Thursday, March 19, 2009

More on Bishop Martino and Misericordia University

For those comimg late to this story, the provoking incident was Misericordia University's invitation of homosxual activist Keith Boykin to speak at their "Diversity Institute"

On March 3, Misericordia released this statement:

"Misericordia University is working diligently to schedule a meeting with the Bishop and his delegates so dialogue can be established among representatives of our founders and sponsors, the Religious Sisters of Mercy, university administrators, members of the Board of Trustees and the Diocese.

Misericordia University respects the Bishop’s position. The University looks forward to resolving these concerns directly with Bishop Martino."

Today, the good Bishop responded:

"Bishop Joseph F. Martino announced today that he will not meet with officials from Misericordia University until they comply with his request for a public release of specific information on how the institution teaches Catholic morality regarding sexuality and homosexuality, and how it is adhering to the four essential characteristics of a Catholic institution of higher learning.

The Bishop, in two previous statements, has asked that this information be provided to Misericordia’s alumni and the public. He has requested that the school speak precisely, naming courses, content and even catalog numbers.

The university has thus far refused to do so, instead requesting a private meeting with the Bishop.

However, the scandal that led to the Bishop’s request was a public matter. Therefore, no meeting will be held unless Misericordia complies with the request for a public release of information....

Bishop Martino also explained his obligation to address these matters. A local bishop does not merely have a 'personal position' (i.e., one which is no more valid than anyone else’s position) about the “Catholic identity” of a local Catholic college. Under the Church’s Code of Canon Law, the Bishop has a “responsibility” to evaluate and judge how all Catholic institutions in his diocese are upholding the principles of authentic Catholic identity.

In particular, it is his responsibility to ensure that institutions of higher learning which desire to call themselves Catholic are zealous in teaching Catholic faith and morals."

All emphases are added.

This is beautiful. Bishop Martino is saying, as he has said before: there is one teaching voice in the Diocese of Scarnton: the voice of the Bishop. Dialogue is acceptable, but only after the University responds to the Bishop's request--only after it accepts his authority. But he, and the university, cannot pretend that it will be a dialogue between equals.

I note that the University says it "respects" his position--but I don't believe they do. His position is that he is the Bishop, and thus the authority on anything "Catholic" in his diocese.

h/t Diane at Te Deum Laudamus!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In FutureChurch-ese, "dialog" means compromise. The bishop is doing the right thing.