The editor of the University of Notre Dame’s campus newspaper has refused to publish an installment of a former ND professor’s biweekly column because he said the column, which defended the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality, required a “differing viewpoint” as a counterbalance.
Dr. Charles Rice, Professor Emeritus of law and faculty member, resigned writing for the column after receiving an email from the editor of the Observer, who explained that his most recent column had been rejected due in part to its pro-family content. In his column, Rice cited the Catechism to lay out the Church’s teaching against homosexuality, and explained that homosexuality’s current push for legitimacy was a natural consequence of the contraceptive mentality.
Rice, who spoke with LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) about the matter today, has written for the “Right or Wrong?” column since 1992.
“I personally had some concerns with the content of the column,” Editor Matt Gamber told Rice in an email, “particularly considering The Mobile Party comic incident earlier in the semester at The Observer.” Gambler was referring to a cartoon published in the Observer that was seen as degrading to homosexuals.
Gambler said Rice’s piece was “factually correct,” but that he “did not feel it lent itself to creating a productive discussion, all things considered. I was a bit concerned with certain language as well.”
Gambler continued: “In the future, if you would like to examine this topic, we thought it might be beneficial to do so in a point-counterpoint format, perhaps with an author of an opposing or differing viewpoint. That way, each ‘side,’ to speak, would have the opportunity to present relevant facts, evidence and analysis to define its position.”
In response, Dr. Rice stated that, “ In a university that claims to be Catholic, I am not willing to restrict my presentation of Catholic teaching to a format that treats the authoritative teaching of the Church as merely one viewpoint or ‘side’ among many.”
“If you require that future columns of mine on homosexuality comply with a format such as you propose, it will be inappropriate for me to continue writing the column for the Observer.”
The editor also cited the column’s length, which he said “far exceeded” the newspaper’s guidelines; Rice, however, responded that the column “is in fact significantly shorter than each of the three previous columns published this semester in the Observer. I was not asked to shorten any of them.”
The column by Dr. Rice laid out the “governing principles as found in the teaching of the Catholic Church” regarding homosexuality. Rice cites the Catechism to explain that the Church considers homosexual conduct to be “acts of grave depravity,” and that while the inclination to homosexual acts is not a sin, it is also intrinsically disordered.
While “unjust discrimination” against homosexuals is wrong, he notes, this “does not rule out the making of reasonable and just distinctions with respect to military service, the wording of university nondiscrimination policies and other matters including admission to seminaries.”
The encroaching viewpoint of homosexuality as legitimate, Rice points out, is “a predictable consequence of the now-dominant contraceptive ethic,” which deliberately separates the unitive aspect of sex from the procreative.
“Further,” Rice notes, “if individual choice prevails without regard to limits of nature, how can the choice be limited to two persons?
“Polygamy (one man, multiple women), polyandry (one woman, multiple men), polyamory (sexual relations between or among multiple persons of one or both sexes) and other possible arrangements, involving the animal kingdom as well, would derive legitimacy from the same contraceptive premise that justifies one-on-one homosexual relations.”
In a subsequent email to Rice, Gambler stated that he did not wish “to question the Church teachings or argue the points you presented in your essay, but rather, because the paper is still recovering from the incident with The Mobile Party comic, we would prefer to examine this issue at a later time.”
Notre Dame, which hosts a gay-friendly student group on its campus, has been known to host pro-homosexuality viewpoints with some regularity.
Last April, Notre Dame launched a series of events known as “StaND Against Hate Week” designed to promote an “inclusive spirit” for homosexuality.
“The whole thing is – I think ‘disappointing’ is a mild term,” Rice told LSN, adding that he did not plan to respond to Gambler’s latest email.
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