ST. PAUL (AP) - Recent remarks about inclusiveness by the new president of the University of St. Thomas have heartened gay and lesbian advocacy groups on the Roman Catholic campus.

Julie Sullivan, the first female president of the private college, said in her convocation address that the campus community owes "love and support" to all regardless of sexual orientation. Leaders of pro-gay campus groups say they took it as evidence of a direction shift meant to make the school more gay-friendly.

The Catholic church and schools in Minnesota continue to grapple with how to approach gay rights. A suburban Catholic high school recently parted ways with its male president and a female teacher after they disclosed publicly that they were in same-sex relationships.