DEI is a Trojan Horse inside the Catholic school

Parents seeking an alternative to public schools may look to their local Catholic school, but all Catholic schools are not the same. Caveat emptor.

(Image: MChe Lee mclee/

A school with an office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is not a self-confidently Catholic school. The school’s leaders believe social justice requires bolstering the Cross of Christ, the Gospels, and Catholic social teaching with an identity-based ideology whose high priests include Ibram Kendi, Robin Diangelo, and Judith Butler.

Disguised as Catholic values, DEI enters the school as a trojan horse, disseminating Critical theory dogma regarding race, gender, and sexuality. In practice, DEI overwhelms the virtues.

Bureaucratic DEI fiefdoms, deeply entrenched in higher education, including at most Catholic universities and colleges, have infiltrated every major institution (government, military, corporate, the arts, sports, media).

That many Catholic high schools – including, but not limited to, almost all Jesuit schools – have welcomed DEI into their buildings is a sign that the cardinal virtues have been supplanted by the intellectual and moral depth of “We Believe” sloganeering: Love Is Love, No Person Is Illegal, Black Lives Matter, Climate Change Is Real, Diversity Is Our Strength, and the like.

Three years ago, the Jesuit Schools Network responded to the “crisis” summer of George Floyd by aligning its secondary schools with the culture. The Network completely rewrote and expanded Domain 5 within their Standards and Benchmarks for Jesuit Schools to support DEI as official Jesuit core values.

Domain 5 “includes anti-racism/anti-bias training for board, faculty and staff, and students,” the schools working “to eradicate barriers” such as misogyny, homophobia, and any gender-related discrimination and stereotyping.

As Fordham Prep puts it, a Jesuit school’s mission “to form students to recognize God’s dignity within each person” is a mission that “necessarily includes becoming anti-racist.”

Antiracism is the intersectional gateway to a new Eden, “necessarily” affirming all identities associated with gender and sexuality as well as race. “To be queer antiracist,” says Kendi, “is to understand the privileges of my cisgender, of my masculinity, of my heterosexuality, of their intersections.”

DEI has created havoc everywhere in The Academy. The university campus is a haven of safe spaces, bias reporting systems, and trigger warnings that nurtures perpetual adolescence.  Law schools form students unable to abide the expression of opinions that counter woke orthodoxy. The study of medicine and related sciences entails allegiance to Critical tenets.

Though reputed to serve the “victims” of impalpable “systemic” forces of oppression, the primary beneficiaries of DEI at any institution are the bureaucrats whose salaries depend on the continuing existence of victims.

The trojan horse conceals a racket.

Diversity in DEI is the veneer applied to an ideology that denies our universal common humanity and subverts the Catholic principle of the imago Dei.

Catholic educators profess to perceive each child as a unique person created in the image and likeness of God. If this avowal is sincere, DEI ideology adds nothing essential or benign.

In actuality, engagement with it subtracts from the dignity of our God-given embodiment as individual persons. Schools genuflecting to DEI see identities first – race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and gender – and make pre-determined judgments about each student accordingly.

DEI embodies the identity: an identity group has a voice, a mind, a pair of eyes, without which the individual within the group is inauthentic.

Its resources involving race illustrate the groupthink essential to DEI.  St. Louis University High, St. Xavier High School, and the Jesuits’ Ignatian Solidarity Network are three of many Jesuit sites where uniformity of thought exists. Nonconformists – intellectuals such as Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, and Glenn Loury – are made invisible because their voices, their minds, their lenses lack authenticity.

A genuine effort to solve a social problem welcomes open inquiry into its nature, any possible solutions, and potential consequences of each.

DEI cannot permit diversity of thought regarding “controversial” matters without violating the sanctity of identity dogma. Implicit bias, structural racism, and white privilege are indisputable gospel “truths.” These scriptures augment workshops, seminars, and “courageous” conversations. They lead to the creation of college-like bias reporting systems at St. Joseph’s Prep, safe spaces and micro-aggression training at Loyola Los Angeles, and identity-based student retreats at Regis New York.

Diversity is an ideological monolith.

The Equity in DEI is achieved through antiracist practices. In direct opposition to the liberal principles of equality before the law and equality of opportunity, equity compels equality of outcomes.

As antiracism denies anyone can be “not racist,” equity is dismissive of “being fair.” Were “being fair” the goal, weaving DEI into Catholic teaching would be redundant. In the Gospels and the Catechism, Catholic schools own the “How To” guidebooks for all things just and equitable.

Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist, on the other hand, claims any disparity between two racial groups is ipso facto evidence of unfairness: discriminatory racist policies create racial inequities. Therefore, “the only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination,” which necessitates being color-conscious.

Schools touting “equity” accept this core antiracist belief: racial discrimination can be good. “The defining question,” says Kendi, “is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If the discrimination is creating equity then it is antiracist.”

The Kendi “how to” logic relies on demographics to prove that equity as a core value becomes equity in practice. Do the percentages of the students in a school’s AP/Honors courses align with the percentages of each racial/ethnic identity group? Do the percentages of the faculty and administration correspond to the school’s racial/ethnic makeup? Do course grades and standardized test scores, disciplinary infractions and consequences, authors and events covered in the curriculum reflect identity demographics? If not, a DEI school must enact, per Kendi, discriminatory antiracist policies.

A leveling naturally ensues in any antiracist academic institution: schools drop admissions testing; merit is downplayed or stigmatized; honors courses are eliminated; standards are lowered.

Antiracist Jesuit Brophy prioritizes creating a faculty committed “personally and professionally” to the “work of antiracism,” reviewing entrance requirements for AP/Honors courses, making reading lists more “representative,” and studying “more equitable” grading practices. Other Catholic schools may be more subtle.

“The problem of race has always been at its core the problem of power,” says Kendi, “not the problem of immorality or ignorance.” Were the “problem of race” treated as a fundamentally moral issue, the emphasis at a Jesuit school would be on the Gospels and the training of students in the cardinal virtues.

DEI’s raison d’etre is power.

Inclusion has no limiting principle. The logic of DEI makes “What is a man?” and “What is a woman?” questions whose objectively true answers are avoided lest someone be offended.

The male and female God created has morphed into labels “assigned at birth” based upon one’s genitals. To separate “gender” from sex, as Critical queer theorists do, dismantles Christian anthropology. Gender evokes genes, genitals, generate, generation, genealogy  – language rationally connected to the family and the essential bringing forth of new life.

Why would a Catholic school need – or want – to adopt the secular DEI term gender?  Are the terms male, female, masculine, and feminine so oppressive and bereft of sufficient natural diversity that an ever-expanding array of gender identities must be acknowledged at – to name just four examples – Scranton Prep, Bellarmine San Jose, Jesuit Dallas, and Marquette University High, all of which include “gender” in their diversity statements?

Advertising “gender inclusion” has its duties: A student’s personal pronouns must be publicly acknowledged no matter their grammatical incoherence. A girl claiming to be a trans boy must be affirmed. A boy claiming to be a trans girl must be included on the girls’ athletic teams. Gender expressions must be respected. Biology texts and the catechism must be scoured for micro-aggressive content.

Our present culture is antagonistic to the family. A Catholic school, however, knows that God established the human family, “a man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children,” forming, per church doctrine, the “original cell of social life.” Its crucial significance “for the life and well-being of society” places a distinct moral obligation on Catholic schools to support and strengthen the family when educating children.

Schools could remind parents before accepting their tuition dollars that they are Catholic and not secular schools, that they educate girls and boys created in the image of God, not fluid identities based upon how one feels.

Instead of incorporating DEI, schools could make it clear that they teach all students to treat their peers as Jesus would – righteously, with love and compassion for each – but they will neither endorse nor facilitate the prevailing culture’s lies and deceptions.

But the Society of Jesus is decidedly not countercultural. Nor is any Catholic school whose core values are the culture’s values.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Dan Maher 1 Article
Dan Maher is a retired secondary public school teacher who graduated from Dallas Jesuit and Xavier University. His Substack is Jesuit School, and he maintains a website, The Jesuit School: Ensnared in the Postmodern World, for anyone interested in Jesuit education.


  1. Perfect. At least the Jesuiticals are finally being honest about the nature of the spirit they serve.

    (Clue: It ain’t the Holy one.)

    DEI is racism straight-up.

    It promotes treating all persons — not as individuals each deserving of respect, dignity and consideration — but as mere constituents of their racial group. Nothing more.

    And it teaches young people the degree of preference with which each racial group ought to be treated.

    It’s worth recalling that this was the philosophy that the Nazis embraced as they exterminated the unfit and inferior.

    It’s also diametrically opposed to the message of love for all people that Jesus brought.

    But then it seems like decades since most Jesuiticals regarded Jesus as their life’s inspiration.

    He was long ago replaced by leftism’s most enlightened and visionary leaders.

    À la Bill Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. Pete Buttigieg.

    And the undistinguished former Senator from West Virginia, Exalted Cyclops with the Ku Klux Klan, Robert Byrd.

    St. Ignatius, pray for them.

    • I had the pleasure of meeting Sen. Robert Byrd. He was a great fiddle player and worked hard for his constituents.
      People change, times change. I hope and pray Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi change also.

    • Briney, you may appreciate this joke. It’s not mine. I gleaned it from a video I watched of a presentation of Exorcist, Fr. Chad Ripperger: “What two things never change in a Jesuit mass?” Answer: The bread and the wine. LOL.

  2. Rotten fruit harvested from the Synod on Synodality. Marketed by testimonials from ranking prelates, articulated in literature by high priests and priestesses, acquiring an air of religiosity. Sanctity.
    It’s amazing how quickly this moral transformation of indiscriminate inclusion has invaded the Church this past decade. What has always been taught as a grave moral disorder is now an acceptable behavior protected by civil law, even to the extent of foisting proliferation among our children, outrageously by a growing plurality bordering on majority in the Church.
    Will Card Archbishop of Vienna Christoph Schönborn’s 2019 homosexual entertainment gala held in St Stephen’s Cathedral be repeated here? Will the State enforce the right of gays to have their galas in churches? Or will Catholic clergy, the faithful ones, finally make a stand and demand Rome return to, as Maher alludes adoration of Christ crucified?

    • Whatever happened to Cardinal Schonborn? It’s really disappointing. He’s someone else I had the privilege to meet years ago and actually sat next to him at a meal at my daughter’s college. I thought that was a very special experience.
      Bit I’m really puzzled at what’s happened to him since then. Puzzled and saddened both.

      • Mrscracker, Card Schönborn’s history and that of the German speaking Sudetenland [Germans mainly Bavarians were invited mid 13th century by king of Bohemia mod Czech Republic] where he and his family lived until persecuted by the new Czech Republic established following Nazi German defeat. The Schönborn’s moved to Austria.
        Schönborn’s family were aristocratic nobility in Bohemia during the centuries and were impacted by Nazi extermination of Jews, homosexuals. Then his own German ethnicity persecuted by the Czechs. He was appointed cardinal archbishop of Vienna 1995. Card Schönborn took strong measures in addressing homosexual clerical child abuse.
        During his tenure in Austria Archbishop Vienna Pope Benedict XVI ad hoc appointed a conservative aux bishop Gerhard Wagner to the Linz diocese where he met with opposition from local clergy over Wagner’s outspoken criticism of homosexuality [the reason why Benedict appointed Wagner without consulting the Austrian hierarchy was a trend toward homosexual normalization]. Although he wasn’t particularly in favor of homosexuality and opposed the clerical Pfarrer Initiative to normalize homosexuality the cardinal sought to placate differences, taking a pragmatic approach.
        In consideration of the above it appears his 2019 endorsement of the St Stephen’s Cathedral homosexual entertainment gala was perhaps more an attempt at appeasement than endorsement of homosexuality. I suppose in the mind of an intellectual man of noble heritage that seems ‘noble’. That also has to be taken in consideration of Pope Francis’ initiative toward a less restrictive doctrinal approach to the dilemma of homosexuality with the Church.

  3. In their laudable effort to connect Catholic social teaching and morality to the secular world, the Jesuits have finally exposed the meaning of what has devolved into their hermaphrodite “Jesuit spirituality.”

    Someone should tell the Black Robes (or is it collarless shirts?) that according to the logic of their worldview–diversity comes first, then inclusivity, and only then equity (equality of outcomes). Wait, what? Ooopsie, now the acronym becomes DIE rather than DEI…

    As with the Norwegians: “You can always tell the Jesuits, butt you can’t tell them much!”

  4. So sorry to hear that lower grade Catholic schools have been infested by this racist Marxist woke ideology. Parents need to investigate what is happening at their kids catholic school, and oppose this vocally, and certainly investigate the situation before registering for a new catholic school. So glad my son graduated from Fordham University more than a decade ago before this sick tripe became standard fare.

  5. I prefer a slight rearaangement of the letters that form the acroymn to reveal a more accurate depiction of their inherent qualities and basic “benefits”: D.I.E.

  6. I considered the local Catholic high school for the current school year, but decided against it when I came across the Social Justice Initiative statement which mentioned the words equity and antiracist. Antiracist has since been removed, but I am sure it’s just been hidden from prospective parents. This is not a Jesuit school, and it is run by the archdiocese.

    • Huh, never noticed that before. DEI as dei is Latin for “a god”. Which one I wonder? Let’s be D.E.I. and say its Baal, Yangwan, Miclanticualti, Jigoku, Kali, Ahriman, Lilith and Gauna as one unifying Legion of the New Woke religion god of Progress.

  7. If you wondered how it would be possible for the Antichrist to rise and rule, it’s not difficult at all when even the so-called Catholic Church has not only succumbed to the lies of Satan but has incorporated them into the entire edifice from the top down to the schools and everything in between.

  8. Catholic school is probably the last place to educate your kids if you want them to keep the faith. Being taught by hypocrites will wreck kids. Home school or if not send them to a secular school and tell the kids the teachers are messed up but at least they won’t be as hypocritical as bad Catholic teachers.

  9. This is a good piece. I went to a Jesuit High School lo these many years ago and there was NONE of this nonsense present.

    Key phrase – “The primary beneficiaries of DEI at ANY (emphasis mine) institution are the bureaucrats whose salaries depend on the continuing existence of victims.”

    Personally I would change “continuing existence” to “steady supply”.

    But that’s just me.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. DEI is a Trojan Horse inside the Catholic school | Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ) , Asumbi Sisters Kenya
  2. Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a Trojan Horse inside the Catholic school | Newsessentials Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.