Fishwrap’s hissy fit over Beattie

The Fishwrap is having a spittle-flecked nutty about the decision in San Diego not to let the wacko speak in a Catholic institution.

University withdraws theologian’s invitation after pressure from financial contributors
Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 1, 2012

The University of San Diego has canceled a visiting fellowship for a British theologian less than two weeks before her scheduled arrival at the university because of pressure from financial contributors, according to a letter from the university’s president.

Tina Beattie, a professor of Catholic studies at London’s private University of Roehampton known for her work in contemporary ethical issues and Catholic understandings of feminism, received notice of the cancellation Oct. 27. She was scheduled to take residence at the university on Tuesday. [Isn't this the wacko, one of the board of The Tablet, who said that Mass was like a male homosexual act?  No, really... isn't this the same person?]

Beattie — who also serves on the board of directors of the British Catholic weekly The Tablet [as I thought] and is a theological adviser to the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development, the Catholic aid agency for England and Wales — announced the withdrawal of the invitation in an email to friends and other theologians Thursday.

Beattie said in an interview with NCR that cancellation of her fellowship was “symptomatic of something very new and very worrying.” [Perhaps that she is sort of... well... not exactly orthodox in her work as a "theologian"?]

“It’s unheard of, certainly in Britain, for a theologian in my position to feel threatened by this kind of action,” Beattie said. [Boo hoo!] “It’s not about me; it’s about some change in the culture of the Catholic church that we should be very, very concerned about.” [Panic, liberal.]

Prominent theologians [Says who?] in the U.S. and the UK called the university’s treatment of Beattie “an insult” and “dispiriting” and worried that it might have a chilling effect in the academic world. [We've seen this movie before, decades back, and it ain't The Bells of St. Mary's!] Several said they had written directly to university president Mary Lyons about the matter.

Calls to the University of San Diego for comment were not immediately returned Thursday.

Beattie said she was notified that her invitation to be a fellow at the university’s Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture had been withdrawn in a letter from Lyons. (The letter can be read in full at the end of the article.)

In Lyons’ letter, which Beattie shared in her email, Lyons writes that Beattie publicly dissents from church teaching.

“The Center’s primary mission, consistent with those who have financially supported the Center, is to provide opportunities to engage the Catholic intellectual tradition in its diverse embodiments,” Lyons wrote.

“This would include clear and consistent presentations concerning the Church’s moral teachings, teaching 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.”

In the letter, Lyons offers to reimburse Beattie for travel-related expenses and says she and the university “hope to mitigate any inconvenience this decision may have created for you.” [So, they will pay her not to come, and she will take the money.  Watch.]

[...]

There’s more over of this panicked drivel at Fishwrap, but don’t waste your time.

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16 Responses to Fishwrap’s hissy fit over Beattie

  1. contrarian says:

    “In the letter, Lyons offers to reimburse Beattie for travel-related expenses and says she and the university “hope to mitigate any inconvenience this decision may have created for you.””

    Ok, so there’s nothing to complain about. REally, that was my only concern. Obviously, her theology is a train wreck, but I can sympathize with her plight if she had invested in a move that didn’t materialize. If they can set her financially straight for whatever money she’ll lose over this, given that her appointment was cancelled so close to the start date, then cool.
    Obviously, it’s tragic that it ever got to this point.

    I’m glad that train wrecks like her are worried though. Shows things are moving in the right direction. As things improve even more in the church, I’ll look forward to seeing the Fishwrap morph into a screaming, bitter, hysterical rage fest.

    Awesome!

  2. maskaggs says:

    Scholars are obviously important to theology, so it can develop and grow over time. The problem with some theologians is that the idea of moderation simply never crosses their minds – to them, all change or challenges are good, and when one of their colleagues comes under fire they cry out with claims of “sovietization” of the academy and so on. Being a theologian doesn’t mean you can simply say anything and not expect to be challenged, even strongly. In any case, there are plenty of venues at which Beattie would be welcome. I suspect she knows that.

  3. Gaetano says:

    Wnat to see a theocracy of the left? Go to nearly any Catholic university theology department, or one of several seminaries, and announce that: 1) Humanae Vitae was correct, 2) only men may receive Holy Orders, and 3) all sexual acts outside od a marriance of a man and a woman are disordered. Then you’ll see how their vision of academic freedom works.

  4. John Nolan says:

    On Tina’s blog yesterday she issued the somewhat ungrammatical rallying cry: “For those among you who are Catholics, let’s take as our guiding ethos the spirit of Vatican II …” . However, I fear her attempts to get the English bishops to collectively support dissent will meet with a resounding silence. Not so long ago their Lordships were reminded by the Holy Father “to recognize dissent for what it is” and it now appears that Abp Mueller is going to act over the Soho ‘gay Masses’; the Holy Office in effect having to call them to their duty.

  5. Gaetano says:

    Want to see a theocracy of the left? Go to nearly any Catholic university theology department, or one of several seminaries, and announce that: 1) Humanae Vitae was correct, 2) only men may receive Holy Orders, and 3) all sexual acts outside od a marriance of a man and a woman are disordered. Then you’ll see how their vision of academic freedom works.

  6. frjim4321 says:

    No surprise that the NCR is coming down on the side of academic freedom as any independent journal should.

    Hopefully the theologian in question had a good contract in hand and the university will fulfill its moral obligations.

    Clearly an embarrassment to the university.

  7. Phillip says:

    Why doesn’t she just make a good confession, recant, and see if the university will let her come? Seems reasonable.

  8. Robert of Rome says:

    Fr. Z, I know you’re in Rome and rather busy. But I believe Gaetano (see above) deserves your coveted Gold Star of the Day for his comment in re Beattie. Academic freedom in US ‘catholic’ university theology and religious studies departments is a farce, and not because they are uber-orthodox.

  9. Clinton R. says:

    The term “Catholic Theologian” sure is a broad one. Today that usually means someone who hates traditional Catholic teaching. And “academic freedom” is a euphemism for taking a bat and walloping Church doctrine. I am glad these liberals are feeling the ground shift beneath them. It is far past time the “Spirit” of Vatican II dissipate into thin air.

  10. Mariana says:

    “Beattie said…. “It’s not about me; it’s about some change in the culture of the Catholic church that we should be very, very concerned about.””

    Got that one right! People like her do have cause for concern.

  11. Stephen D says:

    This lady was one of a large group of prominent ‘Catholics’ who signed a letter in The Times declaring that the matter of legalising homosexual ‘marriage’ was one that Catholics could, in good conscience, support. The letter was the result of the Prime Minister seeking support from Catholics for his campaign to legalise these sham unions. Interestingly, he chose as his intermediary to these ‘Catholics’, one Peter Tatchell, a notorious homosexual activist who had led protests against the Pope’s visit to the UK and who has, for years, campaigned for the abolition of the age of consent in the UK (but has been fairly quiet on this subject recently). Astonishingly, prior to the Pope’s visit, leading Catholic bishops agreed to meet this creature to hear his complaints about the Vatican’s alleged complicity in the clerical abuse scandal.
    I would have been happier if Beattie had suffered significant financial loss for her heresies.

  12. AnnAsher says:

    Thanks be to God for the dis-invitation!

  13. Athelstan says:

    Hello Fr Jim,

    “No surprise that the NCR is coming down on the side of academic freedom as any independent journal should.”

    It is still astounding to me that a priest of the Roman Catholic Church could hold such a view. Astounding.

    “Clearly an embarrassment to the university.”

    It is. But not, I suspect, for the reasons you have in mind.

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  15. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    The freedom of academies to withdraw invitations strikes me as an admirable one, worth defending (I imagine the NCR, Professor Duffy, et al., might even agree, if ever an orthodox dissident to ‘the spirit of Modernist Liberation Sovietization’ slipped through the invitational net…).