I realized yesterday that I need to communicate more and better about the non-discrimination policy and its effect on Vanderbilt Catholic. I have tried not to talk about it very much because to do so involved so much speculation. Now the policy is finally in writing, along with extensive commentary.
From the policy and commentary, it is established that Vanderbilt Catholic is forbidden to use religious belief and practice as criteria for leadership. Here is a quotation from the official commentary on the policy: "9. Does the University’s nondiscrimination policy permit RSOs to impose faith-based or belief-based requirements for membership or leadership? No." Catholic belief and practice are the only reason for Vanderbilt Catholic to exist. They are the only reason certainly for me to be assigned here as a priest chaplain.
In order to register as a student organization for next year, the leadership of Vanderbilt Catholic is required to sign an affirmation that the policy will be followed. Among other things, this means that religious belief and practice will not be used as criteria for leadership. Such an affirmation would undermine the very identity and mission of Vanderbilt Catholic. It would also be untrue.
Vanderbilt Catholic is Catholic first.
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