that accepted its principles but also spurred a countercurrent of renewal and revitalization among those that avoided its pitfalls.”

We have previously pointed to the Register’s other pieces on Land O’ Lakes by John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America, and Johnathan Liedl, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

Marquette U. sponsors ‘Islamophobia’ conference

Marquette University is sponsoring and paying for some members of its faculty to attend an upcoming seminar called “Overcoming Islamophobia: Creating a Positive Classroom Culture.”

Janan Najeeb, president of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, said “Educators need to be aware of blatant bullying as well as subtle ways in which students are made to feel marginalized, and how to have zero tolerance for this.” Is this a problem at Marquette?

Attendance at the seminar is especially ironic in light of the fact that Marquette University fired Dr. John McAdams for publicly criticizing a philosophy instructor who prevented a student from opposing same-sex marriage—a clear Catholic teaching—in an ethics class. If Marquette didn’t seem so Catholiphobic, the concern for “marginalized” students (and faculty) would be a bit more understandable.

Detroit Mercy promotes Planned Parenthood, Transgender Law Center

The University of Detroit Mercy, a Jesuit institution, promotes links to Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International and the Transgender Law Center in its list of resources on its webpage for its women’s and gender studies program.

The website fails to, however, link to any organizations which promote Catholic teaching, according to Church Militant.

Education Secretary DeVos says parents should control children’s education

“Trump wants to spend millions more on school vouchers,” worries the Washington Post. “But what’s happened to the millions already spent?”

President Trump has said he intends to increase funding for the D.C. voucher program, possibly allowing nearly triple the number of students to participate. This is not sitting well with the Post which is demanding to know how those students are faring.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, however, said it’s more important for parents to have choices than it is for the government to track the report cards of students.

“Parents know — or can figure out — what learning environment is best for their child, and we must give them the right to choose where that may be,” DeVos said. The schools, she argued “should be directly accountable to parents and communities, not to Washington, D.C., bureaucrats.”

It’s interesting that the media thinks accountability should be to the government and not people.

U.S. bishops conference seeks tax credit for education

A panel discussion will be moderated by Greg Dolan, associate director for public policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Catholic Education, about the need for a federal tax credit for education at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

Panelists at the event include Thomas Carroll, president of the Invest in Education Coalition; Robert Enlow, president of the advocacy organization EdChoice; and Bill O’Brien, executive director of BLOCS Scholarship Organization.

Catholic schools in New Jersey secure funding

After an extensive letter-writing campaign, countless emails, and phone calls to legislators, Catholic schools in New Jersey are declaring victory as the 2018 state budget includes increased funding for transportation and school security.

Sister Rose DiFluri, assistant superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Camden said she hopes the increase will improve access to transportation for students as the per-pupil allotment has increased for the first time in 10 years, from $884 to $1,000.

In recent years, Catholic schools had insufficient funding to offer busing to certain areas.

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