Blog Post

Faithful React With Fury Over Sister Jane's Ouster

Aquinas College in Nashville Aquinas College in Nashville

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

The faithful are reacting with dismay and fury over news that Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, the orthodox nun whose presentation at Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina caused an uproar in the community, was sent on sabbatical and may even be receiving threats to her safety.

Reaction to the resignation of Sister Jane from her teaching post at Aquinas College has infuriated the faithful who are speaking out against the Diocese of Charlotte for not defending the nun against the angry and misinformed parents and children who objected to hearing the truth about human sexuality that she was courageous enough to enunciate during her talk.

However, as LifeSiteNews reports, Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte says he is backing Sister Jane in spite of the fact that representatives of the diocese capitulated to the parents during a meeting at the school on April 2.

During that gathering, which was described as "hate-filled" and "disrespectful" by eyewitnesses, Father Roger Arnsparger, diocesan vicar of education, apologized for the section of Sister Jane's talk that included the alleged offensive data.

"There was unfortunately a misunderstanding about the content of the last part of the presentation. In that part, I understand that Sister used data from the Linacre Quarterly, a reputable journal, and from other sources. That data can be debated and, in fact, is debated back and forth by scholars who are researching the areas of human sexuality. Because of the ongoing debate, it would have been better if these studies and data were omitted from the presentation to the students."

The diocese now appears to be backtracking on Fr. Arnsparger's statement.

“Nothing in Sister’s talk opposed Church teaching,” said Diocese of Charlotte Communications Director David Hains to LifeSiteNews yesterday. “Sister would be welcomed to speak in the diocese in the future.”

Hains also said that Bishop Peter Jugis intends to make further public comment on the situation soon.

Even though Sister Jane's talk was not recorded, Dr. Gerard Nadal told LifeSite that he attended the same presentation she gave on Long Island a few months ago.

“In that meeting, Sister Jane gave medical and scientific data that came from reputable sources and were presented as examples of the consequences for human behavior that contravenes the moral magisterium of the Church. As a Ph.D. in medical science, and as a Catholic schooled extensively in my faith, I saw no contradictions, but rather a seamless presentation.”

This description is a much better fit to the style and content of Sister Jane's previous talks and is certainly better than the description being given by secular media sources such as the Charlotte Observer who said the nun was accused of "suspect anecdotes, antiquated data and broad generalizations to demonize gays and lesbians as well as divorced and single parents.”

Popular blogger Father John Zuhlsdorf said the whole incident involving Sister Jane  reveals "the building in our midst of a mob mentality akin to that which drove the Salem Witch Trials. If you speak in public now with any clarity about the Church’s teachings on sexuality, marriage, etc., or avert to conclusions which rational people reach about the same derived from the Natural Law, you will be met with fury."

Citing the recent ousting of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for supporting traditional marriage, Father sees a new and twisted 'normal' coalescing.

"This new 'normal', violating the dictates of reason, will prompt the more aggressive and ideologically driven to impose iron norms, which, when violated, will spark vicious attacks from the now easily manipulated mob."

He believes this mob mentality is being fueled by social media and the erosion of the ability of many to reason, thanks to decades of poor education, along with "incessant mass media exaltation of self-satisfaction and base carnality, which also switches off higher functions."

This is certainly the case with some homosexual and other "progressive" activists who have dispensed with all forms of civility - which is why word that Sister Jane may be receiving threats was not exactly surprising.

This revelation was made by a commenter named "Fred" on the American Catholic blog. He claims to have received the following response from Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith, president of Aquinas College, to an email he sent to her over the weekend:

“Sister Jane Dominic has only tried to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to a world in need of healing," Sister Sarah wrote. "The Dominican Sisters and the Aquinas College community are in complete support of Sister Jane Dominic. We have concerns for Sister’s personal safety at this time. Please keep this intention in your prayers.”

As a journalist who has received death threats for her reporting of facts concerning the physical and emotional fallout from behaviors such as promiscuity and homosexuality, I am not in the least bit surprised.

Let us continue to keep Sister Jane, and all those who are involved in this incident, in our prayers.

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