On Friday, I issued a critical statement on the way GWU was handling the controversy over Father Shaffer. Two homosexual students, neither of whom is Catholic, took umbrage at Father Shaffer for not blessing their relationship; they also objected to his defense of Church teachings on homosexuality and abortion. Seeking revenge, they sought to squash his ministry as Chaplain of the Newman Center. Following our release, an important development occurred.
The provost, Dr. Steven Lerman, defended the free speech rights of Father Shaffer before a meeting of the Faculty Senate; dozens of professors were in attendance. While a formal GWU statement ending this matter has yet to be made, the remarks by the provost are encouraging. Moreover, it was announced that the Student Association has awarded the Newman Center an increase in funding for the next academic year.
We welcome this breakthrough and expect that this issue will soon be concluded in a just manner.