Kudos to the Provost and Senior Vice President at Providence College, Hugh F. Lena, who disinvited a philosophy professor at Wayne State University and an advocate of so-called "homosexual marriage rights," John Corvino, from delivering a public lecture.
Announcing his decision, Lena cited "Catholics in Political Life," a 2004 USCCB document which questions whether it is appropriate to honor political leaders who take positions contrary to Church teaching.
As was to be expected, Corvino wasn't happy with Lena's decision and in his blog, Corvino challenged its premises:
- He was not being given an award but was invited by academic departments to deliver an academic lecture.
- The organizers invited a theology professor at the Providence to speak immediately after him to explain Church teaching about marriage. The professor agreed.
Corvino wondered: Did not his scheduled lecture comply with all of the rules? He then wrote:
The provost seems to want to have it both ways: the appearance of a commitment to vigorous academic dialogue, combined with an isolationist approach to disfavored views; in other words, a Catholic identity defined primarily by what it excludes rather than what it includes.
Pope Francis, the Catholic Church’s new leader, has been justly celebrated for his welcoming tone toward gays and lesbians. Notwithstanding my abrupt dis-invitation, I remain hopeful that Providence College may soon better reflect that tone.
What is "that tone"?
Putting aside the fact that being welcoming and inclusive of sinners differs from promoting an ideology that is contrary to Church teaching, R.R. Reno writes in an article published in First Things that Pope Francis' recent interview will have unintended consequences in the United States and perhaps Europe that will make it increasingly difficult for academic administrators to confront tenured radical ideologues who invite those of their ilk to promote their ideologies on Catholic campuses nationwide. Reno—who has taught at a Jesuit University for 20+ years—writes:
Pope France has been undisciplined in his rhetoric, casually using standard modern formulations, ones that are used to beat up on faithful Catholics—“audacity and courage” means those who question Church teachings, the juxtaposition of the “small-minded” traditionalists to the brave and open liberals who are “in dialogue”, and so forth. This gives everything he says progressive connotations. As a consequence, American readers, and perhaps European ones as well, intuitively read a progressivism into Pope Francis’ statements about abortion, gay marriage, and contraception. Thus the headlines.
This is not helpful, at least not in the field hospital of the American Church. We face a secular culture that has a doctrine of Unconditional Surrender. It will not accept “talking less” about abortion, gay marriage, and contraception. The only acceptable outcome is agreement—or silence. Dialogue? Catholic higher education has been doing that for fifty years, and the result has been the secularization of the vast majority of colleges and universities.Today at Fordham or Georgetown,the only people talking about contraception, gay rights, or gay marriage are the advocates.
Perhaps academic administrators at the nation's Catholic universities and colleges should just say "No," put up with the ranting quislings until they tire out, and put an end to what's nothing other than nonsense. Why fear them and their blather?
Let the tenured radical ideologues promote the ideologies at the public universities.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the New York Times report of Lena's disinvitation, click on the following link:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/education/catholic-college-rescinds-invitation-to-speaker-defending-same-sex-marriage.html?hpw&_r=1&
To read R.R. Reno's article, click on the following link: