Fr. Martin Fox wrote a letter to the president of University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis about the case of Benjamin Kessler, a seminarian and graduate who gave a controversial speech at commencement. Now, Fr. Fox says he has received a response from Father Dease.
I was present at the graduation ceremony and heard Mr. Kessler’s speech. I do not believe it was appropriate for him to use our Commencement event as a venue for his comments. There is no question that he was speaking sincerely and upholding Church teaching, and there were certainly many ways that Mr. Kessler might have dealt with the subject of “selfishness” from a Catholic perspective that could have been edifying. However, to berate his classmates on what was to have been a joyous occasion of celebration and congratulation was not appropriate and was hurtful to many of our students and their families.
Well, we wouldn’t want to challenge anyone or spur them on to greater heights of virtue or anything. Instead let’s pretend that they have no faults and are perfection itself. Sheesh.