Catholic education has swiftly become a “battleground” for religious freedom as the federal government relentlessly pushes for the redefinition of marriage, Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly wrote in a recentCrisis Magazine piece.
Colleges and schools that are maintaining Catholic values and Church teaching are most at risk, Reilly noted. On Tuesday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., confirmed during an oral argument before the Supreme Court that “religious colleges could lose their tax exemption and suffer other penalties if the Court redefines marriage.”
Reilly reported that Verrilli was asked by Chief Justice John Roberts how a federal redefinition of marriage wouldn’t present an enormous problem to religious schools. Verrilli admitted that there were “issues” posed by federally banning sexual orientation discrimination, not least of which included the possibility that a religious college could lose its nonprofit tax exemption for refusing to accommodate same-sex marriage.
This is especially worrisome for Catholic institutions, as they are most often “targeted by LGBT activists, from within and without.” Reilly cited the national uproar in San Francisco over Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s updated teacher contracts which include explicit Church teaching on cultural issues and expectations for Catholic school teachers to abide by Church teaching.
“[T]he redefinition of marriage threatens to undo Catholic education entirely, at least where Catholic schools hold to Catholic beliefs without compromise,” wrote Reilly.