Monday, May 03, 2010

When Church teaching and higher education teaching conflict...

...a decision about which side is correct can be a complicated one.

And that is the issue being discussed at Seton Hall University, where approval for a gay-marriage course is now being questioned by a local archbishop.

Why do I say complicated? On one level the answer appears quite simple -- academic freedom ought not be impinged upon in any case. You'll find me standing squarely in that camp.

However, as a private, faith-based institution, Seton Hall's leaders should have the authority to ensure that the curriculum endorses the tenets of the Catholic faith. And current Church teaching suggests that marriage ought to be only between a man and a woman.

You might not like that message, but you also must admit that Seton Hall (or any Catholic university) must adhere to the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church in its dealings with its constituency.

So, which side is correct -- the "academic freedom" camp or the "Church-teaching" camp?

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