Effort to censor Catholic voices on campus

By Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights

Bill Donohue comments on how George Washington University (GWU) has handled the issue of students seeking to remove Father Greg Shaffer from his post as Chaplain of the Newman Center:

Two students, neither of whom is Catholic (one belongs to some faux Catholic entity and the other is an agnostic Jew), are not only attempting to oust Father Shaffer, they are seeking to effectively neuter the very purpose of the Newman Center, which is to serve Catholics. Their objections to the Church’s teachings on homosexuality and abortion have impelled them to start a campus campaign to censor the Catholic voice on campus.

On April 4, I contacted top administrative officials on campus imploring them to “address this problem justly and without delay.” They have failed to do so. Moreover, they have violated the standards for diversity and inclusion that were set by its president, Steven Knapp. Flagged on the university’s website is his commitment “to make sure we are providing a welcoming and supportive environment for persons of all backgrounds.”  This is patently untrue, Father Greg Shaffer being Exhibit A.

GWU’s statement on this issue says it “strives to embody the spirit of mutual respect and reasoned debate that is essential to our academic mission. We are therefore committed to ensuring that all members of our community are free to express their religious beliefs while honoring the right of others to express theirs.”

This is classic doublespeak. There is only one party to this controversy that has crossed the line, and it isn’t Father Shaffer. The attempt to silence him shows nothing but contempt for diversity and tolerance, the twin towers of academic virtue these days. Those interested in reading a courageous and well-reasoned statement on this issue should see the current editorial in The Catholic Standard, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington (click here).

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