Catholic Intellectual Group Banned for Transgender Views

A Catholic intellectual group has been banned from holding its annual forum at a university hall over concerns about its views on transgender issues. The Hobart-based Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies has for the past seven years held its annual “colloquium” at the University of Tasmania’s Jane Franklin Hall of residence. It was booked again for the eighth such event, to be held in July this year, but the Hall has since withdrawn the booking out of concern about an advertisement for the event titled “Wokery and How to Deal With It”. The advert included the claim that “elites” were undermining “objective truth” by teaching in schools that “girls can be boys, that boys can be girls, and that grown-ups should be punished for denying it”. Jane Franklin Hall principal Joanna Rosewell confirmed and defended the cancellation, understood to follow a complaint about the ad.

“We have asked the Christopher Dawson Centre to find an alternative venue for its annual colloquium, usually held here, as the ideas expressed in the advertisement do not align with our values,” Ms Rosewell told The Australian. “We work with a diverse number of students including those from the transgender community. Our first goal at Jane is and must be supporting the wellbeing of our students.” Christopher Dawson Centre director David Daintree, a former principal of the Hall for 18 years, said he was “shocked” and “disappointed” by the decision, which he labelled “repression”.He conceded the ad may have offended some transgender people, but argued transgender people did not need the silencing of views that conflicted with their own. “If you state something you believe that other people do not believe, you are in danger of offending them,” Dr Daintree said. “I believe in objective truth and one side is wrong when you talk about transitioning to another sex.

“I don’t feel I should apologise for expressing an opinion and that’s all we are doing. If we had received papers that violently disagreed with that proposition, we would have included them if appropriate.” Dr Daintree said the centre was set up and funded by the Hobart Catholic Archdiocese but was independently run. “Our brief is to justify and to make better known the Christian intellectual tradition,” he said.  “We’re not in the business of evangelising. We are in the business of saying, it’s a reasonable thing to be a Christian and that plenty of intelligent and thoughtful people have been and that faith and science are not incompatible.” He was yet to find an alternative venue willing to host the event, which he believed could attract demonstrators. Transgender issues were not intended to be the “central core” of the colloquium. “That was just an instance I gave in the call for papers about the perception of truth, but it is shaping up as a very controversial one,” he said.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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