Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica call out Harrison Butker

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica released a statement regarding Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s commencement speech at Benedictine College last week.

The Sisters made clear that they are wholeheartedly against the kicker’s speech where he said “one of the most important” titles a woman can hold is “homemaker” during his address.

“As a founding institution and sponsor of Benedictine College, the sisters of Mount St. Scholastica find it necessary to respond to the controversial remarks of Harrison Butker as commencement speaker,” the statement on their website said.

“The sisters of Mount St. Scholastica do not believe that Harrison Butker’s comments in his 2024 Benedictine College commencement address represent the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college that our founders envisioned and in which we have been so invested.”

Currently, the sisters of Mount St. Scholastica contain more than 80 women “devoted to a communal life of prayer, work and hospitality,” according to their website.

“Instead of promoting unity in our church, our nation, and the world, his comments seem to have fostered division. One of our concerns was the assertion that being a homemaker is the highest calling for a woman. We sisters have dedicated our lives to God and God’s people, including the many women whom we have taught and influenced during the past 160 years. These women have made a tremendous difference in the world in their roles as wives and mothers and through their God-given gifts in leadership, scholarship, and their careers.”

Seven Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica arrived in Atchison, Kansas in 1863 and founded St. Scholastica Academy (now Maur Hill–Mount Academy) for local young women. Mount St. Scholastica’s Junior College was opened in 1924 so that young women could further their education and a senior college was opened in 1932 for women to obtain bachelor’s degrees.

Two Benedictine monks arrived in Atchison from Doniphan, Kansas, and opened St. Benedict’s College, a boarding school, in 1858. The college expanded to be a four-year liberal arts men’s college in 1927. In 1971, St, Benedict’s College and Mount St. Scholastica College merged to become Benedictine College.

“Our community has taught young women and men not just how to be “homemakers” in a limited sense, but rather how to make a Gospel-centered, compassionate home within themselves where they can welcome others as Christ, empowering them to be the best versions of themselves. We reject a narrow definition of what it means to be Catholic. We are faithful members of the Catholic Church who embrace and promote the values of the Gospel, St. Benedict, and Vatican II and the teachings of Pope Francis.”

Chargers Mock Chiefs' Harrison Butker in Schedule Release Video and Make  Him a 'Homemaker': Watch

Butker’s speech hit on a myriad of topics that included criticizing President Joe Biden for not upholding Catholic views and denouncing topics like IVF, abortion, and euthanasia, and he made snide comments about Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community.

Butker criticized an Associated Press article on America’s Catholic Church, which detailed the institution’s shift “toward the old ways.” The article pointed out Benedictine’s rules that “seem like precepts of a bygone age,” which include “volunteering for 3 a.m. prayers” and “pornography, premarital sex and sunbathing in swimsuits being forbidden.”

“When you embrace tradition, success, worldly and spiritual, will follow,” Butker said.

The sisters of Mount St. Scholastica emphasized that although Benedictine at its core is a Catholic college, it is still a welcome place for everyone.

“We want to be known as an inclusive, welcoming community, embracing Benedictine values that have endured for more than 1500 years and have spread through every continent and nation. We believe those values are the core of Benedictine College,” their statement read. “We thank all who are supportive of our Mount community and the values we hold. With St. Benedict, we pray, “Let us prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he lead us all together to life everlasting.”

Butker’s speech has been trending on social media throughout the week. His speech on Benedictine’s YouTube channel has gathered more than one million views since it was posted on Saturday.

Butker is a major face for the conservative Catholic faith in America.

After the Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 2023, Butker spent a week at a monastery for silence, prayer, and reflection. He has also appeared in advertisements for the nonprofit Catholic Vote, encouraging Kansans to vote for the Value Them Both Amendment that would have restricted abortions in Kansas in 2022.

The NFL released a statement from Jonathan Beane, NFL Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, saying that Butker’s comments do not align with those of the NFL:

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity. His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.“

Kansas City’s X account tweeted the city Butker lives in, which is not Kansas City, then deleted it. Mayor Quinton Lucas apologized for the post.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey demanded Lucas turn over all documents, records, and communication regarding the post.

A petition was created calling for the Chiefs to release Butker and it currently has over 183,000 signatures.

Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones is the only player who has issued any kind of statement on Butker’s speech. Jones publicly showed his support for the kicker who has helped the team win three Super Bowls in five years.

Gracie Hunt, daughter of Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, voiced her support on Friday morning for Butker as well.

“I can only speak from my own experience,” she began on FOX & friends. “I’ve had the most incredible mom who had the ability to stay home and be with us as kids growing up. I understand that there are many women out there who can’t make that decision but for me and my life, I know it was really formative in shaping me and my siblings to be who we are.

“I really respect Harrison and his Christian faith and what he’s accomplished on and off the field.”

On Thursday evening, Gracie’s mother, Tavia, posted on Instagram stating how much she believes finding a spouse and raising a family is “one of the greatest blessings this world has to offer.”

“I’ve always encouraged my daughters to be highly educated and chase their dreams,” Tavia said in the post. “I want them to know that they can do whatever they want (that honors God). But I also want them to know that I believe finding a spouse who loves and honors you as or before himself and raising a family together is one of the greatest blessings this world has to offer.”

“Studies show that committed, married couples with children are the happiest demographic, and this has been my experience as well,” Tavia said. “Affirming motherhood and praising your wife, as well as highlighting the sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a mother, is not bigoted.”

Tavia posted pictures of her with her daughters Gracie and Ava in the post. Tavia is also the Director of the Kansas City Chiefs Women’s Organization.

“It is empowering to acknowledge that a woman’s hard work in raising children is not in vain. Countless highly educated women devote their lives to nurturing and guiding their children. Someone disagreeing with you doesn’t make them hateful; it simply means they have a different opinion.”

“Let’s celebrate families, motherhood and fatherhood,” she said, citing Bible verse Proverbs 31:28. “Our society desperately needs dedicated men and women to raise up and train the next generation in the way they should go. Embracing the beautiful roles that God has made is something to celebrate.

“We need more dialogue (and VALUES IMO) in this country and less hate.”

FOX4 has reached out to Benedictine College and the Chiefs and is still awaiting comment.

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