Benedictine College nuns reject Harrison Butker’s “narrow definition” of Catholicism

The religious sisterhood order, who played a pivotal role in the establishment of Benedictine College, the small academic institution in Atchinson, Kansas, has officially distanced themselves from the controversial commencement speech delivered by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker in 2024. The speech, which has received significant criticism for its perceived misogynistic and homophobic undertones, has prompted the order to publicly disavow its content.

The Sisters of Mt. Scholastica have released a statement expressing their belief that Butker’s speech does not accurately reflect the values and vision of the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college that they have been deeply committed to.

The statement expressed concern over the divisive impact of his comments, rather than promoting unity within our church, nation, and the world. Specifically, the assertion that being a homemaker is the highest calling for a woman raised eyebrows. As sisters, we have devoted our lives to serving God and His people, which includes the countless women we have taught and influenced over the past 160 years. These remarkable women have had a profound impact on the world through their roles as wives and mothers, as well as their innate talents in leadership, scholarship, and their professional pursuits.

“Our community has not only taught young women and men how to fulfill traditional gender roles as ‘homemakers’, but rather, we have imparted the values of creating a Gospel-centered and compassionate home within oneself. This allows us to welcome others as Christ would, empowering them to become the best versions of themselves,” the sisterhood emphasized. “We firmly reject a narrow definition of Catholicism and instead, we proudly embrace and promote the Gospel values, the teachings of St. Benedict, Vatican II, and the guidance of Pope Francis.”

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“We aim to establish ourselves as a community that embraces inclusivity and extends a warm welcome to all. Our foundation lies in the enduring Benedictine values that have transcended time, reaching every corner of the globe. We firmly believe that these values form the very essence of Benedictine College.”

In response to Butker’s speech, Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior Vice President and chief diversity and inclusion officer, made it clear that Butker’s remarks were his own and not representative of the NFL as a whole. Beane emphasized that the NFL remains unwavering in its dedication to inclusivity, as it believes that such commitment only enhances the strength of the league.

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