MELBOURNE, Australia (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic university in Australia has taken a stand against the LGBT agenda, ordering staff to remove the gay “pride” flags hanging in the campus library.
In an email sent to staff at the school’s Melbourne campus in February, Australian Catholic University (ACU) asked that the pride flags on display in the library be removed, reminding staff that their presence was not aligned with the institution’s Catholic identity.
“It is not considered to be appropriate at ACU,” the email reads, according to a local report. “If you have any such material on display in your library, could you please remove it from the public area.”
The email came in response to the placement of pride flags in the university library during a February orientation week for new students. The incident also coincided with Australia’s national gay pride event, Sidney WorldPride, which was held from February 17 to March 5.
Despite the school having an explicitly Catholic identity, and the fact that the Catholic Church is clear in her teaching that acting on homosexual or gender-confused inclinations is gravely sinful, the order sparked backlash from various staff and students, with LGBT societies from the university crafting an open letter to the ACU’s vice-chancellor, Zlatko Skrbis, to express their outrage.
In the letter, the groups decried what they claimed was a “direct affront… to the common good.”
“When you and your representatives should have been promoting messages of celebration, you have decided to ban pride imagery and instead send a message that LGBTIQ+ people are not welcome at your university,” the letter reads.
“The directive sent to staff under your watch is, therefore, a direct affront to ACU’s mission to act in truth and love in the pursuit of knowledge, the dignity of the human person, and the common good,” it continued.
Australian-American history professor at ACU, Noah Riseman, who is a “specialist in Indigenous and LGBTIQ+ history” according to his Twitter profile, has been one of the leading critics of the university’s order to remove pro-LGBT imagery from public spaces, calling the policy “rubbish.”
I know our staff & students are better than this. We will not let senior executives’ prejudice silence #LGBTIQ+ students, staff & our allies. We will continue to be out & proud. And guess what? You’re going to see a lot more rainbows as we exercise our intellectual freedom. 7/8
— Noah Riseman (@NoahRiseman) March 15, 2023
The university’s vice president, Anthony Casamento, along with ACU’s chief operating officer, Stephen Weller, responded to the open letter, reminding those offended that the ACU tries to remain faithful to Catholic moral teaching.
“This means that these spaces do not focus on any one particular group or society,” they wrote. “We respect the right of students to form clubs and societies and, importantly, we strive to do all we can to offer support and care to every student.”
“Universities are places in which any voice making a reasonable case will be heard and is not silenced, so long of course as that voice shows equal respect to all other positions, including the position reflected in the University’s Mission,” they added.
According to ACU’s website, “Our mission and values form the core of who we are as a Catholic organization.”
“As a Catholic university, we draw our inspiration from the heart of the Church, building on the ancient tradition which gave rise to the first universities in medieval Europe. This Catholic intellectual tradition proposes an integrated spiritual and philosophical approach to the most enduring questions of human life.”