Catholic bishop admonishes Saint Mary’s for ‘compromising its identity’
The bishop for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend should be open to bringing the hammer down on Saint Mary’s College for its new policy. The Catholic “women’s college” will now admit applicants “whose sex is female or who consistently live and identify as women.”
Bishop Kevin Rhoades has been outspoken about nearby University of Notre Dame promoting degeneracy, including its event with an “abortion doula” and an “unholy” drag show. He also recently criticized Saint Mary’s for its change of policy which will allow males who “identify as women” to live, shower, and sleep next to actual females.
“It is disappointing that I, as bishop of the diocese in which Saint Mary’s College is located, was not included or consulted on a matter of important Catholic teaching,” Bp. Rhoades (pictured) wrote on Monday. He noted the college erroneously cited Pope Francis in its decision, even though the pontiff has repeatedly criticized gender ideology.
The bishop also knows he can withdraw permission from the college to call itself “Catholic.” Much like a trademark, local Catholic bishops have the authority to determine what institutions can call themselves “Catholic.” This is something he should be open to after taking reasonable steps to work with the college to reverse its new policy.
“Bishops have a particular responsibility to ‘promote and assist in the preservation and strengthening’ of the Catholic identity of the Catholic colleges and universities in their diocese,” the Catholic leader wrote, referencing a papal document titled “Ex corde ecclesiae.”
The document, written by Pope John Paul II, gives bishops the responsibility and authority to ensure all Catholic universities are promoting the faith and are aligned with the Catholic Church.
“In this new admissions policy, Saint Mary’s departs from fundamental Catholic teaching on the nature of woman and thus compromises its very identity as a Catholic woman’s college,” Bp. Rhoades wrote. The college previously denied a Turning Point USA chapter application because it believed in two genders.
He wrote further:
On many occasions, Pope Francis has re-affirmed the Church’s teaching on the sexual embodiment of the human person and has criticized various forms of gender ideology. The letter from the president of Saint Mary’s quotes Pope Francis on the importance of love but does not mention the Holy Father’s continual rejection of gender ideology – the same ideology behind this new policy. The Church has always rejected a dualistic anthropology that separates body and soul, and which consigns sexual identity to one’s individual self-declaration.
“I urge the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary’s College to correct its admissions policy in fidelity to the Catholic identity and mission it is charged to protect and to reject ideologies of gender that contradict the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the human person, sex and gender,” he wrote.
This is a good first step. The bishop, as an experienced priest and in consultation with his advisors, likely has a course of action to attempt to deal with this situation. But he should not be afraid to revoke Saint Mary’s “Catholic” designation if attempts at reconciliation with the truth are fruitless.
Nor should he hesitate to take corrective action against nearby Notre Dame, either.
IMAGE: Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend/Instagram