LTE: A Response to “Looking Forward to a Progressive Future”

Dear readers of The Heights,

I am writing to express my concern over the recent Heights column entitled, “Looking Forward to a Progressive Future,” by Michael Razis. Though I may agree with some of the article’s auxiliary propositions, I take issue with both Mr. Razis’ suggestion that Father Leahy has behaved “hypocritically” regarding students’ desire for a university-run LGBTQ center on campus along with the insinuation that the University should enact a LGBTQ center on campus at all.

Towards the beginning of the article, Mr. Razis brings up concerns that are of utmost relevance in today’s social and political climate, such as the University’s “dramatic transformation in diversity” and the administration’s “efforts to support diverse communities.” These are, no doubt, noble causes, and I support them fully.

My issue comes with the fact that Mr. Razis openly attacks Father Leahy and the Boston College administration as a whole for not enacting a BC-funded LGBTQ center when Father Leahy and BC are merely exhibiting the very Jesuit ideals this University was founded upon in 1863. How can you ask Father Leahy, as a representative of the Catholic Church, the Jesuits at Boston College, and the BC administration, to counter the principles that this University was founded upon to support an LGBTQ center?

The Catholic Church, as it stands today, is firmly in support of traditional marriage and traditional relationships, i.e. heterosexual relationships. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs on these topics, we have to acknowledge, as members of the BC community, that our school was based upon Catholic and Jesuit ideals and that our administrators must stay true to such ideals. We cannot ask Father Leahy to act in contradiction of the very values that he is supposed to be a symbol of on campus. Therefore, I would argue that in standing with his deep seated Jesuit ideals, Father Leahy is behaving in the exact opposite of “hypocritical.” The dictionary definition of hypocrisy is “having a pretense of principled beliefs that one does not actually possess.” If, and only if, Father Leahy were to endorse an LGBTQ center, he would be behaving “hypocritically” toward his Catholic and Jesuit beliefs.

Mr. Razis brought up the issue of Georgetown University’s foundation of an LGBTQ center and asked why BC could not do the same. In founding this center, Georgetown has acted in opposition of its founding beliefs and the Catholic Church. An organization cannot claim themselves to represent the Jesuits and the Catholic Church while encouraging topics that Catholics and Jesuits stand firmly against. If BC were to enact an LGBTQ center, the University would be contradicting its foundational values and would cease to represent both Catholicism and the Society of Jesus. If BC students wanted to attend a school with a university-run LGBTQ center, they shouldn’t have chosen a Jesuit, Catholic university because those ideals clearly conflict.

Sincerely,

Grace Dietrich, MCAS ’20

  • Joanne

    Here’s an idea, Grace — what if you’re incorrectly ascribing your individual values to Jesuit Catholic values?

  • Roxy De Vries

    BC’s mantra is “men and women for others” – meaning that we stand with the disenfranchised and the oppressed, and we advocate for them. Do not hide behind Jesuit values (which, by the way, revolve around service and a preferential option towards those less privileged) to shield your own opinions, because I am sorry to tell you that the two don’t match up. You said it right, BC was founded in 1893. We’ve made a lot of progress in accepting people of all kinds since then, and it is about time BC’s administration (and you) catch up.

  • Anna Jane Keller

    The Catholic Church also enables sexual assault and molestation, the kind of violence that is supposed to be against Christian ideals. It’s naive to think the Catholic Church and the Catholic administration is not constantly in a state of hypocrisy. It’s also naive not to acknowledge that many of these “ideals” you are so concerned about are outdated (af) and not really indicative of what many Catholics and Christians live out.

    If the students who pay to be at a private institution ask for a center, AND WE DO, the administration has the duty to represent this population.

  • Michael Mazzone

    As a gay Catholic, I must be a walking symbol of hypocrisy!

  • Jimmy

    The author is incorrectly equating an LGBT Center as an endorsement of same-sex marriage or homosexual behavior. An LGBT Center, as a resource for promoting safety and inclusion, is entirely consistent with Catholic teachings, whereas arguing against it is denying the person’s place in the Church. Not to trivialize the LGBT community, but the Church also teaches that we should abstain from eating meats on Fridays during Lent — should every cafeteria on campus stop serving meat? Is it hypocritical if we do?

    From Pope Francis: “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being.”

    From Georgetown University: “Inspired by the Catholic and Jesuit principles of respect for the dignity of all, cura personalis, equality, and education of the whole person, the Center seeks to establish a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ community members and promote better understanding and integration with the entire campus community.”

  • Cameron DeAngelo

    The author is plainly speaking beyond their ken. I find it rather comical that they define the word “hypocrisy”, but never define these “Catholic Values” that she bases her own argument on. The author states, “In founding this center, Georgetown has acted in opposition of its founding beliefs and the Catholic Church.” I was never aware that the Catholic Church or the Jesuit order was founded on homophobia and heteronormativity. This a new one to me. Georgetown University should be praised. This article reminds me of individuals screaming out misinterpreted bible quotes as evidence against LGBTQ+ individuals, but you did not even give us that for evidence. You gave us nothing. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, a member of the Boston College community, and a member of the Roman Catholic Church, I am thoroughly disgusted. When she states, “If BC students wanted to attend a school with a university-run LGBTQ center, they shouldn’t have chosen a Jesuit, Catholic university because those ideals clearly conflict”, she has no validity. Her arguments are purely opinion, she uses no sources, and I find that the only source this piece uses is her own homophobia.

  • BlackVenus Brianne

    THIS ARTICLE IS TRASH. YOU’RE TRASH. BC IS TRASH.

    BC is down to “diversify” the student population but not willing to take the necessary steps to actually create an environment that embraces and supports them. They are STILL not ready to acknowledge the ways that they’re complicit in white supremacy and the oppression of marginalized people (POC, LGTBTQ+, etc.). “Men and women for others” is bullshit. Their only concern is LOOKING the part. But clearly the students are saying THAT IS NOT ENOUGH.

  • Maddie

    The author fails to mention other services available to BC students that do not fit the traditional Catholic values about sex, such as childcare available to unwed students at the BCCC and the teaching about safe sex (outside of marriage) during Bystander Intervention training. As a university, it is “hypocritical” to take a stand on some non-traditional sexual practices and not others. An LGBTQ resource center would be an invaluable resource for students on BC campus and would be fitting with the new, progressive direction of the Catholic Church under Pope Francis’ leadership.

    Beyond attention to our Catholic tradition, BC as a university has an obligation to students and faculty alike create a space for discussion. We must ask what is more important, our identity as a university committed to teaching students and examining different points of view OR our identity as an institution connected to the Catholic Church. These two points of view cannot always be reconciled and in terms of LGBTQ visibility, BC has chosen Catholic identity over academic institution.

    A side note: Homosexual is not the same as LGBTQ.

  • Patrick McMahon

    Being LGBTQ isn’t ones single defining character you know; we are 3 demensional people. Are you saying that atheists shouldn’t come here because they don’t believe in God? No, that’s stupid, people deserve the right to a well-rounded education so don’t tell us what we should and shouldn’t do based off of one out of 10,000 different things about us.

  • Karl Salzmann

    I wonder how many of the rude, nasty people criticizing Grace here are the same as the rude, nasty people who criticized and threatened me two years ago. Only the names of the vituperated change; the radicalism of the vituperators remains undimmed. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    I should note to these people that the more you try to silence people of differing opinions, the more they speak. If history teaches us anything, then it must be that.

    KJS