‘Bishop who knows how to Bishop’: Bishop Martino Refuses Misericordia University
Bishop has a responsibility to judge how all Catholic institutions in his diocese are upholding the principles of authentic Catholic identity.
We invite our readers throughout the world to pray for Bishop Martino, that he would have the courage he needs, in the face of some virulent opposition, to insist that Catholic institutions act and remain Catholic.
A very dear friend of mine, an evangelical Protestant minister who is a Champion of Life, commented to me upon reading it, “Boy, does this Pope know how to Pope!” In this instance, my reaction to Bishop Joseph Martino’s continued defense of the truth in his Diocese was “Boy does this Bishop know how to Bishop!” And further, how desperately we all need him - and others like him - as we walk through the smoke of what Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, right before he was elected to the Chair of Peter, prophetically called “the dictatorship of relativism.”
The latest news out of the Diocese of Scranton concerns the Bishops’ insistence that Misericordia University, a Catholic College in his Diocese, comply with his reasonable request before he meets with them. They have not done so and want a private meeting. Our readers will recall that this Catholic University, against the Bishop’s explicit direction, sponsored through its “Diversity Institute”, an advocate of the movement among practicing homosexuals to obtain a legal equivalency between homosexual paramours and those who are married.
This activist leader came to this Catholic College campus and spoke on the very matter which raised the Bishops concerns in one of his talks. He used a Catholic platform to directly oppose the truth as taught by the Natural law, confirmed by Revelation and taught by the Magisterium of the Church concerning human love in the Divine plan. So, after the event, the Bishop requested that this University offer a public release of specific information on how it teaches Catholic morality regarding sexuality and homosexuality, and how it is adhering to the four essential characteristics of a Catholic institution of higher learning. They have not done so.
A Catholic College is not a private College with some sort of loose church affiliation. It is a Catholic College and as such it participates in the mission of the Catholic Church. In his masterful letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul calls all Christians to a "…renewal of their minds". (Romans 12:2) This renewal of the mind is the essence of the mission of a Catholic education. The Catholic University is to affirm that there is a constitutive connection between truth, freedom, education and the ability to form an authentically human and just culture. This commitment to the existence of truth characterizes the heart of the Catholic educational mission. The Purpose of a Catholic College is to teach, form and prepare students in Christ, through Christ, and with Christ, the Truth Incarnate who has been raised and continues His redemptive mission through His Body, the Church. The Church is vested with His authority to teach the truth.
In the words of the great Western Bishop Augustine: "Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does "head and members" mean? Christ and the Church." This living Christ still teaches in and through His Church of which the Catholic College is a member. Through the Church Christ continues his redemptive mission, a part of which is to influence human culture by orienting it toward the truth. The faithful are called to inculcate and live the truth as articulated under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the teaching office of the Church.
One of the most important components of the mission of the Church in this age of nihilism and relativism is providing an authentically Catholic education to the next generation. It is Christ the Teacher who teaches in the Catholic College. As the late Servant of God John Paul II said so succinctly in an address to educators in 1979 "Catholic education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others."
Bishop Joseph Martino understands this vital Catholic educational mission. He also embraces his duty as a Bishop to be the Chief teacher in his own Diocese. It is not he who is being unreasonable in this request but the University leadership which, hiding behind a misguided notion of “diversity”, seems to be promoting the very relativism that then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, warned us all of. What happened on the campus of Misericordia University is properly called a scandal. (See, CCC 2284 – 2287) We present for our readers the latest Press Release concerning this ongoing ...
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