A Message from the Provost

The complete email sent by Dr. Hugh Lena to all faculty and staff this Saturday. Students were not included in this distribution. Friarside Chats thinks that you ought to be able to read Dr. Lena’s announcement yourself.
From: “Lena, Hugh” <HLENA@providence.edu>
Date: September 21, 2013, 4:00:10 PM EDT
To: “pc-staff@lists.providence.edu” <pc-staff@lists.providence.edu>, “pc-faculty@lists.providence.edu” <pc-faculty@lists.providence.edu>
Subject: [PC-F] “The Meaning of (Gay) Marriage”

A Message from the Provost

“The Meaning of (Gay) Marriage,” a lecture by Dr. John Corvino, associate professor and chair of Philosophy at Wayne State University, which was scheduled for Thursday, September 26 and announced via email yesterday afternoon, has been cancelled.

While academic freedom is at the heart of teaching in a Catholic university, the United States bishops maintain that in accord with Ex corde ecclesiae: “the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions” (Catholics in Political Life, USCCB, 2004).   When it comes to mission-sensitive issues, Providence College has always sought to provide a context which allows for open and honest debate, a forum where both sides of an issue are presented in accord with the ideal of a disputed question.    College policy therefore dictates that both sides of a controversial issue are to be presented fairly and equally when discussed in a forum such as this.  That was not the case with this proposed event.  The notice sent out yesterday mentioned that there would be a response to Dr. Corvino by Dr. Dana Dillon of the Providence College Theology Department.  However, it has come to my attention that Dr. Dillon was asked just yesterday afternoon to provide that response.  While I applaud Dr. Dillon for her willingness to present on such a complex and controversial topic, it is simply not fair to her to give her less than one week of preparation opposite someone who has been lecturing on this issue across the United States for years.

The organizer of the proposed event was aware of College policy, and discussed a balanced presentation on the issue with members of the College Administration as far back as January of this year.  However, the organizer did not dialogue with the Administration as to his plans, the event was not developed along the lines dictated by policy, and the organizer did not secure approval from the Administration for his final event prior to sending the campus-wide email.  As such, I have made the decision to cancel the event.

Dr. Hugh Lena


7 thoughts on “A Message from the Provost

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  3. I applaud your courage Dr. Lena, for your decision will oh-so-predictably lead to both real and feigned apoplexy, the former in the case of folks whose formation has been informed far more by MTV than by the great minds and experience of the West, the latter in the case of cowards imprisoned by a need above all to be hip.
    Giving quarter to the myth of gay marriage is simply beneath truth-seeking; it would make as much sense for the college to host a marine biologist to lecture on the secret life of mermaids.
    Well done, Doc.

    • Frank, you sir, frankly speaking, make way too much sense! I was thinking more along the lines of an Equine Veterinarian speaking on the nocturnal patterns of unicorns. Ah yes, common sense is all but lost these days.

      I too tip my fedora to Dr. Lena.

  4. Pingback: Providence College Cancels Gay Marriage Lecture By John Corvino, Gay Professor | Safe Schools | Desert Cities

  5. Pingback: CAMPUS CHRONICLES: Cancellation of Marriage Lecture Leads to Community Reflection | Bondings 2.0

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