"[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.