Friday, February 11, 2005


I am so disgusted

Controversy at the law school- actually the school in general.
First, Eve Ensler was supposed to have a benefit dinner on campus. Then the following letter circulated, and the school caved to pressure. (so much for raising $ for a domestic violence shelter, and a sexual assault resource center.)

"Dear friends and members of the Notre Dame family:
On Thursday, February 16, pro-abortion advocate and authoress of the Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler, will be speaking at Notre Dame. Invited to be the keynote speaker for a luncheon to benefit the YWCA of St. Joseph County and S-O-S of South Bend, Ensler’s talk is sponsored by the Department of Film, Television and Theatre, the Department of English, and the Program of Gender Studies.
Eve Ensler is an avid supporter and outspoken advocate in favor of abortion and women’s “reproductive rights”. She has marched and spoken at several of the “March for Women's Lives” sponsored by NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Most recently, she participated in the marches held in Washington, D.C. (April 2004) and in New York City (August 2004).
The YWCA is a pro-choice organization that, according to CEO Prema Mathai-Davis, “stand[s] firm in [their] belief that every woman has the right to choose among all legal options available for her reproductive health.” (Statement on reproductive choice,
Sexual Offense Services (S-O-S) of South Bend is an organization that provides support and information to victims of rape and domestic violence while the victims are still hospitalized. Director Laurel Eslinger maintains that information on abortifacients is provided to pregnant victims by the hospitals. The S-O-S advocates have no need to provide additional information, nor would they attempt to influence or dissuade a pregnant victim regarding the choice a victim makes as to the fate of her child.
That three academic departments of the University of Notre Dame would bring such a speaker on this campus is an embarrassment; that they would be complicit in raising funds for these organizations is a scandal.
Please help the students of Notre Dame as they attempt to stop this event before it occurs. Call and/or write to the heads of the following departments as well as Provost Nathan Hatch and Mark Roche, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and inform them that Ensler’s speaking engagement is a direct affront to the principles of our Catholic university. Our Lady’s name should not be tarnished by allowing Her school to host this pro-abortion advocate.
Thank you,
The Pro-Life Students of Notre Dame"

Provost Hatch demanded that thebenefit luncheon be moved off campus or that the group don't allow Eve Ensler to speak DESPITE the fact that neither the S-O-S nor the YWCA of St. Joseph County nor V-Day nor Eve Ensler is publicly pro-choice.
Provost Hatch's email is (it's publicly available, don't worry)

The Second controversy of the day is over the Queer Film Festival. And we all got this offensive letter in our inbox this morning.

Statement by Bishop John M. D’Arcy Regarding the “Queer Film Festival”
For the second time, the University of Notre Dame is sponsoring, through six of its departments, a seminar and film festival under the title, “Queer Film Festival.” The presenters who have been scheduled have a history of not supporting, and indeed openly opposing, Church teaching concerning the morality of homosexual acts.
One of the presenters is Sr. Jeannine Gramick. After a thorough review of the writings of Sr. Gramick and her associate, Father Robert Nugent, Pope John Paul II, on May 14, 1999, personally approved a notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which included the following:
“Father Nugent and Sister Gramick often stated that they seek, in keeping with the Church’s teaching, to treat homosexual persons, ‘with respect, compassion and sensitivity.’ However, the promotion of errors and ambiguities is not consistent with a Christian attitude of true respect and compassion: persons who are struggling with homosexuality no less than others have the right to receive the authentic teaching of the Church from those who minister to them. The ambiguities and the errors of the approach of Fr. Nugent and Sr. Gramick have caused confusion among the Catholic people and harmed the community of the Church. For these reasons, Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Father Robert Nugent, SDS, are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons.”
When she continued to cause confusion on this issue, Sister Gramick and Father Nugent were told not to speak further on this matter. Sister Gramick has refused to accept this decision.
Other speakers in this seminar are long-time advocates for the acceptance of homosexual activity and homosexual marriage. Among them is Terrence McNally, author of the offensive play, Corpus Christi, which I read in order to give guidance to our people at the time of its presentation at a State university within our diocese. In this play, so offensive to Catholics, McNally has Jesus, whom the apostles are following, strike a Catholic priest, who supports Church teaching on homosexuality. He also writes the following:
“Very few Christians are willing to consider that their Lord and Savior was a man, with real appetites, especially sexual ones. To imagine that he was not only sexually active, but a homosexual as well, is gross blasphemy. And they would deny others the right to conceive of Him as such.”
Academic Freedom
This presentation is an abuse of academic freedom. Pope John Paul II makes clear the place of academic freedom, when he says it must always be linked to certain values central to a Catholic university.
“A Catholic university possesses the autonomy necessary to develop its distinctive identity and pursue its proper mission. Freedom in research and teaching is recognized and respected according to the principles and methods of each individual discipline, so long as the rights of the individual and of the community are preserved within the confines of the truth and the common good.”- John Paul II, Ex Corde Ecclesiae
Freedom is always linked to truth. In this seminar, held at a Catholic university, there is no place given to the presentation of Catholic teaching on the matter of homosexuality. The rights of others are violated. What about the rights of the Church to have its teachings properly presented? What about the rights of parents of those students at Notre Dame who find the content of this seminar offensive?
People with homosexual orientation must always be accepted with dignity and respect. They belong in the mainstream of our Catholic life, not shunned or separated or told they cannot live a holy and chaste spiritual life.
Since no place has been made at this seminar for the clear and accurate presentation of Catholic teaching, I present the following statements from the Catechism of the Catholic Church so that the rights of the Catholic community and the primacy of the truth revealed by Christ may be clear.
“Homosexuality refers to relations between men and women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scriptures, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
“Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357-59

I am flaming mad. I am appalled by the attitude and lack of real discussion. I'm going back to Ann Arbor this weekend, so I'm not going to feel quite so isolated and judged.

Enjoy your weekend.

You chose to attend a Catholic institution of higher learning. "Catholic" is not an empty adjective. As you learn in law school, words mean something. To ask this institution to be something that it is not is disingenuous on your part. You had an opportunity to attend any number of non-sectarian institutions which support your particular views and modes of expression of those views. If you are all for "choice," please be considerate of the fact that Catholic universities and the dioceses that grant their charters have a right to make choices too.

Mother of a daughter attending The Catholic University of America
My grandmother taught me how to crochet too. You do a great job. I hope you pass on your gift of this craft to others. I enjoyed your photos!

CUA mom
My dad and I had a discussion about this sort of thing last night. Actually, it realted to body modification, but it was along the same lines.

I work for a Catholic hospital. Recently, one of the nurses raised a fit because the administration wouldn't let her wear a nose ring that she has for 'religious purposes.' I thought it was silly. Firstly, no one is getting hurt by a facial piercing. Second, if it related to this woman's spirituality and it wasn't being allowed, than other women wearing WWJD laynards and such should be reprimanded too, right? My dad brought up a good point. It's a Catholic hospital. If they allow things that drive Catholic supporters away, they won't be doing very good for themselves.

Other than that...I'm strongly opposed to Catholicisim, but that's a different story.
I definitely understand both sides of that. The first incident, I think was uncalled for. As for the second, perhaps an opportunity to present the Catholic case would not have been a bad idea, to make for a well rounded presentation. I must say that the treatise on homosexuals is at least less aggressive than many other Christian sects espouse. Speaking as a woman who has legally married another woman, I feel I have to grant others precisely the same amount of freedom as I wish to be granted. That includes not being aggressive towards them. It is disturbing when religion chooses to obscure debate, but it is also understandable. Your restraint, and your anger, are both laudable.
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