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Gay Unitarian Named Dean of Catholic College


5/25/2005 - 5:56 AM PST

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By Matt Abbott
Op/Ed

A Catholic college in Vermont is getting an openly-homosexual dean, according to a story in 'Out in the Mountains,' Vermont’s “voice for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, [and] transgender people.”

The story, written by Stacey Horn, says that “Professor Jeffrey Trumbower, a gay man and a Unitarian, has been appointed dean of St. Michael’s College, a Catholic school established in 1904 by the Society of Saint Edmund, a French order of Catholic priests.

“Trumbower, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School, currently chairs the Religious Studies Department at St. Mike's, where he has been on the faculty for 16 years. Though he is not the first non-Catholic to be dean of the college, he is the first openly gay man in the position….

“According to search committee chair and political science professor Bill Grover, ‘We were very fortunate to have two terrific people [apply] and Jeff rose to the top.’ Grover said that religion was not a factor in choosing the dean and that the committee wanted a candidate who would ‘fit with the overall mission of the college.’ Of Trumbower, Grover said, ‘He's going to be a terrific dean….’

“Trumbower came to St. Mike's in 1989, after completing his dissertation. He was not familiar with the area before he came, and when he arrived, he ‘started going to the church at the head of church street. I resonated with that community and realized that I was home spiritually.’ Trumbower met his partner here in Vermont. They have been together for ten years.

“Jeff Trumbower… will assume his new position as dean of the Catholic college of St. Michael's on July 1.”

The teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality is as follows:

"Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved" (Catechism, no. 2357).

The website for St. Michael’s College is www.smcvt.edu.

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