“If you want your children to fight for their faith, send them to public school. If you want them to lose their faith, send them to Catholic school.” – Bishop Fulton Sheen
Recently, our own Seattle University had the unwelcome distinction of being highlighted for its endorsement of several abortion or pro-abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood. Aside from the great need to reform our Catholic institutions of education, this kind of news offers emphasis for the necessity for careful discernment by those faithful who would submit themselves for higher education within the Catholic world.
Its a hard thing, choosing a place to grow in both knowledge and faith, and not one that we can take too seriously. This is the institution, these are the teachers, where the foundations of one’s faith can be built up beyond the basic catechesis of parish formation.
the Catholic identity of many Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States has become increasingly clouded and the essential elements of Catholic education have been discarded for the sake of a mistaken notion of academic freedom. Many Catholic colleges and universities have pursued a secular model as the university ideal to a point where their own Catholic identity and mission within the Church is no longer clear.
Parents & prospective students should take a look to see how the college or university of their choice pans out in the area of Catholic identity (its not all bad!). Those of us who are outside of the college/university scene would do well to pray regularly for our Catholic institutions.
Bishop Olmsted of the diocese of Phoenix went through great lengths to inform and correct Saint Joseph’s hospital of its error when it strayed in its practices – performing & offering abortions, sterilizations and contraception (all of which are directly contrary to Catholic teaching). Ultimately he revoked their standing as a institution in good standing with the Church: they are no longer permitted to call themselves ‘Catholic’. Sadly, Saint Joseph’s hospital is one of many that are in need of guidance.
Our Catholic education institutions are in a similar position. But we can help – by supporting authentic Catholic identity through our prayers, encouragement offered to deans & bishops and through our enrollment choices.
your brother in Christ,