A Catholic Priest’s Perspective on the USD Drag Show

source: http://sanrafael-sandiego.myownparish.com/bulletins/04-24-12_April_22_Bulletin.pdf


From the Desk of Msgr. Dennis Mikulanis,
Pastor of San Rafael Parish
San Diego, CA 92128

In 1949 the founding bishop of San Diego, Charles F. Buddy, and Mother Rosalie Hill of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, teamed together to found the University of San Diego. It was their dream that a strong Catholic University presence in San Diego would be a leaven to our diocese and provide strong moral and academic leadership for the entire region. USD became an “independent Catholic University” in the mid 1970’s, and for many years worked to fulfill their dream by providing such a Catholic voice in our community. That strength of fidelity to Catholic ideals began to slip
as time went on until, today, when one wonders if USD is Catholic in name only, having abandoned its true identity to be more accommodating to the changing whims and fancies of society. The highest ideal a Catholic university can aim for is to protect the innate, God given dignity of every human person, even for those who might make some people uncomfortable. While struggling to uphold that sacred human dignity which is the right of every person, USD recently stumbled badly and has called into question its very name, much less role, as a viable Catholic university today.

On April 11th USD sponsored a “drag show” which, as one USD spokesperson said - as reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune - “ … is one of several events planned by students in April. ‘ Together, the events are intended to foster students’ understanding of, and empathy for, the complexities of gender non-conformity.’” The spokesperson further said that in response to protests against the “drag show” in particular, “… USD will not be canceling the activities.”

How such activities foster the dignity of the human person is anyone’s guess. A “drag show” panders to the basest, most crude levels of a segment of society that is striving to present themselves as responsible citizens deserving of the rights and privileges accorded to everyone else. It is also an insult to women everywhere by ridiculing who they are and their hopes and aspirations for success in today’s world, making them caricatures to be laughed at. Sadly, letters, emails and phone calls to various campus officials about this issue went unanswered.

Such a series of events is tragic for an allegedly Catholic University at any time of year but it is especially tragic
during the Easter Season when we recall the cost of such things on a hill called Calvary 2,000 years ago and what our response to that is supposed to be. The First Letter of Peter may as well never have been written because it is certainly being ignored.

Unless an apology for these events is forthcoming from the Administration of USD with an assurance that such things will not happen again, it no longer deserves the respect and support of faithful Catholics anywhere. Once again, it appears that truth and integrity have been sold for thirty pieces of silver. One must be grateful that Bishop Buddy and Mother Rosalie Hill are not here to witness their dream becoming a nightmare.