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Rebuke Pope Francis for trans criticism, Catholic university grad student says


‘As a Catholic institution which prides itself on its commitment to social justice, Dominican is uniquely positioned to disrupt the Pope’s harmful message’

Dominican University should condemn Pope Francis’ comments critical of gender ideology, according to a social work graduate student.

Kai Lehocky, who uses “they/them” pronouns on LinkedIn, wants the Illinois Catholic university to “disrupt” the pope’s “recent comments on gender diversity,” according to a Change.org petition.

“I have asked that studies be carried out into this ugly ideology of our times, which cancels out the differences and makes everything the same,” Pope Francis said last week, commenting on gender ideology. He has previously referred to transgenderism as “ideological colonization.”

This does not sit well with Lehocky.

“Dominican University is a learning institution which represents itself as being committed to policies and practices that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion, eliminate bias, and enable students of all backgrounds to thrive,” Lehocky wrote. “As a Catholic institution which prides itself on its commitment to social justice, Dominican is uniquely positioned to disrupt the Pope’s harmful message.”

Lehocky’s petition, with 67 signers as of this writing, asks university President Glena Temple to “uphold its stated values by making a public-facing statement denouncing the Pope’s recent comments in order to disrupt the harm caused by the Catholic Church’s historical and ongoing anti-LGBTQ+ positionality.”

Lehocky said the “Gender Affirmative Model” is “well-established within the scientific community.”

“The Pope’s comments insinuate that existing research efforts in this area have been invalid, methodologically or otherwise,” the petition states. “He has not, however, provided any scientific evidence to support his belief.”

The graduate student also criticized the Catholic Church for being “instrumental in the spread of European Colonialism and the violent establishment of the modern cis-heteronormative sex and gender system.”

According to Lehocky, prior to these actions “examples of gender diversity existed across a myriad of Indigenous cultures worldwide.”

“In reality, the Catholic Church has appropriated the term postcolonial for its own ideological purposes, and in doing so, has served to further erase the historical fact that gender diversity is, and always has been, an aspect of humanity,” the petition states.

Lehocky thanked his School of Social Work for supporting his call to denounce the leader of the Catholic Church.  A week after publication of this article, the school posted its support.

The Catholic university has a history of embracing views at odds with Catholicism’s teachings on sexuality.

It hosted the first “LGBTQ Mass” in 2021. The explicit goal was to “separate religion and sexuality,” according to a paraphased comment by a campus LGBT activist. It is now an annual event.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman and that people who have homosexual inclinations should be encouraged to live a life of abstinence and chastity.

Dominican also hosts a “White Accountability Group” for white students. The college fired an adjunct instructor and Catholic nun after “tapping” a DEI trainer on the head and criticizing the training.

Editor’s note: The article has been updated with a link to the social work department’s statement of support.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.