10 November 2012

Professor Beattie: Keep Digging!

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!


Fr Ray Blake said...


Ben Trovato said...

Excellent post, Ttony. Poor old Tina and her tribe have had it their way for so long, they really don't like it when the tables are turned (even a tiny bit).

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Please continue to fight the good fight with sound reasoning.

Genty said...

I'm tempted to use a well-known quote from Dad's Army. But since this is a family blog I won't

Lynda said...

Dr Beattie rejects the authority of the Church in Faith and Morals. She does not even accept the basic principle of objective, Natural Law morality which all persons of reason and goodwill acknowledge. She is a subverter of Catholic Theology - she does not accept its purpose or rather she "uses" its terms, methodology to undermine the Doctrine of the Faith. She then sets herself up as an authority in Catholic doctrine! And invokes "academic freedom", which is not in issue. If fundamental tenets of the Faith and Morals are only a matter of academics for Dr Beattie, she is declaring herself separated from the Church, and it is morally, intellectually (and every other way) dishonest of her to maintaithe at she is a faithful member of the Catholic Church. Her licence as a Catholic theologian needs to be removed for the good of the Church and the integrity of Catholic Theology.

Mike Cliffson said...

Musta bin Pelayo.