Catholic university criticized for new 'gender inclusive' guide 'fundamental' to school's mission: ‘Shameful'

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Villanova University, a Roman Catholic college in Pennsylvania, rolled out a new guideline for faculty and staff on creating a more "gender inclusive" campus, which the school says is "fundamental" to its mission.

"This guide introduces Villanova faculty and staff to best practices for being gender inclusive in our work spaces, laboratories, and classrooms—especially for those who identify within transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, and/or gender questioning communities," Villanova’s Gender Inclusive Practices Guide states.

Suggestions noted in the guide, which was developed by programs such as the school’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Gender & Women’s Studies department and published this month, include: "Remind yourself and others that gender inclusivity is fundamental to Villanova’s mission;" "Add a Gender Inclusion statement to your syllabus or new employee orientation materials;" "Carefully review your course rosters and employee records for name and pronoun designations."

The guide states that if a faculty member misgenders someone, he or she should "acknowledge mistakes and correct yourself swiftly." Faculty members are also advised to "politely intervene when misgendering occurs" in their presence.


A Catholic commentator and Duquesne University theological doctoral student, John Monaco, told the College Fix that it’s "shameful" Villanova is working to embrace "every novelty of the progressive Left."

"Note, there is no actual or explicit reference to God, Jesus Christ, or any magisterial/spiritual authorities. The Church encourages sensitivity, compassion, and respect, but never at the sake of suppressing the truth," Monaco told the outlet. "Unfortunately, this is just another episode of a Catholic university nodding along to the zeitgeist."


He added in comment to Fox News Digital on Sunday that Catholic schools threaten losing their Catholic identity by striving for "public acceptance and elite metrics" with such "gender inclusive" guides.

"We will continue to see these irrational guides coming from Catholic universities, many of whom are desperate to gain the zeitgeist's approval. Still, it is nothing short of astonishing that Villanova University does not simply tolerate gender ideology, but actively promotes it," Monaco told Fox News Digital. "The Catholic Church teaches that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27). Thus, for the Christian, identity is given, and not created by one's own will."

Monaco noted that the Church is not "a hateful bigot" for opposing transgenderism, but instead it "is a loving mother, who provides the truth even when it is hard to hear."

"The Church is called to accompany and minister to those suffering from gender dysphoria, but in doing so, the Church cannot be unfaithful to Sacred Scripture and Tradition, which reveals that a man is a man, and a woman is a woman. Ideally, a Catholic university would argue against error in light of the Gospel, not argue against the Gospel in light of error," he said.

Christian grade schools have recently come under fire from liberals for rejecting transgenderism, and reaffirming their commitment to Christian teachings.

One school in Florida, Grace Christian School, was condemned as being "hateful" this month after it reaffirmed its human sexuality policy by outlining that students who openly discuss acting on sexual behavior outside of marriage would be booted from the school, including students who openly live transgender or homosexual lifestyles.


Additionally, at least two Catholic dioceses - the Diocese of Sioux Falls and the Archdiocese of Omaha - have come under fire in recent days for stating that students within schools in their diocese must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with their biological sex.

Monaco said that while some bishops have spoken out against embracing gender ideology, "I believe many are afraid of the unpopularity that follows the preaching of truth."

He noted that Popes "John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and even Francis all warned about the dangers of gender ideology," and did so "while affirming the need to gently walk with those who struggle with their gender identity."

"It is a delicate balance between respect for the person and condoning certain faulty beliefs and behaviors. Catholic bishops and universities should be leading the way in instructing a confused world in the truth of human sexuality. But unfortunately, many of them have simply yielded to the spirit of the age, betraying their divine mission, and leading souls astray," he added.

When approached by Fox News Digital for comment on the guide and criticism, a representative for Villanova University said the school "upholds and maintains the Catholic Church’s teaching that all people are accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity."

"As part of our Augustinian values of Veritas, Unitas, Caritas—Truth, Unity and Love—Villanova seeks to be a welcoming and inclusive community that respects members of all backgrounds and faiths. Calling someone by their name and pronouns is a show of respect for them as a person and fellow Villanovan," the university continued in its statement.