Addressing Same-Sex Attraction on Catholic Campuses
by Cardinal Newman Society
November 13, 2006
More than 50 Catholic leaders of educational, pro-life, medical and other organizations have signed a statement urging Catholic colleges and universities to conform to Church teachings on sexuality, marriage and human life.
The statement, issued publicly today as the U.S. bishops consider their own statements on contraception and pastoral care for homosexual Catholics, was drafted by the Cardinal Newman Society and completed at the Catholic Leadership Conference in Denver on October 27. The statement has since been mailed to each of the U.S. bishops in advance of their annual meeting this week in Baltimore.
"Many Catholic colleges have been tarnished by sex-related scandal in recent years, including homosexual activism, rampant sexual activity among students, and recent revelations of sexual abuse of students in Washington State," said Patrick Reilly, President of the Cardinal Newman Society and chairman of the conference committee that developed the statement. "It is urgent that educators support the Church's call to chastity, not only because these are Catholic institutions, but because unhealthy behavior puts students at risk physically, emotionally and spiritually."
The preamble of the statement "Addressing Same-Sex Attraction and the Virtue of Chastity on Catholic Campuses" reads:
"We leaders of various Catholic apostolates encourage all Catholics, united in prayer and action, to faithfully and compassionately address rising homosexual activism, sexual scandals, pornography and sexual addiction, and harmful attitudes toward sexuality, human life, and marriage on Catholic college and university campuses. The Christian response to the wound of same-sex attraction is not hatred or discrimination, but aggressive efforts to develop a prevailing 'assumption of chastity' among students, faculty, administrators, staff, and trustees on Catholic campuses, and an environment available to healing."
The 55 signers include presidents and trustees of Ave Maria College, Ave Maria University, Christendom College, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Magdalen College, the International Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools, and the Catholic Family Network of homeschooling parents.
Other prominent signers include noted psychologists Dr. Richard
Fitzgibbons and Peter Kleponis; Dr. John Haas, President of the
National Catholic Bioethics Center; Rev. John Harvey, OSFS,
President of the Courage Apostolate to homosexual Catholics; Mother
Assumpta Long, Prioress General of the Dominican Sisters of Mary;
Rev. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life; Dr. Robert
Saxer, President-Elect of the Catholic Medical Association; Jack
Whelan, Chairman of the Culture of Life Foundation; Dr. John Willke,
President of the Life Issues Institute; and Catholic author Msgr.
CATHOLIC LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE-DENVER COLORADO OCT 26-27, 2006
Addressing Same-Sex Attraction and the Virtue of Chastity on Catholic Campuses:
We leaders of various Catholic apostolates encourage all Catholics, united in prayer and action, to faithfully and compassionately address rising homosexual activism, sexual scandals, pornography and sexual addiction, and harmful attitudes toward sexuality, human life, and marriage on Catholic college and university campuses. The Christian response to the wound of same-sex attraction is not hatred or discrimination, but aggressive efforts to develop a prevailing "assumption of chastity" among students, faculty, administrators, staff, and trustees on Catholic campuses, and an environment available to healing.
1. "All Christ's faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life."1
2. A Catholic college or university, "as Catholic, informs and carries out its research, teaching, and all other activities with Catholic ideals, principles, and attitudes."2 Donors, parents, and alumni have a moral obligation to be good stewards and to consider withdrawing support from those institutions that fail to do so.
3. Catholic colleges and universities should strive to ensure a campus culture that is conducive to moral student life, by educating students about Catholic moral teaching on marriage, human life, and sexuality, and providing activities and policies that reinforce these teachings.
4. For students, faculty, and staff who are struggling with chastity, Catholic institutions should strive to provide spiritual and psychological assistance, as well as medical guidance, always consistent with Catholic teaching.
5. There is no valid scientific evidence for a biological origin of same-sex attraction. However, there is evidence that persons with same-sex attractions can and do change. Because of this, an effective pastoral program (such as a spiritual support system, COURAGE), will emphasize spiritual growth "through the sacraments, and in particular through the frequent and sincere use of the sacrament of Reconciliation, through prayer, witness, counseling, and individual care."3
6. Catholic colleges and universities should not fund, sponsor, endorse, approve of, participate in, or otherwise support or cooperate with activities, events, organizations, and policies that are inconsistent with the Church's moral teaching on marriage, human life, and sexuality.
7. Catholic colleges and universities should not fund, sponsor, endorse, approve of, participate in, or otherwise support or cooperate with any on-campus association of students or employees who experience same-sex attraction. Such associations inevitably encourage a campus subculture that celebrates same-sex attraction and endorses or at least condones same-sex activity.
8. Individuals who publicly reject Catholic moral teaching on marriage, human life, and sexuality "should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions,"4 including campus lectures and other platforms regardless of the subject matter.
9. Courses that objectively examine issues of marriage, human life, and sexuality and their theological, psychological, social, political, medical, and other implications must be explicitly informed by science and Catholic moral teaching.
10. Catholic colleges and universities should be careful to hire only administrators, faculty, and staff who respect the institution's Catholic identity and pledge never in their official duties to contradict or challenge Catholic moral teaching on marriage, human life, and sexuality. Trustees, who have ultimate authority over campus life, have a moral and fiduciary responsibility to ensure a campus environment that encourages chastity.
1 Catechism of the Catholic Church (U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops, 1997), 2348
2 Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities (Vatican, 1990), Article 2, Section 2
3 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (Vatican, 1986), 15
4 Catholics in Political Life (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2004)
Signers (as of 11/13/06) – Organizational affiliations listed for
Jose Ambrozic – St. Malo Retreat & Spiritual Center
Marc Balestieri, JCL – President, De Fide
Alejandro Bermudez – Director, Catholic News Agency & ACI-PRENSA
Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz – Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mary of the Eucharist
L. Brent Bozell III – President, Media Research Center
Jim Coffey – Vice President for Advancement, The Papal Foundation
Eileen Cubanski – Executive Director, Nat. Assoc. of Private Catholic & Independent Schools (NAPCIS)
Candace DeRussy, Ph.D. – Chairman, Bd. of Regents, Ave Maria University; Trustee, State Univ. of NY
Robert Dornan – former U.S. Congressman; American Life League
Rev. Joseph Fessio, S.J. – Provost, Ave Maria University
Richard Fitzgibbons, M.D. – Director, Comprehensive Counseling Services
Timothy Flanagan – Founder & Chairman, Catholic Leadership Institute
Scott Follett – Trustee, Mercy Works Foundation
Stephen Gajdosik – President, Catholic Radio Association
Karen Garnett – Executive Director, Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas
Rosanna Goni – Superior, Marian Community of Reconciliation
Daniel Guernsey – President, Ave Maria College
John Haas, Ph.D., STL – President, National Catholic Bioethics Center
Michael Hall – Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre
Jeannie Hannemann, M.A. – Executive Director, Elizabeth Ministry International
E.F. Hansen, Jr. – The Papal Foundation
Margaret Hartshorn, Ph.D. – President, Heartbeat International
Rev. John Harvey, OSFS – President, Courage Apostolate
Nicholas J. Healy – President, Ave Maria University
Barbara Henkels – Trustee, International Theological Inst. for Studies on Marriage & the Family (Austria)
Paul Henkels – Board of Directors, REACH Alliance
Rev. Terence Henry, TOR – President, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Tim and Miki Hill – Director & President, Catholic Family Network
Rev. Richard Hogan – Associate Director, NFP Outreach
Deal Hudson, Ph.D. – Executive Director, The Morley Institute for Church & Culture
John Jacubczyk – President, Life Education Corporation
Ursula Jimenez – Marian Community of Reconciliation
Jeffrey Karls – President, Magdalen College
Peter Kleponis, M.A. – Comprehensive Counseling Services
Bowie Kuhn – Vice Chairman, Culture of Life Foundation
Mother Assumpta Long – Prioress General, Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist
Patricia Lynch – Board of Directors, Family of the Americas
Bud Macfarlane – Militia Immaculata
John Madigan – Vice President of Mission Development, FOCUS
Barbara McGuigan – Founder & President, Voice of Virtue International
Janet Morana – Associate Director, Priests for Life
Alan Napleton – Catholic Marketing Network
Timothy O'Donnell, Ph.D. – President, Christendom College, Virginia
Patrick O'Meara – Founder & Managing Director, O'Meara Ferguson Kearns Inc.
Rev. Frank Pavone – National Director, Priests for Life
Patrick Reilly – President, Cardinal Newman Society
Carol Saeman – Owner, Medallion LLC; Board of Directors, Culture of Life Foundation
Robert Saxer, M.D. – President-Elect, Catholic Medical Association
Douglas Sherman – Founder & President, Immaculate Heart Radio
Betsy Vigneri – Advocates Sharing Services in Support Teams (ASSIST)
Jack Whelan – Chairman, Culture of Life Foundation
Barbara Willke, R.N. – President, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati
John Willke, M.D. – President, Life Issues Institute
Msgr. Michael Wrenn – Fellowship of Catholic Scholars
Eugene Zurlo – Catholic Radio Association