Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame may have undermined its legal case against the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare by approving a student health plan that covers abortifacients, the National Catholic Register reported, citing legal experts:

“The university need not provide student health insurance at all,” said Gerard Bradley, a constitutional scholar at Notre Dame’s law school, who outlined the options available to university administrators.

Bradley noted that only group health plans must comply with the mandate. Consequently, the university also had another option: It could have opted to self-insure the plan for students and avoid coverage of services that violate Catholic teaching. …

“In its pending lawsuit about the employee and staff health plan, Notre Dame has said that its Catholic faith forbids it to arrange or facilitate coverage for contraception and abortion,” Bradley said.

“Yet when it comes to student health coverage, the university has chosen to facilitate and arrange coverage for contraception and abortion. The court hearing Notre Dame’s lawsuit will surely notice this inconsistency.”

Part of the problem is how long the school waited to challenge the mandate after its original suit was thrown out as premature:

[Alumni group leader William] Dempsey contended that Notre Dame’s 11th-hour petition prompted the judge to question the university’s sincerity. That skepticism, said Dempsey, will be reinforced in the wake of the latest news regarding the student health plan.

“Notre Dame has declared in court that to do what it is doing now would be scandalous. And it is doing this voluntarily,” Dempsey emphasized, echoing concerns raised in the alumni newsletter.

Read the full story here.

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The Fighting Irish are fighting for their reputations. The New York Times reported on Tuesday:

… Friday afternoon … it was revealed that four football players — all probable starters — were suspected of being among several students who had cheated in class. …

The issue is also notable because Notre Dame football stands apart in many ways. It is the only university that commands its own network television deal. It has the only major program that remains independent. And it demands unusually rigorous academic performance compared with other top programs. …

Notre Dame announced Friday in a statement that four players were being held out of practice and competition, though not suspended, pending an investigation into “suspected academic dishonesty,” including submitting “papers and homework that had been written for them by others.” The university also notified the N.C.A.A. and pledged to vacate any tainted wins — which could include some from its 2012 season, its most successful in nearly two decades.

The penance on this one could be tough, very tough.

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AOL News reports the story of two Nevada twins who share more than a common DNA signature:

For identical twins Gabby and Maria Munoz-Robles being co-valedictorians was just another thing to do together.

KTVN reports: “We would switch seats in some classes just to play a joke on the teacher. We always study together. We do the same sports; we do the same extracurricular activities.”

For the nearly inseparable twins, being named co-valedictorians wasn’t even a surprise – The Record-Courier reports it was all part of the plan.

CBS reports: “We were shooting to be co-valedictorians. It came just down to this last semester, and we tied, so we knew that it was going to happen.”

The twins from Minden, Nevada, each earned a 4.54 grade point average. Maria told The Record-Courier:

“A lot of people want us to be separate, but we enjoy it. When we give each other hugs, I feel like I’m hugging myself.”

Full story here.

The valedictorian twins will attend Notre Dame University together in the fall.

In the wake of recent news that a relatively new student group at the University of Notre Dame formed to defend traditional marriage has been denied official recognition as a campus club at the Catholic institution, a recent grad and founding member of that group – Michael Bradley – has penned an editorial voicing concern over the iconic institution’s apparent identity crisis.

Bradley, a former College Fix contributor who graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame with a BA in philosophy and theology and who also served as editor-in-chief of Notre Dame’s independent student newspaper, the Irish Roverwrites in Public Discourse:

When essential truths are at stake, administrators and (Gender Relations Center) officials stand silently by as the student “peer educators” tasked with facilitating informed, civil discussion of tough issues routinely oppose student efforts to affirm orthodox Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality.

Attempts to tackle these issues head-on are met with calls for disbandment, and such calls are heeded by university officials. Notre Dame administrators then wield politically correct rhetoric as a weapon against students who are concerned that all the emphasis on campus “inclusion” has caused important, loving truths about the human person to be lost. These truths compose the good of those students perhaps least inclined to feel “welcomed” by them.

Notre Dame’s pastoral ministry must be rooted in the truths of human nature and human goods, and man’s supernatural end. Pope Saint John Paul II once said that “pastoral concern means the search for the true good of man, a promotion of the values engraved in his person by God.”

Unfortunately, it seems that Notre Dame has firmly, if quietly, commenced its slow surrender to a sexual ideology that, once internalized, will ensure that students at Notre Dame wander as sheep without their shepherds.

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A relatively new student group at the University of Notre Dame formed to defend traditional marriage has been denied official recognition as a campus club at the Catholic institution.

The decision to reject Students for Child-Oriented Policy was made first by the Club Coordination Council, a branch of Notre Dame’s student government, then ratified recently by Margaret Hnatusko, director of the student activities office.

“In evaluating a proposal, approval is based is on several things,” Hnatusko explained in her April 30 denial letter. “We consider the general purpose of a club, uniqueness to campus, proposed activities, a clear constitution, a strong understanding of budget planning, projected membership, opportunity for membership among other things.”

“The … mission of your club closely mirrored that of other undergraduate-student clubs on campus which served the intended interests of this club,” she continued. “As such, the Club Coordination Council felt there was not a need for another similar type club. … I regret to inform you that Students for Child-Oriented Policy will not be recognized by the Student Activities Office as a university student club.”

But the decision comes after Students for Child-Oriented Policy has been embroiled in an ongoing battle at Notre Dame over the university’s apparent apathy over the battle to support traditional marriage, as well as the Catholic college’s recent and strong support for the homosexual community.

During the 2013-14 school year at Notre Dame, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning student group called PrismND was established, hosting events on “National Coming Out Day” that encouraged students to “come out.”

The university also established a pastoral plan “for the support and holistic development of GLBTQ and heterosexual students.” A video the university put out last month touts its homosexual athletes.

Students for Child-Oriented Policy had emerged during the start of the spring semester to stand against the university’s trend toward accepting and embracing homosexuality and gay marriage.

In March, the fledgling group launched a petition that called on administrators to “make a clear stand in support of the true definition of marriage and to take serious and sustained action to improve the public understanding of this natural institution.”

The effort met with backlash from some Notre Dame students, who launched a counter-petition.

This counter-petition not only opposed official recognition of SCOP, but also asked university officials to renounce it “unless (its members) reformulate club policy, in which childhood outcomes should not be included as a defense against marriage.”

As for the recent decision to reject Students for Child-Oriented Policy as an official campus group, university officials downplayed the issue.

Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told the National Catholic Register, which first reported the news, that the club’s denial is “not unusual.”

“Over the past five years, 31 percent of club applications at the University of Notre Dame have been denied, most of those for the same reason — that they duplicated another club’s purpose, explained Brown. SCOP was one of six proposed clubs whose applications were denied this spring.”

Students for Child-Oriented Policy plan to appeal the decision, according to a comment on the group’s Facebook page.

“For now, we have been denied recognition from SAO based on a recommendation from the Club Coordination Council,” stated Timothy Bradley. “There is an appeal process and we are exploring some other avenues to reverse the decision.”

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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A new video released by the University of Notre Dame, one of the most venerable Catholic institutions in the country, states that the teachings of the Catholic Church and practicing homosexuals can offer each other “mutual respect … grounded in Catholic tradition.”

The video is part of a larger public awareness project that aims to ensure “equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.”

The video, released May 2, almost gives off a recruitment vibe. Its timing coincides with a major debate on the campus over the college’s stance on and support of homosexuality.

What’s more, during this 2013-14 school year at Notre Dame, PrismND, the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning student group was established on campus. This gay-straight alliance hosted “National Coming Out Day” observances and lectures, and the university also established a pastoral plan called “Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame.”

Watch the video:

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