Professor Beattie has returned to the fray, here. I'll leave others better qualified to discuss her views on academic freedom and what she deems the "official magisterium" (as though it is but one among many) and talk instead about the worldview she hints at in this paragraph:
"It is clear from the fine investigative journalism journalism which supports her undertaken by Joshua J.
McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter that there is a very murky
world of Catholic politics and power underlying the decision to cancel my visit.
It seems that the President of the University of San Diego may have been
pressurised or supported (I'm not sure which) by influential conservative
Catholic benefactors and watchdog groups with links to the local Catholic
hierarchy and the Vatican imagine that Catholic groups have links to their Bishop and their Pope! Professor Beattie should be pleased that any excess or over-exuberance in their conservatism will be tempered by an appeal from their Bishop or Pope to Catholic social teaching, thanks to those links. Some students and faculty at the University are
making connections between this and a wider attempt by conservative American
media barons to virtually take control of civic life in San Diego not only have they bought the San Diego Union Tribune, but they are allowing it to pass comment on what is happening in San Diego, the city whose paper it is. Douglas
Manchester and John Lynch, who recently bought the San Diego Union
Tribune, have allied themselves to a highly conservative and militaristic
agenda they are conservative and support the US military. Being supportive of the military - wearing a poppy, for example - and even supporting the government's deployment of military forces does not make me militaristic. In an interview with Associated Press, Lynch is reported
to have said that they 'bought the newspaper in part to promote their views in
editorials. He called those views pro-family, pro-military and pro-America, and
said "anybody who isn't shouldn't be living here"'. Once again then,
conservative Catholicism presumably means not the liberal Catholicsm Prof Beattie professes (Human Flourishing, as they call it in Roehampton) but her argument is with some Catholics who are conservative: I can't see that they are trying to force the City of San Diego to institute Corpus Christi processions, for example risks forming an unholy alliance (cliche) with a far-right
(as in "not left") American (they're in America - would she prefer Paraguayan?) political agenda which flies in the face of so much that is enshrined
in Catholic social teaching and the Christian ethos (she can't mean abortion or accelerated death as they are opposed to both of those). Barack Obama's victory
might temporarily take the sting out of this situation and the lethal politics
it engenders, but these are not people who give up easily." The greatest sin of all: they don't merely disagree with Pres Obama - they actively oppose him!
Elsewhere, she recounts events of the last fortnight as follows:
"For a lay theologian employed by a British university, it is unheard of to find
oneself bullied and silenced by dark magisterial forces working invisibly
through various masked intermediaries."
Really, Professor Beattie? "Dark magisterial forces" (is magisterial here a reference to the Magisterium, or to some preeminently intellectual opponents?) and "masked intermediaries"? Has she been reading Dan Brown? Pray God there are no albino monks wandering around the Borough of Wandsworth!
There is no plot. The tide has turned, and the haughty intellectualism which places the liberal academic's view on a level with the Magisterium is being challenged by Catholics - not by the Hierarchy, unfortunately - who, while not as intellectually gifted as the haughty intellectuals, at least know the difference between black and white and who can tell a wrong 'un even if they can't tell why.
They are fighting back because for the first time in more than thirty years they are under challenge: the two new Bishops (for whom please pray) are under unremitting attack and ordinary Catholics with a view are being denigrated for having the wrong view. To steal a phrase from somebody who would hate our hijacking it and which will be widely understood in San Diego: ¡hasta la victoria siempre! - ever onwards to victory!
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