Pope Benedict XVI warned US educators Thursday against contradicting the church's positions at religious universities, which have drawn criticism for diverging from official teachings on issues such as abortion. ( dpa )
Critics have pointed to clubs for homosexual students, performances of the Vagina Monologues and speeches on campuses by politicians who support abortion rights, dubbing many of the nation's most prominent universities Catholic in name only.
In a speech at the Catholic University of America, Benedict affirmed the role of academic freedom on the church's university campuses but said that such freedom should not be used to "justify positions that contradict the faith."
"Teachers and administrators, whether in universities or schools, have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice," he said. "Divergence from this vision weakens Catholic identity and, far from advancing freedom, inevitably leads to confusion, whether moral, intellectual or spiritual."