Ever since Father Jenkins scuttled long-standing University policy in 2012 by approving a student LGBTQ club, the risk has been that the aim of treating homosexuals with “respect, compassion and sensitivity,” as the Church enjoins, would morph into acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexual sex, “acts of grave depravity,” as the Church teaches. That risk has now been realized with the University’s recent endorsement of June as Pride Month and related actions.
We begin our examination of this alarming development with a report about Pride Month. We will follow shortly with two additional reports on LGBT matters.
Notre Dame Recognizes June as Pride Month
Early last month, Notre Dame endorsed President Biden’s proclamation of June as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, 2021,” the event that has become the most prominent means for mobilizing worldwide support for same-sex marriage and the full range of other homosexual and transgender demands.
The President’s Proclamation that Notre Dame embraced was sweeping in its celebration of past LGBTQ successes, including specifically the Supreme Court’s ruling on “marriage equality,” and Biden’s call for enactment of the Equality Act, which has been denounced by the nation’s bishops, as we have reported, for forcing LGBTQ demands on a host of fronts against religious liberty objections based on Church teachings on sex, marriage and gender.
The additional resources cited by Notre Dame underscored the head-on collision between the objectives of Pride Month and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Readers were told, for example, they could “learn more” from a collection of PBS films “that included
- “Pink Boy, “about a “Butch lesbian” who with her lesbian partner adopts a boy who “transitions” to a girl at age 6.
- “The New Black,” the legalization of same-sex marriage in Maryland.
- “Man in an Orange Shirt,” two gay “love stories 60 years apart.”
And readers who would like to become LGBTQ “allies” were directed to the website of the LGBTQ advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign, where Catholics could find this advice:
If one follows that trail, it leads to Catholic organizations that dissent from Church teaching on homosexual and transsexual issues — DignityUSA, Equally Blessed, and its coalition members New Ways Ministry and Call to Action.
David Carlin (ND ’61), writing in The Catholic Thing, described the LGBTQ signature event that Notre Dame endorsed as
Why would Notre Dame support such an event? Read on in Carlin’s article:
In his 2015 inaugural address, Father Jenkins challenged his associates by asking
This is no longer a rhetorical question.
Notre Dame’s Office of Human Resources and the Normalization of Homosexual Sex and Same-Sex Marriage.
On June 30, the Notre Dame Office of Human Resources conducted a Zoom meeting in connection with “June Pride Month.” The speaker was Doug Bauder, the retired founding director of the Indiana University Bloomington LGBTQ+Culture Center. The moderator was Eric Love, the Director of Staff Diversity and Inclusion at Notre Dame, a former friend and Indiana colleague of Mr. Bauder’s, whom he praised expansively. (We will have more to say about Mr. Love in a subsequent bulletin.)
Mr. Bauder devoted his talk to his experiences at Indiana University and to his life story as a married man with two children who gradually came to accept his homosexuality, abandon his marriage, and join the man whom he then married.
Here is the relevant biographical passage on the Indiana University website :
Mr. Bauder reported that he has recently self-published an autobiographical memoir that is not commercially available but can be obtained through Notre Dame’s Mr. Love.
Notre Dame Press and the Normalization of Homosexual Sex and Same-Sex Marriage.
On June 3, the University webpage carried this press release by the University of Notre Dame Press:
Bourke and his “husband” Michael De Leon were the plaintiffs in the 2015 Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage,
According to UND Press, the book, “Gay, Catholic, and American: My Legal Battle for Marriage Equality,” sends the “message to the Catholic LGBTQ community…to remain strong in the Catholic faith and stay hopeful for change in the Church.”
Bourke plans a book tour that includes the ND Club of Pittsburgh, St. Mary’s College, and Hammes Bookstore.
From the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Pride Month
Notre Dame’s celebration of June as Pride Month while letting pass its dedication to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is especially unsettling because of the special place devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus holds in the history of the University and the CSC Order. The Catholic News Agency noted the wayward priorities:
Blessed Basile Moreau, who founded the Order in 1837, consecrated the priests to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Feast of the Sacred Heart was added to the Universal Liturgical Calendar in 1856, and the month of June became devoted to the Blessed Heart.
The Order’s consecration to the Sacred Heart was reflected in the dedication of the spiritual centers of the University to the Sacred Heart: first, the wooden “Church of the Sacred Heart,” built between 1848 and 1852, and then the current Basilica of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, in which Mass was first celebrated in 1875.
Then there is the statue of the Blessed Heart that stands in front of the storied Main Building on the Main Quad. That is its rightful place, as one can see from the letter that Father Sorin addressed to his associates on June 20, 1876, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, shortly after the fire that destroyed the Main Building.
Calling on his fellow priests “to thank the Sacred Heart for the many precious blessings we have drawn already from this inexhaustible centre of all graces” during these “months of severe trial,” Father Sorin exhorted:
“More than ever, let us place our hopes and prayers and needs in the Sacred Heart-the primary Patron of our Congregation….and whilst our glorious and loving Patron is failing us in nothing, let us not fail first in duty, but endeavor to deserve an increase of blessings.”
Father Sorin announced, “A new Novena shall be commenced in honor of the Sacred Heart in each one of our houses,” a model that Sycamore Trust board member Father John Raphael (ND ’89) followed 145 years later almost to the day this past June in leading more than 1,200 Sycamore Trust supporters in a Novena, this time of reparation, to the Sacred Heart.
We close with some of Father Sorin’s concluding words that resonate today with Notre Dame’s embrace of Pride Month:
Notre Dame absolves Chick-fil-A: Several days ago, Fox News reported that a small group of students and faculty had urged the administration not to approve a Chick-fil-A on campus because the company had contributed to organizations opposing the LGBT agenda. This triggered a flurry of publicity, with Senator Lindsey Graham declaring he would “go to war for the principles Chick-A-fila stands for.”
A couple of days later, the university announced it had granted the franchise. But not because Chick-fil-A’s opposition to the LGBTQ’s agenda mirrored the Church’s, but rather because it had given up that opposition. It did that in 2019 with a pledge that it would no longer contribute to the LGBTQ black-listed organizations. In its statement, accordingly, Notre Dame said it had “discussed with company representatives” the “concerns” that had been expressed about the company’s “charitable giving” and that they had “responded to these issues in a satisfactory manner.”
Why then, one wonders, has the university not “discussed with company representatives” of another campus outlet, Starbucks, that company’s contributions to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of abortions, and the declaration by its CEO that same-sex marriage “is core to the Starbucks brand”?
Why, that is, would Notre Dame be troubled by one concessionaire’s opposition to the LGBTQ agenda but not by another’s support of abortion and same-sex marriage? It is, we suggest, hard to think of a satisfactory answer.
Schlereth, Thomas J. The University of Notre Dame A Portrait of Its History and Campus; (1976), pp. 39-40.
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