Vanderbilt University Forces Catholic Group to Change Its Name

Vanderbilt University is forcing the student Catholic group to change its name after the religious group left campus rather than allow non-catholics to hold leadership positions in the organization.

Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Virginia) sent a letter to Vanderbilt University to leave the Christian groups alone.

Catholic News Agency reported:

Forced to leave campus for reasons of conscience, Vanderbilt University’s Catholic student organization has now been ordered by the university to change its name.

“The name that’s important is the name of Jesus Christ. I don’t think they can take that name from us,” said Father John Sims Baker, chaplain of the group that has been told to stop calling itself Vanderbilt Catholic.

“Technically and legally, if we wanted to push the issue, I doubt that the university could keep us from that,” Fr. Baker told CNA on April 12.

He indicated that the group could also switch to a name incorporating the phrase “at Vanderbilt,” which would “certainly” be acceptable.

University spokesperson Beth Fortune told Fox News that students groups “who choose not to comply with the university’s nondiscrimination policy” thereby “forfeit the privileges associated with registered student organization status and that includes the use of the Vanderbilt name.”

Vanderbilt Catholic is leaving the campus over a dispute with the administration’s “non-discrimination” policy, a rule that Fr. Baker has criticized as a form of religious discrimination in itself.

Under the recently-confirmed policy, any student must be considered potentially eligible for offices in a registered student organization. Groups such as Vanderbilt Catholic would be forced to allow non-Catholics to serve in leadership positions.

Confronted with the new policy, Vanderbilt Catholic chose to forfeit its status as a registered group – a choice which will also require it to find a new name.

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