another bishop stands up
The Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, New Jersey is a Catholic institution-- or so they tell us-- run by the Society of the Sacred Heart. The nuns take pride in training girls for important roles in society, and so the school established a Women in Leadership Forum, inviting prominent speakers to the campus, to "provide girls with opportunities to interact with women role models."
The role models chosen, however, have been depressingly similar: women with liberal political views, women with no discernible love for Church teachings on hot-button social issues. After last year's Leadership Forum presentation by journalist Cokie Roberts, some parents complained, and Bishop John Smith of Trenton reportedly sought and received a promise that in the future the school would invite speakers more sympathetic toward Catholic social doctrine.
So this year, the school announced that the Leadership Forum speaker would be former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, who has gained nationwide prominence for her efforts to persuade her fellow Republicans to embrace the causes of unrestricted legal abortion and homosexual rights. In announcing Whitman's speech the Stuart School headmistress, Sister Frances de la Chapelle, said that the "pro-choice" activist would "bring an interesting perspective on the leadership role of women and the values they bring to the formation of public policy."
An "interesting perspective," yes. When he heard about the invitation to Gov. Whitman, Bishop Smith apparently found it interesting, too. The bishop wrote to the school's administrators, asking them to cancel the Leadership Forum event. And...
Just a week before Whitman's scheduled appearance, a terse announcement appeared on the Stuart School site:
The October 6th Women in Leadership Forum has been canceled. Mark your calendar for the next Forum event on February 24.
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