Had Maya Noronha’s article (“How Georgetown Can Stay Catholic”, THE HOYA, Nov. 6, 2007, A3) been submitted as a paper in my history class, I would have critiqued its distorted presentation of a primary source.

Noronha writes: “Why did Jane McAuliffe, the dean of Georgetown College, feel the need to explain the actions of Cardinal Francis Arinze for opposing homosexual marriage?” Actually, the Cardinal did not make any comment at his 2003 College commencement ceremony on the admittedly complex and tendentious but nonetheless specific issue of “homosexual marriage;” Rather, he wrote that “the family is . mocked by homosexuality .” which, for lack of any further clarification, we may take to mean `by a homosexual orientation in general,’ or by homosexuality in the abstract. And, while current Church doctrine condemns homosexual practices, it does not condemn a homosexual orientation per se. Since the Cardinal’s statement seems to extend his apparent hostility far more broadly than the Church’s teaching requires, it indeed invites some explanation.

Howard R. Spendelow

Associate Professor of History

Nov. 8, 2007

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