‘Hate Speech’ at Another Catholic College

Will this Jesuit college alter its actions and its character?

You may recall New Oxford Review’s story of a Providence College student named Michael Smalanskas, who bravely confronted politically-correct college administrators over his display about traditional Church teaching on marriage (see “The New Hate Speech: Catholic Teaching at a Catholic College,” May 2018; link here: https://www.newoxfordreview.org/documents/the-new-hate-speech-catholic-teaching-at-a-catholic-college/).

Now it’s another man’s turn at another Catholic college—this one run by the Jesuits.

Cleveland’s John Carroll University for years has held a drag show. Declan Leary, a columnist in The Carroll News, says John Carroll University is providing “deviant entertainment” for “misguided young people” by sponsoring the annual event. Leary says the show represents “an assault on the dignity of the human person and the divine gift of ordered sexuality.” Further, he writes, “It is a terrifying testament to the decay of our faith and our university that, throughout the approval process for this event and the six years for which it has now continued, not a single person in a position of authority stood up (or at least stood with sufficient strength) to suggest that perhaps such a flagrant celebration of sexual perversity might just be wrong.”

Our friends at The College Fix (Oct 25) were told by Leary that, after his column’s publication, he was obliged to meet with the school’s Title IX coordinator, the vice president for student affairs, the vice president for mission and identity, and the school’s president, Michael Johnson. One hopes in these meetings Leary speaks as well as he writes because in his article he wrote, “The Jesuits and their progressive allies … seek to redefine our nature in order to conform to the culture of sexual perversion, instrumentalization and commercialization which has so ravaged the human soul and body.” He sees through their wordy game of redefining morals to justify sins. Regarding false compassion for drag queens he declares, “We do them no service and show them no love in embracing a culture of sin which has been mistaken for identity.”

In earlier columns Leary has openly challenged the Jesuits: “It is time for John Carroll University either to radically alter its actions and its character, or to admit the obvious and unfortunate truth that it is no longer Christian.” About new JCU president Johnson’s leadership, Leary wonders whether he’ll “redeem the muddled Catholic character of this institution” or allow it to “continue its descent into heathenry and heresy. If he chooses the former, his most important task will be to purge this place of the evils which have invaded it in the names of tolerance and progress” (Cleveland.com, Oct. 11). More power to young Mr. Leary.

Yes, leaders of Catholic colleges must decide: Can traditional Catholic sexual morality be taught there without being called hate speech? Are students like Declan Leary not allowed to speak?

Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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