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Friday, 7 May 2010

Jesuit College Thinking With the MInd of the Church

Disclaimer, or rather, admission -- I do not know this woman's work or writings, I am not passing judgment on whether they are compatible with teaching at a Catholic university.

But the mere fact that the administration of Marquette says that there are beliefs, lines of thought, and positions that are NOT, is very encouraging.
Marquette University on Thursday abruptly rescinded an offer to a sociologist to serve as dean of one of its colleges, angering some students and faculty members who said the university did so after learning she was a lesbian who wrote about sexuality.

Marquette, a Roman Catholic university run by Jesuits in Milwaukee, said the professor lacked “the ability to represent the Marquette mission and identity.”

The professor, Jodi O’Brien, who teaches sociology at Seattle University, is openly gay and writes frequently about sexuality in academic journals....
The Rev. Robert A. Wild, the Marquette president, denied in an interview that the decision to revoke the offer was based on the candidate’s sexual orientation. Instead, Father Wild said, the decision came after he and other university leaders read academic writings by the candidate.

“We found some strongly negative statements about marriage and family,” Father Wild said.

Dr. O’Brien’s 12-page curriculum vitae includes many articles and book chapters on topics like “Queer Christian Identities,” “Queer Christian Social Movements” and same-sex marriage.

In a joint letter on Wednesday to the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, Father Wild and John J. Pauly, the provost, said, “We did make an offer to one of the two finalists; in retrospect, that was done prematurely.”

In an e-mail message, Dr. O’Brien said she was stunned by Marquette’s about-face and disappointed that she would not be able to serve at the university.

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