Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. Statement Regarding the Inclusion Initiative

May 6, 2010
Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.
Statement Regarding the Inclusion Initiative
May 6, 2010

     I want to thank Bishop Bambera for engaging with me and the University in a pastoral spirit of dialogue regarding the Inclusion Initiative. As a Catholic and Jesuit university, Scranton treasures its relationship with the Diocese of Scranton and Bishop Bambera.

     I am grateful to Bishop Bambera for his endorsement of the goals that we seek to accomplish through the Inclusion Initiative. In establishing the Inclusion Initiative and calling for the creation of a student group, I noted the following to the campus community:

     ...our community has no place for discrimination or harassment on the basis of ethnicity, gender, race, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation. While such declarations are essential, they must be coupled with real actions to ensure that they remain true for all. 
     Both the steering committee and student group will undertake their respective missions in ways that are consistent with Catholic teaching. 

     I specifically charged the Inclusion Initiative to provide educational opportunities for campus, such as speakers, “ combat homophobia, discrimination and ignorance about LGBTQ issues.”  As the Initiative invites guests to campus, I want to make clear that the University does not endorse views or positions of speakers when such views are contrary to our mission and to the teaching of the Catholic Church. This is true for an event this evening that is scheduled for members of the University community.  

     As a Catholic and Jesuit university, Scranton embraces its responsibility to advancing the mission of the Church. Therefore, we accept our role in helping Bishop Bambera 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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