Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bambera: Strike One

So, our new Bishop has "engaged in a dialogue" with University of Scranton President Father Scott Pilarz about tonight's speaking engagement at the University of Sara Bendoraitis. If you don't know who she is, she is American University's "GLBTA Resource Center Director".

So what does it mean that our Bishop "engaged in dialogue"?

And why are they announcing it on the day of the appearance by this person?

Here's my take on it.

They want no one to cause a ruckus over this. Whether or not Bambera allowed it is another matter. I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now that he did raise objections. But he does get a failing grade. There's no doubt what Bishop Martino would have done.

But then Martino was a true defender of Catholic teaching. This new guy, not so much so far.

Laughable is this: that Pilarz will attend the lecture on subjects contrary to Catholic faith and morals "to ensure that the principles of Catholic teaching are upheld." Are you kidding me?

How's he gonna do that? Object? Ask her to leave? Maybe he'll present Catholic teaching on the gay lifestyle and why it is sinful and depraved and why we go to Hell when we dabble in the colonic arts?

Like I said I am giving the new Bishop a pass on this. But he better get his act together in the future and stop trying to hide tings like this from the faithful. Our kids go to Catholic schools to learn faith and morals and how to live their lives as Catholics. Not to hear speakers who praise the very things that are tearing our society apart.

Diocese of Scranton
Statement Regarding Speaker for University of Scranton Inclusion Initiative
May 6, 2010

Bishop Bambera has engaged in a dialogue with Father Scott Pilarz, S.J., president of the University of Scranton, regarding an event being hosted tonight (May 6) by the University’s Inclusion Initiative.

The stated goals of the Inclusion Initiative involve providing “a more inclusive environment and a better understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity. A safe place and a voice will be provided for these students in our community while holding true and dedicated to Catholic teaching and the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, care for the person as a unique individual.”

These goals are in harmony with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which makes clear that all people, including those of various sexual orientations, “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

Tonight’s event features a talk by Sara Bendoraitis, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at American University. Ms. Bendoraitis belongs to the Facebook group “AU (American University) Students for Choice,” a group that supports abortion rights. In March she spoke at and accompanied American University students to the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference, which included presentations on abortion rights and access to birth control.

Ms. Bendoraitis obviously supports positions that are contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. For this reason, Bishop Bambera has expressed concern to Father Pilarz about the University hosting this speaker.

Father Pilarz has informed the Bishop that he will attend the lecture to ensure that the principles of Catholic teaching are upheld.

Bishop Bambera cited his obligation to ensure that authentic Catholic teaching is being provided in all Catholic institutions in the Diocese, and that viewpoints in opposition to this teaching are not being presented as acceptable alternatives.


Justin Vacula said...

This is funny and interesting because I posted a very similar article talking about how Martino made the Catholic Church and himself look terrible and you want Bambera to act like Martino :)


Bishops shouldn't interfere with the education of the community and allow for differing viewpoints without censorship and quelling free speech. If the bishop is opposed to the speaker, he should release his own rebuttal, speak at the university on a different day, etc.

So, although our opinions obviously differ, the bishop gets a strike from the atheists and a strike from conservative Catholics. He's off to a great start!

What's so terrible about homosexuals, anyway? People are attracted to people of the same sex and simply make different choices in sexual attraction and lifestyles. Big deal.

Not all people (like me) go to Catholic schools to only learn about Catholic perspectives...and not all students at Catholic schools are conservative Catholics. Multiple sides of issues should be presented.

Homosexuality and civil rights aren't tearing society apart...religion is

- Justin Vacula

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Hello Justin,

It's not that I want Bambera to be like Martino, it's that I want Bambera to be a real Catholic Bishop and stand up for Catholic faith and morals.

In reference to your comment that "...Bishops shouldn't interfere with the education of the community" shows that you don't understand the relationship between a Bishop and a Catholic college or university in his own Diocese. The Bishop has the authority and the responsibility to ensure that any organization which calls itself Catholic upholds Catholic teaching. I don't understand why this is something that has to be explained as often as it is. If something is not authentically Catholic, the Bishop's job is to correct it.

The homosexual issue is not something I have time for right now. Maybe someone else can explain Church teaching on that.


Justin Vacula said...

Speakers and events at colleges aren't just for college students, but are open to the public at large. Yesterday, for instance, King's College hosted a democratic forum. About two months ago, King's hosted a skeptic speaker who spoke about "How to think about weird things."

Organizations can certainly uphold Catholic teachings in their theology classrooms, Catholicism classes, and anything the priests or president says, but other individuals outside of the college ought to come in and present differing viewpoints to educate the college and the community. The bishop shouldn't be censoring free speech and disallowing people to speak.

I have has several classes with teachings that aren't following the Catholic viewpoint. King's, as they say, is committed to making people "well-rounded" and allow for diversity. How are we supposed to be well-rounded and diverse if all we get is the Catholic viewpoint?

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Secular schools are there to make you "well-rounded" - whatever that means. Catholic institutions are there to help spread the Gospel and teach Catholics how to live in the secular world.

There is only one way to Jesus Christ - through His Church. And the Catholic college or university is an extension of that. If it fails in its primary goal and is no different than Wilkes or Penn State, then whats the point?

The schools that want to call themselves Catholic and take money from Catholics for their "Inclusion Initiatives" and whatever other nonsense are going to see that we aren't going to put up with it anymore.

Like the Church in general, these so-called "Catholic" colleges and universities have lost their way,and we need strong Bishops to keep them on track.

Bishop Bambera is going to need to be a strong Bishop in order to preserve the faith that has been handed down to us. Not be a pansy pushover who allows these schools to do whatever they want while flaunting anti-catholic sentiment and ideas.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

And, just to debunk another of your comments, the speech last night was not open to the public.

I'm just sayin'.

CatholicMomof6 said...

I'm laughing and crying at the same time. I read the article earlier and immediately thought that Bishop Martino would have made it known very loudly and clearly that this was not acceptable under any terms. Bishop Bambera is turning out to be just like I expected, a moderate "dialogue" maker. This year we had to decide where to send our oldest son to college. We were able to place only ONE catholic university on the this--and not one in this diocese. We finally decided that our best choice was not a Catholic one, but one of another Christian denomination. However, we have NO DOUBT that there won't be any of this "inclusion iniative" business going on on campus. Sad to see but Catholic universities have lost all sense of purpose. As to Justin's comments...secular institutions of higher learning were set up specifically to offer education outside of a religious setting. Catholic colleges are NOT public institutions--they are private and therefore have a much higher standard and expectation. Since they are Catholic institutions, they should be Catholic in all it's teachings. If you want diversity, then go to Penn State. The atheistic belief is that Christians of whatever sort are only acceptable when they use their faith like "a warm sweater" but certainly not if they are living, breathing, and teaching Christianity. Grow up. You have free will. If you don't want to be a Christian--suit yourself. It's your soul. But as Catholics we have a right to DEMAND that every single penny we send to our diocese goes to support the Truth. I won't send a single penny (and don't have to) knowing that it will go to support the education of Catholic children in this manner. It's no wonder the Modern Church is in such a shambles.

Justin Vacula said... events are usually open to the public. From the CV, "Members of the university community who attended the event, which was not open to the public, said Pilarz gave opening remarks that focused on Catholic teaching about inclusiveness and never interceded during the presentation."

Christian said...

Oh, Justin...didn't the King's Theology Dept explain that word "inclusive"? Show me one Catechism carrying Catholic with that word in their lexicon... I don't think there is one. It's just a vocabulary flag for relativistic, univeralist, or gnostic beliefs.

Speaking of inclusive I saw this headline over at USA today: "Nuns, Nancy Pelosi are rock stars to progressive Catholics'


Anonymous said...

Roaming Catholic writes:
Rockin, I do not think that our new bishop is going to be a "Rock em' Sock em'" type like Bishop Martino was. Our media is quite content in keeping to the story that Martino was a 'hatchet man'; he was only sent here to shake things up. Many people I meet with think the same way and are glad that he's gone. I think our new bishop will be a "go with the flow" kind of leader. Controversies might erupt here or there, but he will institute a group hug, 'can't we just get along' kind of answer (en espanol). Who knows? He may turn out to be a strong defender of the Faith, even tougher than Martino. We'll see...I doubt it though.