Category Archives: Marriage

Ruth Institute Offers Marriage Conference for Students

University students, interns, seminarians, and young adults interested in learning more about the case for marriage between one man and one woman may be interested in applying for the Ruth Institute’s fifth annual three day pro-marriage conference, “It Takes a Family to Raise a Village.”

The free conference is being held May 30 – June 2 in San Diego. The seminar-style conference brings together 18-30-year-olds for an inter-disciplinary, inter-faith program to help them make an informed and compassionate case for natural marriage. Held at the Town and Country Resort, the conference is open to 35 participants. All of the lectures, food, transportation in San Diego, lodging, and a travel stipend are provided.

Participants from the 2011 "It Takes a Family" conference.

Participants from the 2011 “It Takes a Family” conference.

Among the invited and confirmed speakers are: Bill Duncan, director of the Marriage Law Foundation; Robert Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Freda McKissic Bush, a partner with East Lakeland OB-GYN, and others.

“We are looking for young adults who are passionate about the social issues, and who have leadership potential in their chosen vocation,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute. “We want to equip them to understand marriage, why it’s important, and why it should remain between one man and one woman.”

Previous graduates of the program have gone on to form clubs, start blogs, speak on radio programs, and write nationally. The opportunity is likely to inspire future graduates to do likewise.

Al Gore to Speak at Dominican University

Former Vice President Al Gore, an abortion rights and homosexual “marriage” advocate will speak at Dominican University on February 13 as part of the University’s 2013 Institute for Leadership Studies (ILS) Spring Leadership Lecture Series.

Gore, chairman of The Climate Reality Project, the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize is a radical and outspoken abortion right supporter. In fact, in his run for President of the United States in 1999 Gore reportedly said, “I will always, always defend a woman’s right to choose. Every time Congress has tried to play politics with that fundamental personal right — imposing gag rules, and attaching anti-choice language to any bill they can think of — we have stood up to them and stopped them. If they try it again, we’ll stop them again. And if they try it after the year 2000, with your help, I’ll stop them. That hard-won right will be safe with me as your President.”

In 2008, Gore endorsed homosexual “marriage,” saying, “Shouldn’t we be promoting faithfulness and loyalty to one’s partner regardless of sexual orientation?”

The speaker series is sponsored by the Dominican’s Institute for Leadership Studies as part of its Leadership Lecture Series. Past lecturers include Nancy Pelosi, MSNBC host Chris Matthews, and Caroline Kennedy.

Notre Dame to Host “Band of Sisters” Director

The University of Notre Dame will host a screening of the documentary Band of Sisters and host filmmaker Mary Fishman next month.

The event, scheduled for February 21, will be hosted by the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism.

The documentary focuses on more than a dozen nuns post Vatican II. As The Cardinal Newman Society reported yesterday, the documentary takes a rather unorthodox bent, according to one Catholic writer. It profiles Sister Theresa Kane, who publicly confronted Pope John Paul II over the issue of women’s ordination at a prayer service at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., in 1979. Sister Jenneane Grammick, an advocate of gay “marriage” who has said that “lesbian and gay love is as natural as heterosexual love” in her Washington Post piece “A Catholic Case for Same-Sex Marriage” also appears.

Fishman in a podcast with “A Nun’s Life Ministry” said she researched the documentary by reading the heterodox National Catholic Reporter as well as networking with the dissident Catholic organization Call to Action, a group that advocates female ordination. Call to Action showed the film at their annual conference in November.

In that same interview, Fishman credited grants from IHM Sisters and the Sisters of Mercy for making the film possible.

Loyola Chicago Prof Advocates Married Priesthood in NY Times

Patrick J. McCloskey, a project director at the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness at Loyola University Chicago, co-wrote a piece in The New York Times proposing solutions or as he calls it “salvation” to the difficulties facing Catholic schools. Chief among them is advocating a married priesthood but he declares the celibacy requirement “institutional suicide.”

One solution is at hand. In the late 1960s, the Vatican allowed men to be ordained as deacons, who are clergy with many but not all the powers of a priest. Today there are almost 17,000 in the United States, about the same number as active diocesan priests. Over the next decade, the diaconate will continue to grow, while the number of ordained priests is projected to decline to 12,500 by 2035.

Many deacons have valuable professional, managerial and entrepreneurial expertise that could revitalize parochial education. If they were given additional powers to perform sacraments and run parishes, a married priesthood would become a fait accompli. Celibacy should be a sacrifice offered freely, not an excuse for institutional suicide.

The Center for Catholic School Effectiveness, according to the University’s website, states that its mission is “to respond to the need that elementary and secondary Catholic schools have for high quality, research-based professional development in the context of Catholic identity and mission.”

HT Pewsitter

The Catholic University of America Rejects Gay Student Organization

In the same week that the University of Notre Dame approved of a gay student organization, The Catholic University of America denied official recognition to a gay student organization on campus, reportedly citing a concern that it could become an “advocacy group.”

CUAllies, on their Facebook page, compared the denial to being “denied Communion.”

They wrote:

Yesterday, Catholic University handed down its decision to once again deny official recognition to CUAllies. They cited a “possibiltiy of becoming an advoacy group” as the reason.

This denial is very much like having been denied communion–a particpation in one’s faith community.

We have appreciated the endless support, comments, and profound love that you have shown us over this nine month journey. We have come to learn that no matter what… we have folks in our corner.

CUAllies will continue to function as an unofficial group on campus. And a dialogue regarding the LGBT community will continue with administrators. They have acknowledged voids and have communicated a willingness to address these voids.

In a letter published by The National Catholic Reporter, CUAllies leader Ryan Fecteau said the group had shown a “willingness to fully embrace Catholic identity.” He said he was especially surprised given Notre Dame’s recent decision to approve a similar organization.

There is some history here in that The Catholic University of America reportedly previously recognized a gay and lesbian club starting in 1988  but political opinions led to increased tension between the administration and the group and the organization was disbanded in 2002. In recent years, CUA has continued to deny recognition to students organized as CUAllies, because of concerns about upholding Catholic teaching.

As an unofficial student group, CUAllies is currently not seen as legitimate and is unable to set up a table during club fairs, to advertise itself, and to rent rooms on campus for its events.

Earlier this year, the Student Association General Assembly (SAGA) voted overwhelmingly in support of making CUAllies an official student organization. But a spokesperson for CUA, Victor Nakas, told The Cardinal Newman Society at the time that the student government’s vote had no binding role in the administration’s decision to grant or deny recognition to a student group.

As readers of Campus Notes see often, LGBT organizations often violate Catholic teaching despite obligations to uphold it. The Cardinal Newman Society has documented the damage that activist and social groups can do, such as drag shows being held on Catholic campuses or advocating gay “marriage.”

University President Defends Disinvitation of Radical Theologian, Radical Theologian Promises a Response

University of San Diego President Mary Lyons’ decision to withdraw an invitation for an honorary fellowship to radical British theologian Tina Beattie sparked a firestorm among faculty and students. Now Lyons defended the disinvitation in an open forum with more than 75 students.

Lyons’ comments have elicited a promise from Beattie to publish a response.

Beattie has written about her support for abortion rights—which she has argued using just war theory and the imagery of the Trinity. She has also advocated sacramental same-sex “marriage” and women’s ordination. But Lyons focused her defense of the disinvitation on Beattie’s support of civil gay “marriage.” The Cardinal Newman Society has watched video of the event and transcribed Lyons’ words as well as possible. Lyons told students:

An invitation had been extended well over a year ago to a theologian, Dr. Beattie, who was coming to provide some lectures. After she had been invited she took a rather unusual step for a Catholic theologian in becoming a signatory of a public letter that went to the Times of London…in which she and the others who signed the letter had urged Catholics, Catholic laity using their fully formed consciences to consider supporting legislation that supported civil marriage between people of the same sex.

Now, it’s very important for me to emphasize that this was not at all an issue about same-sex marriage. That’s been, I think, perhaps a misconception. This is an issue about a Catholic theologian urging the laity to consider basically opposing the legitimate teaching of the Church, namely the bishops for whom they hold a very strong position on the nature of marriage as a sacrament. This letter did not say civil unions – a very different thing. This is civil marriage. Dr. Beattie is perfectly within her rights to do that thing; to say, publish anything she chooses to do. In fact, any scholar on this campus is free to do that because we do believe in academic freedom here and none of our faculty have ever been interfered with by me or any one else in that regard. The difference is this — Dr. Beattie was coming to hold a visiting fellowship in this center for a month which is an honor. It is an honor bestowed not by the department, not by the college, not by a particular school, it is an institutional honor and the driving principles for my decision are based on two things; integrity and congruity.

Integrity. All of us share in the particular responsibility that the integrity of our mission and our values as a Catholic university are sustained and ideally promoted.

Congruity is that we hold together what we say we are, who we say we are with how we behave and what we do. And so the decision was proven in a very narrow way by what I perceived to be the incongruity between honoring someone who had said in a very public way as a Catholic theologian that the legitimate teaching authority of the Church need not be heeded against our university as a Catholic university and particularly through the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture –a center which is privately funded by benefactors who understood that that center would be the one place perhaps where faculty and others could encounter what the Church teaches.

On a student-led Facebook page Toreros Stand With Beattie, Beattie herself responded just a few hours ago by writing:

I shall be writing a response to some of Dr Lyons’ claims later, in the interests of setting the record straight and ensuring that students have the knowledge they need to come to an informed and reasoned decision as to whether or not she has provided sufficient justification for the cancellation of my visit.

As of Thursday morning, Beattie had not published a response.

Lyons said during the forum that she was working on creating a task force to establish a method to decide on whom honors should be bestowed. “We don’t have good processes for bestowing honorary titles on people,” she said. “This is something that we have to really address.”

Although the forum seems to have been mostly amicable, one student who identified herself as a master’s student at the School for Peace and Justice Studies, said that the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture should be renamed to the Center for the Endorsement of the Catholic Church, “since it doesn’t honor critical thinking.”

You can watch video of the forum by clicking here.

Jesuit University Blog Cheers Gay “Marriage,” Offers Tax Advice

The University of Santa Clara, a Jesuit University, hosts a blog called “Same Sex Tax Law” that not only offers analysis of the tax ramifications of the changing institution of marriage for the gay, lesbian, and transgendered but it’s written by a law professor who publicly roots for same-sex “marriage” right on the university’s website.

Professor Patricia Cain, whose areas of expertise include federal taxation, feminist legal theory, and gay and lesbian issues, recently thanked Minnesota voters on the Jesuit university’s website for their vote against upholding traditional marriage and called repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “a step in the right direction.”

Immediately following the election, Cain wrote a blog post which included a word of thanks to Minnesota voters:

It would be sweet justice of a sort if Minnesota were now to reject the constitutional denial of marriage equality. And they did just that on Tuesday. Congratulations and thank you, Minnesota.

In a separate blog post she wrote, “I fully support the RMA.” The Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) would have repealed DOMA and provided that any marriage that was entered into legally in the place of celebration would be recognized by the federal government as a valid marriage. She continued:

RMA is a step in the right direction, but there will be no workable permanent solution until all 50 states accept the place of celebration rule and treat same-sex married couples equally with other married couples.

Cain, according to the University’s website, is also the author of Rainbow Rights, The Role of Lawyers and Courts in the Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement. She also teaches law students a course on “Sexuality and the Law” which provides “an overview of the gay and transgender civil rights movements.”

Pro-Obama Election Bias Among Catholic College Employees

A new report finds that employees at Catholic colleges who donated to presidential campaigns in 2012 gave overwhelmingly to President Barack Obama, despite his clear differences with Mitt Romney and the Catholic Church on abortion, marriage and religious freedom.

The report at looks at the “top 23” Catholic colleges, but it is not clear how they were selected. Bias in favor of President Obama is found especially at Georgetown University, where 288 employees gave to his campaign—35 percent of the total Obama donors at all 23 colleges—and only 39 employees gave to Romney. Other colleges weighted heavily toward Obama include the University of Notre Dame (89-9), Boston College (84-7) and Fordham University (66-4).

The study requires some clarification, however. It notes that employees at the University of Dallas (Tex.)—recommended in The Newman Guide for strong Catholic identity—are among the employees at five colleges who gave 100 percent of donations to President Obama. But the report shows only one donation (which went to Obama) from an employee at the University of Dallas. That’s 100 percent, but hardly worth highlighting.


Marian University Student Group Pushes Support for Anti-Catholic Human Rights Campaign

A student group at Marian University in Indiana encourages visitors to their website to support a virulently anti-Catholic organization that not only encourages the Catholic Church to change its stance on gay “marriage” but accuses the Church of “anti-gay” attacks.

The publicly stated mission of the Marian Alliance student group states that it “seeks to understand, support, and celebrate sexual orientation and gender identity in the community focusing on the four Franciscan values,” but its Facebook site indicates that it goes much further. Headlining the group’s site is a poster with a quote which reads, “It’s very dear to me, the issue of gay marriage. Or as I like to call it: ‘Marriage.’ You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car; I didn’t gay park it.”

And below that, the student group promotes an initiative from the pro-gay “marriage” Human Rights Campaign that specifically urges the Catholic Church to “rethink its policy” on marriage. The Marian Alliance introduces this letter by saying, “For whom it may concern: consider supporting this HRC initiative, which builds upon a grassroots lay effort to ask the Catholic church to rethink its policy.”

The letter itself begins:

“… I was outraged to learn that the leadership of our Church just spent $2 million on anti-gay marriage ballot campaigns. Think of all the positive things that $2 million could have accomplished. Think of the hungry fed, the sick comforted, the homeless sheltered. Instead you chose to use parishioners’ donations like mine to divide and discriminate.”

The letter goes on to label the Church’s efforts to support traditional marriage as an “attack” and “anti-gay.”

The Human Rights Campaign has not only been pro-gay “marriage” but has delved into blatant anti-Catholicism. In 2009, Harry Knox, founding director of the HRC’s Religion & Faith Program, said  Pope Benedict’s statement that condoms don’t help control the spread of HIV is “hurting people in the name of Jesus.”

Knox, who also serves on President Obama’s Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, added, “On a continent where millions of people are infected with HIV, it is morally reprehensible to spread such blatant falsehoods.”

Another HRC press release called Pope Benedict’s statements “homophobic.”

Marian University administrators did not respond to questions by The Cardinal Newman Society.

LGBTQ Groups Hosts Gay Episcopal Bishop at G’Town

Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, spoke recently at Georgetown University after a screening of the documentary Love Free or Die — a documentary about Robinson’s relationship with a man and his rise to becoming a bishop in the Episcopal Church, according to the student newspaper.

The Georgetown University Lecture Fund reportedly sponsored the event in conjunction with the University’s LGBTQ Resource Center.

Robinson has come out publicly in support of the HHS mandate, spoke out in favor of abortion rights, and most recently even penned a piece for The Washington Post‘s On Faith blog in the lead up to the election that blasted the Catholic bishops for standing against gay “marriage.” He wrote:

Maryland’s Roman Catholic bishops’ caution that marriage equality “infringe[s] upon the religious liberties of individuals and institutions” displays either an ignorance of what the law actually says, or an intentional distortion of the truth.

Robinson reportedly will be retiring from his position as bishop in January and taking a position as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to the Obama administration.

This is hardly the first time that Georgetown has flouted the Church’s teaching on marriage. Most recently, in October Georgetown University donated sports and theater tickets which were raffled off as a donation to the pro-gay “marriage” Human Rights Campaign which battled defense-of-marriage ballot initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington state. The bishops came out strongly against gay “marriage” and in some cases put considerable resources into upholding traditional marriage.

Georgetown Lecturer Scolded Pope Benedict in Open Letter

Former World Bank official Robert Calderisi is an openly gay Catholic who, in an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI, endorsed the ordination of women, promoted gay “marriage,” and objected to the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. In that letter, he even called the Church’s refusal to ordain women “un-Christian.” Yet Georgetown University, a Jesuit university, is hosting him next week to speak on the topic of The Catholic Church and World Development Since 1945.

Calderisi will address the impact of the Catholic Church on economic and social progress in Africa, Asia and Latin America at Georgetown on Tuesday December 4th. His appearance is sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the Georgetown Jesuit Community, and the SFS Program on Global Human Development.

Calderisi has written a book on African aid, but on his website he published a non-dated “Open Letter to Pope Benedict XVI from a Gay Catholic” which details at length his opposition to the Church on many important issues:

On Pope John Paul II:

Like many Europeans and North Americans, I was disappointed by his strong views… on contraception, divorce, priestly celibacy, the role of women in the church, and homosexuality.

On being a cafeteria Catholic, he wrote:

Another friend — formerly a Catholic, now an agnostic — asked: “How can you continue to be part of an organization when you respect only some of its rules? Even country clubs expect all their members to meet the same standards.” I replied that, for me, the most important rules were the ones that Christ set, and He said absolutely nothing about the major social issues of our time, except divorce.

On homosexuality, he wrote:

I do not regard homosexuality as an appropriate subject for Church teaching, let alone approval or disapproval, any more than I would expect the Vatican to comment on the rising and falling of the tides.

On gay “marriage,” Calderisi wrote:

Gay marriage is nothing more than two people wanting to commit to living together publicly…There is nothing disrespectful or subversive of traditional marriage in this — except in the minds of those with a taste for conspiracy or hidden agendas.

On the issue of abortion, Calderisi comes down firmly in the personally pro-life category while remaining pro-abortion rights:

As for abortion, I believe that people should be free to make their own decisions in this intimate area.

Calderisi wrote his prescription for the Church:

My focus will be on four topics that seem to me crucial for the whole Church:  promoting Christian unity, admitting married men to the priesthood, removing all remaining discrimination against women (including admitting them to holy orders), and abolishing the stigma which currently hangs over divorced men and women.

Concerning the Church’s refusal to ordain women, Calderisi compares the Church to golf clubs that refused to serve Jews or blacks and called the Church “un-Christian.”

Perhaps an old-fashioned clubbishness — the same archaic instincts that kept golf courses and other private establishments closed to Jews, blacks and women for the longest time — has played a part…

The exclusion of women from holy orders is so irrational and arbitrary that it is difficult to know where to start in refuting traditional arguments…

Not only is the prohibition difficult to defend; it seems thoroughly un-Christian.

Calderisi’s new book entitled Healing the Nations: The Catholic Church and World Development will be published by Yale University Press in September 2013.

DePaul Gay and Lesbian Office Site Links to Pro-Gay “Marriage” and Even Pro-Polyamorous Site

The Facebook site of the Office of LGBTQA Student Services at DePaul University is filled with gay “marriage” propaganda and even links to a site that urges Facebook to recognize the Polyamorous.

The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer and Ally (LGBTQA) Student Services at DePaul University was created as an effort by the university to create a “more comprehensive approach to supporting LGBTQ students on campus” and boasts that “the Office of LGBTQA Student Services will also allow the university to continue its evolution and become a more progressive, diverse, and supportive community.”

The DePaul LGBTQA Student Service’s Facebook site links to a news report of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel saying “The time is now” for gay “marriage,” shares a poster congratulating Spain for legalizing gay “marriage” and even urged people to vote for gay “marriage” on election day saying “support equality!”

The Office of LGBTQA Student Services site also links to a site called “Polyamory for Facebook” that urges Facebook to allow more than one name in the relationship status box as a way of being sensitive to those who take part in polyamorous relationships. That site explains it this way:

This page is created for awareness & love. The thought behind it is that Facebook does not have the option to add more th(a)n one person to your relationship status, also the option of open relationship does not suit the nature of polyamorous relationships. So my suggestion is, promote this page, & write the staff of face book letting them know we want the features added. The ability to add more th(a)n one person & a general Poly relationship status.

DePaul did not respond to questions from The Cardinal Newman Society.

Esolen: Couples Don’t Hold Hands Anymore

Anthony Esolen, who teaches Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College, wrote in Crisis Magazine that he’s noticed something odd on campus over the last ten years – couples don’t hold hands. He believes it’s indicative of a larger problem that threatens the culture.

“It’s been more than ten years since I first noticed something odd about the generally pleasant—and generally Catholic—students at the college where I teach.  The boys and girls don’t hold hands.

Let that serve as shorthand for the absence of all those rites of attraction and conversation, flirting and courting, that used to be passed along from one youthful generation to the next, just as childhood games were once passed along, but are so no longer.  The boys and girls don’t hold hands.

I am aware of the many attempts by responsible Catholic priests and laymen to win the souls of young people, to keep them in the Church, and indeed to make some of them into attractive ambassadors for the Church.  I approve of them heartily.  Yes, we need those frank discussions about contraception.  We need theological lectures to counter the regnant nihilism of the schools and the mass media.  But we need something else too, something more human and more fundamental.  We need desperately to reintroduce young men and young women to the delightfulness of the opposite sex.  Just as boys after fifteen years of being hustled from institutional pillar to institutional post no longer know how to make up their own games outdoors, just as girls after fifteen years of the same no longer know how to organize a dance or a social, so now our young people not only refrain from dating and courting—they do not know how to do it.  It isn’t happening.  Look at the hands.

In our swamp of miserable statistics, let me introduce another that is often overlooked.  In 1960—back when Wally Cleaver was wearing a jacket and tie to join other boys and girls at a party, for playing records and eating ice cream and dancing—in that already souring time, almost three out of four Americans aged 24 were married (72%).  Now that number is less than one in ten (9%)!  That is not a good thing.  First, it is evidence of deep and widespread loneliness.  We are not talking about people who are dating during all those years; they aren’t.  Some of them are bed-hopping; some are shacking up; some are simply alone.  That pretty much accounts for them all.  Three options, all bad.

Esolen details the issues and offers some solutions at Crisis Magazine. Definitely worth checking out.

USD Trustees Back President

After student protests and a scathing vote of no-confidence from faculty at The University of San Diego, who are upset about the University president’s withdrawal of a fellowship for a radical theologian, the board of trustees is voicing their support for the president.

In a letter addressed to “The University of San Diego Community” and posted on a pro-Beattie site called Toreros Stand with Beattie, the board of trustees didn’t go so far as to say they agreed with the decision of the University President Mary Lyons but said they believed she “made this decision in good faith and with the best interest of the University in mind.”

This is a much-needed sign of support, since more than 100 students protested and the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences delivered a scathing no-confidence vote that went so far as to call her ”ethically bankrupt.”

Lyons has said the reason for the cancellation of the fellowship was that the theologian had publicly dissented from Church teaching.

One of the concerns cited most often by those protesting the decision is that the withdrawal of the invitation chills academic freedom on campus. But the board wrote that the University’s commitment to academic freedom remains strong. “Concerns have been raised about whether this decision challenges the University’s commitment to academic freedom and to a robust climate of free intellectual inquiry,” they wrote. “The Board of Trustees reaffirms this commitment and the essential role that academic freedom plays in our vibrant academic community.”

Lyons recently stated that the University could invite Beattie, a supporter of same-sex “marriage,” but couldn’t offer her an honorary fellowship.

While the president’s decision to rescind the invitation should be applauded, USD has a long and disturbing track record when it comes to upholding its Catholic identity. Earlier this year, USD hosted its first “educational drag show” which sparked an alumni protest. And in September, the administration urged undergraduate students to register for a course called “Using Adolescent and Children’s Literature to Explore LGBTQ Issues” as an approved elective for minors in Education, Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Peace and Justice Studies. Fortunately, not enough students showed interest in the class, and it was cancelled.

Here’s the text of the letter in full from the board of trustees:

To the University of San Diego Community:

The Board of Trustees met and reviewed the series of events, statements, and views of faculty and students surrounding President Mary Lyons’ recent decision to rescind an invitation that had been extended to Dr. Tina Beattie to serve in an honorary visiting fellowship through the University’s Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture (“CCTC”).
We discussed with the president her reasoning for the decision which involved the narrow issue of whether an outside scholar should receive an honorary fellowship through the CCTC. The president has authority to make decisions of this nature, and we believe that she made this decision in good faith and with the best interest of the University in mind.
Concerns have been raised about whether this decision challenges the University’s commitment to academic freedom and to a robust climate of free intellectual inquiry. The Board of Trustees reaffirms this commitment and the essential role that academic freedom plays in our vibrant academic community.

President Lyons has led USD for nearly a decade during an era of extraordinary growth, achievement and inspiration. Under her strong leadership and vision, the University has consistently excelled.

We encourage the campus community to come together to move this great university forward.
Ron Fowler Chair

Radical Theologian from Fairfield Blasts USD, Belittles Bishops Authority, And Attacks The Cardinal Newman Society

Gay “marriage” advocate, former Jesuit, and Fairfield University theologian Paul Lakeland wrote a letter blasting the president of the University of San Diego for withdrawing an invitation to radical theologian Tina Beattie, saying:

…the decision to rescind Professor Beattie’s invitation looks not only like an instance of bowing to ill-informed pressure but also runs the danger of holding your distinguished institution up to ridicule in the eyes of the American academic community, including those of most Catholic institutions.

Lakeland wonders how Beattie can be disinvited for her stance on gay “marriage” while he himself holds an identical position and had recently spoken on USD’s campus. In the letter, he argues that it’s perfectly acceptable for a Catholic to accept gay “marriage” as well as promote contraception in public institutions without running afoul of Church teaching. He even claims that the bishops who opposed gay “marriage” have “no more and no less authority than any other baptized Christian” on that issue.

Professor Beattie was disinvited, as I understand it, because she signed a public document in the United Kingdom advising Catholics that they could in good faith support legislation to legalize same-sex civil unions. I do not see how this has anything to do with Catholic teaching, and nor should you. It is perfectly possible for a Catholic to believe that sacramental marriage in the Christian tradition should not be open to same-sex couples and yet hold that in a pluralistic society it is right and proper that civil rights should be extended to all people regardless of their sexual orientation. There is nothing in the Gospel to counter this and nothing, as far as I can see, in magisterial teaching. The well-publicized opposition of many U.S. Catholic bishops to changes in state and federal law to admit same-sex civil unions or civil marriages is not based on Gospel teaching but on the prudential judgment that such changes in the law will lead to pressure to change the status of sacramental marriage. They simply have no standing on secular legal issues. They may or may not be right in this matter, but their judgment that this is indeed what will happen is not a part of their responsibility as teachers of the Gospel. In this matter they hold opinions with no more and no less authority than any other baptized Christian. This prudential judgment does not bind Catholics beyond the respectful hearing that should always be given to episcopal teaching.

Allow me to offer you a hypothetical parallel example. The magisterium is utterly opposed to “artificial” contraception and so cannot support using or supplying contraceptives. A Catholic might easily, however, while even accepting this magisterial teaching believe that condoms should be made available in public high schools and public colleges and universities, since there is no question that they would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortions, and society in general does not accept the Catholic Church’s position on birth control. The question of same-sex relationships, civil unions and marriages is rapidly approaching the same set of circumstances. Society in general is becoming much more accepting of the idea of same-sex marriages (see the spate of state referendums in the presidential election) and society has an interest in allowing such unions. A Catholic can clearly feel on grounds of separation of Church and state that a law that frees others to follow their consciences and does not prevent Catholic following theirs is entirely acceptable…

Professor Beattie was entirely correct in her views expressed in the supposedly controversial statement on same-sex civil unions. I heartily concur with her and I know that many others agree. I am sad to say that when the issues behind this state of affairs are brought into the light of day, the decision to rescind Professor Beattie’s invitation looks not only like an instance of bowing to ill-informed pressure but also runs the danger of holding your distinguished institution up to ridicule in the eyes of the American academic community, including those of most Catholic institutions.

Lakeland urges USD President Mary Lyons to reverse her decision to rescind the invitation to Beattie. His letter was recently posted on a Facebook site supporting Beattie. But besides attempting to belittle the bishops’ authority and blasting Lyons, Lakeland also has some harsh words specifically for The Cardinal Newman Society.

The barrage of conservative pressure that you have had to face in recent weeks comes from people who wish to turn back the clock on church-state relations to a time before Vatican II, when the Church did what it could to impose its Catholic vision upon the constitutional systems of secular states. Fifty years ago the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner called this “the heresy of integrism.” It rears its ugly head wherever anyone attempts to take Catholic teaching and use it as a template for the ethical or legal system of a pluralistic society. It is vitally important to distinguish between the right to hold our views and the right to impose them on others, and I am afraid that the likes of the Cardinal Newman Society simply do not understand this.

 This is simply strange. In fact, The Cardinal Newman Society has no position on “church-state relations,” constitutional government, or the “legal system” of America, beyond our defense of the natural freedom of Catholic schools and colleges to uphold the Faith they profess by their mission. To label it a “heresy” to encourage stronger Catholic identity in our colleges and universities is, of course, offensive without some evidence of dissent from Catholic teaching (which we assure you cannot be found at The Cardinal Newman Society). Lakeland displays a shocking confusion about government, Church, the academy, pluralism and fidelity that is unintelligible.

We understand the sentiment, however. Last year, The Cardinal Newman Society provided evidence of “a well-orchestrated attempt to undermine the Church’s doctrine and its stand against homosexual ‘marriage’” at a series of conferences co-sponsored by Fairfield and Fordham universities in which Lakeland played a pivotal role.

For those unfamiliar with Lakeland, Anne Hendershott recently posted her unflattering view at Catholic World Report:

Earlier this year, former Jesuit priest Paul Lakeland, a Fairfield University Catholic Studies professor, was invited to give an address to students and faculty at the University of San Diego. He received this honor despite the fact that in 2007 he was the media spokesman in favor of Connecticut Bill 1098, a bill that would have forced Catholic churches to reorganize along state-mandated lines—giving lay control over parishes and effectively removing the authority of priests and bishops. As a spokesman in favor of the bill, Lakeland, like Cooke, has long lobbied for an end to what  he calls the “structural oppression of the laity” by the clergy. In his books (published by Continuum) and speeches, Lakeland promises to help all Catholics “exercise their baptismal priesthood” and dismisses the role of the Catholic deacon as a “monster” which belongs to a “lay-ecclesial species.” Claiming that his newest book identifies the task of the laity as working “to build a non-clerical Church,” Lakeland joins others in organizations like CORPUS and similar fringe Catholic groups to radically change the Church and marginalize the bishops’ teaching authority on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and women’s ordination.