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Liberal Groups Angry at Catholic College. Yes!

Two liberal Catholic groups are angry over a decision made by a Catholic college. Hmmmm. I love the sound of it. It's not a sentence I get to write very often. Let me say it again. Two liberal Catholic groups are angry over a decision made by a Catholic college. Yes. Felt just as good the second time.

According to the Union Tribune, two national women's religious groups are incensed. No surprise there as those groups seem to always be incensed about something or other. But now they've sponsored a petition with more than 2,000 signatures complaining that the Catholic University of San Diego rescinded their offer of a prestigious position to Catholic feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether because of her public stance on abortion.

Women's Ordination Conference, which advocates for female priests, deacons and bishops; and the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, a multireligious feminist educational center with Catholic co-founders are demanding her reinstatement.

The decision, says the paper, has thrust it smack in the middle of a national debate over academic freedom versus adherence to church teachings. I say good for the University. Stick to your guns.

Faculty and Roman Catholics are divided over USD's decision to withdraw the appointment of Rosemary Radford Ruether to an endowed chair. At issue is Ruether's position on the board of directors for Catholics for Choice, an abortion rights organization.

USD is standing by its decision.

“Her public position and the symbol of this chair are in direct conflict,” said USD spokeswoman Pamela Gray Payton. “This chair is a powerful, visible symbol of Roman Catholic theology, and in Roman Catholic theology abortion is disallowed.”
Now, if a Catholic University says you're too wacky to be on our staff, wouldn't that give you pause? Wouldn't you take a moment for self-reflection? Well, not Reuther. She's quoted in the piece as saying,
“It appears to me that some right-wing group has put pressure on the university."
Reuther obviously believes in the 'best defense is a good offense' school of theology.

Now, some are pointing to her qualifications which are listed in the article. Lance Nelson, chairman of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies said:
“She's a widely respected scholar in the field...She's done seminal work on Christian feminism, social justice, and the relationship between religion and ecology.”

Ruether writes a regular column for National Catholic Reporter, has 13 honorary doctorates and has written more than 40 books. She teaches part time at Claremont Graduate University, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles.

After Ruether was offered the USD appointment, the university's Web site characterized her as a “pioneering figure in Christian feminist theology.”
That's all great...except for the fact that she believes it should be legal to kill babies. Other than that though she looks great. But hey, with a resume like hers she could go work anywhere...except at a Catholic University.

Linda Pieczynski, spokeswoman and past president of Call to Action, said, “Rosemary Ruether is like the godmother of the feminist theologian movement.” I find it so adorable when people who support the killing of children call each other names like "godmother," don't you?

Congrats to the provost of San Diego, Julie Sullivan, for taking this strong stand. Remember when Pope Benedict told Catholic college educators that, “Any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and the teaching of the church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission." It seems that somebody was listening after all.

So one last time. Say it with me. Two liberal Catholic groups are angry over a decision made by a Catholic college. Yes!

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Subvet said...

Meanwhile in other news; Lucifer has been seen strapping on a pair of ice skates.

matthew archbold said...

You know, it took me about a minute of me staring at that remark to understand it. I'm with you now but it took me a second or 60.

DG said...

Interesting news, but don't let's get our hopes up. It would indeed be like hell freezing over if USD were to become a *faithful* Catholic institution again.

Beware of flip-flopping, is all I'm saying. It *is* USD.

Brian McDaniel said...

I have created an online petition to counter the faculty. Visit www.BrianMcDaniel.org.

Jeff Miller said...

I would say it is not a case of "academic freedom versus adherence to church teachings." What is often called academic freedom is actually academic license. We are only fully free when pursuing the truth.

Pope Benedict said when he was here

"In regard to faculty members at Catholic colleges universities, I wish to
reaffirm the great value of academic freedom. In virtue of this freedom you are
called to search for the truth wherever careful analysis of evidence leads you.
Yet it is also the case that any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in
order to justify positions that contradict the faith and the teaching of the
Church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission; a
mission at the heart of the Church's munus docendi and not somehow
autonomous or independent of it. "

Anonymous said...

USD has certainly changed; I remember "back in th' day" when they took down the Stations of the Cross, and chapel was led by a it's-all-about-me hippie in a Roman collar.

I had some wonderful professors, but given the fact that I was nine years paying off the loans, I could have just as well gone to UCSD.

-- Mack Hall, '76

NancyP said...

I'll take what I can get. Kudos to Provost Sullivan for doing the right thing.

One small step can lead to great leaps...let's pray hard...

eulogos said...

Why did they offer her the post in the first place? They really didn't know about her position on abortion?

I am afraid they thought they could get away with it and discovered that they couldn't, so they backpedalled.

Lets just hope they don't unbackpedal when the pressure from the "witches and priestesses group" gets too noisy.
Susan Peterson

Rich said...

"Ruether writes a regular column for National Catholic Reporter..."

This should have been a red flag for somebody.

Lori said...

It was just last year when the President of USD refused to reconsider hosting someone named Andrea Smith from a group called Incite! to their campus. This is a big step, even if it just got too much press to gloss over.

Warren said...

Aw,... Raddy Ruether is not so rosy. Ain't life just so unfair.

Rita S. said...

baby steps. Baby steps are good.

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