Theologian uninvited to U of San Diego
The University of San Diego, a Catholic institution, has rescinded an invitation to a British theologian due to pressure from conservative Catholic groups, including the Cardinal Newman Society. From Inside Higher Ed:
The University of San Diego has rescinded an invitation to a British theologian who had been asked to spend several weeks at the Roman Catholic university as a visiting fellow because of her views on social issues, including her public support for gay marriage.
Tina Beattie, director of the Digby Stuart Research Center for Catholic Studies at Roehampton University, a public university in London, had been invited to be a visiting fellow at the university’s Center for Catholic Thought and Culture. The invitation -- which included a speech at a prayer breakfast and a lecture as part of a university series -- was challenged by the Cardinal Newman Society, a group that seeks to hold Catholic colleges and universities accountable for activity on campus that it considers un-Catholic. Three days later, the university’s president, Mary E. Lyons, disinvited Beattie.
Beattie, a practicing Catholic, has published extensively on gender issues and the church.
Over the past few months, I’ve spent some time interviewing students, faculty, and staff at Catholic colleges and universities throughout the US about how their campuses approach issues of gender and sexuality. Several people I interviewed said that Catholic schools have an obligation to explore these sensitive issues openly, honestly, and without fear. Many said that critical dialogue is not only an essential part of higher education, but of the Catholic faith that guides these schools. Bowing to pressure from dogmatic watchdog groups will not further our understanding, but create a climate of fear and resentment.