Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Bishop Martino....again, this time taking on Misericordia University for inviting gay-rights advocate

Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton does not walk on eggshells and makes Catholic teaching very clear in his diocese. This time, he is taking on Misericordia University for signing on a gay-rights advocate to talk tomorrow.

It was just about two weeks ago that Bishop Martino provided an open letter to Senator Bob Casey informing him that unless he rescinded his vote on the Martinez ammendment, he would be "formally cooperating in evil".

This is the bishop who stood up at the USCCB's annual fall conference and said that the bishops would one day have to deal with their "collective reticence" on the question of Catholic politicians who support abortion rights in defiance of church teaching.

And it's the same Bishop Martino who crashed a pre-election forum held on Catholic property in which some were skewing Church documents, notably the USCCB's Faithful Citizenship, to the advantage of pro-choice pols (and against Catholic teaching).

Emphases mine in bold, comments in red...

Update: Bishop Martino criticizes appearance of gay-rights advocate

Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino today publicly criticized a local Catholic university’s plan to host a gay-rights advocate on Tuesday.

The bishop voiced “absolute disapproval” of Misericordia University’s hosting Keith Boykin, whom Bishop Martino calls an author and “avid supporter of same-sex marriage.”

Bishop Martino calls Mr. Boykin’s beliefs “disturbingly opposed to Catholic moral teaching.”

Misericordia understands the “bishop’s criticism,” according to a statement the school released today.

But the statement also notes that Mr. Boykin’s speech is not meant to be a forum for advocacy on any single issue [it doesn't matter - it can lead people into scandal if they know what he represents, which counters Catholic moral teaching].

“Misericordia University is committed deeply to its Catholic mission. Inseparable from that mission is our identity as an academic institution where ideas and positions are explored critically and freely,” the release stated. [Hello?!?!? Is anybody home??? The two identities must be compatible, not in conflict.]

Efforts to reach Mr. Boykin have not been successful. Mr. Boykin, a New York Times best-selling author and Harvard law school classmate of President Barack Obama, will speak twice at Misericordia on Tuesday, once at 2 p.m. in the Bevevino Library and again at 8 p.m. in the Lemmond Theater at Walsh Hall.

The diocese’s statement concludes: “The faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, the Bishop observed, should be in no doubt that Misericordia University in this instance is seriously failing in maintaining its Catholic identity.”

Misericordia University, based in Dallas, Luzerne County, is a Catholic-affiliated school founded in 1924 by the Religious Sisters of Mercy.

Mr. Boykin is to be hosted by the university’s Diversity Institute, the bishop says. The institute’s goal is “working collaboratively with community members to promote multi-cultural understanding and the elimination of all forms of discrimination,” according to its Web site.

I wonder if Bishop Martino will be attending the talk for a followup.

Udpate 1: More articles on this are hitting the net

Watch for further updates

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!


immaculataconceptio said...

"critically and freely" = "in a way that enslaves us in stupidity all the more".

Has no one read Fides et Ratio of John Paul II?

Father George bloggingLOURDES

What George Cardinal Pell said: said...

George Cardinal Pell
I am grateful to you for sharing your thoughts on this matter with me.
As Archbishop of Sydney I have no authority over priests or parishes in the Archdiocese of Brisbane, but I strongly support the action Archbishop Bathersby has taken. The point is not whether Fr Kennedy is a good man, if disobedient, doing good social work; but whether his teachings and practices are compatible with the essentials of Catholic tradition.

yours sincerely,
+George Cardinal Pell

Leah McHendry said...

As a Catholic and as a student of Misericordia University, I was appalled by what the Bishop said about the school which has been so a part of my life for the past 10 years. My mother has worked at the institution and I am currently attending the university.

I wonder how many people who are commenting on this speech, actually attended it, to see for themselves what the Bishop so disapproved of. I believe when Misericordia said in their statement, "Mr. Boykin’s speech is not meant to be a forum for advocacy on any single issue," was that despite him being a homosexual, his speech was not focused on his homosexuality, or in fact, any homosexuality at all.

The 8 o'clock talk did not even mention homosexuality besides in a laundry list of groups who are discriminated against and in a question that was asked of Mr. Boykin, uninitiated. His speech was on the Obama campaign and spoke a message of perseverance and hope.

By no means should a professional and scholar be singled out by his sexual orientation for any reason. Knowledge is knowledge, and to censor that would be a sin in itself. If we were to go back and take away any knowledge that we gained from homosexuals, we could not be learning about the man who painted the Sistine Chapel or any of the great musical compositions of Tchaikovsky.

It has recently been extremely upsetting to find so many Catholics being so extremely judgmental and so extremely unchristian. With the words of Bishop Martino, I find myself ashamed of my church. Not of my faith and my religion, but of the views of my church which would so censor a school for no reason other than the personal life of the man speaking.

Diane M. Korzeniewski said...

Leah - thanks for your comment. Since little traffic is coming to this post now that it has been out a few days, please see this post for my response.