Don Briel (l) and Michael Naughton (Mike Ekern/University of St. Thomas)

In the News: St. Thomas Hosts Panel on Proclaiming Faith in Catholic Universities

St. Thomas hosted a panel on the state of proclaiming faith at Catholic universities. The Catholic Spirit reported on the event and various faculty and alumni who engaged in the debate.

From the article: Michael Naughton, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at St. Thomas, said Catholic universities are in a crisis of identity that stems from breaking the relationship between faith and reason. When action overtakes contemplation, pragmatic, academic excellence might be attained but moral and spiritual integration can be lost, he said.

Challenges to building a genuine Catholic university are formidable, Father Miscamble said, including the Church’s loss of credibility in the clergy sexual abuse scandal, the secularization of society, a growing corporate mentality, challenging demographics and financial stresses.

But signs of hope remain, he said, and St. Thomas’ Department of Catholic Studies is one of them. Founded in the early 1990s by the late Don Briel, the department offers degrees that integrate business, history, politics, literature, science and other disciplines with Church teaching.