Franciscan University offers a class called ‘Deviant Behavior’ which covers a wide range of topics including: alcoholism, heterosexual deviance, crime, and homosexuality. Apparently a gay group called Franciscan University Gays and Allies was offended, got in a tizzy and expressed their discontent over the fact that Franciscan University teaches a course that classifies homosexuality as “deviant behavior”. This is one of a number of courses that I had the chance to take while attending Franciscan University (FUS). It’s a very informative course on how to better assist persons who fall into the types of categories mentioned above. There is/was no gay bashing. FUS has courses that teach principles which are in accordance with doctrine of the Catholic Church, is faithful to the Magisterium. If the gay group is offended by the Church’s teaching on homosexuality then maybe they ought to rethink how faithful they can be to the Magisterium. Discern whether they can be chaste homosexuals and follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. Then decide whether they should be Catholics or not. Let us pray for the gay group’s conversion.
From the Cardinal Newman Society:
After criticizing The Franciscan University of Steubenville for its stance on homosexuality, a gay alumni group with no official connection to the faithful Catholic university is being urged to cease publicly affiliating themselves with the college.
Last week, a group calling itself Franciscan University Gay Alumni and Allies issueda news release that appeared on The Daily Kos among other places questioning why the course description of a class offered by the university seems to label homosexuality as “deviant behavior.” The course description is called “Deviant Behavior and, according to the university’s website:
DEVIANT BEHAVIOR focuses on the sociological theories of deviant behavior such as strain theory, differential association theory, labeling theory, and phenomenological theory. The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness, and drug use. The course focuses on structural conditions in society that potentially play a role in influencing deviant behavior.
Objecting to that course description, the group wrote that “Franciscan University continues to class gay people with murderers and rapists. Outdated prejudices appear to be given more weight than scientific truth at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.”
They called the course “pseudo-science” and said that it is an “example of religious ideology being allowed to trump the scientifically demonstrated truth of the matter.” They point out that the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders no longer includes homosexuality as a disorder.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that while gay people should be treated with respect and dignity, “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and are “contrary to the natural law.”
Shortly after that piece criticizing the university appeared, the group’s leaders reportedly received this email:
I am advising you that you have no right to use the Name of Franciscan University, its logo or any other reference to the University in any of your activities.This statement by me is as General Counsel to the University.
Should you not comply with my demand that you cease and desist, I will take all measures available to the University to interdict your activities as they relate to the University.
Adam E. Scurti
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Since then, the group announced on their Facebook site, saying, “We’d mention the name of the school most of us graduated from, but we’ve been threatened with legal action by the school if we do. This is how they treat gay people.”
Now they’re just “Franciscan Gay Alumni and Allies.” They dropped the “university” moniker.
Franciscan University released a statement to The Cardinal Newman Society concerning this issue:
Franciscan University bases its educational mission on the teaching of Christ as proclaimed in Sacred Scripture and Tradition and authoritatively interpreted by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Accordingly, Franciscan University follows Catholic Church teaching in regard to homosexuality and treats homosexual persons with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2358) while holding homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered” (Catechism, No. 2357).The purpose of Franciscan University’s course Social Work 314, Deviant Behavior, which covers a wide range of topics including crime, alcoholism, heterosexual deviance, and homosexuality, is to help students learn how to better serve and assist future clients. Faculty members who teach Social Work 314 use secular textbooks that present timely research findings, current data, and solid sociological analysis. However, as when any issue is discussed, faculty members are expected to present authentic Catholic teaching.
This approach benefits both Franciscan University graduates and the clients they serve. Since students have considered both sides of an argument, they leave here better prepared to assist clients than their counterparts from schools that teach only one perspective.
The course description for this class, to which some are taking issue, is little more than abbreviated chapter headings from the primary course textbook. It is a book used in more than a dozen public universities, and uses the term “deviant” in the sociological sense, simply meaning different from the norm. We understand that some, not understanding the term or its context, might take offense at the description. Nevertheless, changing standard sociological definitions is beyond the scope of our work.
So, too, is changing the teachings of the Catholic Church. As a Catholic university, Franciscan teaches “all the truths of revelation whether found in Scripture or Tradition as taught by the Catholic Church” (Mission Statement, p. 6). To do otherwise would be a violation of our basic mission as a Catholic university in the Franciscan tradition.
Our prayers and our love go out to all our alumni. All men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation, are deserving of respect, compassion, and love, and as a Catholic university we not only believe that, but also strive to live out that belief each day in our relations with students and alumni alike.