Catholic World News

Catholic university faculty rebukes president for blocking invitation to dissident theologian

November 15, 2012

Faculty members at the University of San Diego have approved a vote of no-confidence in the leadership of the Catholic institution’s president, Dr. Mary Lyons, after Lyons rescinded a fellowship offer to a dissident theologian.

Lyons canceled a fellowship that had been extended to Tina Beattie, a British theologian, after Beattie signed a public statement in support of same-sex marriage. The statement, which appeared in the London Times, claimed that it is ““perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples.”

By a vote of 99 to 16, with 19 professors abstaining, the faculty voted to approve a statement declaring that Lyons had shown herself to be “ethically bankrupt” by insisting that professors at the Catholic university should not engage in public dissent from the teachings of the Church.


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: shrink - Nov. 18, 2012 8:56 AM ET USA

    Dr. Mary Lyons may not be “ethically bankrupt” but she certainly violated the basic tenets of the Land O Lakes declaration, which has been the law of the land in catholic colleges since 1969.

  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Nov. 16, 2012 4:48 PM ET USA

    Under the heading of Mission and Vision the university's Core Values declares that it strives to bear witness to its Catholic identity "by probing the Christian message as proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church" while it "embraces the Catholic moral and social tradition." That God instituted marriage exclusively for one man and one woman and that Christ gave it sacramental dignity has always been the official teaching of the Church. President Lyons should be honored for upholding this teaching.

  • Posted by: unum - Nov. 16, 2012 10:13 AM ET USA

    It is time for our bishops to find out who is really in charge at our "Catholic" universities and hold them accountable. I applaud President Lyons for taking a stand!

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Nov. 15, 2012 8:11 PM ET USA

    SHE is ethically bankrupt????!!!!

  • Posted by: Jim Hanink - Nov. 15, 2012 7:13 PM ET USA

    As a professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, I'd like to thank Dr. Lyons for showing real moral leadership. I only wish our president would emulate her!

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Nov. 15, 2012 6:56 PM ET USA

    I suppose it would be too much to ask the Bishop of that particular area to come to Dr. Mary Lyons' defense. This provides a good teaching opportunity on the tenets of the Catholic Faith which is the chief role of a bishop.