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Notre Dame announces pastoral plan for gay, transgendered students, including student organization

Catholic World News - December 19, 2012

The University of Notre Dame has announced a pastoral plan “for the support, holistic development and formation of students who identify as GLBTQ [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning], as well as their heterosexual friends and allies.”

In its plan, the university states that “its goals and objectives, as well as its programs and initiatives, are consonant with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The University calls all Notre Dame students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, to the disciplined development of the theological virtue of charity, the cardinal virtue of justice, and the moral virtue of chastity in lives of self-giving love.”

The plan

allows for the creation of a recognized Student Organization designed to provide peer-to-peer support, direct service opportunities, and friendship for GLBTQ students and their heterosexual allies … due consideration is to be exercised so as to avoid any political or social activities that might compromise Notre Dame’s Roman Catholic allegiance and commitments.

“There is substantial cause for concern about the soundness” of the pastoral plan’s implementation, said law professor Gerard Bradley. “For example, the plan says that Notre Dame affirms Church’s teaching, which distinguishes between homosexual acts and the homosexual condition, and that the condition itself is not sinful. But the plan nowhere affirms the Church’s teaching that the condition is itself objectively disordered.”

“I believe there is a need at Catholic universities to provide pastoral care and support to persons with same-sex attraction,” said Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne – South Bend. “This is what Notre Dame’s 'Pastoral Plan' is attempting to do.

“This pastoral care should help the students not to feel unwelcome or alienated in the community, but also help them to lead chaste and holy lives,” he continued. “Promoting chastity is an important part of our pro-life commitment.”

“The Sixth Commandment that calls to chastity follows the Fifth Commandment that calls us to respect life,” added Bishop Rhoades. “It is the connection between life and love.”

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Dec. 19, 2012 7:00 AM ET USA

    The chaste Christian life is essential. Charitable pastoral direction in concert with the sacramental gifts of the Church and docility of students' intellects and wills in receptiveness to God's grace is indicated. Catholicity involves unity in belief, practice and purpose in concert with the Church and with Christ's teaching. It's fundamentally inclusive for those who desire to participate in unity and in docility to the Master. It necessarily involves the cross. Is this the case at ND?

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