PRINCETON, NJ, October 7, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Princeton’s Stuart Country Day School, a Catholic school, has disinvited former New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman as the keynote speaker for a women’s leadership forum at the request of Bishop John Smith, who warned against the scandal that would be caused by inviting the famously pro-abortion political figure.
Bishop Smith of the Trenton diocese cited the section in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” that condemns abortion and euthanasia as intrinsically evil and insupportable.
“Governor Whitman has made it her position over the years that she is pro-choice, and so supports a position totally contrary to official Catholic teaching,” Bishop Smith wrote in a letter addressed to the school’s headmistress, Sister Frances de la Chapelle of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
Bishop Smith urged the school to reverse the invitation, which “may well mislead your students, parents and faculty to falsely conclude that the Church tolerates the pro-choice position.”
The school subsequently cancelled the woman’s leadership forum altogether. In a statement concerning the cancellation, Sister de la Chapelle said, “We are saddened that our students, and the wider community, will not be enriched by the lively discussion and critical thinking that surely would have resulted from Governor Whitman’s lecture on leadership, values, and the environment.”
“I ask that we pray for our Church, Governor Whitman, and ourselves at this time,” said the headmistress. [article]
And I might add for the headmistress also that apparently had no problem with a governor who vetoed a partial birth abortion ban. Thank you Bishop John Smith!
In other news Bishop Steinbeck talks about Fr. Farrow who recently came out against the Proposition 8 in California during Mass.
Farrow’s comments contradict statements made by the head of the U.S. federal government’s genome project, Dr. Francis S. Collins, who points out that studies of identical twins prove that “sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations.” Identical twins, who share the same DNA, share a homosexual orientation in only 20 percent of cases, according to Collins.
Fresno’s Bishop John T. Steinbock responded to Farrow’s statements in a press release stating, “Proposition 8 is not about gay or lesbian orientation, or their legal rights. Proposition 8 is a reaffirmation of the nature of marriage. Proposition 8 reaffirms the dignity of the special covenant between one man and one woman which has been the building block of the church and of society since time immemorial.”
Bishop Steinbock also defended the Church’s right to speak out on political issues. “Some say that the Church has no place in American politics. That is absolutely untrue. The Church never involves itself in telling people to vote for a political candidate or party. But it does have the moral responsibility to speak out strongly on moral issues when these relate to propositions on our ballot,” he said.
He added, “The Church has a right and obligation to speak out on issues of faith and morals. This means speaking out on important issues affecting family life and the common good.”
In an interview before the mass at which he intended to announce his dissent, Farrow was directly asked by Fresno’s ABC affiliate if he was “gay,” to which he responded “It’s a secondary issue. But yes, I am.”
Farrow had apparently cleared out his office in anticipation of the event, and disappeared following the mass. As of Monday, Bishop Steinbeck still had not spoken to Farrow, but asked for prayers for him and all of the diocese’s priests, as well as for priestly vocations. [article]