The University of Scranton, which bills itself as “a nationally recognized Catholic and Jesuit university in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains region,” has invited a pro-choice speaker to its campus—former U. S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies. “The Cardinal Newman Society has been alerting its members that Scranton University is hosting a former Congresswoman and advocate of abortion to help train women to run for public office,” Steven Ertelt wrote in an article which appeared on Life News.com. “The Catholic university is not backing down despite calls from the bishop.”
“Recently, the Diocese of Scranton issued a statement saying Bishop Joseph Bambera requested the Jesuit university to withdraw the invitation but it has refused.”
“The gravity of this issue speaks to the heart and substance of who we are as Christians,” the bishop wrote. “Because of the incarnation of Christ, every human life has value and worth “As Christians, we must be committed to defending human life at every age and every stage from conception to natural death.”
“Although a forum such as this, designed to support and encourage women to engage in public service, is by its nature good and noble, for a Catholic institution in the Diocese of Scranton to invite a pro-abortion advocate to speak at a University sponsored event is dismaying and personally disheartening to me. And to do so within days of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., is particularly demoralizing.”
“According to the diocesan statement, University officials said that their invitation to Ms. Margolies was not an endorsement of her personal views,” the Cardinal Newman Society stated. “But the diocese said that the inclusion of Ms. Margolies in a University sponsored program has created ‘concern and confusion’ among members of the Christian faithful.”
“The diocese said that the University’s charge as a Catholic institution of higher learning has been ‘compromised.’”
“The keynote lecturer for The Ready to Run Campaign Training for Women program on January 28,2012, Marjorie Margolies, served in Congress from 1993 to 1995 and later, acted as director of a PAC committed to electing pro-abortion rights women.”
Indeed the official House of Representatives web site notes that during her one term in Congress: “She focused on issues affecting women, from abortion to health care. Her first vote on major legislation was for the Family and Medical Leave Act. She also opposed the ‘Hyde Amendment,’ which prohibited federal funding of abortions.” By the way, she is also Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law.
Full disclosure: Your correspondent graduated from the University of Scranton in 1981. Even then, Da U, as we called it, routinely showcased pro-choice Catholics in its on-campus lectures. In the year I matriculated, 1977, for example, the university, in its literature, featured a photo of its then-president, William J. Byron, S. J., with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
As well, students at the university had at least one chance a year to hear Scranton native Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del. In fact, having arrived in Scranton just four years after Roe v. Wade passed the U. S. Supreme Court, I don’t ever remember hearing a pro-life lecture in the four years I was at Scranton.
The difference is that the U could justify inviting such as Kennedy and Biden because it gave the institution “access” to public officials, but Mezvinsky’s been out of office for 17 years, defeated in her reelection bid. Moreover, ostensibly, with that onus, she is going to teach young women how to get elected. Well, technically, she did achieve election: She just didn’t get reelected.
It should be noted that there was a pro-life group at the university which made the trek down to Washington, D. C. to the March for Life. Then again, at Catholic universities, it is frequently easier to be pro-life off campus than on.
Maybe that’s one reason why so many students show up at the March. See for yourself.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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