Anti-Rights Profile: Cardinal Newman Society


Download PDF
  • '
“The most unhappily and inappropriately named society on the planet”

This paper is taken from Opposition Notes: An investigative series on those who oppose women’s rights and reproductive health, by Catholics for a Free Choice

The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) claims that its mission is “to help renew and strengthen Catholic identity in Catholic higher education,” but there are many clergy, staff at Catholic universities, students and laypeople who don’t recognize themselves in the organization’s vision of Catholic identity. Some, like the National Catholic Reporter, have pointed out the striking contrast between Cardinal Newman the man and the society that bears his name: “the most unhappily and inappropriately named society on the planet.”

The Cardinal Newman Society devotes its energy to pointing out supposed breaches of dogma within Catholic universities, engineering negative publicity primarily by instigating letter-writing campaigns and posting online petitions. America magazine criticized the society’s “watchdog tactics” for employing a negative rather than positive definition of Catholicism—that is, it aims to prune away perceived deviations from orthodoxy, rather than cultivating a Catholicism that is something more than mere conformism

Download PDF