As has been pointed out, the homosexual activist fifth-columnists within the Archdiocese of San Francisco attack on three fronts: Most Holy Redeemer is their spiritual front (don’t laugh, it really is); Catholic Charities is their activist front; and the Jesuit University of San Francisco is their ideological front.
USF has been inactive in the fight to defend marriage in California, and that in itself is significant. That a Catholic University should declare itself neutral when every Bishop in California was in the battle for marriage and the family, over what the Holy Father has called a “non-negotiable” issue, would be bad enough, but in point of fact the Jesuits of USF are on the other side.
Before the November election there were only two public actions/statements from USF that could be said to pertain to the issue. The first was the naming of Fr. James Keenan, SJ as 2008 Summer Scholar-in-Residence at the University. Keenan is best known for arguing “as a Catholic moral theologian” before the Massachusetts legislature against Resolution H. 3190—in effect, arguing in favor of same-sex “marriage.” The late, great Fr. Richard John Neuhaus shredded Fr. Keenan’s arguments in the pages of First Things.
The second was a statement made by Fr. Donal Godfrey, the Executive Director of University Ministry at USF, in the San Francisco Chronicle. Fr. Godfrey attempted to undercut the teaching of Archbishop George Niederauer on the issue of marriage by asserting that the Archbishop did not really believe what he was saying, that he was simply parroting the Vatican line:
"The bishops must feel pressure to go along," he said. "There aren't that many going around campaigning for (Prop. 8). I think they signed off on (the e-mail) and hoped it ends soon."
All of which brings us to an upcoming event at USF’s Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought, presented on March 9, by Professor James Nickoloff:
“'Intrinsically Disordered': The Role of the Despised in Establishing the Holiness of the Church. A community conversation exploring gay marriage and Catholic identity in light of Proposition 8. Sponsored with the USF LGBTQ Caucus.”
“Sponsored with the USF LGBTQ Caucus.” I wonder what their take on Proposition 8 will be?
Who is James Nickoloff? He’s an Emeritus Professor at Holy Cross University and a Bannan Fellow at Santa Clara University. He was in the news this past November when Holy Cross held a “Rainbow Alliance Week.”
The Cardinal Newman Society of Holy Cross covered “Rainbow Alliance Week.” Among other things, the event included a series of panel discussions. According to the Cardinal Newman Society’s website, one of the panels was:
"Tuesday, November 6th: ABiGaLe panel at 7:30 pm in Hogan Suite A. The panel is on homosexuality and the Bible, featuring Prof. Nickoloff who is a former Jesuit, openly homosexual and married to his homosexual partner in Massachusetts…”
The Society’s page further says:
“Prof. James Nickoloff, of the Religious Studies department, is a former Jesuit priest who told a student group in November that he was personally engaged in homosexuality and 'married' in the state of Massachusetts to another man.”
We were unable to find independent confirmation that Nickoloff is same-sex “married” in the state of Massachusetts. But it would not be totally improbable, because we did learn:
• On May 14, 2004, Nickoloff was signatory to a document by a group of Catholics addressing the court imposition of same-sex marriage on the people of Massachusetts. Although ambiguously worded, given the context the document can only be read as an endorsement of same-sex “marriage.”
• In September, 2006, Nickoloff led a Focus Group (PDF) at the 13th Annual Conference of the National Association of Diocesan Gay and Lesbian Ministries in Brooklyn, NY;
• On April 11, 2007, Nickoloff was a signatory to the “Fortunate Families” letter to the United States Catholic Bishops. You can find out about “Fortunate Families” by going here.
The description of the “Intrinsically Disordered” event on the Lane Center’s website describes it as a “community conversation.” Will any of the Jesuits at USF stand up, in their own University, for Church teaching on sexuality, and will they defend natural marriage?
• Will Fr. Godfrey? I doubt it. Following the election, Fr. Godfrey stated in the pages of the Catholic San Francisco that he 'personally opposed Prop 8 which is a matter of conscience…'
• Or will we hear from the pastor of St. Agnes Church, Fr. Cameron Ayers, SJ? Will he walk the six blocks from St. Agnes to USF to defend Catholic teaching? I doubt it. Fr. Ayers donated $100 to the campaign against Proposition 8.
• Or will we hear from Fr. Stephen Privett, the President of the University? I doubt it. Father President did not say a public word about Proposition 8 that I am aware of, although in his Baccalaureate homily of 2003 to the students of USF, he chose to illustrate Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness…” with the example of a student who “came out” about his homosexuality.
• Or will we hear from Fr. James T. Bretzke, Professor of Moral Theology at the University? I doubt it. When two Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence embarrassed our Archbishop and caused worldwide scandal by presenting themselves for communion at Most Holy Redeemer, the Professor of Moral Theology said: "Over-accessorizing and poor taste in makeup is not an excommunicable offense."
• Or will we hear from Fr. Vincent Pizzuto, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University? I doubt it, but to do him justice, when Fr. Pizzuto found he was unable to adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church he did the honorable thing: he left the Church and was ordained as a Priest of the “Celtic Christian Church” which is not in communion with Rome. (Incidentally, his ordination is nowhere mentioned on the USF website.) That means, according to Canon 833, (clauses 6 & 7), that he should not be allowed to teach philosophy or theology at a Catholic University. But you can hardly blame Fr. Pizzuto for that-- it is the fault of those at USF whose responsibility it is to see that Catholic doctrine is what is taught at their school of Theology.
Certainly, we may be wrong. Some Jesuits from USF may attend "Intrinsically Disordered..." and defend Church teaching. We will wait and see.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney