Skip to main content


Franciscan Faculty, Administrators Take Oath of Fidelity

8/28/2013 - 7:10 AM PST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY
Catholic PRWire

STEUBENVILLE, OH (August 28, 2013) - One by one, 19 professors, priests, and administrators stood before Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey Monforton and publicly promised “that in my words and in my actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.”

Their pledges came during the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith made during the Welcoming Mass for New Students held August 23 at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

The ceremony is a tradition at Franciscan University dating to 1989, when, following a directive issued that year by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Franciscan University became the first Catholic university in the United States to administer the Oath of Fidelity to its theology faculty. Each year since then, new theologians, priests, and other appropriate personnel at Franciscan University have taken the oath.

This year’s turnout was unusually large as the entire President’s Cabinet, Sacred Music Department, and Philosophy Department accepted an invitation by Franciscan University President Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, to also take the oath.

Facing Bishop Monforton, the candidates promised to “firmly accept and hold each and every thing definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals,” among other affirmations contained in the oath and profession.

Father Sheridan took the occasion to clarify that taking the Oath of Fidelity by the Philosophy Department is not a Church requirement, nor does it mean that Franciscan University believes that philosophical study originates in faith the same way theology does.

“This misunderstanding, called fideism, is foreign to our great Catholic tradition. Philosophy, as Catholics practice it, is a certain work of reason,” he said.

“In his great encyclical, Fides et Ratio, Blessed John Paul II taught that ‘philosophy must remain true to its own principles and methods,’” said Father Sheridan.

He then quoted from the same encyclical where John Paul noted the “profound transformation which philosophy itself must undergo” in relation to revelation. Still quoting the late pontiff, he said, “philosophy, like theology, comes more directly under the authority of the magisterium and its discernment, because of the implications it has for the understanding of Revelation. The truths of faith make certain demands which philosophy must respect.”

Afterwards, Dr. Michael Healy, chair of the Philosophy Department, further explained how Revelation can act as an inspiration for philosophical reason.

“For instance, in his Theology of the Body, John Paul II starts in revelation with Genesis, but this becomes an inspiration for further philosophical thought on man and woman, on love, on community.”
Healy said the ceremony was “very beautiful, very natural. It’s just a public expression of what we already do and already are. As philosophers, we uphold the ‘legitimate autonomy of reason’ [John Paul II], but we are also men and women of faith and thus recognize the limits of reason.”

Those who took the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith this year were: Father Gerald Gordon, TOR, director, Franciscan Heritage Office; Father Nathan Malavolti, TOR, vice president, Community Relations; Dr. Jessica Ewell, assistant professor, sacred music; Professor Nicholas Will, visiting assistant professor, sacred music; Professor Benjamin Wiker, visiting associate professor, theology; Dr. John Crosby, professor, philosophy; Dr. James Harold, professor, philosophy; Dr. Michael Healy, professor, philosophy; Dr. Patrick Lee, professor, philosophy; Dr. Mark Roberts, professor, philosophy; Dr. Jonathan Sanford, professor, philosophy; Dr. Daniel Kempton, vice president, Academic Affairs; Mr. Michael Hernon, vice president, Advancement; Mr. Joel Recznik, vice president, Enrollment Services; Mr. David Schmiesing, vice president, Student Life; Mr. Adam Scurti, vice president, Human Resources and Legal; Mr. David Skiviat, vice president, Finance; and Mr. Brenan Pergi, executive director, Human Resources.

Over 1,000 new students, their parents, and family members attended the Mass, which heralded the start of the 2013-2014 academic year.

Contact

Franciscan University of Steubenville
http://franciscan.edu  OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations, 

Keywords

Oath of Fidelity, Theology, Philosophy, Franciscan University

Category

Catholic Church

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
There was a man of Zorah of the tribe of Dan, called Manoah. ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:3-4, 5-6, 16-17
Be a sheltering rock for me, always accessible; you have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:5-25
In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a priest called ... Read More

Saint of the Day

December 19 Saint of the Day

St. Nemesius
December 19: Martyr of Egypt. He was burned alive in Alexandria, Egypt, ... Read More