“Today our prime educational objective must be to form men and women for others; men and women who will live not for themselves but for God and His Christ – for the God-Human who lived and died for all the world; men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for (all) of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that a love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce.”

Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), 1972

In a meeting with Principal Frank Kozakowski on Thursday afternoon last week, I learned of a post that had been made on a non-Loyola website, but a website that has been accessible to and had been seen and used by a large number of members of our Loyola community.

The post was filled with hate speech, riddled with homophobic and racist slurs. It was also directed at specific – and named – members of our community. Its purpose was not only to bully, but also to express the hope that permanent harm would come to the individuals named.

The post enraged me, as it angered other administrators, faculty and staff who saw it.

The kind of language and the harm it described is reprehensible, unacceptable and contemptable, and is the antithesis of all that Loyola is supposed to stand for as a Jesuit Catholic institution. It cannot, and will not, be tolerated in a school that professes faith in an eternally and unconditionally loving God, and one that bases its essence on the human compassion that that loving God instills in our hearts.

Such hate speech may also have criminal aspects to it. Also, the evidence shows that the email address used for the post is a false one. Because of both of these facts, the administration is working diligently to understand where the post originated and if any crimes have been committed. To that end, we have contacted law enforcement to make sure that all avenues for the discovery of the person or persons who made this post have been pursued thoroughly and exhaustively.

This is not who we are supposed to be and cannot be who we are. We need to take stock as a community to understand why this happened, and why members of our community were threatened in such a grievous way.

We will also take whatever strong steps are necessary to make sure that it never happens again. All members of our community need to know that they are equally accepted, equally loved and equally a part of who we are and what we do.

I pray for us all and I pray for our world.

Fr. Greg Goethals, SJ ’73