I have to feel a certain feeling of guilt that I am not one of the Catholic bloggers Professor Beattie is railing against after the withdrawal of her invitation to San Diego*. I salute those bloggers, clerical and lay, whom she blames.
She has constructed a wonderful structure in which she is a theologian who is catholic rather than a Catholic theologian, at a College with a catholic foundation in which she teaches theology, rather than a theology prof at a Catholic institution, and then points out (repeatedly? obsessively?) that as a teacher in an English University, nobody can get rid of her just because
Part of me feels desperately sorry for her: she has been feted and lauded, and has gradually begun to think of her magisterium as being the equivalent of anybody else's, and the intellectual-formationally challenged Hierarchy has encouraged her because she is challenging, and they have come to believe in a Guardianista view of the world in which "challenging" is an absolute virtue. She makes me think of Tracey Emin, who has lost the power to shock, and whose efforts to shock induce pity rather than anger, and whose genuine talent was lost behind her status as enfant terrible.
But then I wake up and remember that, irrespective of the adolescent enthusiasm for her of people who are responsible for knowing better, she is bright enough, ferociously clever enough indeed, to know exactly what she is doing and to understand exactly what the value is of her construction. Read Deacon Nick to find out just what this "theologian who is a catholic" has been preaching.
I'm glad that she blames the bloggers, and complains that the Vatican is paying attention to them, though. It shows that the Church in E&W as an Establishment is under threat from within through the power of the Internet, in the same way that it was taken over from within by the spirit-of-Vatican2istas - I note that she appeals directly to the "spirit of Vatican II" as though it is a positive - and that against the Truth they have no alternative but to whinge. They are losing; they will lose.
* (O/T SD is where to go to experience nice CA if you want to miss PC SF, or (UGH!) LA, BTW.)