Some Carroll faculty recently wrote an opinion piece expressing their disagreement with the administration’s concern about a proposed drag show on campus. Such action is certainly within their purview. However, publicly enlisting the Catholic tradition to support their position deserves scrutiny.
The faculty members sought to bolster their collective opinion by brief citations from Scripture, Carroll’s Mission Statement, and a papal document on the nature of Catholic universities (Ex Corde Ecclesiae). Selecting such snippets taken out of context would have landed me in trouble with my high school English teacher. A careful and complete reading of these sources would reveal that as a Catholic institution, Carroll’s primary obligation and responsibility is to dedicate itself to the cause of truth while adhering to the Church’s authoritative teachings on faith and morals (cf. Ex Corde 4, 27).
That reframes the discussion about the “fit” between the drag show and the college’s Catholic mission. It also illustrates that while every person is welcome at a Catholic college, not every activity is appropriate within the moral framework that undergirds a Catholic institution. The conversation will continue on campus. Hopefully true learning and growth in virtue for all involved will result.
Fr. Marc Lenneman
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