New Santa Clara theology dean opened IgnatianQ Conference


California Catholic Daily exclusive: Conference creates 'safe spaces' for students at Jesuit institutions who are involved with LGBTQ work
Father O'Brien at the 2015 IgnatianQ Conference.

Father O’Brien at the 2015 IgnatianQ Conference.

On March 24, CalCatholic published a press release from the Jesuit Santa Clara University announcing the appointment of Kevin O’Brien, SJ, as the new Dean of their School of Theology. Prior to his appointment, Fr. O’Brien had served as the Vice President for Mission and Ministry at the Jesuit Georgetown University.

A CalCatholic commenter immediately pointed out: “Last year, Dean O’Brien was a keynote speaker at IgnatianQ. ‘IgnatianQ: The Ignatian LGBTQ & Ally Conference is a student-led conference that focuses on the intersections of faith, sexuality, and social justice in a Jesuit campus context. IgnatianQ hopes to educate the whole person by creating safe spaces for dialogue, reconciliation, understanding, growth, and community building. The conference provides students with the opportunity to build their support network with students at Jesuit institutions all over the country as they continue LGBTQ work at their respective schools.’”

In a March 26, 2015 article promoting the IgnatianQ LGBTQ & Ally Conference, the Georgetown Voice quoted Fr. O’Brien’s endorsement: “Vice President for Mission and Ministry Fr. Kevin O’ Brien will give an opening address and prayer at the conference. ‘Campus Ministry supports the IgnatianQ conference because of its mission to deepen the faith lives of participants and build community across Jesuit universities.’” According to the Georgetown Hoya, the weekend included the 10th Annual Genderfunk Ball.

The orientation of the conference was homosexuality, not Catholicism. As the quoted mission statement says: “The conference provides students with the opportunity to build their support network with students at Jesuit institutions all over the country as they continue LGBTQ work at their respective schools.”  To unpack the sentence: the purpose of “build(ing) their support network,” the very reason for “the support network” was to “continue LGBTQ work.”  Not Catholic work. LGBTQ work.

Georgetown's 2014 Genderfunk ball attendees.

Georgetown’s 2014 Genderfunk ball attendees.

So, if Fr. O’Brien wanted to “deepen the faith lives of participants” he had his work cut out for him. An indispensible first step would have been to re-orient the students’ perspective within Catholicism, not homosexuality. A clear statement depicting the actual, existing dis-orientation was given by Kaitlin Campbell, writing on March 27, 2015, in dotCommonweal.  She reported from the first IgnatianQ Conference, held at Fordham University in 2014:

“The talk that received the most negative reception from the student attendees was the talk that presented official church teaching on homosexuality—‘Unapologetically Catholic & Christian.’ Right off the bat: ‘We are a Catholic University, what we do is follow the gospel of Jesus Christ and we do not apologize. It’s a venerable feat that we can get together for something like this.’ To begin a talk like this suggests that the participants of IgnatianQ were gathering together to demand an apology from the church for following the gospel of Jesus Christ. If in fact there were any demand for apology (and there wasn’t), it would be that the church apologize for not following the gospel of Jesus Christ. “

When faced with an orientation that judges the Church on how it conforms to homosexuality, rather than the other way around, it would seem to be the job of priests to correct the dis-orientation, and to teach students that “we are not here to save the Church; the Church is here to save us.”  But that of course requires priests who are properly oriented themselves, and accept and proclaim Church teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts.  There is no evidence that the institutional Jesuits at either Georgetown or Santa Clara have asserted that homosexual acts are sinful.

Fr. O’Brien will be joining the Jesuit Community at Santa Clara, whose rector is Fr. Michael Zampelli, SJ. In 2010, CalCatholic reported:

“On October 26, 2005, at an SCU seminar titled ‘Is Tolerance Enough: Catholic Universities and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Issues,’ Fr. Zampelli expanded on the theme of ‘problematizing particular kinds of relationships.’ He said, ‘Those of us who identify as lgbtq have a particular fix on the world, and what we have come to understand about ourselves, our society, our religions, our scholarly disciplines, from this particular perspective makes an invaluable contribution to the store of knowledge.’

Tolerance of homosexuality in the priesthood, said Fr. Zampelli, ‘must be a temporary state of affairs that includes an acknowledgement that we are ‘on the road,’ that understanding more and becoming more understanding takes time.’

Fr. Zampelli also suggested that homosexuality must be celebrated, not just tolerated. ‘In this case, tolerance is unacceptable,’ he said. ‘Why? Because, I believe deeply (along with Paul in Corinthians) that ‘I am what I am by the grace of God.’ And I believe that I have particular gifts deriving precisely from this blessed but marginalized way of being in the world. What I see clearly now is my own desire: I want to be a subject sought out and valued.’”

Comments

  1. Instead of liberating souls for true sexual freedom, they are damning them to sexual license and sin.

  2. i wonder how father squares this with the ‘two standards’ meditation of the Spiritual Exercises where ignatius asks us to imagine on one side the banner of the armies of satan on one side and on the other, more humbly, the banner of Christ and his forces. ignatius seemed to be asking us to make a clear, definitive choice againsst evil and for good. he took for granted that the temptations could be subtle, but that the new testament moral categories would be the inspired guidepath

  3. These people proclaim that ‘I am what I am by the grace of God,’ yet simultaneously support abortion on demand so that they can kill on a whim anyone still in the womb regardless of that person also being what they are by the grace of God. But feminism and homosexualism are indistinguishable: when the differences between the sexes are denied, heterosexuality itself must be targeted as the ultimate expression of those differences. So feminist contraception and abortion war against unborn children as the product of hetereosexuality, and this suits the LGBTQs just fine, as producing offspring is hardly their concern. Sorry, but the murder advanced by the feminist /homosexual culture is not consistent with the grace of God.

  4. Michael McDermott says:

    ‘The Left is Not Going to Leave You Alone,’ ‘They’re Going to Come After Your Children’
    http://www.mrctv.org/blog/exclusive-shapiro-video-left-not-going-leave-you-alone-theyre-going-come-after-your-children

    The editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro – finished the interview with advice for those in the conservative movement who don’t want to stand up to liberal tyranny. Invoking the advice of his late mentor, Andrew Breitbart, Shapiro said there are only two choices – fight or flee:

    It’s time to walk toward the fire.
    This is a piece of advice I got from Andrew Breitbart, and I always thought that it was good.
    ‘You’re part of the fight whether you like it or not.’

    The left is not going to leave you alone…

  5. “IgnatianQ” conference. St. Ignatius is spinning in this grave having his name hijacked in the name of evil. Jesuit education has sunk into hell. And the clueless mainstream Catholic parents still keep sending their little children to these schools in droves to get a Catholic education. Jesuit education means Gay proms, drag shows, queer conferences, and no Catholic orthodoxy in religious studies departments. A Marquette professor just got fired for backing traditional marriage. The Jesuits have paid a quarter billion in homosexual abuse settlements. Do the world a service, readers, and get the word out.

  6. So on the one hand, the world encourages the normalization of homosexuality and lowered consent thresholds, but then gleefully sues priests who practice their art upon post-pubescent males. I guess if the Jesuits can stoke the number of homosexuals, they can get more willing recruits to join their own private gay club and perpetuate the cycle of abuse all over again. All they have to do is make sure their liability policies are paid up.

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