Patrick Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society discusses Common Core and Catholic identity
The President of the Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly spoke yesterday in a lecture organized by the Georgetown University Young Americans for Liberty. The lecture was entitled “Common Core, Georgetown’s Relativism, and Government Tyranny Threaten the Future of Catholic Education.” So brace yourselves, faithful readers, this post is going to discuss everything you would expect from the title of the lecture.
Although Reilly was invited to speak about the implications of the Common Core and government regulation hold for Catholic education, he used the platform to also take many swipes at Georgetown’s Catholic identity (which the Cardinal Newman Society truly enjoys doing).
Following a brief introduction, Reilly prefaced his lecture by listing over twenty instances when Georgetown has collaborated with, hosted, or shown support for figures who do not believe in Catholic values such as Sandra Fluke, Senator John Dingle, Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama. He went on to claim that Georgetown institutionally defies the teachings of the Church with events such as Coming Out Day, or the “erotic dancing instruction” offered during Sex Positive Week.
“There seems to be a growing intolerance for those who teach and live the Catholic faith from nonbelievers and especially from dissenting Catholics,” Reilly said. He said Georgetown’s Catholic student groups declined to host him because of the controversial nature of his talk. “It’s a fact that most Catholics today do not believe key teachings of the Church,” he said.
Reilly then criticized Georgetown for including contraception in both its employee and student health care policies “well before it was legally required.”
“A 19-year old girl could go and get sterilized the minute she arrives on campus,” he said.
When Reilly reached the subject of the common core he blamed the “secular liberal elite” for drowning Catholic values under a roar of demands for a politically correct society. “I wouldn’t call it a problem of relativism, I would call it a problem of political correctness,” he said. Reilly’s main criticisms of the Common Core, a federally-backed curriculum developed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, rested on the fact that they do not prioritize Catholic teaching as their base.
According to Reilly, the Common Core overemphasizes that practical purposes of education and Catholic schools who voluntarily adopt these standards run the risk of losing the formational aspects of Catholic education. “We see this especially in the Common Core’s emphasis on reading informational texts… the more they do that the more it crowds out the study of great works of literature. ”
Vox thinks Reilly point is well taken. Maybe she’ll get the opportunity one of these days to crack open her favorite work of fantasy fiction. It goes something like: In the beginning…
Photo: Isabel Echarte/Georgetown Voice