- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
2 gay GW students keep complaints about priest going
Question of the Day
The two gay George Washington University students who gained national attention for their campaign against the chaplain at the school’s Catholic campus ministry issued a letter Monday night in which they claim to have been misrepresented.
But Damian Legacy and Blake Bergen insisted in that same letter that they would continue to push the university to act against the Rev. Greg Shaffer. Nor did they back off on their efforts to have the Archdiocese of Washington remove him and for the Newman Center ministry to be defunded.
Mr. Legacy and Mr. Bergen’s letter said they “would like to clear up what our message is” and said it wasn’t about Catholic doctrine on homosexuality and abortion but that “because of the words and actions from those at the Newman Center, an atmosphere of intolerance and stigma permeates onto our campus.”
The archdiocese and prominent Catholic figures across the country had rallied behind Father Shaffer after Mr. Legacy and Mr. Bergen complained in the student paper, The GW Hatchet, about Father Shaffer telling students, per Catholic teaching, that people with homosexual attractions should remain celibate and chaste. The two seniors also told The Hatchet that Father Shaffer spoke against gay marriage and abortion.
Though the two men now say they never called for GW to remove Father Shaffer, Monday’s letter reiterated their two demands of the university. One is that the school determine whether “any violation of university anti-discrimination policies” by the priest has occurred, and the other is that the university acquire the power “to vet and confirm campus religious leaders of all faiths” in order that the school “hold them accountable.”
The statement also did not address what The Hatchet had reported about Mr. Legacy planning to ask the Student Association to investigate if the Newman Center violated the campus policy on discrimination and should lose up to 50 percent of its funding. The statement also did not mention their petition to the archdiocese.
On April 4, The Hatchet also reported that Mr. Legacy and Mr. Bergen would create a video testimonial of themselves and 10 other students as well as hold prayer vigils outside the Newman Center until Father Shaffer was removed from his post.
Soon after the original story was published, national Catholic news groups and blogs picked up the story, and Mr. Legacy and Mr. Bergen wrote an op-ed article for The Huffington Post. The issue was covered on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” show Monday as well.
While George Washington University does give funding to the Newman Center, Father Shaffer was appointed to his position by the Archdiocese of Washington, which has stated it will continue to support Father Shaffer and said the ministry is “a vital component of the vibrant faith community on campus.”
“The Catholic Church welcomes everyone,” stated the news release from the archdiocese. “The teachings, however, are not tailored to an individual’s personal beliefs. Thus, priests have a commitment to educate people in the truths of our faith, regardless of the current cultural trend.”
Catholic GW students, parents and alumni also have shown support for Father Shaffer. A blog created by a GW student called The Chaplain We Know asked people to share positive stories about the priest.
GW junior Chris Crawford started the blog to support Father Shaffer because the student was frustrated with how the priest was being portrayed in the media.
“There was a universal understanding that they wanted to remove him,” Mr. Crawford said.
Mr. Crawford has been talking with Father Shaffer daily and said the priest has been amazed at the outpouring of support he has received.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
- Rush Limbaugh: 'There is no journalism anymore'
- California's Jerry Brown cites God, 'religious call' to embrace illegals
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world