In a recent article, Libby A. Nelson discusses the role of faith in Catholic universities and puts forth the question, how Catholic are these institutions? Recent debates on contraception and gay rights have brought to the forefront the question of what influence Catholic doctrines should have in these academic institutions. Nelson explains:

Fueled by the debate over a new rule requiring employers, including religious colleges, to offer insurance coverage for birth control, campus controversies gained national attention. Among them are a decision at Xavier University in Cincinnati to deny insurance coverage previously offered to faculty members, and a faculty revolt at John Carroll University in Cleveland, where faculty members urged the college president to stand up to the bishops orchestrating opposition to the policy.

At the same time, perennially contentious issues were flaring, gaining new relevance (and airtime) from the contraception debate. Anna Maria College, a small Catholic college in Massachusetts, rescinded its offer of an honorary degree and a keynote commencement speech to Victoria Kennedy, widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, after the local bishop objected to Victoria Kennedy’s support for gay marriage and criticism of the church for denying communion to politicians who favor of abortion rights. And at the University of Notre Dame, where the outcry over another commencement speech three years ago — President Obama’s — still lingers, faculty are pushing the administrators to do more on gay rights.

It all could make you wonder: What’s happening to Catholic colleges these days?

Read the full article here.