Jesuitical 15: Gonzaga and the Knights of Columbus
Part 15 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.
Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report. After 30 years at the bar and almost a decade blogging, there are few stories that shock me any more. This one did:
Spokane’s Gonzaga University has denied a Knights of Columbus group application to be recognized as an official student organization. Those seeking the status were notified of the University’s decision at a meeting on March 7.
“The Knights of Columbus, by their very nature, is a men’s organization in which only Catholics may participate via membership,” says a letter obtained by The Cardinal Newman Society written by Sue Weitz, Vice President for Student Life. “These criteria are inconsistent with the policy and practice of student organization recognition at Gonzaga University, as well as the University’s commitment to non-discrimination based on certain characteristics, one of which is religion.”
The discussion at the meeting touched on formation of a Catholic Daughters student organization at Gonzaga. Such a group would address the gender exclusivity issue. However, it would not address the requirement that all members of a student Knights of Columbus group must be Catholic.
Individuals who spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society only on condition of anonymity explained that the group has been stalled by the administration for the entire academic year. Efforts were made by students to apply for official student group status beginning in September. The group was told they would have a response by November. The group wasn’t notified of the University’s decision until March.
Go here to The Cardinal Newman Society to read the rest. That the powers that be at many colleges and universities that claim to be Catholic are actively hostile to the Faith comes as no surprise to me. The in your face, Fornicate You!, nature of this decision does surprise me, along with the fact that the same rationale for banning the Knights of Columbus could also be used to ban the Catholic Church from campus on the grounds that the Church has male only priests and restricts her membership to, gasp!, Catholics. Need I even bother mentioning that this is a Jesuit school?
After the furor this decision kicked up, Gonzaga released this statement:
Gonzaga University’s Student Life division recently issued a decision that it could not recognize a proposed Knights of Columbus student club under its current club recognition process. The University is concerned that all of the factors involved in this decision have not been represented in their entirety, and thus may be misunderstood.
Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh states that Gonzaga honors and respects the purpose and good works of the Knights of Columbus, with which it has a long tradition and mutual collaboration at both local and state levels. The Knights of Columbus College Council (#12583) is already present within the student body and receives support from the administration. Gonzaga University’s core Catholic and Jesuit identity recognizes, encourages and supports many student organizations that advance faith-related issues (for example, Gonzaga Right to Life, and the Blessed John Paul II Fellowship).
President McCulloh has received a request from the sponsoring student to review the decision regarding the recognition of the organization as a student club, and has decided to undertake this review. The review is expected to take 30-45 days.
It is a truism that character is what we do when no one else has their eye on us, and the powers that be at Gonzaga, no matter what their final decision is, have already amply demonstrated their character and their committment to the Catholic Church.