Sunday, December 3, 2023

Indiana Catholic Women’s College Now Accepting Men Who Identify as Women; Bishop Rhoades Urges St. Mary’s College to ‘correct’ Transgender Policy

Credit: Stand Still Photo/Shutterstock
Indiana Catholic women’s college now accepting men who identify as women:
Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana — historically a school for undergraduate women — will now be accepting men who identify as women.
The school’s president confirmed the change to students and faculty in an email last week. The college also updated its nondiscrimination policy in June and referenced the new policy there.
The nondiscrimination policy, which was approved by its board of trustees, says that Saint Mary’s “considers admission for undergraduate applicants whose sex is female or who consistently live and identify as women.”
There are 32 individuals listed on the school’s board of trustees, along with one trustee emeritus. The list includes six religious sisters of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, the order that founded the college in the 1840s. Additionally, two priests, one Jesuit and one Congregation of Holy Cross father, also serve on the board.
The policy says that graduate programs are “open to all” and that the school’s admission policies “are informed by Title IV of the Education Amendments of 1972, which allows for single sex admission policies in institutions that have historically served women.”
The school’s mission is to “empower women, through education, at all stages in life,” the school says. “Essential to this mission is fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus experience.”
In a Nov. 21 email, the college’s president, Katie Conboy, said to students and faculty that the school is “by no means the first Catholic women’s college to adopt a policy with this scope,” the Washington Examiner reported.
She added that admitting men who identify as women “encompasses our commitment to operate as a Catholic women’s college.”
The school is still determining the “practices that will follow from the policy,” the email reportedly said.
Conboy put together a “President’s Task Force for Gender Identity and Expression” earlier this year that will be making recommendations for housing policies, the school’s student paper, The Observer, reported last week.
In a statement on Monday, Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades said he had learned of the policy change last week and that he found it "disappointing that I, as bishop of the diocese in which Saint Mary’s College is located, was not included or consulted on a matter of important Catholic teaching." --->READ MORE HERE
St. Mary’s College. Courtesy photo.
Rhoades urges St. Mary’s College to ‘correct’ transgender policy:
Indiana’s Bishop Kevin Rhoades pushed back Monday on a plan that would allow enrollment for students who identify as female, regardless of biological sex, to enroll at St. Mary’s College, a women’s college in South Bend, Indiana.
Rhoades, the bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, issued a Nov. 27 statement which “urge[d] the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary’s College to correct its admissions policy in fidelity to the Catholic identity and mission it is charged to protect and to reject ideologies of gender that contradict the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the human person, sex and gender.”
“The desire of Saint Mary’s College to show hospitality to people who identify as transgender is not the problem. The problem is a Catholic woman’s college embracing a definition of woman that is not Catholic,” the bishop added.
The bishop’s statement came after the Notre Dame Observer reported Nov. 21 that Saint Mary’s College had approved an undergraduate admissions policy that would admit students “whose sex is female or who consistently live and identify as women.”
Approval for the policy came from the university’s board of trustees in June, while university president Kate Conboy said in an email to students and staff last week that the college was still developing a plan to roll out the new policy, but would begin considering applicants who identify as transgender in 2024.
For his part, Rhoades wrote Monday that he should have been included in St. Mary’s decision-making on the issues.
“It is disappointing that I, as bishop of the diocese in which Saint Mary’s College is located, was not included or consulted on a matter of important Catholic teaching,” the bishop wrote.
“To call itself a ‘women’s college’ and to admit male students who ‘consistently live and identify as women’ suggests that the college affirms an ideology of gender that separates sex from gender and claims that sexual identity is based on the subjective experience of the individual,” he added.
“This ideology is at odds with Catholic teaching.”
While Rhoades urged a reversal at the college, he did not indicate how he would respond if St. Mary’s College implements its policy.
The bishop would seem to have several options available to him, if he decides to respond with authoritative measures to the decision. After a formal warning, he could prohibit the university from identifying itself as Catholic, or he could prohibit the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament in some campus chapels, or public celebration of the Mass at the university. --->READ MORE HERE
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