Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia under fire by students for talk on homosexuality

I would like to ask for your prayers for Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, O.P, a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia Congregation.

CHARLOTTE — An online petition started by a student at Charlotte Catholic High School is questioning the views of a speaker at a recent assembly who spoke on human sexuality. Parents have been invited to a meeting at the school at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2.

The petition began after a talk by Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a Dominican from Nashville, Tenn., and a frequent speaker in the Diocese of Charlotte. She spoke to an all-school assembly March 21 on “Masculinity and Femininity: Difference and Gift,” which explains Catholic teaching about gender using Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Sister Jane, who has a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, gave similar talks to youths and parents at St. Mark Church in Huntersville on March 23…

School officials said she spent about half of her hour-long talk on homosexuality including the correlation between the decline of fatherhood in America and the rise in homosexuality.

It was that portion of her talk that sparked the petitions and emails. One email asked readers to contact school and diocesan leadership to express their support for Sister Jane. School officials say a majority of the emails they have received oppose the views expressed by Sister Jane.

The petition opposing the visit, online at had more than 2,000 names – some real, some fabricated – as of press time Wednesday. The petition states, “We found some of (sic) ideas expressed to be both offensive and unnecessarily derogatory.”

The petition lists 10 objections to Sister Jane’s talk concluding with “We the students of Charlotte Catholic High School are confused why time was spent condemning the practice of homosexuality,” it said in part.

Sister Jane Dominic is my professor this semester for Sacred Scripture. She is solid and very knowledgeable, her area of specialization being Dogmatic Theology. She also gives lectures around the country on the topic of Masculinity and Femininity. I attended this lecture when it was offered at our College, which was given in early January of this year, and it is very informative, rooted in Catholic teaching and supported by sociological data.

I told Sister after I found out yesterday that she has my support and encouragement.
I know that she would be much grateful for prayers. I also know that she would not like the news to spread around the College (I think this means the student body) lest something similar be sparked. Not among the faculty or staff – ours is a sold Catholic school. But we do have a substantial non-Catholic body that could stir trouble if they were to find out about what others students have done. She recognizes that the news might get to the College inevitably, but I know she would appreciate that those who already know not by their own initiative spread the news around the school , so I will not.

So to ask for prayers, I come here. She is doing the right thing! We need speakers like her, and the fact that a student body at Catholic school would petition against her is indicative of the possibility of bad formation in Catholic teaching being received by the students.

I for one, will be sending a message to that Charlotte Catholic High School in support for Sister, since they have received many emails in opposition to her.


God Bless Sister and all those who are brave enough to speak the Truth whether in season or out of season for the love of Christ! I’ll pray the heat isn’t too much for her, but something tells me she and her other Sisters are prepared to defend both her and the Church’s position on the matter. Shame on all the Catholics who oppose her talks.


It is obvious that many “Catholics” schools are infested with heresy. It would probably be better if a lot of them were simply closed.

Adding my prayers.

I will pray that God will protect and strengthen Sister for her battle with the forces of modern “tolerance” of every defect.

It is a very real and very human concern that you express about the issue spreading to your school. It could, in fact, follow her around as she speaks. I hope this doesn’t happen, but perhaps it would be a good idea to consider that this battle might be the will of God.

We must always be willing to stand up for truth and right. Those students may not have liked what they heard, but obviously they needed to hear it. They needed to be taught the actual teachings of the Church on the subject. Perhaps God is wanting the Church to be more active in teaching our students our doctrine. Perhaps they also need to see someone standing up for those beliefs.

I forcefully disagree with your conclusion that many Catholic schools should be closed in response to “being infested with heresy”.

In this case, it is the students and probably many of their parents (as primarily responsible for the education of their children) who are “heretical”. Nowhere does the article suggest that the school or diocese were objecting to the doctrine she was teaching.

To me, this story is an example of why Catholic schools are essential in fighting the “heresy” that you claim “infests them”. Pius X Catholic High School held an assembly to inform the students about the true teachings of the Church. They are attempting to cast light on the error in modern thinking about homosexual conduct and marriage. They took time out of a school day, which schools today do not do lightly due to the tremendous academic pressures placed upon them.

While students are in a Catholic school environment there is an opportunity to instruct them and reverse current thinking. They certainly would not receive this opposing viewpoint in public schools! Where would they go? To a Christian school that doesn’t teach our beliefs?

I also disagree strongly with your statement that Catholic schools are infested with heresy. I have been a lifelong Catholic. I have been in many, many Catholic schools and in parish Sunday School programs as a student, a teacher, a parent, and a Director of Religious Education. The vast majority of Catholic schools do an excellent job. They see their mission as guiding the religious education of these young people as an integral and primary part of their academic education. Do they make mistakes? YES. Do they have instructors who sometimes do the wrong thing? YES Are they imperfect? YES Has God frequently worked through seriously flawed people and institutions? (Paul’s pre-conversion life comes to mind.)

The Catholic Church does not back down from a fight. It faces heresy head on and repeatedly, continuing the fight as long as it takes! How long did Arianism exist before the Church made inroads into its spread? How long will it take to teach the Church’s beliefs on this issue. Who knows? But don’t tear down the institutions who are currently on the front lines.

The sister is highly educated in Catholic theology from an orthodox university and the high school students obviously are not. The students have been conditioned from a young age to be defensive about this subject and make statements based solely on emotion. Even in this so called Catholic school they seem not ready or willing to even consider the sister’s presentation even though she states that homosexuals need our compassion not our judgement.

Praying for her. We need such moral clarity in these days. :thumbsup:

Ana, thank you for posting this. I read about this yesterday and was absolutely disgusted by the reactions of the student body and parents So, this is what it has all come to after almost fifty years of not teaching the Truth to Catholics? When you do have the “audacity” to state Catholic teaching, people, Catholics no less, are offended?

Prayers for this Dominican Sister! I hope she does it again and again.

To what address would a message supporting Sister be sent? Is there a petition on her behalf?

Praying for Sister Jane Dominic Laurel…

Petition: Stand Up For Catholic Beliefs

Sister Jane Dominic was invited into the Charlotte Catholic community and it is the duty of the students to treat her with the utmost respect. She shared with us the beauty of masculinity and femininity, and how this affects each of us as we grow and develop. She soon entered topics very controversial, yet topics that need to be taught. This is our platform.

   We the students of Charlotte Catholic High School, acting on our Catholic beliefs, are declaring a formal objection towards all those who do not accept Sister Jane Dominic's lecture on March 21, 2014 as fact and who have signed Emma Winters's petition. We are outraged that the topics talked about are being debated within a community where the shared faith teaches us what truly is holy and that anyone would stand up against a nun, who has given her life for the Lord, and blantly deny God's teachings. What we believe in, stand for, and object are as follows:

Also, I found a series of her talks here: The Rich Gift Of Love: An Insight into JPII’s Theology of the Body
I don’t think any one of them is exactly what she said at the school, but it gives an idea of what a good speaker she is. These kids were very fortunate to have someone like her come to speak.

I would express support by one or more of the following ways:

**1) Contacting the principal or vice principal of the school **

Faculty and Staff Contact List:

2) Contacting the Bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte

**3) Contacting the chaplain of Charlotte Catholic High School (contact info provided in link above); **the chaplain was the one that invited Sister Jane Dominic, and I read elsewhere that there were parents who held a 40 hour prayer vigil in support of him.

It appears a counter-petition was created in support of Sister, however, I am not sure that much success would come through this avenue. However, it could serve to make a public point, i.e. there are Catholics who are faithful to the Magisterium.

I am incensed to read how the original petition that objects to Sister’s lecture, actually quotes the Holy Father’s statement given in an interview, in which he stated that Catholics cannot be obsessed with abortion, homosexuality, and contraception and then goes on to suggest that Sister thinks she knows more than the Holy Father! Talk about scandal on top of scandal.

We resent the fact that a school wide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that “we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptives methods.” **We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father **and invited a speaker who addressed the issue of homosexuality to our school to speak twice in the course of one school year.

Firstly I want to thank Ana for bringing this to my attention:thumbsup:
Thank you GraceSofia for the link to The Rich Gift Of Love: An Insight into JPII’s Theology of the Body. I am listening right now. I also signed the petition you gave a link to:thumbsup:

Everyone here should recall how teens can be:

—jump on the hot bandwagon! ! ! ! ! OMG ! ! !!

–conform, conform, conform; fear of nonconformity!! ! OMG!

—Just Because We’re Catholic Doesn’t Mean We’re Not Like Hollywood Says Everybody Should Be!

. . . and everyone, everyone, should remember the highly transitory nature of the 24/7 media.

This afternoon it’s this, tomorrow it’s that, the next day it’s something else. The good sister should well stand her ground and hold to the truth and the nonsense will die out naturally.

The media is our modern day form of stoning. :slight_smile:

Sad but true! Prayers for sure, God Bless, Memaw

For the school, it’s a serious issue. They are having a meeting with the parents next week.
The reaction of some of the students is disturbing. In essence, some students at a Catholic school are objecting to Catholic teaching given by a Catholic nun. :rolleyes:

Shelley Earnhardt, who is divorced and who sent one of the emails, wrote that “in my home, there was outrage, embarrassment, sadness, disbelief, and further reason for my 16-year-old to move as far away from her religion as possible and as soon as she can.”

Other parents faulted the school for not notifying them about the sensitive nature of Laurel’s planned remarks. “It’s too big of a topic for parents to be surprised,” said Casey Corser.

The division over Laurel’s speech is a reflection of the culture wars being waged within Catholicism and in society at large. Conservatives point to the denomination’s traditional teachings against homosexual behavior and divorce.

Liberals look to Pope Francis, who has called for less emphasis on those issues and a more welcoming church that focuses on helping the poor.

Many U.S. dioceses, including Charlotte’s, are led by conservative bishops who were appointed by Pope Francis’ more conservative predecessors.

Hmm… really? Well, it’s a secular paper.
Read more here:

I’d like to start by saying that I am most definitely an orthodox Catholic.

But I guess what I don’t understand about this story is why she tried to link homosexuality to a reduction in fathers. The rise in acceptance of homosexuality came at the same time as the rise in abortion, which most certainly has led to a much more significant reduction in fatherhood. And while there are certainly gay men who can enjoy productive marriages with women, if we were suddenly physically prohibited by God from engaging in same-sex relationships, do you particularly think that the gay men who are actively gay now would suddenly marry women in high #s?

I don’t think a speech opposing same-sex physicality is bad. But I don’t like speeches that try to say “oh look at all of our societal problems, and homosexuality is the root cause.” That, in my opinion, is fairly inflammatory and should not be spoken at a Catholic school. Now, I have no idea what her exact words are, so I’d like to see the transcript of her specific speech, but I’d like to think that a speech on the benefits of marriage does not need half of it devoted to attacking same-sex behavior.

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