[quote="JKsoren, post:10, topic:212761"]
I'm sorry to say but you have it the other way around, Franciscan University and the other uncompetitive and so-called orthodox colleges you mention are the joke. You don't go to college to read encyclicals or study the universal catechism because American universities are not intended to be seminaries. Rather, they are places that American youth can go and acquire the requisite skills needed for some purpose that would require a good degree from a recognized institution: law, medicine, business, education, engineering, etc.
If you hope to have a decent job in any of those fields, save maybe education, then it is imperative that you attend as reputable and sound a university as your GPA and SAT scores can muster. Once admitted then you don't even need to bother with a "watered down education", by which you probably mean the humanities, because instead you will have the opportunity to study math, science, economics, and all manner of things that are unrelated to (and therefore not in intrinsic opposition to) Catholic religious beliefs or cultural ideologies. After you graduate, or for fun on the side, you can then study the other "liberal arts" as a pastime.
I can tell you that Franciscan is not altogether that orthodox. Indeed I can think of four people in the theology department that you would very likely think were heretics (I think that they are in fact heretics). The truth is that FUS is just really successful at selling itself to people who are, apparently, very determined to believe in whatever they want to regardless of the evidence to the contrary. I suppose you could say the entire university is like one big crazy personal revelation to a specific group of Catholics that just need know that there is a school where they can go and not face "other ideas".
Ok i'll bite. Those "other ideas" you write about can cost a young person their soul. What's more important: going to a moral wasteland type of college with the chance of getting a great paying job or **going to an orthodox Catholic college with the chance of not getting a good paying job, **but making it to heaven when you die?
I went to a very, very, very secular college for a year. I lived in the dorms, met great people, but was on the verge of losing my faith. I in fact lost it for a brief point of time. There was no Newman Center in fact only an extremely liberal protestant group. This happened very recently I might add. Imagine this: being a cat in the middle of a pack of pit bulls.
I don't need to tell you that we live in a secular culture, it's pretty in your face to tell you the truth. I can only imagine how the numbers will look in the Church in the next 20 years. However my faith became stronger after I left, but the battle is not worth it for any poorly catechized young person to go through. I feel great sadness for the difficulties that our youth stumble upon in today's world.
My suggestion: pick a college where one feels that their faith can mesh well with the college itself. Academics aren't more important than one's soul.