.- Gonzaga University President, Fr. Robert Spitzer S.J. has categorically denied charges brought by Dr. Mike Adams, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and a columnist for Townhall.com, which said that the school discriminates against pro-life and Christian organizations.
Fr. Spitzer said that accusations brought in the February 22nd column in Townhall.com were false and that, “Gonzaga University is a strong pro-life proponent, consistent with Catholic doctrine.”
The column’s central accusation was that the University denied official recognition, and thus, school funding, to a group of law students seeking to form a pro-life group which required its leadership to sign a profession of Christian faith.
While Fr. Spitzer did not deny the charge, he explained, “The Law Student Handbook clearly states: ‘the [Student Bar Association] sponsors a variety of activities in which all law students are entitled and encouraged to participate.’ The [SBA] interpreted the foregoing statement to mean full participation by all students. The pro-life club did not meet that standard, and chose not to change its charter to make non-Christian students eligible to be officers. As a consequence, the club's funding request was denied by the Student Bar Association.”
Fr. Spitzer added that he was “not willing to force the Student Bar Association to fund a club whose charter prohibits non-Christian students from pursuing leadership positions.”
“The pro-life movement”, he points out, “is and always has been open to full participation by all faiths. Indeed, only through the cooperation of all faiths will the sanctity of life be preserved.”
Fr. Spitzer likewise noted that there is an officially recognized University pro-life group and that, although not school-funded, the Law School group is still encouraged to meet on campus.
The president cited his credentials as an international leader in the pro-life movement and said, “I welcome a Law School pro-life club in addition to the University pro-life club, and I have encouraged both to be active in sponsoring events.”