The principal of the Catholic University of St. Michael’s College – an affiliate of the University of Toronto – has denounced a Nov. 8 lecture given at the university by world-renowned Catholic philosopher Dr. Peter Kreeft.

Professor Mark McGowan, who was earlier embroiled in controversy over his support for a “gay and lesbian” group at USMC, said in an open letter to the university’s student newspaper, The Mike, that, “The Kreeft lecture greatly detracted from the inclusive and respectful environment we are trying to nurture at St. Michael’s.” The open letter was signed by the “Principal’s Advisory Committee of Sexual Orientation and Professor Mark G. McGowan, Principal of SMC.”

The pro-life student’s group at USMC had invited Kreeft to speak at the university. Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College since 1965 and a regular contributor to several Christian publications, is in wide demand as a speaker at conferences, and is the author of over 40 books. He is also widely acclaimed as one of the leading Christian apologists of our time.

Hilary White, of the Catholic division of Campaign Life Coalition, attended the Kreeft lecture, and said that he merely “expounded on Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality in answer to pointed questions by homosexual activists who attended the event.”

White explained that, “Letters of complaint on the lecture were sent by homosexual activists who demonstrated that they had not listened to the lecture, wherein Professor Kreeft distinguished between the sinfulness of homosexual sex and the love due to a person afflicted with homosexual inclinations.”

Some of the questions and comments from the activists were notable for their intolerance and strong ideological slant. One questioner even commented that the Aztecs’ bloody human sacrifices of thousands of victims in one day could be “a very beautiful ritual.”

McGowan quoted from USMC’s “statement on inclusiveness,” which was approved by the university’s governing body on July 22, 2002.

“St. Michael’s is committed to doing everything it can do to ensure that people of all backgrounds, regardless of colour, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social or economic class, and nationality, will feel welcome in its midst.” In his open letter, McGowan stated that, “Many members of the audience felt belittled, patronized, and excluded from membership in the body of Christ because of their sexual orientation.”