SOUTH BEND, February 14, 2005 ( – In former decades, the Catholic University of Notre Dame was one of the most respected Catholic institutions of higher learning in North America. More recently, however, it has become known for its outspoken dissent from and rigid intolerance for Catholic teaching, particularly in matters of sexual morality.

Last week, Notre Dame sponsored another of its annual ‘celebrations’ of homosexuality in its second annual “Queer Film Festival.” The event was sponsored by St Mary’s College, Notre Dame Department of Film, Television, and Theater, Department of English, Department of Anthropology, Department of History, Counseling Center, and the Gender Studies Program.

The festival featured both in person and in a film, the perennial Sister Jeannine Grammick who has ignored her official suspension from her ‘gay ministry’ in which she encouraged people to pursue homosexual sex as a ‘lifestyle.’ She responded to the Vatican’s order to cease misrepresenting the Catholic teaching with the usual reference to conscience, the customary slogan of Catholic leftist dissent. She said, “I choose not to collaborate in my own oppression by restricting a basic human right. To me this is a matter of conscience.” 

Sister Jeannine, still a member in good standing of the School Sisters of Notre Dame said, “I’m beginning to believe that the greatest sin for lesbians and gay people is to want to be straight.”

The film festival also featured as a speaker, Terrence McNally, author of the blasphemous play, “Corpus Christi,” in which Jesus and his disciples are depicted as active homosexuals and in which Jesus strikes a priest who presents the Catholic teaching on homosexuality. 

Bishop John M. D’Arcy, in an editorial appearing in the February 10th edition of the South Bend Tribune, wrote that by promoting sins of unchastity and attempting to present them as virtues, the University has violated the rights of the Church, of students and of parents. He says, “The rights of others are violated. What about the rights of the church to have its teachings properly presented? What about the rights of parents of those students at Notre Dame who find the contents of this seminar offensive?” 

Bishop D’Arcy stops short of demanding that the University of Notre Dame cease calling itself a Catholic university. He briefly quotes the Vatican’s document Ex Corde Ecclesiae that outlines the obligations of Catholic universities to be in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Ex Corde Ecclesiae was issued in 1989 and Catholic commentators have often noted that it has been one of the most ignored Vatican documents in recent history. 

“People with homosexual orientation… belong in the mainstream of our Catholic life, not shunned or separated or told they cannot live a sound and chaste spiritual life,” the bishop wrote.