‘After severe backlash’ Catholic college reverses transgender policy: ‘An all-female institution once again’

St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, says its “first priority is the empowerment of women.”

(Video: YouTube)

So when the all-female Catholic school’s president, Katie Conboy, told the faculty last month in an email that “Saint Mary’s will consider undergraduate applicants… who consistently live and identify as women,” people were, understandably, perturbed.

“The school’s policy change drew harsh criticism from people like Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who reportedly urged the school to reverse course because the policy went against Catholic teachings,” Fox News Digital reports.

Conboy and the chair of the school’s board of trustees, Maureen Smith, sent another email on Wednesday — this time to the Saint Mary’s College community.

“When the Board approved this update, we viewed it as a reflection of our College’s commitment to live our Catholic values as a loving and just community. We believed it affirmed our identity as an inclusive, Catholic, women’s college,” the email explained, according to The Pillar.

“It is increasingly clear, however, that the position we took is not shared by all members of our community,” it continued. “Some worried that this was much more than a policy decision: they felt it was a dilution of our mission or even a threat to our Catholic identity.”

“Moreover,” Conboy and Smith wrote, “we clearly underestimated our community’s genuine desire to be engaged in the process of shaping a policy of such significance.”

“Taking all these factors into consideration, the Board has decided that we will return to our previous admission policy,” they announced.

Now, the temptation would be to believe that St. Mary’s had some sort of spiritual awakening, but, as the Bible makes clear, temptation is not a good thing.

The Catholic institution made clear it still embraces the DEI agenda.

“The college leaders apologized for the division in the community and announced an upcoming series of listening sessions ‘to explore what it means to embrace our values as a Catholic, women’s college,'” The Pillar reports. “They reiterated their commitment to moving forward on the ‘journey toward equity, inclusion, and justice.'”

“[W]e believe that the College should continually grapple with the complexity of living our Catholic values in a changing world,” Conboy and Smith wrote. “But we also believe the College needs to do so as a community. When we disagree, we must strive to preserve the fabric of our relationships. This, at its core, is what it means to be a part of a vibrant Catholic campus in this moment.”

Former champion swimmer Riley Gaines, now an outspoken advocate for female athletes, is taking the win, though not without some well-deserved cynicism.

“After severe backlash, Saint Mary’s College has reversed its transgender policy to make the college an all-female institution once again,” Gaines wrote on X. “So in short, Saint Mary’s caved to the pressure of their donors pulling out. As they all do.”

Melissa Fine


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