A religious sister from the highly respected Nashville Dominicans has come under attack from liberal Catholic parents and students who objected to her lecture on same-sex attraction and divorce at a Catholic high school in the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Though no tape has surfaced from the talk, students afterward told their parents that Sister Jane Dominic Laurel talked about the causes of homosexuality, saying it was not inborn but likely the cause of psychological factors. They also say she presented data showing that children raised in same-sex parent households are more likely to end up as same-sex-attracted than children raised in more traditional households.
It is reported Sister Laurel also talked about the greater chance at life success that children have who come from households headed by the child’s biological mother and father in a lifelong commitment of marriage.
Sister Laurel holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of the Angelicum in Rome, one of the oldest schools in the world and the one that produced one of the world’s greatest theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas – also a Dominican like Sister Laurel.
Sister Laurel has reportedly given similar talks a few dozen times all over the country all without incident. It is reported that some of the data she used came from the highly respected Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Great Britain. Most of the the nun’s talks are up at her webpage.
Much of what Sister Laurel spoke about comes directly from the Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church and should have been unremarkable given that she was talking at a Catholic high school; not so. The negative reaction was swift and overwhelming.
A school assembly to address the nun’s remarks drew more than 1,000 parents, with most of the attendees violently against them. Afterwards attendees described the meeting as “disrespectful” and “hatefilled.” A student petition was put up at change.org and gathered a few thousand signatures but was subsequently taken down.
The head of Aquinas College where Sister Laurel teaches apologized to parents for her remarks, saying that the audience was “not prepared” for her topic and that her foray into sociology and anthropology was beyond her expertise as a theologian.
The Nashville Dominicans are considered one of the brightest spots in the Catholic Church in America. Founded as a response to the many liberal congregations of nuns, this congregation insists upon wearing a traditional habit and adhering closely to the teachings and practices of the Church. As a result, the congregation is bursting at the seams with new postulants, and their average age is well below that of the older, more liberal congregations that are rapidly dying out.
However, the controversy points to the problem facing the Church. While the Church retains its traditional teachings, the wider media culture – particularly on the question of same-sex attraction – is being driven by the political left and powerfully affects children and their parents, who increasingly cannot accept Church teaching and therefore rose up in protest.
The nun scandal comes in an increasing climate of hostility to Christianity from the same-sex-attracted and their allies.
In recent days the gay head of Disney World has forbidden his staff from officially volunteering for the Boy Scouts over their resistance to allowing gay scoutmasters.
A Catholic school in Seattle is being sued for firing an assistant principle who “married” his same-sex partner. Students there also protested his firing, organizing mass protests.
The new CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign this week for opposing gay marriage in California.
Homosexual activists in Germany threw feces at Christians demonstrating over educational questions.
Sister Laurel has withdrawn from her scheduled appearance at the Diocese of Charlotte annual youth conference scheduled for May in Asheville.