Comments from Dominican Sister Jane Dominic Laurel concerning sexuality have created a backlash among parents and students attending Charlotte Catholic High School in Charlotte, NC, which will have absolutely “nun” of that.
On March 21, Sister Jane Dominic spoke at an assembly before students at Charlotte Catholic High. During her presentation, the sister told her audience that gays and lesbians are not born with the inherent traits destined to make them homosexuals. Such behavior in her opinion was a learned one. She cited an example that children raised in single parent homes have a greater chance of becoming gays and lesbians. The sister further explained her belief that masturbation could lead to homosexuality.
There were no audio or video recordings of Sister Jane Dominic’s remarks, but students attending her assembly informed their parents of what they heard. Some students at Charlotte Catholic High School wanted “nun” of that.
They launched a petition denouncing Sister Jane Dominic’s presentation as offensive. Other students launched a counter-petition that defended the sister’s lecture as being faithful to the traditional and current teaching of Catholicism.
Nearly 1,000 parents participated in a recent meeting with the Aquinas College diocese at Charlotte Catholic High School. Most parents objected to Sister Jane Dominic’s comments about homosexuality and the school’s failure to warn parents about her presentation in advance.
On the Aquinas College website, a statement released by the college president, Sister Mary Sarah, asserted that all men and women, regardless of their state in life, deserve respect. It further stated that the stability of any culture should be measured according to its capacity to maintain its beliefs while respecting the beliefs of others.
In the statement, the president agreed that Sister Jane Dominic overstepped her role during her March 21st address to the students at Charlotte Catholic High. Her personal positions in the area of anthropology and sociology went beyond her expertise level. The students were not prepared for the topic Sister Laurel delivered.
Due to the backlash regarding her presentation, Sister Jane Dominic did not stay faithful to her goal of enlightening students, but rather she caused offense to her audience. Sister Mary Jane said there were no words to reverse the harm caused by the assembly comments, and that members of the college were saddened from the outcome. Division has arisen in a time where there should be unity. The comments made at the assembly did not represent Sister Jane Dominick’s previous contributions, which have had a profound influence on her students.
Sister Mary Sarah defended her colleague as being a qualified as a theologian. Sister Jane Dominic was trained at a Pontifical University. She holds the proper credentials to contribute to scholarly works and has done so in the past with distinction.
The statement also announced that Sister Jane Dominic has canceled her remaining speaking engagements and was taking an extended leave of absence from Aquinas College. She has made no comments concerning her assembly speech.
School administrators promised to better screen future speakers, and those presenting subjects that might be deemed controversial would be presented first to parents for approval. The parents and students at Charlotte Catholic High School wanted “nun” of Sister Jane Dominic’s dogma concerning the Catholic Church and its stance on homosexuality and single family parenting.
By Brian T. Yates