Two liberal Catholic groups are angry over a decision made by a Catholic college. Hmmmm. I love the sound of it. It’s not a sentence I get to write very often. Let me say it again. Two liberal Catholic groups are angry over a decision made by a Catholic college. Yes. Felt just as good the second time.

According to the Union Tribune, two national women’s religious groups are incensed. No surprise there as those groups seem to always be incensed about something or other. But now they’ve sponsored a petition with more than 2,000 signatures complaining that the Catholic University of San Diego rescinded their offer of a prestigious position to Catholic feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether because of her public stance on abortion.

Women’s Ordination Conference, which advocates for female priests, deacons and bishops; and the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, a multireligious feminist educational center with Catholic co-founders are demanding her reinstatement.

The decision, says the paper, has thrust it smack in the middle of a national debate over academic freedom versus adherence to church teachings. I say good for the University. Stick to your guns.

Faculty and Roman Catholics are divided over USD’s decision to withdraw the appointment of Rosemary Radford Ruether to an endowed chair. At issue is Ruether’s position on the board of directors for Catholics for Choice, an abortion rights organization.

USD is standing by its decision.

“Her public position and the symbol of this chair are in direct conflict,” said USD spokeswoman Pamela Gray Payton. “This chair is a powerful, visible symbol of Roman Catholic theology, and in Roman Catholic theology abortion is disallowed.”

Now, if a Catholic University says you’re too wacky to be on our staff, wouldn’t that give you pause? Wouldn’t you take a moment for self-reflection? Well, not Reuther. She’s quoted in the piece as saying,

“It appears to me that some right-wing group has put pressure on the university.”

Reuther obviously believes in the ‘best defense is a good offense’ school of theology.

Now, some are pointing to her qualifications which are listed in the article. Lance Nelson, chairman of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies said:

“She’s a widely respected scholar in the field…She’s done seminal work on Christian feminism, social justice, and the relationship between religion and ecology.”

Ruether writes a regular column for National Catholic Reporter, has 13 honorary doctorates and has written more than 40 books. She teaches part time at Claremont Graduate University, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles.

After Ruether was offered the USD appointment, the university’s Web site characterized her as a “pioneering figure in Christian feminist theology.”

That’s all great…except for the fact that she believes it should be legal to kill babies. Other than that though she looks great. But hey, with a resume like hers she could go work anywhere…except at a Catholic University.

Linda Pieczynski, spokeswoman and past president of Call to Action, said, “Rosemary Ruether is like the godmother of the feminist theologian movement.” I find it so adorable when people who support the killing of children call each other names like “godmother,” don’t you?

Congrats to the provost of San Diego, Julie Sullivan, for taking this strong stand. Remember when Pope Benedict told Catholic college educators that, “Any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and the teaching of the church would obstruct or even betray the university’s identity and mission.” It seems that somebody was listening after all.

So one last time. Say it with me. Two liberal Catholic groups are angry over a decision made by a Catholic college. Yes!