Why Is This Catholic University Trashing Catholic Teaching On Sexuality?

Why Is This Catholic University Trashing Catholic Teaching On Sexuality?

Loyola Marymount University has enlisted a notable alumnus to send a message to students that they should be perfectly comfortable with same-sex attraction and same-sex relationships.
Adam Cassandra
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Refusing to play according to the rules of Catholic morality, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles has enlisted a notable alumnus to send a message to students that they should be perfectly comfortable with same-sex attraction and same-sex relationships. It’s just one more way the Jesuit university has compromised its Catholic mission by promoting the “LGBT” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) agenda.

The LMU website homepage publicizes a video running more than nine minutes that features former baseball player Billy Bean. Bean was a star at LMU, married a woman he met at LMU (lasting three years), and played eight years in Major League Baseball until 1995.

Bean had a modest baseball career, but made headlines in 1999 for being the first current or former MLB player to publicly talk about having same-sex attraction and a hidden “gay” sex life since he was 28 years old. Now he’s a vice president of the MLB and an activist for the “LGBT community” in baseball.

Worse, he’s pitching his message to LMU students. The video coincides with an LMU Magazine interview with Bean, who is featured on the cover of the summer 2016 edition. His “Distinguished Alumni” profile on the LMU website says he “speaks to students about the importance of diversity and accepting others for who they are.” That’s a rather tame description of what Bean really does. He is specifically focused on promoting acceptance of LGBT behaviors and lifestyle choices as part of his push for “inclusion.”

Like Everyone, I Struggle with Sin

The first half of the video interview is basically just a profile and success story, similar to what other colleges might produce to highlight notable alumni. No problem there. But the second half of the video focuses on Bean’s personal and professional struggles with his same-sex attraction, and it looks favorably on his current MLB activism.

Bean gets choked up at certain points telling his story, and it’s clear he has suffered emotionally along his journey. He mentions the passing of his same-sex partner, who died of an HIV-related sickness, and losing one of his best friends in a car accident. He talks about being “closeted” and what happened when he publicly disclosed his same-sex attraction.

“The world is not a perfect place,” says Bean. “We still have discrimination by race, by gender, by religion.” He says his job now is “to be a resource and introduce a conversation about inclusion and acceptance.” The word “Catholic” is never mentioned in the video interview, and neither is “Jesuit.” There are no references to God or chastity.

I contacted LMU for an explanation of the message the university hoped to convey to students and the community with this video. The woman I spoke with on the phone stated that she found my inquiry rather odd, but said she would get back to me. No further response was received prior to publication. I also reached out to Bean, but he didn’t respond.

LMU Director of Athletics Bill Husak appears in the video praising Bean, saying he “really epitomizes what LMU’s hopes are for each and every student. It is to go ahead and be of service. It is to be a person for others.” Husak says Bean exemplifies “those social justice tenets that are espoused” at LMU and praises his work with Major League Baseball: “I don’t think there’s a better person who could fill that office and fill the duties that are expected of that office than Billy.”

Bean the Activist

When MLB hired Bean in July 2014 to be its first “ambassador for inclusion,” the League announced:

In his new role, Bean, who made public that he is gay in 1999, will provide guidance and training related to efforts to support those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community throughout Major League Baseball. He will work with Major and Minor League Clubs to encourage equal opportunity in accordance with the joint MLB-MLBPA Workplace Code of Conduct. Bean also will develop educational training initiatives against sexism, homophobia and prejudice…

MLB promoted Bean in January this year to the position of “Vice President, Social Responsibility & Inclusion.”

“In his elevated role, Bean will be responsible for many of the League’s social responsibility initiatives, including oversight of MLB’s Workplace Code of Conduct and anti-bullying programming, while continuing to facilitate inclusion strategies with a focus on the LGBT community,” the MLB said.

Last year, Bean penned a column for MLB celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. Bean wrote:

By overturning the Sixth Circuit’s ruling on Obergefell vs. Hodges (sic), the Supreme Court struck down same-sex marriage bans and, at long last, brought marriage equality to all 50 states. The cynical part of me was filled with worry in the days leading up to the ruling, but as soon as I read the text messages of joy that kept pouring in this morning, I was overcome with emotion.

Immediately my thoughts went back to 1995, when I was walking out of the hospital just moments after my partner, Sam, died in a San Diego emergency room. Being in the closet had made our world more difficult than you can imagine, and I could not help but wonder how different the world is now than it was then.

Today’s ruling is important to me personally, but I also know it will have a very important impact on this generation of Major and Minor Leaguers. I am so proud of MLB for its unwavering support of our message of inclusion. The San Francisco Giants and the Tampa Bay Rays, in particular, deserve mention, as both organizations signed an amicus brief in this case, showing support for their communities and employees, and making an inclusive statement that was loud and clear.

When then-New York Mets player Daniel Murphy, now with the Washington Nationals, told a reporter that “as a Christian” he disagreed with Bean’s “lifestyle” of actively engaging in same-sex activity, Bean expressed hope Murphy would “reconcile his religious beliefs with his interpretation of the word lifestyle” and “fully accept my sexual orientation.”

Husak’s praise for Bean’s work with MLB in the video and LMU’s promotion of the interview are serious conflicts with the Jesuit university’s Catholic mission. It appears LMU’s LGBT Student Services office is likewise a problem. When the LGBT office was established in 2010, the university gave a statement to LifeSiteNews indicating it would promote chastity and the church’s teachings on marriage:

[A] form response was provided outlining the office’s goals of inclusivity and stating that ‘being gay or lesbian is not a sin,’ that the Catholic Church recognizes only marriage between a man and a woman, and that LMU urges celibacy among non-married students. ‘The Church’s position beyond that is pastoral, one of outreach and counseling a life of celibacy to the LGBT community,’ stated the document. ‘We realize that this may be a difficult cross to bear, but the Church only approves of sexual relations between a man and a woman within the confines of marriage.’

But in the LMU Magazine interview, Bean praises LMU’s LGBT Student Services office on campus as “incredible” for “allowing kids to be who and what they are,” clearly referring to identities and lifestyles that are not consistent with Catholic teaching.

Ignoring Church Teaching

The website for LMU’s LGBT Student Services doesn’t publicly mention a focus on chastity anywhere. LMU also suggests as resources for students a number of activist organizations that are openly opposed to Catholic teaching on marriage and human sexuality, including the Human Rights Campaign; Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); and Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

LMU’s decision to put so much effort into promoting same-sex behavior, same-sex marriage, and gender ideology is extremely concerning.

The office’s website also promotes the acceptance of “gender identity” instead of biological sex. This radical gender ideology is at odds with church teaching and has been declared destructive to the culture and the family by Pope Francis.

The Facebook page for the LGBT Student Services office routinely posts messages in support of same-sex marriage, same-sex behavior, and gender ideology. Going back to November 2015, not once has the office posted anything on its Facebook page emphasizing church teaching on marriage and sexuality.

In another display of LMU’s unwillingness to defend Catholic teaching, an unbelievable situation erupted on campus earlier this year when a long-time LMU employee was placed on leave for opposing gender ideology and same-sex behavior after being accused of a “hate crime” by students. The employee’s disagreement with students happened during an LMU “Rainbow Week” event celebrating the “LGBT community.” The LGBT Student Services office sponsored the week of events.

LMU’s decision to put so much effort into promoting same-sex behavior, same-sex marriage, and gender ideology is extremely concerning. The position of the Catholic Church on these matters is clear, and any effort to lead students away from the church — away from Jesus and into sin — endangers the eternal souls of the students in the university’s care. This isn’t just a problem at LMU, it’s an issue at a number of Catholic colleges across the country.

Especially now when our culture and government are attempting to force social acceptance of radical sexual agendas, especially on young people, we need our Catholic colleges to be steadfast in defending the truth about God’s creation of man and woman and his gift of sexuality, described so beautifully by Saint John Paul II in his “Theology of the Body.” Both Catholic and non-Catholic students, those with same-sex attraction and those with opposite-sex attraction, deserve to hear this truth.

Adam Cassandra is the news editor at The Cardinal Newman Society, which promotes and defends faithful Catholic education. Follow him on Twitter: @adamcassandra.

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