January 30, 2024

Dear University community,

Over the weekend a news story appeared online that included an excerpt of an audio recording of a guest speaker addressing one of our psychology classes last Tuesday. The speaker identified herself as an “abortion doula” and she advocated for abortion, for language that distorts the distinctions between the sexes, and for the normalizing of transgender births.

We first heard of the incident on Wednesday and began to gather information from the students and the professor. We had been told that one student had a recording of the class, and had plans to send it to the media, but the recording was not shared with the University administration.

We received one media inquiry Thursday, and one on Friday, asking for comment. While we were unable to confirm what exactly was said in the class, we did determine that the speaker’s views on life issues and on the anthropology of the human person were not consistent with our mission and identity as a faithful Catholic university, and that she should not be allowed to address the class again.

Now that we have clear evidence that the content of the class did not align with our mission and identity, we have now terminated our contract with the professor who invited the speaker.

As a Catholic institution, we are committed to promoting the full truth of the human person, and to protecting human life from conception to natural death. In our rigorous pursuit of truth and justice, we engage at times with arguments or ideologies contrary to reason or to the Gospel. But we do so fully confident in the clarity given by the combined lights of reason and faith, and we commit to never advocate for sin or to give moral equivalence to error. As witnessed by the life and virtue of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose feast we just celebrated as a community, such engagement with opposing ideas helps us both to grow in our command of truth and to respond to error with empathy, compassion, and mercy.

As always, anyone who has concerns regarding academic matters is encouraged to approach a member of the faculty, a department chair, dean, or the Provost’s office.

Here at Catholic University, we have the unique opportunity and common blessing to pursue truth, to grow in faith, and to exercise charity. Our studies aim at producing wisdom, which includes excellence in living and sharing the truth with others. May our common study help us to understand life, to love goodness, and to promote and protect the dignity of the human person.


Peter Kilpatrick
The Catholic University of America