From the National Catholic Register:
After years of petitions, Notre Dame, the premier Catholic university in the United States, has announced it will create an official campus support group for homosexual students and their friends.
But Notre Dame has a more radical idea than the petitioners imagined: It plans to create a permanent student organization grounded fully in Catholic social and moral teaching.
The plan calls for a permanent body that homosexual and heterosexual students may join and elect officers. The new student organization will provide peer-to-peer support, programming, service opportunities and integrate students better with the programs and formation initiatives of Notre Dame’s Gender Relations Center, Campus Ministry, the University Counseling Center and the Institute for Church Life.
But, most significantly, Notre Dame’s “Pastoral Plan” declares that its “goals and objectives, as well as its programs and initiatives, are consonant with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.” It dedicates eight paragraphs to making this point, repeatedly citing passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church dealing with marriage, sexuality, friendship and the life of chastity.
The plan notes: “The Catholic Church states that ‘love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being’ (CCC, 2392) but also attests that the call to chastity is God’s invitation for all to be in loving relationship with others according to the demands of the moral virtues (CCC, 2348).”
The plan repeatedly notes that the new student organization will uphold “the challenging, even though beautiful and life-giving, call to chaste relationships” and that “Student Affairs neither condones nor supports sexual activity outside the marital relationship or any sexual activities that ‘close the sexual act to the gift of life’ (CCC, 2357).”
Huh. I remember hearing something about there being a push from the progressives to have a Gay-Straight alliance at ND, but this is an unexpected turn of events. Now, while I’m somewhat unsettled by their willingness to use the GBLTQ acronym (the only real sexual difference that matters when it comes to identity is male and female, as far as I’m concerned), I think there’s a need for something like this. Whether the program they have is the best way to go about it, and whether or not it’ll blow up in their faces, I dunno. Given Notre Dame’s spotty record as of late, things could get derailed.
If you’re a university student with same sex desires who wants to throw in with the whole gay lifestyle, your average secular university has tons of resources to ensure smooth sailing. But if you’re committed to chastity, you’re pretty much invisible, or otherwise kind of freakish (well, same-sex desires or no, being chaste will pretty much wind up alienating you to a certain degree anyway). And I’m sure there are quite a few people whose relationship with the Church is damaged because they think her teachings on sexuality consign them to the pit, or who just can’t imagine how a life of celibacy is liveable. So having some more help on our end to fill in what is something of a vacuum would be good.