FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2011
STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP DOLAN & BISHOP LORI
As Pastors, we have received thoughtful expressions of concern from many of the faithful regarding a series of four conferences on aspects of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality entitled, “More than a Monologue.” Two of these will take place at Catholic universities in our own dioceses, Fordham University and Fairfield University.
We shared those concerns and our own with the Presidents of Fordham and Fairfield Universities. Advertisements and commentary in advance of these conferences seemed to imply that they might encourage dissent from the Church’s teaching and from her teaching authority while advocating for erroneous opinions about sexuality dominant in our culture. The Presidents of both universities listened to our concerns and brought them to the attention of the organizers of these conferences in their respective universities. Subsequently both Presidents helpfully assured us that these conferences, while sensitive to the experience of the participants, will not be a vehicle for dissent.
One of them wrote: “I am confident that the Church’s teachings will be clearly stated and articulately defended, and in a spirit of dialogue that is proper to an academic setting, the strength of these teachings will be quite convincing, based as they are on revealed truth.”
With the assurances we have received, we now must trust that the conferences will turn out as intended: not as a criticism or questioning of the faith and morals of the Church, but as a sincere attempt to listen to those who are trying their best to believe and live it, and who have some positive ideas about pastoral strategy to present it even better.