Logo Noi Siamo Chiesa

Noi Siamo Chiesa

Sezione italiana del movimento internazionale “We Are Church” per la riforma della Chiesa cattolica

La teologa Rosemary Radford Ruether prima nominata e poi cancellata dall’insegnamento all’Università di S.Diego

Letter to the University of San Diego Supporting Academic Freedom and Rosemary Radford Ruether

Mary E. Lyons, Ph.D., President Julie Sullivan, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs University of San Diego, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110    Dear President Lyons and Vice President Sullivan,We, the undersigned scholars and activists invited by the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) and the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), write to express our deep distress over your rescinding of an invitation accepted by Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether, Ph.D., to be the holder of the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology for 2009-2010.As we understand the case, Dr. Lance Nelson, Chair of the University of San Diego (USD) Department of Theology and Religious Studies, offered an initial, informal invitation to Professor Ruether to occupy the Portman Chair in a letter dated January 21, 2008. Negotiations were undertaken and a formal invitation was officially extended in a letter from Nicholas M. Healy, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, on April 30, 2008 requesting that Ruether indicate her acceptance, which she did. According to the Department’s Web page, it was "pleased to announce that Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether, leading Church historian and pioneering figure in Christian feminist theology, has accepted appointment to the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology for 2009-2010."In mid-July, Professor Ruether received a call from Vice President Sullivan canceling the agreement allegedly because the donor of the chair had a "certain vision" that Ruether presumably did not share. Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs Pamela Gray Payton, speaking for USD, stated: "Upon review of the specific purpose of the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology, the University of San Diego is no longer considering the appointment of Dr. Rosemary Radford Ruether as the 2009-2010 Chair holder."We are deeply concerned by this turn of events both because it is insulting to Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether and because of what it portends for academic freedom in a Catholic institution. According to the official announcement of the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology, "The Portman Endowment allows the department to bring an eminent theologian to the University of San Diego for one or two semesters. As envisioned by the donor and Msgr. Portman, chairholders are to be distinguished theologians who think from within the Roman Catholic tradition while exploring and expressing the tradition in contemporary contexts." Professor Ruether clearly satisfies this description as a Catholic scholar in good standing. While scholars might engage in critical dialogue with Ruether’s position on a variety of theological points—conduct that is wholly appropriate in an academic context—in fact, the Catholic tradition is broad and expansive, filled with theological differences and disagreements, but rich in its diversity. Academic freedom in Catholic institutions involves acceptance of and respect for such diversity. We are dismayed that a decision made by the faculty, an offer officially extended by the dean and accepted by a professor, and publicized by the department would be overturned by university administrators for reasons that are unclear but seemingly ideological. We consider it unacceptable that any scholar, much less one of Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether’s world class status, would be treated in such a cavalier and disrespectful way by an institution. Of primary importance, we feel the chilling effect of the erosion of academic freedom that this case raises in a Catholic institution. We note that during his recent visit to the United States Pope Benedict XVI stated, "In regard to faculty members at Catholic col
leges and universities, I wish to reaffirm the great value of academic freedom. In virtue of this freedom you are called to search for the truth wherever careful analysis of evidence leads you."
We urge that you, on behalf of the University of San Diego, embrace one of the following remedies to this violation of the spirit of academic freedom:1. The University of San Diego honor the offer made by Dean Healy to Professor Ruether to be the 2009-2010 holder of the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology with an appropriate apology for this incident.2. USD engage Professor Ruether to deliver the Portman Lecture on the matter of academic freedom in Catholic higher education. As a part of the commitment, she would remain on campus for a week of substantive discussion with faculty, students, administrators, and interested colleagues about what this means in the twenty-first century and how to operationalize it at USD.            In either case, we urge USD to compensate Professor Ruether with the full payment originally negotiated and set forth in the formal invitation.               Thank you for your consideration of our concerns and proposed remedies. We look forward to a timely resolution lest not only the reputation of the University of San Diego but of all Catholic institutions that respect academic freedom suffer greatly. Sincerely,

Mary E. Hunt, Co-director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)Aisha Taylor, Executive Director, Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC)  USD Faculty Members: Brian R. Clack Kim Eherenman Angelo R. Orona Alvarez Maria Pilar Aquino Harriet Baber Susie Paulik Babka Dwight Bean Eren Branch Michelle M. Camacho Cynthia Caywood Ellen Colangelo J.A. Colombo Jack Crumley David Devine Del Dickson Mary Doak Orlando Espin Jane Friedman Russell Fuller John Halaka Jerome Hall Lawrence Gardepie Michael Gonzalez Michelle Grier Kenneth Keith Evelyn Kirkley Patricia Kowalski Eugene Labovitz Gertrud Jaron Lewis Luby Liao Judith Liu Sue Lowery Gary Macy Mitch Malachowski Dan Moriarty Noelle Norton Rodney Peffer Gail Perez Linda Peterson Ann Pirruccello Patricia A. Plovanich Jack W. Pope Fred Miller Robinson Daniel P. Sheehan Lynne Small Abraham Stoll Karen Teel Barton Thurber Patricia S. Traylor John Valois Betsy Winters Michele Magnin James Weyant Larry A. Williamson Donald B. Peterson  

Catholic Organizational Signers: 8th Day Center for Justice Women in Church and Society Committee – USA A Critical Mass: Women Celebrating Eucharist – USA Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church – USA Boulder Women Eucharist – USA Call to Action – USA Catholic Diocese of One Spirit – USA Catholics for a Changing Church – USA Catholics for Choice – Canada Catholics for Choice – USA Catholic Women’s Ordination – United Kingdom Católicas pelo Direito de Decidir – Brasil Chicago Women-Church – USA Coordinadora Nacional de Documentación y Publicaciones Red Universitaria Venezolana de Estudios de las Mujeres – Venezuela CORPUS, National Association for an Inclusive Ministry – USA Dignity USA Droits et Libertés dans les Eglises/Femmes et Hommes en Eglise – France Federation of Christian Ministries/Roman Catholic Faith Community Council – USA Greater Cincinnati Women-Church – USA Housetop/womenpriests.org – International Kerk Hardop – Netherlands Le Réseau Culture et foi, Québec – Canada Miriam’s Circle – South Africa National Coalition of American Nuns – USA New Ways Ministry – USA New Wine – United Kingdom Noi Siamo Chiesa – Italy Pax Christi Maine – USA Roman Catholic Womenpriests – Canada Roman Catholic Womenpriests – EuropeWest Roman Catholic Womenpriests – USA San Francisco Bay Area Women-Church – USA Sisters Against Sexism Women-Church Community – USA Sisters of Providence Congregation for Peace with Justice – USA Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference – USA Voice of the Faithful/New Jersey – USA We Are Church – Austria We Are Church – Denmark We Are Church – Spain We Are Church – United Kingdom Women Word Spirit – The Voice of Catholic Women’s Network – USA Women-Church Baltimore – USA Prominent Scholars, Activists and USD Alumni: Katie G. Cannon Shannon Clarkson Edwina Gateley Ivone Gebara Dieter T. Hessel Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Diann Neu Anthony Padovano Nancy Pineda-Madrid Judith Plaskow Jeanette Rodriguez Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza Elsa Tamez Emilie M. Townes Traci C. West Barbara Blain Ruth McDonough Fitzpatrick Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune Jeannine Gramick, SL Frances Kissling Donna Quinn, OP Rev. Mary Ramerman Beth Rindler, SFP Sr. Christine Schenk, CSJ Louise Akers, SC, WOC Board of Directors Beverly O’Connor Bennett Joanne Bray, WOC Board of Directors Rachel Bundang Barbra Calantas Michael Sepidoza Campos Cyra Akila Choudhury Elizabeth J. Clarke Dr. Mary Condren Th.D Carol Coston, OP Jane Dempsey Douglass Sandra Duarte de Souza Virginia Fabella, MM Rev. Dr. Della Fahenstock Marcia Falk Mary McClintock Fulkerson Mary Grey Christine E. Gudorf David Hay Margaret Hebblethwaite Rev. Dr. José R. Irizarry Matthew Juelsgaard Catherine Keller Christine Ledesma Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSBJoanna ManningMargaret R. Miles Alexina Murphy Marysa Navarro, PhD Maria José Fontelas Rosado Nunes Dr. Kathryn Ott Bertha Popeney Rev. Jeanne Audrey Powers Dr. Marjorie Procter-Smith Judy Rauner Jane Carol Redmont Mayra Rivera Victoria Rue, Ph.D., WOC Board of DirectorsDr. Jennifer Rycenga Barbara A. Peddie, PhD Amanda QuantzAmy Scanlon, WOC Board of DirectorsLaura Singer, President of WOC Board of DirectorsThe Rev. Jeanette Stokes David Sullivan Dr. Margarita Suarez Margaret Susan Thompson Barbara B. Troxell Lois Uttley Dr. Jane Via Dr. Val Webb Theresa Yugar, WOC Board of Directors More than 1800 individual signers




Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *