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Summer 2002 | Volume 25, Number 3 | Faculty
In Seattle Times Essay, Wolfe Defends Priestly Celibacy, Urges Church Reform

IN AN APRIL 19 ESSAY in The Seattle Times, Seattle Pacific University writer-in-residence Greg Wolfe defended the long-standing Catholic tradition of priestly celibacy. A Catholic himself, he wrote, "The current round of scandals in the church fills me with anger and shame."

But Wolfe proposed reforming the system without throwing out celibacy, which he regards as a political issue in the media. "Once we have sought justice for the victims of abuse and reform in the church," he wrote, "we should do more to support those who do not betray our trust."

In a later interview, Wolfe said he views celibacy as "something the vast majority of Catholics are not ready to ditch, but they'd rather not verbalize that." Abuse of minors, he continued, is "not fundamentally a problem of an unmarried priest. Marriage doesn't simply solve these problems."

Wolfe became a Catholic while studying at Oxford University. As editor of Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion, based at SPU, he seeks to explore the relationship between the Christian faith and art. This, he says, is one more way in which Seattle Pacific can engage the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Many artists and writers come from the Catholic tradition, notes Wolfe. "Catholics have always felt the arts are a worthy medium for encountering God's grace. They celebrate the created order, the stuff of this world — which includes words and clay and music.

"Catholicism is also dramatic," he continues. "The Catholic Church is hard-nosed about a lot of things — it upholds incredibly high moral standards. But its liturgy also offers very visible forms of reconciliation, such as the eucharist."

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From the President
The Board of Trustees adopted a new SPU mission statement in May 2002. "I believe passionately in what we are trying to articulate here," says President Philip Eaton.

Commencement 2002
Graduates celebrate their hard-earned diplomas — and create The Class of 2002 Endowment. [Campus]

Tiffany Bricks Project
Alumni, friends and members of the SPU community are invited to purchase and inscribe a brick from the former Tiffany Hall. Funds will directly benefit student scholarships. [Alumni]

Varsity Pair Rows to Gold
The Falcon women's varsity pair crew shell rowed to its first national championship gold medal in the Dad Vail Regatta. [Athletics]

My Response
Nick Glancy, Class of 2002, writes about September 11, the Gospel of John and J.R.R. Tolkien in this new Response department. [My Response]