Published Letter to the Editor "Marjolies' talk should be a learning experience"

Another of my letters to the editor have been published...this time with more words.

On January 13, I published an article titled "Scranton bishop opposes speaker who encourages women to be politically active." After writing, I submitted letters to the editor to my local newspapers. One was published today (the newspaper selected the title):

Margolies’ talk should be a learning experience

Bishop Joseph Bambera recently has objected to a very accomplished individual – Marjorie Margolies, a former congresswoman and founder/president of Women’s Campaign International – scheduled to speak at the University of Scranton on Jan. 28 in order to empower and educate women (and others) in the field of politics.

Bambera objects because, according to a diocesan release, Margolies has been politically active with pro-choice initiatives.

It is not at all clear, though, that Ms. Margolies will be talking about anything regarding abortion, and there seems to be no evidence or reason suggesting that she will.

The Diocese of Scranton, regardless of how much it might speak about the importance of education, obviously is not interested in dissenting viewpoints and seemingly is only interested in its own perspectives being presented. Is this the sort of education and intellectual honesty that should be lauded?

In a setting of higher learning, opposing viewpoints should be welcomed so that individuals could challenge their own beliefs, keep themselves honest, be exposed to new ideas and evaluate others’ reasons for beliefs. Isn’t this what education is supposed to be about? Not so for Bishop Bambera.

If the Catholic faith and church teachings are so strong and justified, why should the bishop be concerned when someone holding an opposing viewpoint is scheduled to speak (especially when said viewpoint has nothing to do with the content of the speech)?

Shame on the Diocese of Scranton and Bishop Bambera for opposing an accomplished speaker just because she happens to be pro-choice. Catholics and non-Catholics alike should be appalled by Bambera who is following in the footsteps of former Bishop Joseph Martino.

Justin Vacula