By Kathleen Gilbert

SCRANTON, Pennsylvania, February 25, 2009 ( – Following Misericordia University’s decision to host a homosexualist speaker, Bishop Martino has called on the school to dissolve the “Diversity Institute” that sponsored the event.

Misericordia, a Catholic school, invited homosexualist activist Keith Boykin for two speaking engagements at the school last Tuesday. Boykin, the former president of a same-sex “marriage” advocacy group, has won notoriety for his work, including authoring a book entitled, “One More River to Cross: Black and Gay in America.”

“Bishop Martino said that students attending a Catholic institution should have a clear understanding that while all persons should be treated with dignity, homosexual activity is not condoned by the Church and should never be construed as acceptable behavior,” states a diocesan press release dated February 24.

“Bishop Martino is also asking Misericordia to seriously consider discontinuing its Diversity Institute, which co-sponsored Mr. Boykin’s appearance,” it continues, noting that the Institute previously invited Boykin to serve for a week as a visiting scholar.

“The Bishop’s rationale is that students should learn respect for all races and cultures, but that viewpoints that are in direct opposition to Catholic teaching should not be presented under the guise of ‘diversity.’ Doing so within a formal structure sanctioned by the institution gives the impression that these viewpoints are acceptable, or that all morality is relative.”

The Diversity Institute’s website states that its goal is “to promote multi-cultural understanding and the elimination of all forms of discrimination.”  Calls made by (LSN) to the head of the Diversity Institute, Dr. Linda Trompetter, were not returned as of press time.

The bishop’s statements came after the rebuke he aimed at Misericordia for inviting Boykin fell on deaf ears.  Bishop Martino had expressed “absolute disapproval” of the choice and warned the diocese that the University was “seriously failing in maintaining its Catholic identity.”

In response, Misericordia issued a release claiming that Boykin’s appearance “is not meant to be a forum for advocacy on any singular issue,” and that the university “is committed deeply to its Catholic Mission” but is also “an academic institution where ideas and positions are explored critically and freely.”

In the recent statement, the Bishop challenged the professed commitment to Catholic teaching by requesting that the school “convey to its alumni, and in fact to all the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, its efforts to teach Catholic morality regarding sexuality and homosexuality.” 

In doing so, the bishop says, Misericordia “should speak precisely, naming courses, content and even catalog numbers.”

Misericordia, in another press release, restated that it has “been committed deeply to its Catholic mission and the teachings of the Catholic Church” and “welcomes the opportunity to discuss these matters with the bishop and his delegates at their convenience.”

Bishop Martino’s office declined to comment on the issue.

See related coverage:

Bishop Martino Slams Misericordia University for Inviting Homosexual Rights Advocate