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University Of San Diego Bars Brit For Gay Marriage Support

BeattieTA few weeks ago, British theologian Tina Beattie joined about two dozen other Catholics in signed a letter published in The Times of London in which they support marriage equality.

"[It is] perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples," that pro-equality letter read.

Mary Lyons, president of the University of San Diego, disagrees with Beattie's stance and last week notified Beattie (pictured) that her fellowship at the school's Frances G. Harpst Center of Catholic Thought and Culture had been canceled because Beattie "dissented publicly" against official Catholic Church position.

From that letter:

[The Center is] to provide opportunities to engage the Catholic intellectual tradition in its diverse embodiments: doctrinal, spiritual, moral, literary, artistic and social. This would include clear and consistent presentations concerning the Church's moral teachers, teachings with which you, as a Catholic theologian, dissent publicly.

In light of the contradiction between the mission of the Center and your own public stances as a Catholic theologian, I regretfully rescind the invitation that has been extended to you.

Beattie petitioned Lyons for a reconsideration but was turned down. On her blog, Marginal Musings, she points the finger not only at Lyons, but at Catholic bloggers who began a campaign against her:

I do not know the exact reasons for the cancellation of my visit, but I have been the target of a blog campaign in recent weeks, which began with a concerted endeavour to have a lecture by me at Clifton Cathedral in Bristol cancelled.

The cancellation of my visit is not the most important issue in all this. The real issues are academic freedom, the vocation of lay theologians in relation to the official magisterium, and the power of a hostile minority of bloggers (some of whom are ordained deacons and priests) to command the attention and support of the [Catholic doctrine overseer Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]. The latter is the most sinister development of all, and it is a cause for scandal which brings the Church into disrepute.

According to ABC News, Gerard Mannion, director of the Center of Catholic Thought and Culture , was not consulted before Beattie was given the boot, and says he's "very surprised, shocked and deeply disappointed". Other faculty and students at the private Catholic university plan on holding a protest against Lyons and her knee-jerk decision.

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  1. "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" -
    the present name for the INQUISION, yes really, it never went away they just called it something else; and guess who was head of it - yes pope RAT as cardinal Rat, he did of course appoint a similar minded cardinal to head the Inquisition when he became pope - QED

    Posted by: Kathryn Howie | Nov 3, 2012 3:22:08 PM

  2. It's no surprise. These religions are out of control and basically do what they please. Until people stop giving them money no one will stand up to them. We even still have idiot gays going to these churches and giving them money so until people WAKE UP nothing will change.

    It's time to TAX ALL RELIGIONS.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Nov 3, 2012 4:21:45 PM

  3. For your own sanity, ma'am, leave that sclerotic, dying organization!!

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Nov 3, 2012 5:40:00 PM

  4. It seems like such a contradiction... a theologian in an academic setting. Talk about a cake job... you can only reflect the official opinions of the church. So, copy the official opinions of the church, and go for a REALLY REALLY long lunch --say 40 years. Collect a pension. Die.
    Not a bad life. No thought, work or sweat required. Typical Roman Catholic church.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Nov 3, 2012 5:42:53 PM

  5. No. this is not right at all. If the shoes were reversed, every gay organization would have to issue an apology and the person would get back their position, and we'd all be cast as intolerant.

    The student body at the University needs to make a big stink about this, with the media and press, so that it can be a publicity backlash for the school. There's so many things wrong with what the University of san Diego did here.

    Posted by: Car | Nov 3, 2012 10:14:57 PM

  6. LOL Booker you're "on our side" and for equality, but you can understand and agree with a guest speaker who said in passing she agrees with marriage equality essentially being let go for that opinion, but you don't agree with the president of a student diversity organization being let go for actively attempting to put the rights of those students she represents for a popular vote. And I do love how you keep rementioning you're "on our side" you're on our side, I'm not sure, as your actions clearly illustrate not being on our side. But if it makes you feel more "hip" and trendy to say you're pro gay, when you really don't seem to be....then that's your deal.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Nov 3, 2012 10:22:41 PM

  7. Why is anone a catholic anymore? it's almost 2013. Science people. SCIENCE.

    Posted by: T.J | Nov 3, 2012 10:23:31 PM

  8. As for Ms. McCaskill, no she should not have been suspended. She did not sign a 'pledge' against gay marriage, she signed the petition that put the issue on the ballot.

    Posted by: Ered | Nov 3, 2012 10:47:50 PM

  9. How can an institution call itself a university when it cancells someones fellowship becaue they dissent publically against the Catholic Church's official position? Sounds like a "university" in the old USSR. The words: Official position of the Communist Party and Official position of the Catholic Church are inter changeable.

    Posted by: andrew | Nov 3, 2012 10:54:33 PM

  10. @Ered
    Anyone who thinks that civil rights should be up for a public vote is not qualified to be a diversity officer

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 4, 2012 7:35:21 AM

  11. Who cares? Let them eat their own.

    Posted by: Mawm | Nov 4, 2012 8:10:29 AM

  12. The very term Roman Catholic University is a contradiction in terms.

    Posted by: andrew | Nov 4, 2012 7:24:42 PM

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