Catholic University under fire from students for espousing Catholic views
A Catholic university has been slammed by students, alumni, and staff for taking a religious stance on various issues.
Assumption University follows Catholic Church doctrine, some of which is seen as problematic by students.
Donors have threatened to pull away funding unless the university apologizes for its religious stances released in the document.
Leadership at a private Catholic Massachusetts university released a statement of stances on a variety of issues in society through a Catholic Viewpoint. This has been met by major backlash from students, alumni, and faculty who believe that the University is in the wrong for taking these religious stances.
Students at Assumption University have created a petition denouncing the University's stances, and demanding a formal apology for specific portions of the statement, specifically regarding gay marriage.
Over 4,000 people have signed the petition.
The university’s statement in part read:
“Racism and other unjust discrimination, the use of the death penalty, resorting to unjust war, environmental degradation, the use of torture, war crimes, the failure to respond to those who are suffering from hunger or a lack of health care or housing, pornography, human trafficking, redefining civil marriage, compromising religious liberty, or unjust immigration policies are all serious moral issues that challenge our consciences and require us to act."
The university further laid out that "Similarly, human cloning, destructive research on human embryos, and other acts that directly violate the sanctity and dignity of human life including genocide, torture, and the targeting of noncombatants in acts of terror or war, can never be justified."
It continues on to acknowledge further blights facing humanity “such as acts of racism, treating workers as mere means to an end, deliberately subjecting workers to subhuman living conditions, treating the poor as disposable, or redefining marriage to deny its essential meaning, ever be justified."
Students have taken a strong stance against the use of the phrase “redefining marriage to deny its essential meaning,” stating in the petition, "At a time when LGBTQ+ Americans are living in fear, this is the worst possible timing for Assumption to send out an information sheet that displays such horrendous language," The students believed that they have been betrayed, especially the “LGBTQ+ community that is very present on Assumptions campus, including its club, AU Allies."
In October, alumni threatened to withdraw donations to the University for the very same statement.
President Ceasero stated publicly, “I am grateful for the LGBTQ students, faculty and staff at Assumption who are all beloved sons and daughters of God and beloved members of our University community. And I am grateful to those who have shared their concerns. Together, I hope that we can build an even brighter future for all members of the body that is Assumption University.
The alumni would go on to reply that, “The statement emailed to Alumni on October 21st was insufficient, as it lacked any apology for the harm the University’s actions has caused its LGBTQ+ students and Alumni,” reads the document from alumni withholding donations. “We will not donate to the University at any point in the future unless a full apology is issued."
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ajmunguia23