Catholic university picks new nickname, dropping 'Crusaders'

Catholic university picks new nickname, dropping ‘Crusaders’

Catholic university picks new nickname, dropping ‘Crusaders’

A moment of the closing event of an inter-religious prayer gathering, in front of the Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi, Italy, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. War refugees, leaders and representatives of several religions, including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and others, joined Pope Francis Tuesday in a day of prayer for peace in Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis, who preached tolerance and gentleness. (Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino.)

Sports teams have come under fire for continuing to have controversial names and mascots that are offensive to some groups. Most of those causing controversy have Native American names or references such as the Washington Redskins. But a college in Pennsylvania has dropped the 'Crusaders' from its name, though they say it is not because of outside pressure but in order to reflect the spirit of Francis of Assissi.

READING, Pennsylvania — A Roman Catholic university in Pennsylvania has dropped the Crusaders for the Golden Wolves.

Alvernia University in Reading announced the name change Thursday for its teams.

The school says on its website that the change wasn’t prompted by a desire to be politically correct but to create a stronger tie to its patron saint, Francis of Assisi.

The school says Francis of Assisi turned away from the medieval religious wars known as the Crusades and traveled to Egypt in an unsuccessful attempt to convert the sultan and end the fighting.

The new name also references the story of St. Francis taming a wolf that had terrorized a city in Italy.

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