In a new statement to members of the Providence College community titled "Responding in Love & Respect," President Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. clarifies the direction that the college will take following an open letter from an angered LGBTQIA+  "collective" on campus.

PC Affirms Catholic Teachings On Human Sexuality And Dignity Of LGBTQ Individuals

In a new statement to members of the Providence College community titled “Responding in Love & Respect,” President Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. clarifies the direction that the college will take following an open letter from an angered pro-LGBTQIA+  “collective” on campus. College leadership affirms the Catholic teaching on the inherent dignity of all including those who identify as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning). They write that PC will be guided by the Catholic teaching calling for each person to sexual chastity according to his or her state in life. Further, they state that the human difference in biological sex is part of God’s providential plan.

“Many in our community have sought clarity on the College’s commitment to love and honor those in the Friar Family who identify as LGBTQ, while at the same time remaining faithful to the traditions and teachings of the Catholic Church on human sexuality. Fidelity to these teachings is at times difficult for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” writes Sicard. “The challenges have become even more acute as societal norms have changed and as more and more people have questioned and even rejected Church teachings on these difficult matters. As a Catholic and Dominican college committed to veritas, it is essential that we navigate these challenges with compassion, mutual respect, and open dialogue.”

The document was developed to clarify the theological foundations and to clearly present the teachings of the Catholic Church on human sexuality to the PC campus community. It is meant to serve as the basis for an institutional statement on responding in love to the members of the PC community who identify as LGBTQ with Catholic doctrine.

In part one of the theological foundations document the administration writes that the Catholic Church understands the human person to be created in the image and likeness of God and despite of humanity’s fallen natures each individual has a right to demand dignity and respect.

For part two, they elaborate on the Catholic understanding of love and that only through the disciplined development of chastity can individuals live in line with what God intends. This teaching applies to both heterosexual and homosexual behavior, but sexual activity can only be true to chastity in the context of the marriage of one man and one woman for the purpose of procreation.

Part three of the document answers questions of gender identity at Providence College. “Though some would suggest that maleness and femaleness are mere biological facts with no necessary connection to gender or other identity, the Catholic tradition understands this differently. Our sexed bodies are part of God’s providential plan calling us to love and be loved, to participate in the life of the Trinity, and of one another.”

Providence College leadership concludes by saying that their institution must maintain policies, procedures, and structures that are framed by this Catholic vision.

The open letter to Sicard issued on March 18, 2024 from the collective of students, staff, alumni, and faculty demanded that there be LGBTQ+ equity on campus. The letter came following what they claim to be hypocrisy toward and systemic oppression of LGBTQ+ people at PC and the resignation of E Corry Kol, Director of DEI Education and Professional Development.

As members of the Providence College community (past and present), we strive to ensure that all feel welcome and supported to thrive on our campus, and, in keeping with the College’s professed values, urge you to put an end to the discriminatory policies and practices that continue to deny this possibility to members of our beloved LGBTQ+ community,” wrote the angered pro-LGBTQIA+ collective. “The time has come to repair the harm done by these wrongs and to forge a future in which Providence College is a respectable accredited university known and celebrated for its equal and compassionate treatment of all students, staff, and faculty, not in spite of our mission but beautifully and in harmony with it, a vision we can all be proud of.”

Providence College has had a series of incidents on campus and at the St. Pius V church related to LGBTQIA+ issues.  A notable incident, the national story of Mike Smalanskas the Providence College student threatened in rape cartoon after promoting Catholic marriage belief, was first reported on by the Current in 2018. St. Pius V parish across the street from PC was held under protest by progressive activists for conducting a talk with Dr. Michelle Cretella on the basic biological differences in sex.


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