Dear UNews Editors,
Following the SGA resolution urging the university provision for artificial contraception, an editorial appeared last week echoing that recommendation. As Dr. Pestello indicated in the open forum when this issue arose, we are a university founded upon and shaped by the Catholic and Jesuit intellectual tradition that holds a particular view of the human person. Precisely as a Catholic institution, we never impose our beliefs on community members but rather propose a vision of the common good and full flourishing of the human person as this tradition conceives of it. As such, the university does not force students, for example, to serve the poor and the marginalized. But in many aspects of our SLU culture, it is made clear that the good life is lived when we begin to live not for ourselves but for the good of others, especially those most in need. In the very same way, we do not police the sexual behavior of our students but neither do we think it is responsible on our part to enable sexual behavior that falls short of the fullest dignity of the human person. To provide artificial contraception for students would be a failure on our part in cura personalis—the care for the whole person. As a Jesuit institution, it is our hope, though we will not impose it, that among other areas of life, students come to recognize the great gift of sexuality that comes from God. As a gift, it is to be reverenced and lived with humility and concern not just for one’s own pleasure but for the good of the other. Now it is neither possible nor desirable to impose this vision on our students, but at the very least we are obligated according to our institutional conscience, not to directly facilitate behavior that leads to unhealthy habits and lack of trust precisely in an area of life where authentic intimacy should be cultivated. In continuity with the Catholic and Jesuit tradition that has striven to reject anything that cheapens and distorts the many gifts of sexuality, we hope for better choices, better futures and more happiness for each and every one of you.
Fr. Chris Collins, SJ
Assistant to the President for Mission and Identity