Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Good and the Bad in the Jodi O'Brien Scandal at Marquette

I think that it is about time that I add my two cents about the Jodi O'Brien scandal at Marquette University. The obvious bad about the whole thing is that another lesbian is being publicly disgraced by a Catholic institution. This is made worse by Marquette lying about the whole thing. Anyone on the inside will tell you that Marquette (and Fr. Wild) were completely aware of her scholarly works on the issue of marriage before they offered her the job as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. It was only after pressure from Archbishop Listecki (who has been amazingly silent in the public realm regarding this issue and letting Fr. Wild take all the heat for it) and a few big donors that Fr. Wild changed his mind and rescinded the job offer.

The good... Marquette's lies illustrate it's own belief that if they were completely honest about her lesbian attribute being the reason that they rescinded the offer, they would lose public credibility. I wonder in retrospect if Fr. Wild would have rescinded the offer if he knew that there was going to be this type of student uproar and public scrutiny of him and Marquette. If you are not aware, the New York Times even picked up on this story early on. In any case, he wants to position himself as someone who would have no problem hiring an openly gay/lesbian person if they did not write about it in regard to Church teachings.

More good... a large contingent of students at Marquette, many of whom are Catholic, are standing up for the belief that a lesbian can be the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, which includes the theology department. It's reminiscent of the Young Catholics for Choice. It demonstrates that there is still a large contingent of young Catholics who are willing to engage in dialogue with the Catholic hierarchy, even when the hierarchy now wishes they would go back to pray, pay, and obey.

More good? I'm not sure how to interpret Listecki's silence. Is he afraid that if he speaks on this issue, all the pressure would go to him? Why is he content to let Marquette flail on its own? Why hasn't Fr. Wild thrown him under the bus with himself? Is Listecki worried he might get student protesters outside his home? It will be interesting to see if and when Listecki has anything to stay on this issue.

A Faithful Catholic


CatholicSoldier said...

Marquette University should be commended for in the end, making the right decision. What is sad, is that Marquette won't truly defend its role as a CATHOLIC University. One can almost sense that MU is ashamed to be Catholic and to stand up for the Universal Truth.

What you see as a positive in the young student body, is actually a devastating critique of the current Jesuits and their failure to teach the authentic Catholic Faith. Just as "Young Catholics for Choice" pretends to be Catholic, these students who believe themselves to be Catholic, radically separate themselves from the Catholic Church by their actions.

Marquette should be commended for revoking the offer, however, the offer should have never been made in the first place.

CatholicSoldier said...

As for Archbishop Listecki, you apparently missed his Q & A on Fox 6 News. He applauded Marquette for making the Catholic decision and also indicated that as a stakeholder in Marquette's mission, he did indicate the significant problems that Dr. O'Brien would represent for Marquette University.

Faithful Catholic said...

Thank you Catholic Soldier. Here is that link:,0,3693055.story

Nevertheless, I think that Listecki is being modest concerning his role in this ordeal. I'm sure he applied some pressure. In the interview with Fox 6, he makes it sound like he had no influence, he was just a concerned voice.

An Archbishop calling the president of the a Catholic University is never simply a concerned voice.

Dad29 said...

You're right, FC.

Listecki warned Wild.

And Wild did the right thing.

CatholicSoldier said...

That's the truth of the issue. Archbishop Listecki did the right thing, but Marquette has to be the front, since it is Marquette University. Listecki is just the local ordinary.

Anonymous said...

The fact is the Catholic Church, read hierarchy, is just wrong about homosexuality and they consistently blame people who are gay for problems of their own doing, read pedophilia and the conspiracy of moving priests around.

God cannot create a person who is disordered. To think that a person who is homosexual is disordered is just bigoted. The world--all of God's creation--is a wonderful tapestry. Look at all the different species. Look at all the different races of people. Why would we be so ignorant and arrogant to think that God could not create someone who is homosexual. It would be like telling an albino tiger that he is disordered.

It is time for the Catholic Church to live up to its name. For it to be truly Catholic it needs to welcome. love and accept all people. None of the comments I have read thus far on this blog or from Archbishop Listecki indicate to me that any of them know Jesus. They love an institution more than they love the son of the living God. Shame on them all.

CatholicSoldier said...


So I'm guessing St. Paul's epistles aren't the inspired Word of God then? That is what your fundamental assertion is or is it inspired but God then changed His mind?

The Church cannot betray itself. The Church is accepting and her arms are open. But we must first repent and resolve to try and live our lives in accordance with the Teachings of the Faith.

Dad29 said...

God cannot create a person who is disordered

Actually, God only co-operates in creation of people. You may recall that there ARE a mother and father, both of whom are subject to Original Sin, thus 'defective.'

And, by the way, there are plenty of "disordered" people out there. Or do you think that serial killers are just perfect?

Anonymous said...

F. C., one of the teachings of our Church is that a man or woman is entitled to his or her good reputation. The Cathechism warns us that "[h]e becomes guilty of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor..."

I would ask that we all remain patient and respectful while the facts of this matter are sorted out. Anything less would bring us dangerously close to the uncharitable. Suspicion and innuendo have no place in our discussion.