Patrick J. Reilly

Patrick J. Reilly is president of The Cardinal Newman Society, which promotes and defends faithful Catholic education.

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A Pastor Saves His Flock by Catholic Education

In Northern Virginia, where critical race theory, gender ideology, and emptied classrooms because of COVID-19 have sparked protests by angry parents of public-school students, a parish priest is taking up the legendary Archbishop “Dagger John” Hughes’ mission of helping Catholic children get out of public schools by every means possible.  Archbishop Hughes founded the Catholic … Read more

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The Biden Administration Poses New Threats to Catholic Education

In just the first months of the Biden administration, Catholic educators have been confronted by serious threats to their freedom to teach and witness to the Catholic faith. We knew the storm was coming. Over the last four years, schools and colleges enjoyed a brief respite before the anticipated return of Obama-era policies like the … Read more

A Fragile Peace for Catholic Education

Across the country this month, many Americans celebrated “wins” for Catholic schools and religious freedom at the Supreme Court—and rightly so. But it would be a mistake to believe that Catholic education is secure without substantial fortification. In fact, the Catholic identity of our schools and colleges may be in far greater danger than it … Read more

The Fate of the First Amendment Will Be Decided By These Nine Cases

This month the Little Sisters of the Poor returned to the U.S. Supreme Court, once again defending their right to practice the Catholic Faith by refusing to provide for contraceptives in their health insurance plan. This is a stark reminder that even years later the Obama administration’s assault on religious freedom continues to impact religious … Read more

One Word Could Destroy Catholic Education

In three amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court filed last month, the bishops and Catholic educators—together with other major religious groups—urged the Court to uphold the meaning of “sex.” It’s one little word. But if the Court gets it wrong, our religious freedom could be quickly eroded. And while all Catholics and Catholic institutions … Read more

Catholic schools must restore America’s faith in the Real Presence

“He is truly there in the Eucharist,” says Amelia Shripka. The 8th-grader at Everest Collegiate High School and Academy in Clarkston, Michigan takes delight in the Eucharistic procession that her school holds every year. It’s a “great time to reflect on what Jesus did for us,” she says. But according to a recent report from … Read more

Court May Deny Religious Liberty of Catholic Schools

The key battleground for the federal government’s twenty-first-century assault on religious freedom may be Catholic education—in particular, those faithful Catholic institutions that refuse to surrender and remain committed to Christ and His teachings as they come to us through the Church. On Tuesday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., told the Supreme Court that religious colleges … Read more

Will Notre Dame Continue to Betray its Catholic Identity?

Indiana has shown that it values religious freedom. The University of Notre Dame has a moral obligation to embrace it. On Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which says that government may not “substantially burden” religious exercise, except when using the “least restrictive means” of advancing a … Read more

Religious Liberty: No Exceptions!

For months, the Catholic bishops and major Evangelical and Jewish groups have urged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to exempt conscientious objectors from mandatory health insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including abortifacients. The current regulations exempt churches and church-controlled organizations that hire and serve primarily members of the same faith, but many … Read more

Victory for Rights of Catholic Organizations

Only a week after Catholics nationwide completed a campaign protesting the Obama administration’s violation of the religious liberty of Catholic institutions, the Supreme Court let stand a key federal ruling that upholds the rights of religious employers. The national protest, encouraged by parish bulletin inserts from the U.S. bishops’ conference and appeals from at least … Read more

The Fight to Be Catholic

The fight to protect Catholic institutions from the Obama administration’s new health-insurance mandate is not only a dispute over contraception and abortion. For many colleges, schools, and charities, it is a fight for the right to be Catholic. If the outrageously narrow “religious employer exemption” put forward by the Department of Health and Human Services … Read more

Bishops Betrayed on Assisted Suicide

Even as the nation’s bishops react with alarm to a recent Montana Supreme Court ruling allowing physician-assisted suicide, their efforts are being undermined by ethics and law professors at several Jesuit universities. Last week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a statement describing assisted suicide as “a terrible tragedy, one that a compassionate society … Read more

Catholic University Trusts Its Students

When President John Garvey of the Catholic University of America (CUA) courageously announced this week that he would end the university’s 30-year experiment with co-ed dorms, he offended modern sensibilities. ABC News interviewed college students who — although not CUA students, and therefore not affected by the CUA policy — seemed insulted by what appeared … Read more

Scandal and Lavender Gowns, 2011 Edition

Ever hear of a “lavender commencement”? For some Catholic college students, gone are the days of traditional pomp and circumstance. On May 2, homosexual students at the nation’s oldest Catholic university cheered anti-homophobia remarks from the director of the campus LBGTQ (lesbian-bisexual-gay-transgender-queer) Resource Center and paraded around campus with a rainbow flag. The “commencement” speaker … Read more

Is Planned Parenthood in the ‘Jesuit Tradition’?

Readers of InsideCatholic will be well aware of the repeated scandals in Catholic higher education, particularly at many of the large Jesuit universities. But even so, what leads a major university in the “Jesuit educational tradition” to crawl into bed with Planned Parenthood, which commits nearly one-third of the abortions in the United States? Yesterday … Read more

The Unfinished Reform of Catholic Colleges

Twenty years ago, the opposition of certain Catholic college leaders and professors to Pope John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae was strident. They claimed the Vatican’s guidelines for Catholic colleges would encourage dictator-bishops to violate academic freedom. Non-Catholic faculty members would sue bishops and colleges for discrimination. Colleges would become second-rate catechetical programs. Many others … Read more

Ten Ways To Renew Catholic Colleges

Most alumni of Catholic colleges and universities in the United States are blind to what is troubling Catholic higher education today. Despite increased public awareness of scandals at many Catholic colleges, including pro-abortion commencement speakers, campus performances of The Vagina Monologues, and dissident and heretical theology professors, alumni publications rarely hint at the controversies on … Read more

The State of Catholic Higher Education

The Notre Dame commencement scandal was of such crucial significance to the Church and the renewal of Catholic higher education that it dominated much of the summer. But as students complete their first full month of studies and my colleagues at the Cardinal Newman Society wrap up the second edition of our Catholic college guide, … Read more

New Study Confirms Decline of Catholic Colleges

We have long known of the collapse of morals and fidelity to Catholic teaching on many Catholic campuses. Now we have national survey data to prove it. You may have seen the front page of the recent National Catholic Register. The Cardinal Newman Society’s new national survey of students at Catholic colleges and universities — looking … Read more

How Catholics Gave Governor Paterson Cover

  When New York’s Governor David Paterson ordered state agencies to recognize same-sex “marriages” performed outside the state last month, the New York State Catholic Conference was quick to respond with justifiable anger. “No single politician or court or legislature should attempt to redefine the very building block of our society in a way that … Read more

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