Photo by Jere Keys.
This entire week at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio the Jesuit Catholic University has engaged in observing, what they call, â€œQueer Week!â€ Today, April 3 marks the end of the weekâ€™s programs and special events that are intended as â€œA week to embrace and celebrate the use of queer as an inclusive, unifying socio-political term for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, straight, transsexual, intersexual, gender queer, or anyone else who supports the equality of all identities and expressions.â€ The quoted text is taken directly from the Universityâ€™s web site.
When trying to call the University to ask someone how this campus observation of, â€œQueer Week,â€ appropriately fit into the context of Catholic moral teachings on the matter of homosexuality, the number called only provided an automated voice mailbox on which to leave a message or request a call back. The issue really is two-fold: How does a reportedly Catholic University promote, support and endorse a week of seminars and activities regarding a lifestyle that is contrary to Catholic moral and sexual teachings. Secondly, the question needs to be considered is how can any institution of higher learning consider itself authentically Catholic with such initiatives?
Part of the continuously emerging concern in the American Catholic Church is the insistence of Catholic educational facilities to sponsor speakers, events and activities that are contrary to Catholic Church principles and teachings. The matter spills over into multiple topics, from (Pseudo) Catholics that are ProChoice, to the proverbial Quasi (Catholic) that endorses same-sex relationships, marriages and even gay civil rights. It seemingly looks as if modern secularism is not only infiltrating the foundational teachings of Catholic moral and ethical teachings, but is actively eroding the theological and moral principles from within: namely Catholic institutions, clergy and faithful that are erroneous in their understanding of what the Catholic Church precisely teaches. Additionally erroneous on the part of these groups is what the Catholic Church believes in living a lifestyle that is in accordance to the message of the Gospels & the teachings of the Apostles.
Entities such as Xavier University engaged in discussion, development and fostering of activities such as,â€Queer Week, â€œare indeed not in compliance to the four necessary components that are consistent for an educational facility of higher learning to maintain its Catholic identity. Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities clearly states:
1 .A Christian inspiration not only of individuals but of the university community
2 .A continuing reflection in the light of the Catholic faith upon the growing
treasury of human knowledge, to which it seeks to contribute by its own
3. Fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church;
4. An institutional commitment to the service of the people of God and of the
human family in their pilgrimage to the transcendent goal which gives meaning
Xavier University does not appear to provide a consistent vision in their application of these four points as stated by the Apostolic Constitution. As a direct result of this obstructed vision on the Churchâ€™s points, Xavier University is indeed not properly functioning as an institution of higher Catholic learning. They should immediately cease referencing themselves as a Catholic University. The promotion of activities and events that are not consistent with the Churchâ€™s teachings quite frankly help to the disintegration and misunderstanding of authentic Catholic principles. The ersatz juxtaposition implied by, â€œQueer Week,â€ implies a tacit moral approval of alternative lifestyles as consistent with Catholic moral and ethical teachings.
Any semblance of approval as illustrated at Xavier University to alternative lifestyles alienated from the authentic Catholic marriage and family pursuit indeed promotes a contrary to Catholic cultural traditions and should not be tolerated by the American Catholic hierarchy, and orthodox faithful Catholics in the United States.
If indeed any Catholic university wants to discuss the topic of homosexuality and the moral lifestyle implications, it should never be contemplated from a, â€œunified socio-political view,â€ but in the proper and correct context of authentic adherence to the Catholic Churchâ€™s guidelines set forth for the proper functioning of a Catholic University, and the proper implementation of Catholic social and sexual norms of appropriate behavior.
Xavier Universityâ€¦stop advocating political correctness and start observing Catholic morality!
Hugh J.McNichol is a Catholic author and journalist who writes on Catholic topics and issues. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he studied both philosophy and theology. He writes frequently at http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com & http://nothing-left-unsaid.blogspot.com . Hugh writes about his Irish Catholic upbringing and educational experiences at http://graysferrygrapevine.blogspot.com . He has contributed works to Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, The Irish Catholic, (Dublin), the British Broadcasting Company,(London) and the Philadelphia Bulletin, Pewsitter.com, Blogger News Network & The Catholic Business Journal.