Challenging Tradition: Benedictine Sisters Respond to Butker’s Graduation Speech

Challenging Tradition: Benedictine Sisters Respond to Butker's Graduation Speech | Future Education Magazine



The Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, a foundational institution and sponsor of Benedictine College, have spoken out against the commencement speech delivered by Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro kicker, Harrison Butker. Butker’s address, delivered during the college’s graduation ceremony, has ignited a firestorm of controversy over its content and its alignment with the values of the institution.

In their official statement, the sisters expressed their disappointment, stating that Butker’s remarks did not reflect the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts ethos that the college embodies. They highlighted concerns over Butker’s assertion that being a homemaker is the highest calling for a woman, a sentiment that they believe promotes division rather than unity.

Defining the Role of “Homemaker”

Central to the Benedictine Sisters’ critique is their understanding of the term “homemaker.” They emphasized that their community’s teachings extend beyond traditional gender roles, focusing instead on cultivating an environment where individuals can develop into their best selves and welcome others with compassion and Christ-like love.

Rejecting a narrow interpretation of Catholicism, the sisters advocated for a more inclusive understanding of the faith, one that embraces the teachings of Vatican II and Pope Francis. They emphasized the importance of empowering individuals to fulfill their God-given potential, regardless of societal expectations or limitations.

Chiefs kicker faces backlash over graduation speech

Embracing Inclusivity and Benedictine Values

Looking beyond the controversy, the Benedictine Sisters reaffirmed their commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming community rooted in Benedictine values. They stressed the enduring importance of these values, which have served as the foundation of Benedictine College for over 1500 years, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries.

In their closing remarks, the sisters expressed their desire for Benedictine College to be known as a beacon of inclusivity, reflecting the timeless principles of love, hospitality, and service that define the Benedictine tradition. They called upon the college community to uphold these values and strive for unity amidst diversity, echoing the sentiments of St. Benedict himself, who believed in the transformative power of community and mutual respect.

By speaking out against Butker’s graduation speech, the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica have not only defended the values of their institution but have also reaffirmed their commitment to promoting a more inclusive and compassionate world. As the controversy continues to unfold, their words serve as a reminder of the enduring relevance of Benedictine principles in today’s society.

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