Wow! Have you seen all the excitement?
Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the notorious “Land O’ Lakes Statement” — the “declaration of independence” by which Catholic university leaders rejected Church authority over Catholic education.
That has sparked quite a response, including a powerful plea for faithful schools and colleges by Lincoln’s Bishop James Conley… and an awkward defense of Land O’Lakes by Notre Dame’s president, Father John Jenkins!
- My article condemning the Land O’Lakes statement and its aftermath is on the front page of this week’s National Catholic Register. (It’s a reprint of my column last year, which is online here.)
- The Register also includes two excellent articles by reporter Stephen Beale (here and here) and insightful commentaries by Thomas More College Tutor Anthony Esolen, Notre Dame graduate Jonathan Liedl, and Catholic University of America President John Garvey. (Garvey’s article is not yet online.)
- On the Newman Society website, we’ve re-posted some of our best analyses of the Land O’ Lakes errors, written by the late U.S. education official Kenneth Whitehead, Trenton Bishop David O’Connell, Green Bay Bishop David Ricken, and Catholic philosopher Father Joseph Koterski.
- Father Jenkins defends Land O’ Lakes in the Jesuit America magazinewith a whitewashed portrayal of the devastating document. He acknowledges some flaws but praises the Land O’ Lakes authors for “the depth of their faith and the boldness of their vision.”
Bishop Conley flatly denounces the Land O’ Lakes statement and its aftermath, lamenting its terrible impact on the Church.
“The erosion of authentically Catholic identity at the university level has impacted every single facet of Catholic life in the United States, and every single stage of American Catholic education,” he says.
Renewing faithful Catholic education is therefore essential to facing the challenges confronting the Church today.
“If you want authentically Catholic culture, you need authentically Catholic schools,” argues Bishop Conley. “The past fifty years have taught us that.”
He congratulates faithful educators for promoting “a ressourcement in Catholic education today… The impact of that renewal will be astounding.”
We couldn’t agree more! In fact, we’re working every day to make it happen.
I strongly recommend reading all of Bishop Conley’s address. And please pray for the work of The Cardinal Newman Society and the renewal of Catholic education.