Action Alert!

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.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Dec. 17, 2009 12:04 AM ET USA

    Envious? Heck, he'd brag that he invented those methods. Africa is suffering for our sins.

  • Posted by: rpp - Dec. 16, 2009 1:32 AM ET USA

    I am certain that Dr. Mengele would be envious at the methods used by this study.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Dec. 14, 2009 3:33 PM ET USA

    This is the most genuinely shocking thing I have read in months. I figured something had to be missing so I Googled the name of the study and followed links in it and found nothing to indicate that this interpretation is wrong. This makes the Tuskeegee experiment look positively ethical, not to mention the wonderful contributions Dr. Mengele made to science.