Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SPQR Position Paper: On the Promotion of LGBTQ Ideology in Catholic Schools

Date: 12 December 2014, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

In Philippine Catholic universities such as De La Salle University, Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Davao University, and Miriam College, LGBTQ groups publicly promote their ideology and lifestyle through gay pride marches with rainbow banners, conferences with pro-LGBT speakers, and posters in Facebook and social media--all without sanction from the school authorities. Recently, a male student in Ateneo de Manila University was allowed to dress as a female for the school’s yearbook photo shoot. If the school authorities do not do anything to stop all of these, Philippine Catholic schools shall end up having centers and offices for the promotion of LGBTQ ideology. This is contrary to the nature of a Catholic University as defined by Ex Corde Ecclesiae, because the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear: homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.

A. Catholic Teaching on LGBTQ

Regarding homosexuality, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

B. Catholic Teaching on the Role of Catholic Universities

On 15 August 1990, Pope John Paul II wrote an Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities entitled “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” which states:
14. "In the light of these four characteristics, it is evident that besides the teaching, research and services common to all Universities, a Catholic University, by institutional commitment, brings to its task the inspiration and light of the Christian message. In a Catholic University, therefore, Catholic ideals, attitudes and principles penetrate and inform university activities in accordance with the proper nature and autonomy of these activities. In a word, being both a University and Catholic, it must be both a community of scholars representing various branches of human knowledge, and an academic institution in which Catholicism is vitally present and operative"(18).

Article 2. The Nature of a Catholic University

§ 3. Every Catholic University is to make known its Catholic identity, either in a mission statement or in some other appropriate public document, unless authorized otherwise by the competent ecclesiastical Authority. The University, particularly through its structure and its regulations, is to provide means which will guarantee the expression and the preservation of this identity in a manner consistent with §2.

§ 4. Catholic teaching and discipline are to influence all university activities, while the freedom of conscience of each person is to be fully respected(46). Any official action or commitment of the University is to be in accord with its Catholic identity.

Article 4. The University Community

§ 1. The responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of the University rests primarily with the University itself. While this responsibility is entrusted principally to university authorities (including, when the positions exist, the Chancellor and/or a Board of Trustees or equivalent body), it is shared in varying degrees by all members of the university community, and therefore calls for the recruitment of adequate university personnel, especially teachers and administrators, who are both willing and able to promote that identity. The identity of a Catholic University is essentially linked to the quality of its teachers and to respect for Catholic doctrine. It is the responsibility of the competent Authority to watch over these two fundamental needs in accordance with what is indicated in Canon Law(49). § 2. All teachers and all administrators, at the time of their appointment, are to be informed about the Catholic identity of the Institution and its implications, and about their responsibility to promote, or at least to respect, that identity. § 3. In ways appropriate to the different academic disciplines, all Catholic teachers are to be faithful to, and all other teachers are to respect, Catholic doctrine and morals in their research and teaching. In particular, Catholic theologians, aware that they fulfil a mandate received from the Church, are to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church as the authentic interpreter of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition(50).

C. SPQR Manifesto

We, concerned Catholics in Catholic Schools and Universities who call ourselves the SPQR (Senātus Populusque Rōmānus or the Senate and the People of Rome, originally a reference to the Roman Republic but here used to refer to the Roman Catholic Church), appeal to school authorities to reaffirm their institution’s Catholic identity:

  • Prohibit the celebration of LGBTQ Pride events in the Catholic campus 
  • Prohibit pictures of cross-dressing students in official school publications like yearbooks and newspapers 
  • Prohibit the promotion of LGBTQ events that use the name of the school 
  • Prohibit the establishment of an LGBTQ organization or office inside the campus that promotes the homosexual ideology and lifestyle 
  • Prohibit the construction of separate restrooms for LGBTQ inside the campus 
  • Help students with same-sex attraction overcome their unnatural desires and live chastely through the Campus Ministry 
  • Teach students the distinction of males and females and their associated and complementary gender roles 
  • Promote the wearing of modest clothes in campus according to one’s gender 
  • Oppose local, national, and international laws and educational policies that promote the homosexual ideology 
  • Promote traditional Catholic popular piety in campus, such as Holy Mass, Novena, Rosary, and Angelus. 


Signed:


SPQR
Senātus Populusque Rōmānus
(Senate and the People of Rome)
CafePress Our Lady of Guadalupe - Large Poster Throw Blanket - Standard
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Catechism of the Catholic Church
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Homosexuality and the Catholic Church
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Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II: On Catholic Universities
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