Regarding the recent article entitled, “SHU removes anti-gay organization from website” which was published on Jan. 31, I would like to clarify certain points about “Courage International” and the Catholic identity of our University that have been smeared because of the emotional frustration of a few.
“Courage International” is a Catholic organization that exists to help those who suffer from unwanted same sex attraction in order to live a Christian lifestyle. In no way is this organization “homophobic.” Courage International’s first goal is to help people “to live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality (chastity).”
This statement is adapted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states, “The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason” (CCC 2341).
In addition, the claims against Monsignor Ziccardi, a well-respected professor and administrator, as being a man who is “frustrating, homophobic, and uncomfortable” to converse with is an emotional fallacy.
It is the result of arrogance and frustration, attacking the person ad hominem rather than addressing the issue of “Courage International” in a dignified manner. If anything, Monsignor Ziccardi should be receiving a formal apology. He was kind enough to meet politely to discuss this issue with a student and it only makes sense that he would use “a copy of Catholic catechism on human sexuality” as a resource for this discussion given his status as a priest at a Catholic university.
Seton Hall University, the Catholic University of New Jersey, has supported the Courage apostolate because it is founded in the teachings of the Church.
No Seton Hall student is ever coerced in matters of religion; Seton Hall faculty, staff, and students are a diverse community where people of all faiths (or no faith) are respected and loved. The fact remains that Seton Hall is a Catholic university and therefore governed by St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution, Ex Corde Ecclesiae. As such, the Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Campus Ministry, and the Courage Apostolate lovingly serve the University community in fidelity to the Gospel. We all would do well to recall the words of Pope Francis last year, “Where there are lies, there is no love, one cannot have love.”
Francis J. Hunter