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Scranton bishop concerned by speaker at Jesuit university

May 07, 2010

Ten days after his ordination to the episcopate, Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton expressed concern about a speaker at the Jesuit-run University of Scranton.

“Bishop Bambera has engaged in a dialogue with Father Scott Pilarz, SJ, president of the University of Scranton, regarding an event being hosted tonight (May 6) by the University’s Inclusion Initiative,” the diocese said in a statement, adding:

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."


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - May. 10, 2010 1:15 PM ET USA

    Good for the new bishop of Scranton! However, I, too, wonder how Fr.Pilarz's attendance at the lecture will put a stop to anything contrary to Catholic teaching. The very presence of this speaker who advocates actions in opposition to our Catholic faith should be enough to disallow the invitation. Is this not what the bishops meant when they issued this instruction regarding speakers who maintain views in opposition to the Church? You don't invite them and then HOPE they don't say anything.

  • Posted by: JR - May. 08, 2010 5:58 PM ET USA

    How will Father Pilarz's attendance at the lecture "ensure that the principles of Catholic teaching are upheld"?

  • Posted by: adamah - May. 07, 2010 2:46 PM ET USA

    I wonder why there is no mention of homosexual behavior as being the issue that is incompatable with Catholic teaching and not only abortion?