GLBTQ club at Notre Dame: How about a Confession Club instead?

By James Bascom   
December 14, 2012
Notre Dame Dome
On December 5, the University of Notre Dame announced plans to create its first officially-recognized student organization dedicated to GLBTQ activism on campus.  GLBTQ stands for "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning." The decision was announced in a statement by university president Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C., titled Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame.

Although many faithful Catholics are troubled by the decision, this latest development fits into a long-line of troubling events at Our Lady's campus.  Remember Obama's visit?  Indeed, the “pastoral" nature of the new organization appears to be a matter of semantics rather than substance, as students, faculty, and the administration at Notre Dame have been allowing pro-homosexual activism on campus for years.

Subscribe to our weekly TFP newsletter here for free

The Progressive Student Union, an officially recognized leftist student group, already has a pro-homosexual campaign called “The 4 to 5 Project.”  Notre Dame student Alex Coccia, a leader of the group, even promotes same-sex “marriage.”

Faculty and students have petitioned the administration for an “official” homosexual club since 1986, and have been actively campaigning to add “sexual orientation” to the university’s non-discrimination policy. In 1996, the university created the “Standing Committee on Gay and Lesbian Student Needs,” later renamed the “Core Committee on Gay and Lesbian Student Needs.”

The Committee is an entity within the Office of Student Affairs created to promote the acceptance of homosexuality on campus. Over the years, it has participated in “National Coming Out Day,” hosted a “Queer Film Festival,” and organized the annual “StaND Against Hate Week.” The latter was sponsored not only by the Core Council and Office of Student Affairs, but also the Gender Relations Center, Student Government, Campus Ministry, and the Office of the President.

Notre Dame’s latest decision, however, cannot be understood outside the context of a greater anti-family movement. In the words of homosexual activist Paul Varnell, the movement “whether we acknowledge it or not, it is not a civil rights movement, not even a sexual liberation movement, but a moral revolution aimed at changing people’s view of homosexuality.”Paul Varnell, “Defending Our Morality,” Chicago Free Press, Aug. 16, 2000

The creation of pro-homosexual clubs on Catholic campuses is the vanguard of this moral revolution.  They are often a first step in propagandizing America’s youth into accepting the homosexual lifestyle.  The homosexual activist groups GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) has helped establish more than 4,000 “Gay-Straight Alliances” at K-12 schools and universities across the country.  Sadly, research shows that 52% of Catholic colleges and universities in America allow pro-homosexual clubs on campus.

Some claim that these clubs are not tools of the sexual revolution, and that some clubs are faithful to the traditional moral teachings of the Catholic Church. Perhaps. But asking the following questions can shed light on the true nature of the club.
  • Does the club explicitly or implicitly deny that homosexual acts are sinful?
  • Does the club voice disdain or antipathy towards anyone who doesn’t?
  • Does the club use the same slogans and language coined by the homosexual movement itself, such as “homophobia,” “safe space,” “bullying,” “intolerance,” “hate,” and “ally?”
  • Does the club participate in events sponsored by pro-homosexual organizations, such as the annual “Day of Silence” in April and “National Coming Out Day” on October 11?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then the club is almost certainly in the wrong camp. It is naïve at best to think that a club on a Catholic campus that looks, acts, and sounds exactly like activist pro-homosexual clubs on secular campuses is dedicated to anything less than the same goal.

In Notre Dame’s case, the reaction of pro-homosexual groups was very indicative: they celebrated. New Ways Ministry, for example, a “Catholic” pro-homosexual organization that already had Notre Dame listed on their website as a “gay-friendly campus,” celebrated on their blog: “As the struggle for recognition, protection, and equality at the University of Notre Dame continues through the devoted efforts of students and faculty, New Ways Ministry commends the progress already made by these visionary young adults and their older mentors.” Campus Pride stated that “it is undeniable that progress is being made on religiously-affiliated campuses across the country.”

At the same time that Notre Dame approved its new student organization, the Catholic University of America announced it was rejecting a very similar proposal, expressing concern that it “might become an advocacy organization.” The decision was criticized by Campus Pride, the left-leaning National Catholic Reporter, and other pro-homosexual outlets.

Any club that promotes the acceptance of a sinful lifestyle could be compared morally to a “meth club,” “marijuana club,” "adultery club," or a "drunkards club." It only affirms self-destructive behavior.  If you celebrate your friend’s drug addiction, tell him he was “born that way,” and that he cannot and should not change his lifestyle, can you truly say you love him?

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that one of the spiritual works of mercy is to “admonish the sinner.” Just as true charity entails kindly telling the drug user to stop his habit, so too must we admonish the unfortunate souls who have fallen into homosexual vice and help them abandon the sinful lifestyle.

We must love the sinner, and hate the sin. The only legitimate club for sinners is the Confession club.  Or something analogous to Courage, a Catholic organization that assists people tempted by unnatural vice.  It must teach students that sin is sin and temptations must be overcome through the power of grace, the Sacraments, prayer, and good counsel.  Anything less will only lead us further down the slippery slope.


-2 # Wallace 2012-12-18 12:53
I doubt you'll post this, but I think at least you, Moderator, should be called to account.
I understand the siege mentality, and I agree that there are many spiritual battles that must be fought to protect the priceless patrimony of the faith. However, the disdain that this piece shows for people who struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA) is un-Catholic. Where do you want them to go? Whose job is it to call them to holiness? You sneer at them and point to the door. There is a big difference between a "drunkards club" and AA. You don't even link to the group's page: friends and allies nd edu. Where, pray tell, do you see here the "acceptance of a sinful lifestyle" you trumpet? Would a SSA person ever feel encouraged to take up his or her Cross and follow Christ based on a conversation with you? Jesus says "Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more," not "you are a disgusting sinner, get out of my sight." Why would they feel welcomed in the Church if all they perceive is hate?

Editor's note: The best Catholic group to help those suffering from SSA recommended in this article is Courage. Sorry, but you just can't construe "hatred" from that.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # Peter K. Connolly 2012-12-18 13:16
John, You probably know that I have followed the deterioration of Notre Dame for a number of years and have written a great deal about it. It really all began back in the late 1960's when a group of Catholic College presidents, including Fr. Ted Hesburgh, convened at Land O'Lakes WI and agreed, in effect, to separate from the Vatican in the name of "Academic Freedom." Now it is a runaway truck. ND's current president John Jenkins (I exclude the "Reverend" title) is an Obama sycophant and interested only in federal "Grants. The university's continuing claim that their athletes carry 4.0 averages is pure hogwash. One of the starters on the current football team attacked a freshman coed last year and she committed suicide a few weeks later. It was swept under the rug, something ND has become extremely good at doing. Check out
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+3 # LTC911 2012-12-18 15:40
It's time for the Pope to set in and resolve this issue. Either they are Catholics or they are not Catholics.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
-2 # Mile 2012-12-18 19:23
Let us pray to Lord to enlighten those young disoriented people.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
-1 # Philip John 2012-12-19 03:56
Homosexual promotion is Lucifer's top priority at present. You see you are battling with Lucifer who himself is spearheading this campaign. Therefore, we need not be amazed by his cakewalk into subjection and powerful domination in this aspect. He has infiltrated his angels everywhere where youth could be influenced to live holy lives for God, especially such respected catholic institutions. You cannot fight fully armed, invisible well-trained commandos with stones and sticks. You need to renewed faith and use organized spiritual warfare with much prayer, intercession and fasting.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

Add comment

Comments will be approved by a moderator before appearing on the site. Any comments that contain inappropriate language or content will not be posted. Your email is required but will not be made public.

Security code

Subscribe and learn how to defend moral values

Subscribe Now