University releases compendium on human sexuality

By Grace Ostuni
Staff Writer

On Sept. 22, Franciscan University released an updated Compendium on Human Sexuality entitled “Male and Female He Created Them.” 

According to the press release, this document is a resource for the students, faculty and staff that is brief but fully encompasses all that the university believes. 

The Compendium adds to and reinforces documents created in 2016 “to reaffirm the university’s fidelity to Church doctrine.” 

Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, states, “This compendium, the work of faculty and staff from theology, philosophy, biology, counseling, Student Life, Personal Vocation, Franciscan Life, evangelization, and Human Resources, speaks to the issues of our time with clarity, conviction, and charity.”  

The document says its purpose is “to articulate and explain the convictions and basic principles that guide Franciscan University as it communicates and lives out the Church’s teachings on the dignity of human sexuality.”  

Pivonka said, “As witnessed by those who live it, the Church’s teaching on human sexuality is liberating, lifegiving, and illuminating.”  

The Compendium has three main sections: an overview on the gift of human sexuality, philosophical and theological foundations for the Church’s beliefs and practical applications for the faithful on campus.  

The overview is a list of important Catholic teachings on human sexuality, sourced mainly from the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  

The theology and philosophy section explains the idea of sexual identity and gender identity. It also explains that all Christians are called to lives of charity and chastity.  

The last main section lays out the principles of the university and an updated policy list for the Franciscan community. 

David Schmiesing, the Vice President of Personal Vocation, said “by acknowledging our creation by God as men and as women, and all of the teachings that flow from that fundamental reality, we are able to find and follow the path to freedom, fulfillment, and flourishing.”  

The information in the compendium is drawn from many different Magisterial Documents, including letters from Pope St. John Paul II and the Second Vatican Council.  

Deborah Savage, a theology professor, said, “the document was in process for over ten years…we were just adding to it as things developed in the culture.” 

The Compendium is expected to develop and expand as new questions on human sexuality arise within the world and the University.