Thursday, November 24, 2005

Jesuit University Says Support to Gay Organizations is “The Catholic Thing” to Do

From the Catholic News Agency:
Santa Clara, Calif, Nov. 04, 2005 (CNA) - An official from the Jesuit-run Santa Clara University in California told Catholic News Agency that hosting a two-day long conference, on how to promote opportunities for gays and lesbians at Catholic colleges is “the Catholic” way to act as opposed to highlighting the intrinsic immorality of homosexual acts.

As the Vatican prepares a document reiterating its stance, particularly against homosexuality in seminaries, the aim of the conference entitled “Out There” was to highlight scholarships and student affairs being created to cater specifically to gays and lesbians at Catholic institutions.

The conference brought together representatives from the Universities of Georgetown, Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga, Fordham, DePaul, La Salle, Marquette and Emory, as well as Boston College, and College of the Holy Cross. Out of the plus 40 Catholic universities represented, thirteen were Jesuit institutions like Santa Clara.

[...]

The dean’s office and Santa Clara’s campus ministry helped finance the event, which was organized largely by English professor Linda Garber.

[...]

Joseph Winter, a professor at Loyola, said that his school is seen as very progressive, and even offers housing to LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered] couples.
It’s somehow not surprising that the campus ministry at Santa Clara funded this conference, which featured a gay activist professor saying that the election of Pope Benedict XVI “. . . is a catastrophe. I felt kicked in the stomach. . . .” After all, the University Ministry at Marquette is a staunch supporter of the gay agenda.

The claim about Loyola (this is Loyola in Baltimore) is in fact true. The college’s web page on “Special Interest Housing” lists:
Stonewall Community in Adams House

Stonewall house is an all-inclusive special interest housing option founded in the Jesuit tradition of men and women for others. Its mission is to provide and understanding, accepting, and nurturing environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied students (GLBTA). The members of Stonewall community must agree to foster open and honest campus-wide discussions about the diversity issues surrounding sexual orientation and the lives and experiences of sexual minorities. Population eligible: Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
This policy was apparently adopted in response to the local campus gay lobby, a group called Spectrum, which issued the following statement in response to the establishment of Stonewall House:
Stonewall House was envisioned as an all-inclusive special interest housing option founded in the Jesuit tradition of men and women for others.

It is meant to provide GLBT individuals and their allies with an understanding, accepting, and nurturing environment in which they can live their lives openly and honestly, free from bias and harassment.

The justifications for this form of special interest housing are many, and not least among these is Loyola’s climate. In a place where incidents of hate are communicated campus-wide through Special NewsHounds, the establishment of a visibly supportive community for sexual minority students and their supporters seemed logical and necessary.

The healthy and adaptive development of GLBT students and the protection of their rights as individuals, a development and protection guaranteed to every student at this college, have been Spectrum’s ultimate goals in proposing Stonewall House.
It’s interesting how the kind of rhetoric that Marquette uses (“men and women for others”) can be used to support any policy, even one that flatly contradicts Catholic teaching.

At what point, one wonders, does a university simply say “screw this ‘Catholic’ stuff, we are secular and liberal and are going to quit lying to prospective students and their parents.”

And one wonders: “is Marquette perceptibly different from Loyola?”

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