View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nazareth College "promotes" acceptance of homosexuality

Nazareth College, which used to be a Catholic college, is now celebrating National Coming Out Day.

As part of the the celebrating, it screened the gay propaganda film Milk on Sunday, and will host a talk by local homosexual rights activist Richard Ognibene on October 13.

Ognibene will talk about “Coming Out Strong: the Power of Visibility for the LBGT Community.”

Yes, visibility is important. The more impressionable young people see such things being treated as normal, the more likely they are to think that it's okay.

Ognibene, a Siena College grad (sigh, Franciscan ties), won the 2009 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, and was a 2008 New York Teacher of the Year. He teaches chemistry and physics at Fairport High School. He obviously has credibility as a teacher.

And ... he and his "partner" Matt Fleig are described as longtime advocates for LGBT rights.

The events are being sponsored by a number of groups at Nazareth, including the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Center for Spirituality, and the Women Studies Program.

In the flier for the event, the college says "Nazareth College is pleased to sponsor opportunities for education and discussion." Okay, I've heard that rationale before. But the flier lists a number of pro-homosexual groups and resources ... and none that promote or support the Church's teachings on the issue. Then again, including such Catholic groups might steer the education and discussion in the "wrong" direction, right?

And besides, it's no longer a Catholic college anyway.

(From Wikipedia - "In 2003, Nazareth College was removed from The Official Catholic Directory, having been declared to no longer be a Catholic institution by Rochester Bishop Matthew H. Clark. It was the second time since Pope John Paul II issued Ex Corde Ecclesia, the apostolic constitution on Catholic universities in 1990, that a bishop declared an historically Catholic college or university to be not Catholic.")

12 Comments:

Blogger Rich Leonardi said...

Solid, thorough post, Lee. I've always wondered about the "backstory" concerning Bishop Clark's decision to delist Nazareth College. Did he receive voluminous complaints? Did the school defy an instruction of his? Was the Holy See involved? etc.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Dr. K said...

I have to applaud Bishop Clark on this. He knew what he was doing, and it looks like he was right. Nazareth has lost it's way. They don't deserve to be a Catholic college, or even a Christian college.

Interesting how the Spirituality office is involved with this event.

~Dr. K

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Mary Kay said...

Rich, I think it was when the V-Monologues were hitting campuses and the national Newman Community was making info public that made Catholic colleges accountable. So the bishop had the choice of either doing something about the V-Monologues or saying the college wasn't Catholic.

Both Nazareth and St. John Fisher went the "in the Catholic tradition" route 30 or 40 years ago(although sjfc seems to have held a bit more to Catholicism); it's just recently and perhaps thanks to the V-Monologues that the clarification has been made.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

At least I can say I'm a Fisher grad!

Fisher does open its doors for the great Chesterton conference each year.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Clare said...

I was getting in to an argument with 2 of my coworkers on Facebook this evening. They were justifying the gay bashing of a man in NYC because maybe he "shoved his homosexuality" in the faces of his attackers.

That kind of hate is exactly why this sort of event is vital and why those support groups are very important. Teaching young people that they should hate themselves and live their lives in shame rather than trying to find happiness is a complete violation of God's mandate for all of us to love one another. The Church is flat out wrong on this one Dad. There is no love in telling someone that they are disordered by nature and should hide away something as important as having a life partner who loves and respects them and who they can love in return.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Clare said - "They were justifying the gay bashing of a man in NYC because maybe he "shoved his homosexuality" in the faces of his attackers."

It depends on what you mean by "gay bashing" - I've heard that term used for even just saying "what you are doing is wrong." But if it is indeed attacking the person, then there is no justification for doing that. One can disagree with a person's position, but not "bash" the person.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Clare said - "There is no love in telling someone that they are disordered by nature and should hide away something ..."

Actually, telling someone they are "disordered" can be a loving thing to do, especially when they are blind to their disorder. Sometimes you have to be honest with the alcoholic, the drug addict, etc. Simply turning one's head, or accepting the disorder can be the least loving thing to do. Condoning sinful actions - emphasis on actions - is not going to help them.

Hiding it away? No, the Church's teachings are that you have to live with the condition, and seek to control it. It can be a "thorn" that one can offer up.

And the Church does not say they should hate themselves for having this disorder - just as it does not tell someone they should hate themselves because they are, say, a diabetic, or have lost a leg. Claiming such a postion would be a distortion of the Church's teachings.

And living in shame? There's no shame in accepting whatever life sends your way - good or bad - but not giving in to sinful actions.

Part of my objection to these events are that are supposed to lead to education and discussion, yet they provide only one point of view. If they had a contrasting point of view, then what they say would be more credible.

What they are offering sounds more like indoctrination than education.

5:36 AM  
Blogger Scott/Mary said...

Clare said,"Teaching young people that they should hate themselves and live their lives in shame rather than trying to find happiness is a complete violation of God's mandate for all of us to love one another. The Church is flat out wrong on this one Dad."
Clare, it was Christ Himself who said,"Deny thyself, take up thy cross and follow Me." There should never be hate for anyOne in the heart of the Christian! The hate is in the sin (act) not the sinner. We are all sinners! True love, true charity,for our neighbor is to wish to want them to be in heaven. Please Clare, please read today's first reading from St. Paul to the Romans 1,16-25. Be docile to God's words and His Church whom He is the head. Error has NO rights! Then go out and truly love your neighbor!

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Mary Kay said...

Clare,
They were justifying the gay bashing of a man in NYC because maybe he "shoved his homosexuality" in the faces of his attackers.
The question for your friends is why they think it’s acceptable to assault anyone for any reason. Even if Person A did get in someone’s face (there's nothing in the news report that indicates that but even if he did), there are other ways to respond than to send that person to the hospital. Person B assaulting Person A doesn’t make either of them right.

That kind of hate is exactly why this sort of event is vital and why those support groups are very important. You’re talking apples and oranges here. Person B's unacceptable use of violence does not justify support groups for other inappropriate behavior.

Teaching young people that they should hate themselves
If you are implying that the Church teaches young people that they should hate themselves, then you’d be wise to give Catholic teaching a closer read because what you said is inaccurate. Supply chapter and verse (Scripture, Catechism, Vatican document) that says what you think it says and I’ll respond.

and live their lives in shame
Ditto

rather than trying to find happiness
How does anyone find happiness apart from God?

God's mandate for all of us to love one another.
Loving someone is not all warm fuzzies. The classic example is when a parent tells a child No! to being in traffic, near a hot stove, playing with an electrical outlet. Parents does so, not to mean, but to protect the child they love.

The Church is flat out wrong on this one Dad.
Um, no, the Church is not wrong on this one, but the topic does need a fuller understanding.

There is no love in telling someone that they are disordered by nature
The Church does not teach that anyone is disordered by nature

and should hide away something as important as having a life partner
"Life partners" in Genesis are a man is a woman

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee - Both Nazareth and Fisher ceased to be Catholic colleges in the late 1960's. The pronouncement from Bishop Clark came because of confusion from the general community, not the colleges themselves. The bishops of Rochester have not had any authority over these colleges since at least 1968. And for your own information, Fisher has a Pride club that is very active and prominent on the campus.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And as the arguments go on, the poor remain hungry!!! Shame!!!

10:44 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

We should be speaking out on moral issues - and feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and so on. That's all part of being a Christian.

5:55 AM  

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