(WSJ) Nicholas Hahn-Unions Take On Roman Catholic Schools

Union organizers now have their sights set on America’s largest Catholic university, DePaul University in Chicago. But the school’s president, Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, won’t let labor bureaucrats usurp his authority without a fight. Writing online for Inside Higher Ed in January, he noted that “whether or not a particular faculty member chooses to incorporate religion in his or her classroom overtly, the point is that it is up to the university, not the government, to decide what counts as religious perspective.” Ultimately, he wrote, “the freedom to determine what is or what is not religious activity inside our church is at stake.”

In recent years many faith-based schools have wrestled with questions about the religious and secular mix in their missions””and labor bureaucrats have noticed. Some schools have seemed to neglect their identity when hiring professors. “I’m not Catholic,” Alyson Paige Warren, a Loyola adjunct professor, told America Magazine in January, “and I don’t teach Jesuit spirituality.”

Pope Francis will have none of that ambivalence. In January 2014 remarks to a delegation from the University of Notre Dame, Francis insisted upon the “uncompromising witness of Catholic universities to the church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom.” He reminded his visitors from Notre Dame””and by extension administrators at other Catholic colleges””to protect their schools’ “identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness.”

If more religious educators prayed over that, labor bureaucrats wouldn’t stand a chance.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology