When students attend the University of San Francisco, one of the first things they hear is that they will be getting a Jesuit education. As students, their minds and hearts will be educated to “change the world.”
USF is a Catholic university, but it also has the Jesuit influence that differs from some traditional Catholic principles and from other Catholic Universities in the country.
The University of San Francisco has taken criticism for their liberal outlook on Catholic teachings. As a most recent example, the Catholic community condemned USF for inviting Irene Khan of Amnesty International to our campus last week.
In 2007 Amnesty International reversed their long-standing position on abortion from opposed to neutral. The Catholic community saw Khan’s invitation as a direct contradiction to Catholic beliefs.
Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society stated in a Life News article that choosing to have Amnesty International speak at USF was “a direct betrayal of its own mission in service of human rights.”
The Catholic blogs also critiqued films shown on campus. In 2007 USF, hosted a film festival which featured films about same sex marriage and abortion. One of the movies featured a Nicaraguan girl who was pregnant after being raped and was seeking an abortion. Another film surrounded Mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to allow same-sex marriage in San Francisco.
The Catholic community was less than pleased to hear these films were being shown and supported by a Catholic university. Life Site News regularly recognizes these contradictions to the Catholic faith that USF makes.
Life Site News also cited a study done by nursing students taken from the Contra Costa Department of Public Health. The study promotes contraceptives.
Although not every speaker at USF represents the traditional Catholic ideals, the Foghorn supports USF’s initiative to bring a broad spectrum of speakers to our university. USF is a multi-cultural campus with students who have different religious beliefs.
The Foghorn believes that as a university, USF should be open to different points of view presented by students, which USF is.
By allowing films that may not follow Catholic teaching, the university is not denying that those viewpoints exist and encourages its students to be more educated about the world around them.
Although USF may not support gay marriage, contraceptives, or abortion, it chooses to recognize that some people do. If USF chose to shield these viewpoints from the community, it would restrict students’ work, expression, and education about the world around them.