Bishop and Misericordia Clash on Gay Rights Speaker

February 24, 2009

The Rev. Joseph Martino, bishop of Scranton, on Tuesday asked Misericordia University to specify how sexuality is taught at the institution, and whether those teachings are consistent with Roman Catholic teaching. The statement followed an appearance at the university by Keith Boykin, an advocate for gay rights. The bishop had asked that the talk be called off, and he is now asking the university to "seriously consider" abolishing its Diversity Institute, which invited Boykin. "The Bishop’s rationale is that students should learn respect for all races and cultures, but that viewpoints that are in direct opposition to Catholic teaching should not be presented under the guise of 'diversity,' " said a statement from the bishop. "Doing so within a formal structure sanctioned by the institution gives the impression that these viewpoints are acceptable, or that all morality is relative." The university issued a statement indicating that it would be happy to meet with Bishop Martino, and that Misericordia is "committed deeply to its Catholic mission."

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