Confronting the Crisis of Faith and Reason: Reclaiming Authentic Catholic Education

  • 06:00 PM

Panelists will explore the pernicious effects of secular progressive education, and its infiltration of Catholic schools. By examining the nature and purpose of Catholic education and its roots in the classical liberal arts tradition, the panel will recognize how neglect of our own tradition undermines both faith and reason in our children. A dynamic renewal, however, is transforming and inspiring a growing number of Catholic schools who are reclaiming the Church’s tradition.



Dr. Robert Royal

President, Faith & Reason Institute

Bio: Robert Royal is the founder and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. and editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing ( His books include: 1492 And All That: Political Manipulations of History (1992), Reinventing the American People: Unity and Diversity Today (1995), The Virgin and the Dynamo: The Use and Abuse of Religion in the Environment Debate(1999, Eerdmans), Dante Alighieri in the Spiritual Legacy Series (1999, Crossroad), and The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century: A Comprehensive Global History (2000, Crossroad), The Pope’s Army (2006, Crossroad), and The God That Did Not Fail (2006, Encounter). Dr. Royal holds a B.A. and M.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Catholic University of America. He has taught at Brown University, Rhode Island College, and The Catholic University of America. He received fellowships to study in Italy from the Renaissance Society of America (1977) and as a Fulbright scholar (1978). From 1980 to 1982, he served as editor-in-chief of Prospect magazine in Princeton, New Jersey.


Dr. Michael Hanby

Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy of Science, Pontifical John Paul II Institute

Bio: Professor Hanby came to the Institute in 2007 from Baylor University where he was Assistant Professor of Theology in the Honors College and Associate Director of the Baylor Institute for Faith and Learning. Before that he was Arthur J. Ennis Fellow in the Humanities at Villanova University. Professor Hanby is author of the 2013 monograph from Wiley-Blackwell, No God, No Science?:  Theology, Cosmology, Biology which reassesses the relationship between the doctrine of creation, Darwinian evolutionary biology, and science more generally.   He is also author of Augustine and Modernity (Routledge 2003) which is simultaneously a re-reading of Augustine’s Trinitarian theology and a protest against the contemporary argument for continuity between Augustine and Descartes. He has contributed chapters to a number of volumes and is also author of several articles appearing in CommunioModern TheologyPro Ecclesia, and Theology Today.


Elisabeth Sullivan

Executive Director, Institute for Catholic Liberal Education

Bio: Elisabeth Sullivan is the Executive Director of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education. A former journalist, Beth found her passion for Catholic liberal education while exploring authentic formation in faith and reason for her own children. Beth became involved in Catholic education at the local level, serving on boards and researching curricula. She taught literature and writing at St. John Bosco School in East Rochester, New York, an independent Catholic classical school, where she also served as Director of Communications. Beth is a CiRCE Certified Classical Teacher, after having completed a three-year apprenticeship program. Beth holds a B.S. in Humanities from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.



Mary Rice Hasson

Kate O’Beirne Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Co-author of the recently published book Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Child from Public School Before It Is Too Late (available to purchase at CIC).
Bio: Mary Rice Hasson is the Kate O’Beirne Fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. She also directs the Catholic Women’s Forum, a network of Catholic professional women and scholars seeking to amplify the voice of Catholic women in support of human dignity, authentic freedom, and Catholic social teaching. Mary is an expert on topics related to women, faith, culture, family, sexual morality, and gender ideology.  She was the keynote speaker for the Holy See during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in both 2017 (“The Distinctiveness of Women’s Work and Women’s Empowerment”) and 2018 (“The Integral Education of Rural Women and Girls”). She speaks frequently at national conferences (including the 2017 Catholic Medical Association conference, the 2017 National Council of Catholic Women conference, and the 2017 National Catholic Bioethics Center Workshop for Bishops), as well as regional family conferences, and diocesan women’s conferences. Mary also conducts workshops for Catholic parishes and dioceses on sexuality, gender identity, and pastoral care.


Mary’s writing has appeared in a variety of websites, policy journals, and scholarly publications, including The Federalist, the Washington ExaminerOur Sunday VisitorThe National Catholic Register, and First Things. She is the editor of Promise and Challenge: Catholic Women Reflect on Feminism, Complementarity, and the Church (Our Sunday Visitor: 2015), co-author of the reportWhat Catholic Women Think About Faith, Conscience, and Contraception (EPPC 2012), and co-author of a study on parents’ use of media ratings, published in the medical journal Pediatrics (2011). She contributed a chapter (“What About Sex: Habits of Heart for a Fulfilling Sexual Relationship and a Happy Marriage”) to the recent book, Venus and Virtue: Celebrating Sex and Seeking Sanctification (2018). Mary has been interviewed by a wide range of national media, is a frequent commentator on EWTN and Catholic radio programs.


Before joining EPPC, Mary worked as an attorney and writer and served the Church for over twenty years in leadership positions in Catholic marriage preparation programs, diocesan education efforts, and Catholic ministries to women and families. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Notre Dame Law School, Mary and her husband, Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson are the parents of seven, and were the recipients of the 2015 Saint John Paul II Award for the New Evangelization.