Update: South Bend bishop not meeting ND president about gay alumni club

In a blog Aug. 17 I reported receiving a news release from Thomas Field, a member of a gay and lesbian alumni club of Notre Dame, in which Field said he had been informed by an official of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese that Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, head of that diocese, would discuss the club’s request for official recognition by the university when he meets with the president of Notre Dame this fall.

If you go back to that blog, you will find Field has posted a note there saying that after he sent out the news release he received a voice mail response from Rhoades saying the news release was wrong – the bishop will not be discussing the club’s request with Holy Cross Fr. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president.

In the original news release Field quoted from an e-mail he said he received Aug. 13 from Father Jason Freiberger, Fort Wayne-South Bend diocesan vice chancellor: “I have read the documents [which Field had submitted in relation to the club’s request for recognition] and given them to Bishop Rhoades for his perusal. He will discuss them when he meets with Fr. Jenkins this fall.”

Field subsequently sent me a copy of the e-mail and his transcription of the voice mail from Rhoades saying he did not intend to discuss the alumni club’s request with Jenkins.

I have no reason to doubt Field’s presentation of either the e-mail or the voice mail, but I put in a phone call to Freiberger this morning seeking clarification. So far I have not heard back from him.

[Jerry Filteau is NCR Washington correspondent.]

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