Michigan, Pennsylvania cases threaten freedom of Catholic schools
How free should religious schools be to determine who studies at their schools?
In 1994, Michigan courts declined to interfere in a dispute over a Catholic school’s refusal to admit students from three families, because a ruling could interfere with the school’s religious mission.
However, today the Michigan Supreme Court hears arguments in a case stemming from a girl’s claim that she was rejected admission to Notre Dame Preparatory School in 2014 because of a learning disability. The school says she was turned down for low grades, but regardless it argues that the student’s claim of discrimination should not override its constitutional protections.
In today’s political climate and cultural confusion about LGBT issues and gender, this case could have far-reaching ramifications for Catholic education institutions.
The issue has also surfaced in Pennsylvania, where a Commonwealth Court ruled that Chestnut Hill College, a Catholic institution, is subject to state anti-discrimination laws.
The court agreed with the state’s Human Relations Commission, which found probable cause for a discrimination complaint when a student was expelled after allegedly misspending money from a student production of “Raisin in the Sun.”
The court cited a Supreme Court ruling that “colleges, as opposed to parochial schools, perform ‘essentially secular educational functions,’ thus reducing their religious character.” That view contrasts with Ex corde Ecclesiae, the apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education, which asserts the strong religious mission of Catholic colleges that remain faithful to the Church.
Santa Clara University praises pro-abortion Panetta as ‘role model’
Santa Clara University has invited Leon Panetta, a long-term politician with a radical pro-abortion record, to address its law graduates next month.
Panetta, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 to 1994, was a co-sponsor of the federal Freedom of Choice Act. As White House chief of staff, he also defended then-president Clinton’s veto of a bill banning partial-birth abortions.
Santa Clara University School of Law Dean Lisa Kloppenberg shockingly called Panetta “a tremendous role model” for students because of his “decades of ethical leadership and public service.”
“His career exemplifies our University’s Jesuit ethos of putting one’s talents to work in service to others,” she continued. “At every turn he has endeavored to create a more just, humane, and sustainable world.”
Humane to whom?
University of San Diego ignores Vatican, holds sixth annual drag show