Sister whose comments on gays caused storm goes on leave

A Dominican sister whose comments at a US Catholic school about sexuality ignited a storm has cancelled speaking engagements and has gone on leave.

On March 21, Sr Jane Dominic Laurel, a Nashville Dominican sister, told students at Charlotte Catholic High School that studies have shown that gays and lesbians are not born with same-sex attractions.

She also reportedly said that children in single-parent homes have a greater chance of becoming homosexual.

The sister also suggested there were correlations between masturbation and homosexuality, according to students who were at her talk at the North Carolina school.

The president of Aquinas College, where Sr Jane Dominic teaches, said in a statement that her fellow Dominican went too far in parts of her talk.

Sr Mary Sarah wrote that Sr Jane Dominic “spoke clearly on matters of faith and morals”, and called her qualified to do so as a theologian trained at a Pontifical University – a school established or approved by the Vatican.

But, the president wrote, “her deviation into realms of sociology and anthropology was beyond the scope of her expertise”.

Sr Mary Sarah acknowledged the harm the remarks had caused.

Sr Jane Dominic’s remarks led some students to launch a petition that denounced her address as “offensive”.

That prompted a counter-petition defending the Dominican as a faithful presenter of Catholic teaching.

On April 2, the school and the diocese held a meeting that drew nearly 1000 parents.

Most who rose to speak objected to Sr Jane Dominic’s comments or to the school’s failure to warn them in advance that she would lecture students on such sensitive topics.

Charlotte Catholic promised to better scrutinise future speakers and better communicate with parents ahead of time, said a diocesan spokesman.

But he said in a statement to Lifesitenews that nothing in the sister’s talk opposed Catholic teaching and she would be welcome to speak in the diocese in future.

The school’s chaplain said he invited Sr Jane Dominic to give an address because he felt students at Charlotte Catholic had been poorly catechised and were suffering from spiritual darkness, particularly around the issue of sexuality.



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