According to a report by Daily Caller on Friday, December 22, 2023, Saint Mary’s Catholic College in Notre Dame, Indiana has recently made headlines by reversing its decision to admit transgender individuals to its all-girls student body.
The move initially applauded by some and contested by others ignited debates on inclusivity, Catholic values and the evolving system of educational institutions in a changing world.
The institution’s initial decision, made in November aimed to allow transgender women to enroll starting in the Fall of 2024.
However, faced with substantial opposition from the community and alumni, the college decided to reverse its stance.
In an email obtained by the Daily Signal, Saint Mary’s President Katie Conboy acknowledged the concerns, stating, “We have listened closely, and we have heard each of you.”
The decision to backtrack on the policy shift has triggered a range of reactions with some expressing disappointment and others applauding the college for maintaining what they perceive as traditional Catholic values.
Among the dissenting voices is Saint Mary’s professor Daniel P. Horan, who serves as the director of the Center for the Study of Spirituality.
Taking to Twitter, Horan vented his frustration, asserting, “Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Nonbinary people are people. Just because it’s new or confusing to you doesn’t make it untrue or wrong or sinful or anything other than reality.”
Horan further emphasized his disagreement with the college’s decision, stating,
“I believe that this reversal of the nondiscrimination policy, in fact, goes against our identity as a Catholic women’s college in the Holy Cross tradition and establishes a policy of discrimination and exclusion rather than the community of inclusion, hospitality, and welcome that we say we are.
Loretto Sr. Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry, an LGBTQ Catholic advocacy group also expressed disappointment, saying,
“I feel so very sad that a Catholic institution squandered an opportunity to hold up the basic Catholic value of dignity and respect for the human person.”
However, not all reactions were negative. According to the Daily Signal, some students at Saint Mary’s welcomed the reversal.
Junior Clare Bettag praised her peers, stating, “I’m so proud of the women at Saint Mary’s who were willing to stand up against this anti-women, anti-Catholic policy. God’s truth will always win.”
Faithful America, a Christian advocacy group, issued a statement criticizing the college’s decision, saying that the leaders of St. Mary’s College “have reversed their previous, Christ-like position of love to admit trans women as students.”