Gonzaga University is in need of a “sexual revolution” that includes appropriate institutional support of Catholic teaching on sexual morality, according to an alumni organization committed to strengthening the Jesuit University’s Catholic identity.
In its latest bulletin, the alumni group 1887 Trust pointed to the words of Pope Francis, who in January of this year spoke of the need for Catholic colleges to give “uncompromising witness” to the “Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom.”
The Trust drew attention to issues such as Gonzaga’s hosting of the play The Vagina Monologues, the invitation of a high profile supporter of abortion rights and contraception to deliver the commencement address, and other issues, contrasting those decisions with Gonzaga’s responsibility to uphold Catholic teaching.
The Trust highlighted Gonzaga’s offering of benefits to same-sex couples, its acquiescence to the HHS mandate by accepting the Obama administrations so called “accommodation” by agreeing to indirectly offer contraceptives as a health benefit, and it’s refusal to defend religious liberty as ways in which Gonzaga works to “undermine and show considerable disrespect for Church teaching on sexuality.”
Wrote the Trust:
…We believe that Gonzaga University’s leadership is failing to fulfill its responsibility to uphold and defend its Catholic mission in the area of human sexuality. The failures are serious and the school has been failing for some time and so, yes, we believe a “revolution” in outlook and practice is required if Gonzaga is to mend its Catholic identity.
The revolt Gonzaga needs is one staged by faithful Catholic students and faculty on campus and by board members concerned about the continued weakening of Gonzaga’s Catholic identity. Faithful Catholics should demand strong institutional support for magisterial teaching about sexual morality. Differing opinions are valued in academic settings, but Gonzaga’s institutional voice must be true to its mission…
One often hears Catholic university administrators and faculty say that “students must confront the issues of today and be prepared to encounter ‘the other’ and learn to be inclusive.” Somehow, the ‘others’ that our students are taught to encounter and appreciate are most often representatives of groups who wish to re-make the Church in their image, if not dismantle it altogether. The faculty members who are so very supportive of fostering encounters with those “on the margins” seldom seem to be as engaged in fostering an inclusive appreciation for what the Catholic Church actually teaches as the truth about human sexuality. It is long past time for a “radical and pervasive change” in Gonzaga’s approach to its Catholic identity. Call it a revolution, if you will, or call it metanoia. Either way, we believe it is worth working for, and praying for.”
The alumni group mentioned the “rise of homosexual activism” is “one of the most pressing problems on Catholic university campuses today.”
The Trust asked if Gonzaga University’s LGBT Resource Center goes beyond providing “support for students with issues related to sexual orientation or gender/identity expression.”
“Is Gonzaga supporting a Catholic understanding of sexuality, or the popular ‘rights talk’ of radical individualism in vogue with policy makers and the media?” inquired the Trust.
“In cautious ways, GU has begun to officially celebrate and affirm wider cultural views about homosexuality,” the Trust wrote. “Some huge percentage of the faculty, including liberal Catholics, endorse the views of the wider culture against the Church.”
Earlier this year, the Newman Society reported that the University’s law school hosted Gary Gates of The Williams Institute at UCLA, who has testified in court in favor of same-sex marriage, to speak specifically about “LGBT Demographics and the Public Square” on Holy Thursday.
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