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Students should challenge dissenting teachers

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 Contents - May 2006AD2000 May 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Benedict XVI: love and truth are inseparable
Papacy: Benedict completes his first twelve months as Pope - Fr Ephraem Chifley
News: The Church Around the World
Satellite service: EWTN Australia
Events: Carnivale Christi 2006 scheduled for Melbourne and Sydney in May - AD2000 Report
Benedict's first twelve months: 'We Are Church' delivers its verdict - Michael Gilchrist
Catholicism-lite's Church of convenience - Paul A. Wagner
University: Students should challenge dissenting teachers - Dr Michael Casey
Vocations: Can religious life be rebuilt in Australia? - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Foreign priests - a tale of two Brisbane parishes - Bob Osmak
Letters: Adoption - our experience - Bella and Leon Voesenek
Letters: Bigotry - Maureen Federico
Letters: Religious dissent - Kevin McManus
Letters: Lay led liturgies in Rockhampton diocese - Jessie Roger
Letters: Actions and attitudes - S. Chaston
Letters: Liturgical abuses - Rosanna Sherman
Letters: Inclusive language - John Daly
Letters: Elites - Peter Gilet
Letters: Conscience - Jerome Gonzalez
Letters: Modernism - Don Gaffney
Letters: Intelligent Design - Michael Griffiths
Letters: Creationism? - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Phillip Adams - Frank Bellet
Letters: Warning!
Letters: Rosary beads request - Jim Smith
Books: The Victory Of Reason, by Rodney Stark - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: On The Way To Jesus Christ, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Young Faces of Holiness: Modern Saints in Photos and Words, by Ann Ball - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: Oneness in Christ: the heart of the priesthood - Fr John W. O'Neill PP

Cardinal George Pell's private secretary has told Catholic students they should stand up to lecturers whose views and course content are contrary to the teaching of the Church.

Dr Michael Casey, a sociologist and convenor of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Australia, said that students today "find that in many of their classes the views and opinions, or even the content of the course, are opposed to the teachings of the Church".

He made his remarks in an interview for the latest issue of Sentinel, the publication of the Australian Catholic Students Association.

"When a position is taken for granted, as it often is in the academic world, it usually means it has not been deeply thought-out and considered," he said. "This gives people with dissenting views who are willing to think deeply and to reflect carefully an advantage."

But Dr Casey insisted that, as a matter of intellectual integrity, it is important for Catholics to take the views of other people seriously, especially when they disagree with them, and he cautioned against emotive responses.

"You can have an intellectual and academic discussion but what may be really driving a person in this discussion is not the arguments or ideas, but personal burdens and emotions. Sensitivity is required here."

He pointed to the problem of academic assignments, with fears that students may be penalised for taking issue with what has been taught in class.

"It is unethical for academics to penalise students simply because they disagree with a well articulated and well thought-out moral position presented to them," he said.

Dr Casey stressed that students have the right to follow their conscience: "No one should be compelled to go against their conscience to fulfill academic requirements."

With acknowledgement to Sentinel, Issue 2, 2006.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 4 (May 2006), p. 11

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