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Notre Dame Announces Gay, Allies Student Group

In what the University of Notre Dame’s student newspaper is calling “a historic decision,” the University announced plans for a University- recognized homosexual student organization as well as a full-time student development staff position focused on LGBTQ issues.

The announcement was made as the result of a long review of the University’s policies. According to the student newspaper, Fr. John Jenkins, the president of the university, said that the plan “grows out of our mission as a Catholic university” and is “directed by that fundamental mission in a profound way.”

But although the plan describes the student organization as acting consistent with Catholic teaching, Fr. Jenkins seemed to indicate some doubt about how closely it will be regulated:

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16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not surprising. After he was the only priest to deliver a speech at my "catholic" college in umpteen years, instead of saying anything even sort of Catholic he called people who discussed the 88 at Notre Dame "divisive".

The only reason I did not walk out was because it was commencement. I no longer trust anything he says.

Her Loyal Son said...

I think that this is a bold move by ND to not only show support for those who are tempted by sin, but also an opportunity, through the requirement that the organization preach chastity for homosexual Catholics, to illustrate Catholic teaching about homosexuality.

The Church asks nothing different of unmarried heterosexual individuals and homosexual individuals. All Catholics outside of marriage are called to a chaste life.

Interestingly (though not surprisingly), articles I've seen about this at left-leaning sources are up in arms about the mere mention of chastity. Obviously they do not understand Catholic sexuality in the least.

I know a few Catholics who have same-sex attractions (one of whom is a former ND classmate) - and I can only imagine what a difficult cross it must be to bear, struggling as a Catholic with those inclinations. I think it is a good thing for Our Lady's University to show love and support for those engaged in that struggle.

Sherry Antonetti said...

If I saw anything in the article by the University that discussed what would be done by this organization,which I did not, I might be able to entertain your perspective Loyal son, (past experience makes me skeptical at best) but there is no discussion of chastity on the Notre Dame site, there is no discussion of what the point of this organization is, other than that it will have an employee as an oversight person to ensure consistency --but what that consistency will be, is not articulated.

Her Loyal Son said...

@Sherry: "The plan emphasizes the "respect, compassion and sensitivity" due to all, and calls students to CULTIVATE CHASTE RELATIONSHIPS and to support one another in a community of friendship." (South Bend Tribune)

Read the pastoral plan posted at ND's website (or Fr. Jenkins' letter regarding its purpose) - http://friendsandallies.nd.edu/ - the goal of which is understanding and chastity

Her Loyal Son said...

From the Pastoral Plan...

"At the same time, the University also adheres to the Church’s teaching concerning homosexual actions. As a result, “Homosexual persons are called to chastity” and to “friendship,” and should cultivate “the virtues of self‐mastery that teach them inner freedom” (CCC, 2359). Indeed, each and every student at Notre Dame is called to nothing less. All Notre Dame students are urged to understand and live the teachings of the Church relative to their lives and expressions of sexual intimacy."

Sherry Antonetti said...

That's not in the write up on the page at the University. That may be in CCC 2359 and in the Tribune, but it wasn't in the Observer, which I would think would be a key place it should be said.

Thanks for the update. I knew people with same sex attraction at SMC and ND as well. I still question the judgement of this. People are kicked out (suspended in most cases) for a time if they violate paritals and are caught at Notre Dame, even if the actions they were taking at the time (sleeping), were chaste. It is a delicate and difficult task, to address the sinful nature of the act, and cleave from that act, any hostility towards those who would act in this manner. I see it as a very difficult task to manage for a school. I'm not sure what giving an organization parameters that are defined by someone's interest in SSA and/or pursuing that line of thinking, does not encourage pursuit of said thinking, and thus lead to the near occasion/temptation to sin.

Her Loyal Son said...

That is from the actual pastoral plan (http://friendsandallies.nd.edu/), which I mentioned specifically because the Observer, SBT, and others have NOT reported it and given a full understanding of the intent of the student group.

I agree that it is a difficult task and ministry for the University to undertake, but I think I would rather the University seize the opportunity take leadership in showing compassion to these kids and expressing/preaching Catholic teaching than to pretend that the group doesn't exist (or force them to face their sinful desires alone)

Sherry Antonetti said...

Then I guess the real question I have is, why not create a group/organization that teaches the Theology of the Body and make it open to all regardless of sexual preference, as the objective is to teach that all of us struggle with appetite, all of us need to live chastely as we discern our vocations/crosses/gifts/callings? I ask it not to be dismissive of the proposal, but to ask why it must again single people out for their sexuality, when what we are wanting is to include everyone in a calling to chasitity and holiness? It would send a less confusing/less exclusive message from the University of Our Lady.

Her Loyal Son said...

It is open to all... the pastoral plan is entitled "A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame"

Anonymous said...

When will the bishops stop pretending that these institutions are Catholic. Notre Dame, Georgetown, St. Joseph's University, Villinova etc haven't upheld the faith for decades. It does no one any good to sit back and pretend that they are Catholic. Why do the bishops do nothing while these universities not only spread error, but in a very real way they put peoples souls in danger. And the bishops do nothing. Either reform these institutions and demand they teach the truths of the Faith or strip them of their Catholic title and leave them behind. Do one or the other, but do something.

Sherry Antonetti said...

My problem isn't the paper or the plan. My problem is application. My problem is I lack confidence that the focus will be other than advocacy and tolerance, as opposed to chastity and obedience. I think this easily could lead to scandal, easily lead to confusion, easily lead to people being led to the occasion of sin, easily be transformed into something not in keeping with the teachings of the Church, easily twisted into something else and then using the cloak of Our Lady's University as tacit approval to prevent questioning or challenging.

Her Loyal Son said...

Anonymous - I can only imagine, based on your comment, that you've never been to Notre Dame and/or know very little about what ACTUALLY goes on there.

I do not claim that ND is perfect, but to claim that She is not Catholic is preposterous.

Sherry Antonetti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherry Antonetti said...

My other problem is I love Notre Dame and Saint Mary's, being alumnae of the later, and third generation at that, and having a sister, father and grandfather and husband who went to Notre Dame. I want her to be perfect. I want her to be a shining light of Catholicism unmistakeable to the world. Undefeated in life, as in football. It hurts when Fr. Jenkins did not rescind the charges against the ND 88, or fails to understand why inviting the President who lied in his speech about protecting the right to religious liberty to receive an honorary degree causes scandal. It hurts whenever a Catholic institution stumbles, and the President of the University has a special responsibility to avoid scandal, to seek to protect all of the charges who come to the school.

Wandering Heart said...

Sherry Antonetti--I am a current ND student and here's my perspective. I agree with Loyal Son that this is a good idea in theory, but also share a lot of your concerns about the implementation. I do not think there's anything problematic about having a group to minister to the needs of homosexuals, because the fact is that being called to lifelong celibacy is different than being called to celibacy only until marriage. That's why they have celibacy retreats for priests that are different from chastity groups for those called to marriage. But I'm also worried that it will be about "acceptance", not support. I think it's too early to tell what is going to happen though.
(Side note, do not look to the Observer for balanced reporting or complete facts on controversial topics.)

Anonymous said...

This is obvious capitulation. Plain and simple. There already is an organization to encourage gays to live chastely: it is called "Courage." To provide an organization is, to anyone who is honest about it, to agree thathomosexual orientation is an identity definer. From there it will be a short step to "Are you calling my very identity sinful?" Etc etc. Really and truly, Jenkins has sold out. As for Notre Dame being Catholic, there is a Catholic cultural inheritance, and then there is a living religious heritage. The former can exist long after the latter has dried up. Witness the huge exodus for priests and religious after Vatican II. Everything *looked* fine, then "Poof!"

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