The Cardinal Newman Society (which is "dedicated to renewing Catholic higher education") brought this to my attention first:
This afternoon, Georgetown University--a Jesuit institution--is hosting a lecture by Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), according to the University events page.
The event with HRC is dubbed “Beyond DADT Repeal: The Future of the LGBTQ Rights Movement.” The page describes the HRC as ”America’s largest lesbian & gay advocacy organization.”
... By hosting the president of the Human Rights Campaign, Georgetown University is in direct violation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ mandate that "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
Joe Solmonese has got one thing right: if you want to win, dismantle the opposition. The Catholic Church's teaching stands squarely in the way of Joe's goals, and Georgetown University has now made itself complicit in his efforts to sow confusion and dissent among Catholics.
A quick Google search of Joe's previous statements shows what I mean:
- Joe accused the Catholic Church of "pursu[ing] a campaign of deceit and misinformation in support of Prop 8" in California. They "knew they were telling lies ... and they lied anyway", he wrote about Catholic leaders.
- Joe has blamed the Church for the suicides of young gay people, "Words have consequences [...] particularly when they come from a faith leader. This is exactly the kind of statement that can lead some kids to bully and others to commit suicide."
- Joe's Human Rights Campaign website claims the Catholic Church "is taking a more aggressively anti-gay stance" and criticizes Church teaching continuously.
- The HRC-sponsored website "NOM Exposed" says that the National Organization for Marriage is a shadowy front group of Opus Dei, which it describes as a "a highly secretive Catholic organization" which hides its membership.
In other words, Joe not only disagrees with the Church's teaching, he actively works to undermine that teaching at every turn while attacking Catholic individuals, particularly Catholic bishops and leaders brave enough to take a stand on marriage and sexuality.
And now, thanks to Georgetown University, Joe gets to do that from a Catholic platform.