Society

Fordham University Theology Department Chairman Marries Another Man

Catholic school defends his "constitutional right to get married"

Graduation at Fordham University Bronx NY

Charlie-cc

The chairman of the theology department at Fordham University has gotten married—to another man.

The New York Times, which up until a few years ago, declined running wedding announcements involving same-sex couples, reported that J. Patrick Hornbeck II “married” Patrick Anthony Bergquist Saturday at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan. The ceremony took place June 27, just a day after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex “marriage” nationwide. That would not have been necessary legally, since New York State has allowed gay "marriage" since 2011. But the ceremony was conducted before the Episcopal Church in America voted this week to allow same-sex "marriage" rites in its churches.

When asked whether Fordham was concerned about having a professor of theology whose lifestyle choice is in opposition to the teaching of the Catholic Church about marriage, a spokesman for the university said Hornbeck has the right to get married.

“While Catholic teachings do not support same-sex marriage, we wish Professor Hornbeck and his spouse a rich life filled with many blessings on the occasion of their wedding in the Episcopal Church,” said Bob Howe, Fordham’s senior director of communications. “Professor Hornbeck is a member of the Fordham community, and like all University employees, students and alumni, is entitled to human dignity without regard to race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation.”

Howe emphasized that same-sex unions are “now the law of the land, and Professor Hornbeck has the same constitutional right to marriage as all Americans.”

Hornbeck, 33, teaches medieval and reformation history at Fordham. He graduated from Georgetown. His mother is an administrative assistant at Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school for boys in Phoenix. Bergquist, 35, is director of children, youth and family ministries at St. Bartholomew’s, where the couple "married." 

An automated email response from Hornbeck indicated that he would "be away from my email altogether from June 27
until July 5."

In 2014, Hornbeck participated in a symposium at Fordham titled “Who Am I to Judge? How Pope Francis Is Changing the Church.”

“In the last 18 months Pope Francis has taken the Catholic world by storm,” Hornbeck in promotional material for the symposium, which was to focus on “the future of Catholicism as well as examine recent public statements from the pope on subjects that range from the role of LGBT persons in the church, to the restructuring of the Vatican Bank, to unmarried couples and divorce.

“American Catholics and their church have not been on the same page for some time,” said Hornbeck. “But now the pope is opening up space for dialogue.”

Meanwhile, a Catholic school in Macon, Ga., is facing a federal discrimination lawsuit from a former teacher whose employment was terminated in 2014 after the school found that he would be legally marrying his same-sex partner, the Cardinal Newman Society reported.