Sampling of Artwork by Our Students

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“Barn in Summer” by 7th Grader

Third Grader

“Grandpa” by 6th grader

We went on a field trip to the St. Louis Art Museum where A. particularly liked Monet’s Water Lilies.  When we got home, she made her own version using colored pencils and tissue paper.    – Kindergarten student

8th Grader

“I donated these paintings to the auction at our parish church – they sold for $250!” – 6th Grader

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What is UOWC? – Part 4 of 5

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Monsignor Ricardo Coronado

Monsignor Ricardo Coronado

It is a pleasure to introduce students to Monsignor Ricardo Coronado-Arrascue and in particular to his excellent article below on the relationship of human nature to God, otherwise known as Christian anthropology. In this article (click here to read the article in full) the Monsignor traces the history of the Catholic doctrine of the relationship between free will and grace, and the various extreme positions on either side of that doctrine. Few students – few Catholics – understand the Catholic position well. Yet misunderstanding it profoundly affects one’s behavior and happiness.

Students will be familiar with the notion of the golden mean, which is the desirable middle between two extreme positions, one of excess, one of defect, which Aristotle used to highlight the virtue in the middle of two vices. For example, courage is a virtue balanced between the vices of foolhardiness (excess) and cowardice (defect). In Chinese thought a similar concept, the doctrine of the mean, was propounded by Confucius – a position of precise balance between good and evil. The Romans had a similar concept: Auream quisquis mediocritatem diligit, tutus caret obsoleti sordibus tecti, caret invidenda, sobrius aula. (He who chooses the golden mean safely avoids both the hovel and the palace). – Horace (Odes II – 10)

In the article, Monsignor Ricardo utilizes the foregoing notion of the golden mean – the balanced, harmonious position between extreme views – to delineate the Catholic teaching and distinguish it from errors on both sides. Modern unbelief has actually succeeded in combining both extreme positions regarding free will and grace – thereby combining the worse of both worlds as it were. This is set forth in the article.

– Patrick S.J. Carmack

What is UOWC? – Part 3 of 5

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Catholic Identity

The founders of the UOWC network are proud of their Catholic identity and make their allegiance to the Papacy, the Magisterium and Ex corde Ecclesiae a matter of no uncertainty, as even a brief visit to uowc.org demonstrates. UOWC received its founding impetus at the World Conference on Catholic Education held in Toruń, Poland in 2008, presided over by the Prefect of Catholic Education, Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski. UOWC founders are signatories of the Toruń Declaration in support of Ex corde Ecclesiae.

2009-2010 is the first year the colleges and universities participating in the UOWC network offered courses and degrees in collaboration. Each institution involved has its own founding date, ranging from 1983 to 2005.

The Catholic institutions participating in the UOWC network each have a strong, Catholic public identity, including firm support for Ex corde Ecclesiae. Otherwise they are not invited to join, nor remain with UOWC. Non-Catholic participating institutions are welcome and must be willing collaborators in the preservation of Western civilization in the areas of the natural sciences and general education. To avoid any possible confusion, they are clearly identified as secular institutions, offering general education courses. At present the secular university collaborating in the UOWC network is Harrison Middleton University, College of Humanities and Sciences, offering accredited, online and independent home study Great Books courses.

Let those who declare the teaching of Christian doctrine to be opposed to the welfare of the State, furnish us with an army of soldiers such as Christ says soldiers ought to be; let them give us subjects, husbands, wives, parents, children, masters, servants, kings, judges, taxpayers and tax gatherers who live up to the teachings of Christ; and then let them dare assert that Christian doctrine is harmful to the State. Rather let them not hesitate one moment to acclaim that doctrine, rightly observed, the greatest safeguard of the State. – Tertulliani

That view of the radical importance and benefits of a specifically Catholic education understood as “the teaching of Christian doctrine…rightly observed,i.e.,subject to the Catholic Church’s Magisterium (which Catholics believe alone has the authority to determine orthodox doctrine and observance), set forth in the quotation by Tertullian (c. 200 AD) above, all the way through and including Vatican II’s declaration on Christian education (Gravissimum Educationis, 1965) was radically redefined by a group of 26 Catholic university presidents and administrators on July 23, 1967. They met at Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin and approved a document entitled “The Idea of the Catholic University” which has become known as the Land O’ Lakes Statement. The 1,500 word document was unremarkable except for one crucial phrase – a radical demand for autonomy from ecclesiastical authority:

the Catholic university must have a true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the university itself.”

Commentary within the statement gratuitously added:

To say this [the above quotation] is simply to assert that institutional autonomy and academic freedom are essential conditions of life and growth and indeed of survival for Catholic universities as for all universities.” and,

“…the intellectual campus of a Catholic university has no boundaries and no barriers.”ii

That phrase and commentary began a continuing debate about the character of American Catholic higher education. Supporters believed the Land O’ Lakes Statement was a long overdue assertion of Catholic educators’ agreement with the tenets of American secular academia, such as freedom to reject any interference based on theological grounds. Critics regarded it as a manifesto of a dangerously flawed understanding of academic freedom divorcing the Catholic university from the life of faith which set in motion a deplorable decline in the Catholic identity at American institutions of higher education.

That decline was highlighted (2009) by the invitation to address Catholic students at the University of Notre Dame and to be honored with an award there, extended to President Obama, whose positions on abortion, embryonic stem cell destruction and other important issues are directly in conflict with Catholic moral principles.iii The Cardinal Newman Society was instrumental in bringing that violation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ guideline – that Catholic schools should not give awards or platforms to those who “act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” – to public attention.

Not a little ironic is that Notre Dame should be at the center of the decline in Catholic identity at American universities since a conference center which was owned by Notre Dame University at Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin was the location where an educational revolution started, the outcome of which many of the signatories (including the group’s host, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, the young president of Notre Dame) could not have foretold and might have abhorred.iv

On November 22nd, 2008 at the World Congress of Catholic Education held in Toruń, Poland, an international group of Catholic scholars and educators drafted and signed the following declaration, intended to correct the Land O’Lakes Statement. They hoped to make a public statement that scholars and educators could support a proper view of academic freedom and also the growing international acceptance of the Apostolic Constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae which was written by Pope John Paul II to restore the proper relationship between Catholic institutions of higher learning and the Magisterium.

Participants in the World Congress on Catholic Education held in Toruń, Poland, November 22, 2008 including the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, His Eminence Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, together with Archbishop Stanislaus Wielgus, former member and consultant to the Congregation of Catholic Education and a member of the humanities section of the European Academy of Science and Arts; Their Excellencies Bishop Andrzei Suski and Bishop Stanislaus Napierala; Catholic priests, scholars and educators from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

THE TORUŃ DECLARATION

Seven Points for Recovering Catholic Education

In order to facilitate a recovery of authentic Catholic higher education, the undersigned group of scholar participants in the 2008 International Congress on Catholic Education being held in Toruń, Poland, who have signed this declaration share it with you in the hope of widening the growing, positive response to the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, Ex corde Ecclesiae, of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II. We encourage you to share this with other Catholic educators, scholars, parents, faculty, administrators and local ordinaries who can all appreciate and utilize this declaration, or something like it, as a clear and unambiguous statement that they and/or their institutions accept and support the principles and norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae.
 

We, the undersigned, accept:

1.) that education in Catholic schools should chiefly aim at perfecting the human person by integrating human talents, with a view towards man’s last end, the beatific vision of God;

2.) that a Catholic school is essentially a community of integrated talents, or virtues, in which educators and students exchange their personal gifts and skills in order to participate more effectively in the Church’s mission of forming the person in the integral unity of his being;

3.) without reservation the principles and the eleven norms set forth in the Apostolic Constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae;

4.) the right of academic freedom, subject to the Magisterium, and subject to the duty of professional Catholic educators to know the principles of their subject matter and its proper methods of investigation for discovering and imparting the truth in each of their respective disciplines, and their ability competently to teach their students;

5.) the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, received from Christ, as being the chief measure of the limits of exercise of teaching all arts and sciences within all Catholic institutions of learning;

6.) that being a Catholic educator is a vocation – a calling – not simply a secular profession;

7.) that, beyond a minimum of solid professional formation proper to each discipline, Catholic educators require proper theological and philosophical formation;

Signed by the Conference Participants (in their individual capacities) on this 22nd day of November, 2008 at Toruń, Poland.

TORUŃ DECLARATION SIGNATORIESv

Prof. dr. hab. Piotr Jaroszynski
Chair of Philosophy of Culture
Pope John Paul II
Catholic University of Lublin
Lublin, Poland Prof. Peter A. Redpath
Philosophy Department
St. John’s University
Chairman of the Angelicum Academy
New York, USA

Prof. Carlos Horacio Torrendell
Director, Departmento de Educacion
Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina
Buenos Aires,Argentina

Prof. Ermano Pavesi
Theologische Hochschule
Chur, Switzerland

Dr. Curtis L. Hancock
Joseph M. Freeman Chair of Philosophy
Rockhurst University
Missouri, USA

Dr. Gerard O’Shea
John Paul II Institute
Melbourne,Australia

Prof.dr. hab. Rev. Andrzej Maryniarczyk
Chair in Metaphysics
Pope John Paul II
Catholic University of Lublin
Lublin,Poland

 Dr. Tom Michaud
Philosophy Department
Wheeling Jesuit University
West Virginia, USA

Prof. Mauricio Echeverria Galvez
Universidad Santo Tomás
Santiago de Chile Prof. Jose Juan Escandell Cucarella
Universidad CEU San Pablo
Madrid, Spain

Patrick S.J. Carmack, J.D.
President, Western Civilization Foundation
Angelicum Great Books Program
Colorado, USA

Imelda Chlodna, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy of Culture
Pope John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Lublin, Poland

Prof. Carlo Fedeli
Universita di Torino
Torino, Italy

Rev. Pawel Tarasiewicz, Ph.D.
Philosophy Department
Pope John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Lublin, Poland

Prof. Enrique Martinez
Universidad Abat Oliba
Barcelona,Spain

Mr. Stephen F. Bertucci
Director, Great Books Program
Washington, USA

Rev. Tadeusz Guz
Pope John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Lublin, Poland

The signatories of the Land O’ Lakes Statement,as one commentator aptly noted, whatever their intentions,

“by refusing to be shepherded by the Church’s bishops, set the sheep free to roam into whatever error academic freedom might lead them. Nearly forty years later, the shepherds are still trying to gather their scattered flocks.”

One is reminded of the words of Pope Leo XIII:

“’Where Peter is, there is the church.’ Wherefore, if anybody wishes to be considered a real Catholic, he ought to be able to say from his heart the self same words which Jerome addressed to Pope Damasus: ‘I, acknowledging no other leader than Christ, am bound in fellowship with Your Holiness; that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that the church was built upon him as its rock, and that whoever gathereth not with you, scattereth.”vi

As far back as 1899, Leo XIII, in his Apostolic Letter Testem Benevolentiae had already warned the Church in America of certain tendencies it seemed to have to allow the secular model of civil liberties to undermine the doctrine of the Church. If Papal infallibility as defined by the Vatican Council is true, Leo declared, it

“was not intended to hamper real serious study or research, or to conflict with any well-ascertained truth but only to use the authority and wisdom of the Church more effectually in protecting men against errorvii

How could such a gift from God be useful to protect students and faculty from error if the university they attended rejected “authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the university itself.”viii

Such a view of academic autonomy opened the door to “the assumed right to hold whatever opinions one pleases upon any subject and to set them forth in print to the world, [which actions] have so wrapped minds in darkness that there is now a greater need of the Church’s teaching office [Magisterium] than ever before.ix

Indeed, academic autonomy and liberty must inevitably confront the truths of the faith and either yield to them, deny them or suppress them. Leo warned “that faith is not to be relinquished or in any manner suppressed under any specious pretext whatsoever; such a process would alienate Catholics from the Church instead of bringing converts.”x As studies document, that is precisely what has happened at secularized “Catholic” universities and colleges. Leo concluded:

“If we are to come to any conclusion from the infallible teaching authority of the Church, it should rather be that no one should wish to depart from it, and moreover that the minds of all being leavened and directed thereby, greater security from private error would be enjoyed by all.”xi

The Church has opposed a secular monopoly on education, such as happens when Catholic universities and colleges are secularized:

“But it must always keep in mind the principle of subsidiarity so that there is no kind of school monopoly, for this is opposed to the native rights of the human person, to the development and spread of culture, to the peaceful association of citizens and to the pluralism that exists today in ever so many societies.”. – Pope Pius XIxii

Even the most fervent apostles of the distorted notion of “academic freedom” advanced by the Land O’Lakes Statement have been given pause by the unexpected and rapid secularization resulting there from.xiii The Catholic Church’s authoritative response to those baneful secularizing effects is primarily that of the of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Constitution, Ex Corde Ecclesiae issued in 1990.

The Toruń Declaration, also drafted and signed by an international group of Catholic scholars and educators, is intended to demonstrate their support for and to further the goals of Ex corde Ecclesiae, as well as to help expose and remedy the errors contained in the Land O’Lakes Statement.


iTertullian in his Apologeticus
ii Cf. Fr. Hesburgh’s successor as President of Notre Dame, Fr. Jenkins, CSC, in the Spring, 2006 issue of Notre Dame online in an article entitled Academic Freedom and Catholic Values by Richard Conklin ’59M.A. directly contradicted that Land O’ Lakes position: “I do not believe that freedom of expression has absolute priority in every circumstance. While any restriction on expression must be reluctant and restrained, I believe that, in some situations, given the distinctive character and aspirations of Notre Dame, it may be necessary to establish certain boundaries, while defending the appropriate exercise of academic freedom.” Unfortunately, when he invited President Obama to both address and be honored at Notre Dame, Fr. Jenkins did not heed his own warning about the errors contained in the Land O’ Lakes Statement (nor did he heed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops).
iiiibid.
ivSuch a radical notion of university autonomy or academic freedom, once accepted, inevitably resulted in reducing or entirely severing the legal ties and control previously exercised by ecclesiastical superiors, religious orders and communities, and replacing them with lay boards of trustees composed partly or, in some cases, predominantly of non-Catholics. Catholic faculty percentages began a precipitous decline as well. For example, in the same 2006 article quoted above, Fr. Jenkins, the current President of Notre Dame wrote that:
“In the 1970s the percentage of Catholic faculty [at the University of Notre Dame] was near 85 percent; in 1984 it was 62 percent. It is currently 53 percent. With the retirement of senior faculty who are Catholic in greater percentages, it is likely to drop further.”
vOnly participating Catholic scholars and educators at the World Conference active in education were invited to sign the Declaration.
viApostolic Letter Testem Benevolentiae of Pope Leo XIII (1899)
viiibid.
viiiLand O’ Lakes Statement, 1967
ix Op. cit. Testem Benevolentiae
xibid.
xiibid.
xiiPope Pius XI’s encyclical letter, Divini Illius Magistri (21), Dec. 31, 1929: A.A.S. 22 (1930)
xiiiOp.cit. Spring, 2006 issue of Notre Dame online

The Great Books as Renaissance (Why Greatness Stopped With Goethe)

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Written by Anthony O’Hear

For two and a half millennia, from Homer’s Iliad to Goethe’s Faust, the foundation of Western literature was the epic, and built upon it, the tragic and the poetic. The whole edifice was enveloped in a world of myth, by turns classical and Christian, in which the divine and the human met, in which the gods became as men and men as gods. These forms and these myths permitted the portrayal of greatness in a way which is hardly possible today.

When working on his opera Les Troyens (The Trojans), Berlioz wrote of the ‘intoxication’ he gained from swimming in the lake of antique poetry: ‘What gratitude we owe to these great spirits, these mighty hearts, who gave us such noble emotions as they speak to us over the centuries’. Berlioz was speaking here of Virgil and his Aeneid, a triumphant but by no means triumphalist attempt to create the national epic of Rome, where Homer had, with the Iliad and the Odyssey, done the same for Greece. In Homer’s shadow, as shavings from his block and as part of the fall-out from the Trojan War, we have The Oresteia of Aeschylus, to this day unsurpassed as a portrayal of the crux of bloody revenge: ‘Guilt both ways, and who can call it justice?’ Then there are Sophocles’ Theban plays, with the towering figures of Oedipus and Antigone and their even more intractable dilemmas, and, in the hands of Euripides, the terrible punishment wreaked on Thebes for its repudiation of Dionysus, the god of intoxication and of tragedy itself.

Troy and Mycenae, Thebes and Carthage, Athens and Rome, all cities of mythic significance, populated as Berlioz said by mighty hearts, speaking to us over the centuries: Achilles, Agamemnon, Odysseus, Hector, Priam, Helen, Oedipus, Antigone, Aeneas, Dido. Their names alone are enough to evoke a frisson of wonder and excitement, so deeply are they embedded in our collective psyche even as we forget their deeds.

On into the Christian era, via the spiritual Odyssey of St Augustine, a mighty spirit if ever there was one and perhaps the first to engage in such scrupulous autobiography as he wrestles with God and with grace, we come to Dante’s Divine Comedy, astonishing in detail and architecture alike, and astonishing too in the transitions, from Hell to Purgatory, and then on into Paradise where there is an evocation of the beatific vision more convincing than one would have thought possible. In Shakespeare, too, there are mighty hearts and deeds of greatness: Henry V, England’s (and Wales’) hero, Hamlet, a renaissance prince alone in a court of vipers, and the magus Prospero, seeing his enemies off with the same magical power and the same poetic incantation as Ovid’s Medea.

Milton, on his own estimation, tried ‘things yet unattempted in prose or rhyme’, an epic not of nation, but of salvation itself, justifying the ways of God to men. In his presumption he may have failed, but the language is resplendent and his Satan fascinates even his critics. At least, it might be said, he strove, as did Goethe’s Faust, arguably the last great epic hero of our literature, at least as he summons up the Earth Spirit and meditates in the mountains, as he drives his utopian projects, and as he – and Goethe – introduces Helen of Troy into scenes of medieval knighthood.

What underpins the works we have mentioned is that in them the heroes work out their destinies, and in many cases those of their peoples too, against an unquestioned sacred order, and within a cosmos in which what men and women do has a significance beyond their biological existence. The same is also true of the anti-heroes we meet in the period, such as Falstaff, Don Quixote and characters from the Canterbury Tales: what they do makes sense only against the same background. Further, in the best of our authors, from Homer onwards, we find an unflinching sense of the cost and fragility of peace and civilization, of the crimes on which cities and empires are founded, of the implacability of fate, and, in the Christian writers, also of the price of salvation and of the need for grace.

The order we lost, and how to regain it.

The backdrop of sacred order allows our writers a simplicity, a strength and a grandeur which is inevitably lost in the detail of descriptive naturalism and psychological realism, and also in the fascination with the mediocre and the mundane which begins to take over in the literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Compare, for example, Emma Bovary with Racine’s Phedre, Joyce’s Bloom with Homer’s Odysseus, Proust’s Marcel with Sophocles’ Oedipus or with Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The themes, the dilemmas, the characters are of a different order.

The clue to the transition from literary greatness to modernity emerges in Faust himself. As he dies, the Earth Spirit notwithstanding, he cries out that he stands before nature as a man, alone. If we are men, alone, then there is nothing to imbue our lives with meaning, other than what emerges from our own psychology – the very domain explored so brilliantly and exhaustively in the nineteenth and twentieth century novel. As the Spirits sang to Faust earlier ‘you have destroyed our beautiful world’, the world, that is of Homer, of Virgil, of Dante, of our great books generally.

Maybe that world has been destroyed, and our condition is one of inevitable disillusion. This is one reason why the great books of the past are on many levels foreign to us and inaccessible. But that is also the reason why we should access them, on their own terms. Only then will we come to experience what we have lost. In doing this we will certainly discover something about ourselves, for bits of that lost world still resonate today. And, as in all renaissances, we might also discover that some of the lost greatness can, with patience and humility, be recovered.

Angelicum Second Quarter Essay by 9th Grader E. W. – Oedipus

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The early pagans thought when they sinned or broke the law; they needed to atone for their sins by self mutilation. This practice is considered a sin to Christians. Unlike the pagans, God gave Christians the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love to help them. The pagans could have gotten these if they had believed in God and were baptized. With the theological virtues and Christ’s crucifixion it makes it possible for Christians to confront the horrors of their sins and not perform the sin of self mutilation.

Oedipus was a man who was next in line to rule his fathers’ kingdom. His parents were given a prophecy that said a son of royalty would kill his father, then marry his mother, and rule with her. Oedipus thought this meant himself, so he left because he feared the prophecy. The king came looking for Oedipus to try to convince him to come home, king Laius disguised himself because he did not want Oedipus to know it was him. When the king started talking to his son he accidentally offended his son. So Oedipus, not knowing it was his father, killed him. When Oedipus’ mother found out about this she hung herself, because she did not want to marry her son. When Oedipus found her body, he took the pins from her gown and used them to gouge out his eyes to punish himself. After this Oedipus exiled himself and left the kingdom, he inherited, to his two sons.

The way the pagans showed faith in their gods was by listening to the oracles, since the gods rarely came down to earth. The pagans thought they could tell when the prophecies would happen. They also thought they could control the outcome of them, as Oedipus tried to do. If someone interfered with what the oracle predicted, it would change the effect of the prophecy. When this happened, usually it made the lives of the affected much worse. For the Christians though, if you heard a prophecy, then let your life be affected by that prophecy, it is a sin. They may not be called prophecies in today’s time; however, Horoscopes, Ouija boards, and fortune telling could have the same impression on your life, so they should be avoided. If you do not avoid them they could open you up to evil and ruin your life, just like Oedipus.

When Jesus died on the cross for us, he did not just take away the sins of the world, he also gave us hope and the hope of getting to Heaven and being with God in eternal glory. Oedipus’ mother did not have this hope when she found out that her husband was killed by her son and she killed herself. If she had not killed herself she would have found out that Oedipus did not want to marry her and they both would have gone on living the rest of their lives. Suicide is a sin against hope. Those who commit suicide often feel there is no hope to their situation, and then this leads to despair. If Oedipus’ mother had known God she would not have despaired because God would have helped her through her predicament if He was asked.

Oedipus went into self induced exile and he showed love to his sons by leaving his kingdom for them to rule. Later he found out that all they did was fight over who should rule the kingdom. This made Oedipus very distraught. His sons tried to make him favor one of them and help kill the other brother. God always offers his love to us. When some people abuse this He gets upset, just like Oedipus. When someone shows you love it is hoped that you would show love in return. Sometimes people do not return Gods love to him. This can lead them away from God. People also show love to each other and like Oedipus it is ignored and not returned. If this happens to a person they need to be prayed for so they will become a better person.

If the pagans had known the one True God, Christ’s crucifixion, and the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love, they would not have been in this predicament. They could have spent their lives worshiping God. They also would have done more fulfilling things with their lives. This would have been because of God, not of self inspiration. If the pagans of today’s time could learn to know God the world would be a better place, and everybody would worship the one True God.

What is UOWC? – Part 2 of 5

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UOWC received its founding impetus at the World Conference on Catholic Education held in Toruń, Poland in 2008, presided over by the Prefect of Catholic Education, Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski. UOWC founders are signatories of the TORUŃ DECLARATION in support of Ex corde Ecclesiae. Dr. Gerard O’Shea of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, a conference speaker and signatory, first suggested the connection with Campion College Australia, and the UOWC network rapidly developed from there.

UOWC Founders present in photo: Peter A. Redpath, Ph.D. (holding paper, immediately left of Cardinal Grocholewski); Patrick S.J. Carmack, J.D. (head visible – third from right edge of photo); Curtis Hancock, Ph.D. (on right edge of photo); Stephen F. Bertucci (partially visible behind Dr. Hancock); Prof. dr. hab. Piotr Jaroszynski, Chair of Philosophy of Culture, Pope John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland (standing in rear between Dr. Redpath and Cardinal Grocholewski). [Not in photo but present: Tom Michaud, Ph.D.]

Participants in the World Congress on Catholic Education held in Toruń, Poland, November 22, 2008 including the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, His Eminence Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, together with Archbishop Stanislaus Wielgus, former member and consultant to the Congregation of Catholic Education and a member of the humanities section of the European Academy of Science and Arts; Their Excellencies Bishop Andrzei Suski and Bishop Stanislaus Napierala; Catholic priests, scholars and educators from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

What is UOWC? – Part 1 of 5

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Taken from the homepage of the UOWC website.

In our day doors to authentic education have almost all been closed or truncated by the pressures of political correctness [i] and the looming “dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize any thing as certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” [ii] The possibility of discovering truth, indeed the very existence of any absolute truth is widely denied. This state of affairs opens the door to those who “with cunning try to draw into error…those tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human deceit.” [iii]

The purpose of this website is to open a new door, via the internet and distance learning, to reveal anew the treasures of reason and truth, Divine revelation and faith, and the beauty of the sublime heritage of Western culture in art, architecture, literature, verse and music.

Through a growing collaboration of educational institutions committed to preserving all that is best in Western civilization, an international educational network has formed in order to offer distance education courses worldwide, from kindergarten through university, with important physical, on-campus components at collaborating institutions.

The Universities of Western Civilization website is something like a university in the conventional sense of being a place students go to be in contact with teachers and other students in a learning environment; a place where the truth is sought as a good in itself. Universities traditionally offer one or more bachelor’s degree programs as well as graduate programs offering master’s or doctoral degrees. The Universities of Western Civilization network offers students all of the above, in cooperation, collectively.

However, Universities of Western Civilization (uowc.org) is not a single conventional university in the sense of being several colleges collected together on one campus, nor in being one institution run by one administration. UOWC is a website linking completely independent colleges, universities and educational programs that mutually recognize and accept some or all of the educational work of students at the other participating institutions, which collaborate in order to enable students to find and navigate through related and coordinated educational courses, leading to bachelor’s and graduate degrees.

Rather than tearing down or destroying the heritage of Western civilization, as is happening in many educational institutions under the monikers of “deconstructionism, radical liberalism, postmodernism, relativism” and the like, the collaborating institutions are committed to preserving and transmitting all that is best of Western culture – to being part of a renaissance of Western civilization. The list of collaborating educational institutions may be viewed at Member Institutions.

l a phrase describing communist orthodoxy, drawn from Mao’s Little Red Book
ll homily of His Eminence Card. Joseph Ratzinger, (now Pope Benedict XVI), Vatican Basilica, 18 April 2005
lll Ephesians 4, 14

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