The following comes from an April 17 Cardinal Newman Society Catholic Education Daily article by Justin Petrisek:
On Thursday, the first full day in office for San Diego’s new Catholic bishop, the Catholic University of San Diego (USD) hosted a “drag show” that the Vatican last year described as “scandalous.”
Last year, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education responded to the petition submitted by Thomas McKenna, founder and president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, and Charles LiMandri. The Congregation’s letter deemed the drag show a “scandal” and declared its intentions “to act through administrative channels to the competent ecclesiastical authority in San Diego.”
But despite the Vatican’s response, the University held its fourth edition of the event on April 16, Bishop Robert McElroy’s first full day as the bishop of San Diego. The show was titled “Celebration of Gender Expression: Supreme Drag Superstar IV.”
Attorney Charles LiMandri, who founded Alumni for a Catholic USD and helped file a petition to the Vatican against the University’s annual cross-dressing event, spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society to discuss why USD is continuing to ignore the Vatican and even the recent words of Pope Francis.
“We have the opportunity and a clean slate with a new bishop and a new president,” LiMandri said. “I am hoping and praying that this is the last drag show at USD.”
The drag shows have sparked moments of advocacy and bordered on indoctrination with emcees, students and guests often pushing agendas contradictory to Church teaching, LiMandri said. Last year’s controversial emcee “Tootie Nefertootie,” who advocates same-sex marriage, was scheduled to return for Thursday’s event, the University confirmed.
In 2013, USD defended the drag show, stating that “the event supports the Church’s teaching on the innate dignity of the human person, and by illustrating cross-dressing, it does not promote either behavior or lifestyle that is contrary to the teachings of the Church.” The response from the Vatican seems to clearly debunk USD’s position that drag shows do not promote inappropriate behavior or lead to scandal.
Whether under the guise of diversity or not, there is no excuse for a Catholic college to ignore the Vatican, LiMandri explained:
People that supposedly share our beliefs are grossly misrepresenting them and are getting a free pass. Even after they’ve been told by the highest authority [in the Catholic Church] that what they’re doing is scandalous—which in Church parlance has specific meaning—that you are leading people away from the faith, it is causing a potential loss of faith. The people who are in a position to represent the faith are giving a bad example. In this case it is not just a bad example, but it is a fraudulent message. They’re misrepresenting what the Church teaches, and you can’t get away with that under the guise of diversity.
Even Pope Francis “is using very strong terms to say this can’t go on anymore. It’s too destructive to the faith,” said LiMandri.