Saturday, July 19, 2008

One Good Turn Deserves Another

I just sent a quicky e-mail to the University of San Diego's president, Dr. Mary Lyons. The reason? The school made a tough decision that deserves praise.

You see, initially the university had planned to honor a most un-Catholic writer, Rosemary Radford Ruether, with an appointment to a Theology Department Chair for the 2009-2010 academic year. The honor would not only have be afforded the prestige and legitimacy of the chair, but it would have also granted Ruether a forum from which to assault the Church. Part and parcel of the Portman chair is the responsibility of teaching an undergraduate course, along with the presentation of that year's Portman Lecture.

When the honor was establish in 2000, Dr. Alice Hayes, president of the university at the time, noted that the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology would "be a strong and palpable symbol of the depth of the university's commitment to Catholic theology as an academic discipline and another sign of the Catholic character of the university," yet Ruether has made a career out of mocking Church positions.

I have no idea who was thinking what when they tossed Rosemary Radford Ruether's name in the hat as a possible candidate for the honor. I especially don't know how she was actually initially given the position.

What I do know is that the University of San Diego has corrected a mistake. Ruether will not hold the Portman Chair during the 2009-2010 school year. The person to hold that honor will be announced at a later date. By reversing their decision, the school has shown a degree of integrity that should be applauded.

It seems almost human nature to point out errors/wrongs. Why not exhibit some human nurture and point out that something good has been done? I know that may be a lame way to say it, but you know what I mean.

University of San Diego Contact Info:

President Mary E. Lyons, Ph.D
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492

Office: 619-260-4520
Fax: 619-260-6833


The university's Theology and Religious Studies departmental web page notes that "the Roman Catholic tradition is pre-eminent" within the department. That's nice to know.

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