British theologian (again) disinvited from lecture

by Dennis Coday

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"Professor [Tina] Beattie is known to have frequently called into question the Church's teaching. I would therefore ask [the Edinburgh Circle of the Newman Association] to cancel this event, as it may not proceed or be publicised on any Church property in this archdiocese," reads a letter from Archbishop Leo Cushley of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, according to a report in The Tablet of London.

Beattie is a professor of Catholic studies at London's private University of Roehampton.

The Tablet reports that Cushley acted on instructions from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The letter is dated July 11 but was only released this week, according to The Tablet.

Beattie, who is a director of The Tablet, wrote back to Cushley on Sept. 2: "You say that I am 'known to have frequently called into question the Church's teaching'. Known by whom, in what context and with reference to which of my published works?" she wrote. "Never in my published writings or talks have questioned any of the doctrinal mysteries of the Catholic faith. On the contrary, I have consistently argued in defence of even the most frequently challenged doctrines of the Church."

Beattie has not received a reply, The Tablet reports.

Beattie ran into similar trouble in the United States in 2012 when the University of San Diego, which is an independent Catholic institution with historic links the San Diego diocese, withdrew a visiting fellowship from Bettie two weeks before she was to fly to California.

Beattie's troubles seem to stem from August 2012, when she was one of 27 Catholic signatories on an ad in The Times of London that "it is perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples."

At that time, Beattie said, the ad "did not commit any of the signatories to a position for or against same-sex civil marriage. Rather, it was putting across a reasoned argument as to why there are sound principles for Catholics in good conscience to take a number of different views on social policy issues such as same-sex civil marriage, even if these do not agree with the position stated by the hierarchy."

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