John M. Becker

Archbishop Rips Catholic University on Same-Sex Benefits

Filed By John M. Becker | October 28, 2014 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Catholic attacks on LGBT rights, Catholic Church, Creighton University, gay marriage, marriage equality, Nebraska, same-sex marriage

creighton-university-church.jpgCreighton University -- a private, Catholic, Division I university in Nebraska -- will now allow employees who've married same-sex spouses in other states to cover them under the school's health plan.

Rev. Timothy Lannon, the Jesuit university's president, announced the changes this week, saying that they will ensure that all married employees, regardless of sexual orientation, will have equal access to health benefits. He added that offering benefits to married same-sex couples doesn't necessarily mean that the university supports those marriages, but that it's providing them in the interest of fairness.

"I asked myself, what would Jesus do in this case?" Lannon told the Omaha World-Herald. "And I can only imagine Jesus being so welcoming of all people."

Omaha Archbishop George Lucas vehemently disagreed, slamming the university for what he says is a deviation from Catholic teaching:

"When we experience tension in ensuring respect and just treatment for all persons, including those with same-sex attraction, we have a right to expect a Catholic university to help us see a just path forward, rooted in faith and founded on the rich Catholic intellectual tradition," Lucas said. "Creighton has failed to fulfill this expectation in this expansion of benefits."

But Archbishop Lucas's views are out of step with those of the Creighton faculty, which largely supports the move.

Lannon said that in addition to it being the right thing to do, covering employees' same-sex spouses is also important to maintain competitiveness. Many other Catholic colleges and universities, including 20 Jesuit universities and Indiana's famed University of Notre Dame, now cover all legal spouses on their health plans.

Nebraska state law does not currently allow same-sex couples to marry.

Image via Wikipedia.


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