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DAYTON, Ohio, March 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A Marianist-run Catholic university in Ohio is offering students an opportunity this Lent to create a pro-LGBT “Stations of the Cross” and then pray them along with other students who support the normalization of homosexuality.
Participants at the University of Dayton’s “Ally Stations of the Cross” are given the opportunity of “praying the Stations of the Cross through an LGBTQ+ and allyship lens,” a poster for the event states. The poster includes a picture of a rainbow-colored road leading to the foot of the cross.
“Participants will attend 5 guided, interactive planning meetings and then host praying the Ally Stations that they created as a team,” the university’s website, where the event is posted, states. A pro-LGBT campus minister will “help navigate the team through a simple but powerful reflective and creative process.”
“No experience necessary – just a willingness to connect the real experiences of people in the LGBTQ+ and Ally community with the experiences of Christ’s passion,” the website adds.
The Stations of the Cross are a traditional 14-step Catholic devotion on the passion of Jesus, beginning with his condemnation of death and ending with his placement in the tomb.
One Catholic parent who has a daughter attending the university expressed concern about the event.
“This event hinders them from the experience of Christ,” the parent told the university in a communication obtained by LifeSiteNews.
“Lent is a reflection on Jesus’s death on the cross,” the parent wrote. The parent accused the University of “leading students to sin during Lent” through the pro-LGBT Stations of the Cross, adding that such an event is “offensive to parents” and “needs to be stopped immediately.”
“It does not reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church and in fact could lead these students into a dangerous path of medical transition and sin,” the parent wrote.
So-called “queer” Stations of the Cross usually involve comparing the sufferings of Christ to the sufferings of persons on account of their same-sex attraction and actions. According to a Catholic parish in San Francisco that hosted a “queer version” of The Stations of the Cross last year, “Jesus’ journey to Calvary and death symbolizes many of the same difficulties that we face at different times in our lives, especially as people of faith and as LGBTQ people.” During the first station, where Jesus is condemned to death, the reflection states that LGBT Catholics are “unjustly condemned” for “who we love.”
University of Dayton officials defended the pro-LGBT Stations of the Cross to LifeSiteNews.
“The University of Dayton's Campus Ministry is working with those students who are interested in a Stations of the Cross experience that may draw them deeper in relationship with God, where they can know that they are loved. Students will spend time in prayer with each station, write a reflection based on their experience and prayer, and then pray their reflections together,” a spokesperson said.
“The University's Campus Ministry is fully aware of the Church teaching on sexual expression, marriage, and gender identity; our campus ministers respect those teachings. Campus Ministry takes care to ensure all programming related to LGBTQ students expresses Church teachings authentically.”
While the university officials may be fully aware of the Church’s explicit condemnation of homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered” and her teaching that the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered,” it remains unclear if such teachings are passed on to students. The university, however, goes out of its way to offer students what it calls “ally training” workshops to help students support the normalization of homosexuality on campus.
“Ally Training is a workshop that educates individuals within the University of Dayton's Catholic and Marianist tradition, so they may better support the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, and Questioning) community,” the university’s website states.
“Ally Training includes experiential activities and guided discussions designed to provide knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will help you effectively ally with the LGBTQ+ community,” the website adds.
The Catholic parent told the university, however, that a true ally to persons with same-sex attraction would encourage them “towards chastity or a single life.”
“The word ‘ally’ and ‘LGBTQ+’ themselves are activist terms, denoting a shift away from Catholic teachings all together,” the parent said. “This mocks our beautiful Church.”
Contact information for respectful communications:
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati, Ohio
Phone: (513) 263-6612
Email: [email protected]
University of Dayton
300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469
Phone: (937) 229-1000
Email: [email protected]