Friday, November 11, 2005
Gay Equals Pedophile Says the Catholic Church, Round 2
As some of you may or may not remember I wrote a post back in September that was critical of the Catholic Church and the planned visits of Vatican officials to every seminary in the United States entitled Gay Equals Pedophile…says the Catholic Church. There was a rather heated response to this post so I decided to do a little follow up.
Recently it was announced that Vatican officials will be coming to the University of St. Thomas’ St. Paul Seminary in February. It will be a four day visit where they will ask every seminary student 63 in-depth questions some of which will pertain to their sexual orientation as well as any homosexual activities within the seminary.
Today my letter to the editor of the Aquin (St. Thomas’ student run weekly newspaper) on this issue was published. I have posted the letter below and will post any repsonses to the letter that are published in the Aquin in the upcoming weeks.
Church contradicts school
Recently the Aquin has announced that Vatican officials will be visiting the St. Paul Seminary this coming February. These officials should not be allowed on campus unless any questions concerning sexual orientation are removed from the 63 planned in-depth questions they will be asking all seminary students.
According to the Aquin, the visits are in response to cases of sexual abuse by American clergy. However, the underlying problem with these visits is that the Catholic Church is equating homosexuality with pedophilia, even though experts almost unanimously agree that there is no connection. David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, when talking about pedophilia, stated that "it's kind of a separate sexual orientation; often they have no attraction to adults whatsoever." By equating homosexuality and pedophilia, the Catholic Church is dangerously spreading false stereotypes concerning an entire social group.
More important than this is the fact that all seminarians are students at St. Thomas and an integral part of the St. Thomas community. Many of these seminary students go through the same admissions process as other St. Thomas students, and they all attend standard St. Thomas classes. According to the University of St. Thomas Student Policy Handbook, concerning offensive behavior: “Harassment of an individual or group of individuals based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, creed, religion, socio-economic status, physical or mental disability is an attack on the very fabric of the institution itself.”
The question that arises from all of this is what will St. Thomas officials do when the policies of the Catholic Church are in direct contradiction to the policies of the university and will the university allow Church policies to “attack the very fabric of the instiitution itself?”
I hope that St. Thomas adminstrators will not allow the Vatican officials on campus unless changes are made to the questions that the seminary students are going to be asked. The goal of the university should be to foster a feeling of community and accepatance for all studnets. If the university allows the harassment of this certain group of students then what will stop the university from also allowing the harassment of other groups of students on campus?