Saturday, December 08, 2012

Notre Dame Blesses Homosexual Student Organization

Click here for local news report: WSBT-TV2 South Bend
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese is very supportive of the University of Notre Dame's new effort to “expand and enhance the support and services for students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (GLBTQ),” after years of demands from students for recognition of a gay-straight student alliance club to advocate for "gay rights" in opposition to Church doctrine.

For background, read Notre Dame Pays Students for Homosexual Activism and also read Catholic Loyola Univ. OKs Homosexual Student Advocacy

Also read Gay Clubs Required in Schools, Says White House as well as Gay Recruitment of Kids: Senators Join Obama

-- From "Notre Dame makes changes in support, service for GLBTQ students" by Margaret Fosmoe, South Bend Tribune 12/5/12

"This is very good news," said Alex Coccia, co-president of the Progressive Student Alliance, the student activists' group that has been leading the effort. "The university is recognizing a student organization. It's going to provide the peer-to-peer support that is needed."

The changes announced are part of a comprehensive pastoral plan that includes an array of initiatives based on Notre Dame's Catholic mission, the university announced. The plan, titled "Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame," was developed by the university's Student Affairs staff. The university announcement states the plan follows a study of Catholic doctrine and teaching, listening sessions with students, and an examination of student clubs and structures at other Catholic universities.

Karl Abad, an openly gay Notre Dame senior . . . [said] "Students here are ready for a change, but the climate didn't encourage open discussion."

Abad said he was involved in the talks in recent months with administrators that led to approval for the student organization. He praised the efforts of Erin Hoffmann Harding, who in August became Notre Dame's vice president for student affairs, for moving the discussions forward. "Throughout this process, she's been in constant dialogue with other administrators and knows what students need," he said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "'The next step'" by John Cameron, The (Notre Dame) Observer 12/5/12

Though this is a historic decision in Notre Dame’s efforts to better serve a diverse student body, University President Fr. John Jenkins said the plan for the unnamed student organization is a natural progression of previous initiatives.

“In the 1990s, as I said, we created the Standing Committee [on Gay and Lesbian Student Needs]. In 2006, that was changed to the Core Council [for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Questioning Students], and various initiatives were undertaken in conjunction with those efforts,” he said. “I see this as the next step to be more effective.”

“The comprehensiveness of this not only being about the organization is a very important element to the entire thing because of the education, because of the awareness, because of the support and interaction with other University offices, we think this is a plan that we believe and hope will be much more than about one organization,” [Erin Hoffmann Harding] said.

While Jenkins said expanding the diversity at Notre Dame is part of the administration’s duties, he said the responsibility does not end at the steps of the Main Building.

“Diversity isn’t just about having a bunch of different people all in the same place. It really is about building a community,” he said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Bishop Rhoades hopeful about Notre Dame's new student organization" posted at Catholic News Agency 12/7/12

Bishop Rhoades wrote that with the plan, Notre Dame “clearly affirms its fidelity to Catholic Church teaching on human sexuality” and affirms “the teachings of the Church on the commandment and vocation of love, the virtue of chastity and its expression in friendship, the importance of self-mastery, and the call to holiness.”

The foundations section of the plan cites the need to pursue “human solidarity and the common good” and says that “all must learn to govern their passions in disciplined ways on the road to lasting freedom.”

Bishop Rhoades reflected that the plan “affirms Catholic teaching that men and women who have homosexual tendencies 'must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.'”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Notre Dame introduces gay-straight allies group" by Cardinal Newman Society 12/7/12

“I think if people look carefully at what we’re doing and really, in a thoughtful way, evaluate it, I think thoughtful people will see that this makes sense,” reportedly said Fr. Jenkins. “It makes sense for a Catholic university like Notre Dame to provide such structures to serve their students effectively.”

. . . 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 . . .

Moreover, at least one Vatican official has expressed reservations about a Catholic college organizing any student activity centered on homosexuality. In 1992 Cardinal Pio Laghi, then-Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, opposed a homosexual club at Seattle University: “At a Catholic university, support can be given only to Catholic teaching on homosexuality and Catholic pastoral practice to help homosexual persons morally, ascetically, and spiritually…The university’s responsibilities towards homosexual persons, doctrinally and pastorally, should find their expression in courses in Catholic theology.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Catholic Notre Dame announces services for gay students" by Moni Basu, CNN 12/7/12

[Lesbian student Mia] Lillis said the actions were huge for a school that has not been welcoming to gay students and has often found itself atop national lists of gay-unfriendly schools. Too bad, she said, because she found the students to be accepting of her. But they had not been afforded the channels to vocalize their thoughts. The climate was one of silence on gay issues.

[Student] Alex Coccia, who helped spearhead the student effort to change things at Notre Dame, said a new environment will be especially a big deal for questioning students.

[However,] The Sycamore Trust, which says its goal is to protect the Catholic identity of Notre Dame, expressed concern on its website, saying the university's support of a gay club "would give grave scandal damaging to the church, to the university, to students, and to other Catholic institutions and would establish a potential source of serious mischief within the school."

It went on to say, "Surely it is predictable that a group whose organizing principle is same-sex attraction is likely to be a forum, overt or covert, for opposition to the Church’s teachings about homosexuality. It may also become an instrumentality in the student 'hookup' culture."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Majority of Catholic colleges host pro-homosexual groups: survey" by Johanna Dasteel, 11/20/12

A survey by TFP Student Action has found pro-homosexual student clubs at 111 out of the 211 schools listed by the most comprehensive reference material available, “Ganley’s Catholic Schools in America,” published by Fisher Publishing Company.  TFP’s comprehensive list with corresponding clubs includes links to school websites and club descriptions.

TFP claims that many of the mentioned clubs act as platforms of Catholic dissent, advancing the idea of same-sex “marriage”, the acceptance of homosexual lifestyles, gender confusion, and the rejection of Catholic teaching.

In a press release announcing their survey, TFP Student Action quoted from a 2008 address of Pope Benedict XVI to Catholic educators at the Catholic University of America.

“Teachers and administrators, whether in universities or schools, have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice,” said the pope. “This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church’s Magisterium, shapes all aspects of an institution’s life, both inside and outside the classroom. Divergence from this vision weakens Catholic identity and, far from advancing freedom, inevitably leads to confusion, whether moral, intellectual or spiritual.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.