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georgetown & friends

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 29, 2007

Ah, yes. Education in the Jesuit Tradition. Facing a difficult challenge mounted by students affronted by Catholic moral teaching, the Georgetown administration musters its formidable theological resources ... and folds.

From the Georgetown Voice:

Georgetown University President John DeGioia committed last night to a fully-funded and fully-staffed resource center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students by fall of next year.

Fully funded, fully staffed. The advantage of training in Ignatian spirituality is that it puts you in touch with your priorities. Regarding the beneficiaries of the university's largesse, I'm not entirely certain what the "questioning students" are in doubt about, but at least they're still questioning something, which is more than can be said for those standing in loco parentis.

"We won!" [GU Pride Co-President Scott Chessare] said. "I don't think we would have believed less than two months ago that there would be so much institutional change in such a short amount of time."

You won all right. Wasn't exactly an uphill battle though, was it, Scott?

Throughout his remarks, DeGioia stressed the importance of addressing LGBTQ issues in the context of Georgetown's Catholic identity. "At a Catholic and Jesuit university, [we] cannot advocate for policies or practices that are counter to Catholic teaching," he said. "Part of my responsibility as an administrator … is to ensure that nothing can compromise the integrity of our mission and identity."

Now that'll be a neat trick. How exactly, Mr. DeGioia, is this Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and, er, Questioning student group going to do anything whatsoever that doesn't compromise Catholic teaching? Its very existence as a "resource center" within the institution is a compromise that weakens Georgetown's Catholic character, and the ideological victory of its recognition will continue to erode that Catholic character even if the center sponsors no activity more controversial than a chess match.

Once again, when the culture wars come to the Catholic university, we see the white flag waved from the administration building before the fighting has a chance to begin. Once again, the threatened battle is a battle the administrators want to lose. Not, of course, that their exceptionally elastic notion of "our mission and identity" is wholly devoid of constraint.

"The notion of same-sex couples living in our residence halls -- no," DeGioia said. "I don't see that working out. There are limits to what we can do."

Give it time, President DeGioia, give it time.

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Show 14 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Oct. 30, 2007 8:03 PM ET USA

    We include everything, exclude nothing and therefore stand for nothing.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 30, 2007 12:38 PM ET USA

    "CATHOLIC" does not belong in Georgetown's name. When is the Vatican going to get rid of these apostates!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 8:40 PM ET USA

    FrV, no, Georgetown is no longer a Catholic institution and hasn't been for years. Holy Cross no longer is either. Though DeGoia is "President" of the institution, he refers to himself as "an administrator." That's part of the problem: administration in place of governance. As for same-sex dorms, give it time. It will be called an "intentional" dorm, and Georgetown has already abandoned whatever principles that might have used to oppose it.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 8:05 PM ET USA

    So what's new in so-called Catholic academia or for that matter amongst the bishops, archbishops and cardinals. When the pro-life ladies of Boston asked for the excomunication of Supreme Court Judge Brennen for his pro-abortion vote in Roe vs. Wade of 1973 their voice was ignored by the then Cardinal of Boston. When Judge Brennen died a few years ago funeral services were held in St. Mathew's Cathedral in Washington D.C. and Brennen was given top honors as if he was some hero. God help us.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 8:02 PM ET USA

    Well, let's see just how our good bishop/archbishop responsible for Georgetown University addresses this "issue". I'm not in charge of anything, but I'd certainly recommend the removal of any reference to "Catholic" in the same text with "Georgetown". But that might require a confrontational attitude within a traditionally lax and accommodating area.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 6:48 PM ET USA

    Will the resource center include a priest and a confessional? Zadok.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 6:24 PM ET USA

    Typically Jesuit. As others have wished/prayed, time for the Pope to rein in (or disassociate from) the Jesuit order unless/until it returns to the Roman Catholic Church, not as the Jesuits define the RCC, but as Christ created it.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 6:07 PM ET USA

    I attended a Catholic university many years ago. It was a positive experience. Today, I would question any of my grandchildren who expressed a desire to go to most Catholic institutions of "higher" learning. Needless to say, I stopped being a contributing alumnus.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 5:34 PM ET USA

    "The notion of same-sex couples living in our residence halls -- no." Uh, and how do you plan to prevent that, Mr. President?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 2:19 PM ET USA

    Without boundaries a river meanders...and doesn't run very deep, for that matter.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 8:57 AM ET USA

    Honestly does Georgetown really still have a Catholic character as an institution? There may be individuals committed to the Catholic Faith at Georgetown, but is there really any kind of institutional commitment? These word games played by President DeGioia indicate no so he ought to stop the charades.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 8:54 AM ET USA

    I interpret those words of DeGioia to mean that he thinks Catholic teaching REQUIRES such things as a GLBT club.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 8:53 AM ET USA

    Notice the phrasing here: "The notion of same-sex couples living in our residence halls -- no," DeGioia said. "I don't see that working out. There are limits to what we can do." His gifts of foresight include a vision of this not "working out". I wonder why: because officially sanctioned immorality is not part of the "Catholic and Jesuit heritage", or because he does not want to push the envelope too fast? The "limits" her refers to: are those in obedience to Christ's word, or PR concerns?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 29, 2007 7:03 AM ET USA

    Our gay brethren will no doubt believe that this turn of events should be used in the process of canonization of Robert F. Drinan S.J. as the sign of his first miracle after moving on to his encounter with the Lord last January. But less feverish folks should not forget that the Georgetown administration is simply one more love child of Theodore McCarrick, a signatory to the Land O' Lakes statement of 1967, and most conspicuous recipient of the Harriet Myers Award for Foreseeably Disastrous Papal Appointments… oh, and retired Cardinal Archbishop of Washington D.C..

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