University of San Diego faculty threaten no-confidence vote

Vatican-supported lay group blamed

University of San Diego

The following appeared Nov. 8 on the website of the National Catholic Register.

More than 100 faculty members at the University of San Diego have presented their president with an ultimatum: Reinstate a canceled visiting fellowship for a British theologian or face potential public questioning of your capability to lead.

The faculty of the Catholic university’s College of Arts and Sciences made the move Tuesday in response to president Mary Lyons’ cancellation of a fellowship for Tina Beattie, a theologian known for her work in contemporary ethical issues.

Beattie was scheduled to begin a fellowship at the university’s Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture on Tuesday. Lyons, who alleges the theologian publicly dissented from church teaching by suggesting Catholics could support civil same-sex marriage, canceled the appointment in an Oct. 27 letter.

In a meeting of their academic assembly Tuesday, the University of San Diego faculty agreed to ask Lyons to reinstate Beattie’s appointment immediately or face a possible vote of no confidence in her leadership.

To read entire story, click here.

The following appeared November 6 in the NC Register, two days earlier than above story.

….Among those protesting Beattie’s appointment was Thomas McKenna, president of the San Diego-based group Catholic Action for Faith and Family, a non-profit organization backed by Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s supreme court.

In a statement emailed to NCR Monday, Lyons said that her decision regarding Beattie’s fellowship was made “without regard to pressure groups or donor influence,” but also mentioned the role of benefactors to the founding of the university’s Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture, where Beattie was to have been a visiting fellow.

While Lyons and a university spokeswoman denied that pressure from outside groups had influence on the decision to cancel Beattie’s invitation, McKenna and another San Diego man known for his conservative Catholic viewpoints said in interviews with NCR that they had widely expressed displeasure with Beattie’s appointment.

Among those they said they contacted were current and former members of the university’s board of trustees, San Diego coadjutor Bishop Cirilo Flores, the editor of the diocesan newspaper, and the Cardinal Newman Society….

University of San Diego alumnus Charles LiMandri, a local attorney, protested Beattie’s appointment. LiMandri has served on the university’s alumni board, was president of the national alumni association, and chairman of the university’s annual fund.

LiMandri also created a website, “Alumni for a Catholic USD,” which protested last April a series of student events focused on gender identity, one of which featured a drag show.

McKenna’s organization, according to its website, has two episcopal advisors: Cardinal Raymond Burke, a former archbishop of St. Louis who currently serves at the Vatican as the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura; and San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, a San Diego native who also serves as the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ subcommittee for the promotion and defense of marriage.

LiMandri told NCR in an interview Nov. 2 that he began publicly expressing his displeasure about Beattie’s appointment after it was brought to his attention “a little over a week ago.”

To read this entire story, click here.

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  1. Kenneth M. Fisher says:

    If the Ordinary of San Diego had any real faith he would deny this sicko university the title “Catholic”.

    He is probably more afraid of bad publicity than he is of the “Rath of God”!

    God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
    Kenneth M. Fisher

  2. The world has gone mad. More than 100 faculty members at the CATHOLIC University of San Diego want this ‘theologian’ reinstated. I have heard it all now. Heaven help us!

    • A group of obnxious teachers forms a vigilante group and threatens a no confidence vote in President Lyons! How can any real Catholic have confidence in left-wing, Taliban bullies who would defy the Pope and the Vatican, and insist on allowing a dissident heretical theologian to blaspheme Jesus Christ, the Holy Mass, and the Blessed Virgin Mary? There are limits to what decent people ought to tolerate, and this is a zero tolerance issue

    • Abeca Christian says:

      When our Bishops lose control and hand over what is suppose to be a Catholic University to the secularist Catholics, this is the outcome. God have mercy on us all.

      Better to lose those 100 faculty members than to lose souls!

  3. President Lyon’s decision to cancel dissident Beattie was the right thing to do. Lyon’s courage and faithfulness is noted far and wide. More importantly, the backlash to this incident exposes the 100 or so faculty who scandalize the Catholic faith by supporting dissidence and have no interest in promoting Catholic principles. We pray President Lyon’s will deal straight forward with the whiners.

  4. Larry from RI says:

    LiMandri also created a website, “Alumni for a Catholic USD,” which protested last April a series of student events focused on gender identity, one of which featured a drag show.

    Praise be to Mr.LiMandri for his actions.If more alumni of catholic colleges demanded the colleges be more Catholic,things would change for the better.They should use their financial clout to affect change.
    What’s that term we use to say “church militant”.

    • Let’s all go to LiMandri’s website and encourage the Alumn of USD to stand frim behind Lyon and help to remove those teachers who seem to want to teach somewhere else.

  5. Hang tough Mary Lyons. I hope your support system stands firmly by you.

    • As a USD grad, I too am glad she rescinded the invite. However this dust up is because USD and thus Mary Lyons did not properly investigate who they were going to bring on board. For crying out loud a simple Google search would have given one enough information to at least do some more digging.
      Failure to investigate Beattie, Drag Shows, LGBT classes, dissidents on Theology faculty, failure to implement Ex corde ecclesiae after years in office as president are reasons enough to have her removed.
      The only good thing out of this is that whomever hold the office now has a tidy list of names of faculty to remove. Then perhaps USD may once again become a real Catholic University. The failure of USD’s catholic character was a prime reason it was necessary to start another but authentic John Paul the Great University just 12 miles away.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Bob Foley God bless you, your comments are reasonable and truly make sense to me! USD is a private school, it needs to uphold it’s Catholicity, if those in charge have upheld it and didn’t allow dissenters to rule but as you can see this mess is something not unique.

      • One would think that the roof would have required provueis work over the almost 200 years that elapsed between the book being stuck somewhere in the eaves and the repairs in 1757. In any case, the location of the book would be critical. The oak beams that they used back then were as strong as steel, so if it was lodged between two of them, it’s conceivable that it could have passed without notice. But this is a side issue and not really germane to the authorship, so it doesn’t really matter when it was put there or by whom.

    • Amen!

  6. Catholic Action for Faith and Family was successful in forcing the cancelation of the fellowship of the heretic Tina Beattie at USD. I hope this success will embolden other alumni organizations at other so-called Catholic schools to force them to adhere to Catholic doctrines. Notre Dame University removed a crucifix from its chapel before President Barack Hussein Obama spoke and was presented with an honorary doctorate degree. This was a disgrace. Alumni and other groups protested this, but the school still removed it. Perhaps next time there will be enough pressure to stop such disgraceful anti-Catholic actions. Can some true Catholic group take action against the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco’s pro-homosexual orientation?

  7. Thomas Edward Miles says:

    Good for the faculty, what good is a faculty that is not allowed to THINK FREELY, I forgot the POPE does all the free thinking for us CATHOLICS!! Living within the walls of a totalitarian regime is not a church, it is living in a GULAG, what next, death camps?!!!

    • TEM I can understand how you would defend a crackpot theologian who compared Holy Mass to sodomy…

    • I agree Thomas Edward Miles! All of those faculty should resign immediately and go where they can be free!

    • ModestoDick says:

      TEM Thanks for your comment. One of the purposes of a university is to promote critical thinking. The cancellation of Tina Beattie’s visiting fellowship showed a weakness not a strength. Congratulations to the courage of the 100 faculty members.

      • It takes “courage” for 100 staff members to defy the Vatican and issue demands to President Lyons to reinstate the invitation – or else? Rather, I’d say it took far greater courage to stand up for what is ‘right,’ and refuse this heretic a platform at a Catholic university. Tis’ far better that the 100 faculty members resign or be fired and replaced, than to cave in to their haughty demands.

        Can you imagine these same hypocrites issuing similar demands if the speaker was a revisionist historian? Yet here we have a revisionist, dissident heretical “theologian” for whom these 100 faculty members wish to throw open the red carpet.

        What hypocrites. The Church is not a democratic institution, nor should it be, and those who don’t like it are welcome to leave as soon as possible before the infection of their reprehensible disobedience spreads.

      • So ModestoDick, Would you also be in favor of having speakers at USD who advocate the extermination of blacks, jews, gays and Catholics? How about speakers who are active pedophiles, who practice beastiality or incest? How about hiring faculty members who are members of the American Nazi Party, the Ku Klux Klan and NAMBLA?

      • Abeca Christian says:

        ModestoD it doesn’t take courage to be a protestant and a dissenter…now a days it is customary to be a dissenter and to protest the truth, that is why you have those 100 dissenters angry wanting Beattie’s to speak, if they want her so bad, then why not just go to her personally or buy her stupid talks…but in a Catholic setting…NO WAY AND NO HOW!

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      The question of Salvation has already been settled by someone called Truth way and life on something called the Cross and consequent defeat of death.
      You are free to think and choose. But you cannot change truth. The Church which is this same person is not here to debate or seek new truths or aspects of the same truth, but to teach it. It’s a known quantity, always was always will be.

    • Thomas Edward Miles, it is good to have an open mind, but if the mind is too open, the brains fall out. It seems that your and some of the faculty and students brains have fallen out.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      TEM if you want to people to think freely YOUR WAY, then start your own church but stop telling Jesus how His church should be run! You are not GOD! YOUR WAY is not the way towards salvation, we all know that by your comments there and from other posts!

      It is true that homosexuals have made their homosexuality their own religion and have infiltrated in the church to mess it up and make it to meet their needs away from God. They won’t rest until they try to destroy it.

      I have news for the gay agenda……God wins in the end….

    • Then they can all go to a state university and join the ranks of the cultural dead. Free thinkers? Do it for free; on your own time on the street corner! Get out of Catholic universities and let Catholic Doctrine prevail!
      And by the way; I was blessed to be born into the Holy Catholic Church, The Church left to us by Christ Himself. I love the fact that Christ set up the Church in such a way that we have the Holy Spirit to guide the Holy Father as he serves us as Jesus did.
      If one feels they are in a “gulag” it could be because they do not have faith in the Church left to us by Christ. It is sad, but perhaps time to find or start your own and see how easy it is to find the Truth outside of Holy Mother Church. The “death camps” are alive and well for those who are so prideful that they loose their soul in the process. Food luck with all that “free thinking”.

      • These so-called “Free Thinkers” are part of the same “Marxist politically correct” crowd that would deny others the same right they arrogate to themselves. If you disagree with them, they will seeks ways and means of forcing you to comply or exclude you altogether, as they are now trying with the president of the University. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

  8. Father Karl says:

    The president of the university MUST IMMEDIATELY fire all the faculty members who disagree with Catholic teaching. That is it! There is no other solution. When you play with fire, you get burned; stop playing with these dissidents now; terminate their jobs, and hire REAL Catholics who defend and promote the faith.What would Jesus do? He would fire them yesterday, because they are NOT WITH HIM, but against Him, and they do not gather, but scatter. The Catholic Church is NOT a democracy!

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      You are too optimistic. I have a better Solution. The Diocese of San Diego take control over the Department of Theology at USD, and hire its own people or
      remove its recognition of the University. I am pretty sure the Bishop of San Diego has the power to do this; perhaps not the will. That said; the Bishop also probably
      can influence who gets on the board of this school by being firmer.
      There are Ex Nuns and Ex priests on the Faculty of this schools Theology department. This in and of itself is a big problemo for the Bishop. Oh well, most of all
      the Bishop should worry for his soul and all the souls under his care.

  9. This is the typical liberal mind. I thought being a bully wasn’t part of the agenda. “Hey kids, it’s okay to bully again”.

  10. BISHOP Robert H. BROM of the Diocese of San Deigo needs to be contacted immediately.

    1) Defend the FAITH as written in the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” – re same sex marriage, and all else.
    2) He must require the MANDATUM (per Canon Law) from everyone teaching theology at all Catholic Institutions within his Diocese.
    3) He must strongly encourage Catholic Colleges and Universities within his Diocese to use the CCC as a REQUIRED student text if they call themselves “Catholic”.
    4) The Bishop should review with the Board of Trustees and Univerisity Officers – Code of Canon Law – 807 through 814.
    (These can be found on the Vatican web site under Code of Canon Law.)

    5) Can. 1364 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 194, §1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication;
    in addition, a cleric can be punished with the penalties mentioned in ⇒ can. 1336, §1, nn. 1, 2, and 3.

    6) Can. 1369 A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals,
    expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.

    Since Beattie: 1) is a theologian, 2) does not have a MANDATUM, and 3) has been excommunicated latae sententiae
    – - – she may not teach at any “Catholic” College, University or Educational Institution.

    It is up to the BISHOP to enforce this in his own Diocese, at Universities and Colleges that advertise themselves to be “Catholic”.

    Apparently USD has done a lousy job of teaching the Faith according to the CCC and Code of Canon Law -
    or their IGNORANT FACULTY MEMBERS would know that excommunicated heretics and schismatics may not teach in the school of theology.
    They need to start using the CCC and study the Code of Canon Law at their ‘Center for Catholic Thought and Culture’,

    • Call or send emails to Bishop Brom asking him to do his job, and to the Board of Trustees.

      Find out when they are going to require freshman and/or sophomores to use the CCC as a required student text.

      Find out what Bishop Brom is doing in his Diocese for the Year of Faith.

  11. St. Christopher says:

    Dear President Lyons — follow the direction of Burke and Cordileone. If faculty persist in some silly vote of “no confidence” fire them, or do anything that you can to reign in their budgets and otherwise make their lives untenable. This is a Catholic university and should act like it. Your leadership has already been shown in a most positive way. Now is the time to stand up for your Faith. Let the faculty speak to empty rooms an TV sets. Hire practicing Catholic professors.

  12. The inmates want to manage (and set policy for) the asylum. It’s common in higher education, not just Catholic higher education. They run on liberal doctrine and ego. Sad, but USD should have dropped their claim to be Catholic long ago. If the bishop of San Diego were inclined to lead his diocese and defend the faith, he would step in and assert his authority.

  13. Hold strong to the faith President Mary Lyons. God has your back.

  14. Easy fix: FIRE ALL 100 of these anti-Catholic clods. +JMJ+

  15. This is what tenure has done it has created a bunch of overpaid spoiled disobedient brat teachers.

  16. confidence, schmonfidence!

    she’s supposed to protect the catholic identity of the college, not cave in to pressure by dissidents.

  17. So the USD faculty is threatening a vote of no confidence over their president’s withdrawal of an invitation to a visiting lecturer whose views dissent from the Catholic Church. Why should this be of any further concern to the USD president? The damage to the university’s reputation by publicly airing this spat is done.

    The president answers to the board of trustees, which appears to be backing her up. The only other key player in this tug-of-war is the retiring bishop or his successor, who can strip USD of its “Catholic” title at any time, but they are obviously going to uphold Church doctrine and validate the president’s decision.

    This matter would be settled by now if the bishop issued a clear pronouncement. Unfortunately ever since Charles Buddy, who co-founded USD, San Diego bishops have relinquished their responsibility in maintaining the university’s Catholic mission. It is no wonder there has been so much criticism of USD over the years; the sheppard has abandoned his flock and the wolves are free to strike whenever an opportunity presents itself.

  18. 100 faculty members at a Catholic school have a distinct lack of interest in Catholicism. Yeah, that seems about the norm these days.

  19. Looks like the inmates are moving to take over the institution….

  20. Catholic Joe says:

    President Lyons–you can’t have it both ways…

    You reap what you sew.

  21. Tito Edwards says:

    NCR as in NCReporter, not NCRegister.

    The NCReporter is a dissident newspaper that seeks to lead Catholics astray, while the NCRegister remains faithful to the Magisterial Teachings of Holy Mother Church.

  22. I think it’s time for Catholics to re-examine their hiring practicies. Jobs from Catholic Institutions should go primarily to CATHOLICS who accept and believe the faith. Why should non-Catholics (even more specifically anti-Catholics) benefit financially from the money of hardworking, faithful Catholics only to tear the faith down? Something is seriously wrong here. It was largely (almost entirely) the pennies of poor San Diego Catholics who built USD under the leadership of Bishop Buddy. They must be rolling over in their graves considering what this has become.

  23. Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

    I know of 100 Faculty members of USD who should go looking for Jobs elsewhere. Perhaps instead of writing to Bishop Brom, one should write to Bishop Flores. The least both Bishops
    can do is take control of the Theology department or shut it down all together.

    Lets see who caves. The Forces of Christ, or the Evil one bent on destroying the Church.
    USD is a sorry excuse for a Christian University; let along Catholic.

    • Catholic Joe says:

      You forget that USD proactively recruited faculty with this worldview. Previously, you had Catholic professors or professor who might dissent but were passive. Again, the professors’ reaction are no mistake based on the very secular and worldly faculty purposely crafted by USD.

      USD wants to be of the world for prestige, rankings, and members of the elite university secular club.

  24. It's Me Again says:

    And why would the FACULTY of a Catholic university be protesting this you may ask? Because they were hired and formed within an environment of heresy against the Vatican in the first place. Theologians and professors need to sign an oath of fidelity to the Magisterium AND they need to know their faith. Have you all forgotten that Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my Commandments” … he did not say, “If you love me you will keep my Suggestions!”

  25. Fr. Richard Perozich says:

    I have no confidence in any faculty member that would vote no confidence. That faculty member should resign. The bishop should begin to inform them of what the university has to do to maintain its Catholic status. It is my understanding that if USD loses it, they have to give back the land on which are built all the buildings.

  26. The simple fact is that not one of the US bishops has done anything against any of the universities. Even in the high schools, where the bishops have an even more direct responsibility, the teachers don’t believe in, nor teach, the Magisterium.

    • You are probably correct about the majority of Bishops ignoring their responsibilities when it comes to Code of Canon Law – Mandatum.

      But there are a few good Colleges and Universities that do require their Theology professors to have the Mandatum.
      There are 23 Universities recommended by the Cardinal Newman Society. Check these out to find out if they have the MANDATUM and if they use the CCC as a required student text for all Freshman and/or Sophomores.

      Don’t waste your money on any College that does not have the Mandatum or use the CCC as a required student text.
      They are not really Catholic and can teach students whatever they want, rather than the truth.


  28. If these 100 faculty members are not in full union with the Church’s teachings…..I suggest they find employment elsewhere, like a secular
    University!!! Either by firing or on their own accord.

  29. The federal government should revoke tax-exempt status of every “catholic” university and college. Maybe then the bishops would clean house.

    • The federal government does not care if Catholics students are taught the truth regarding the Faith.

      But you bring up a good point.

      Could we ask that tax exempt status be removed – when the Faith is not taught according to the sure norm for teaching the Faith – the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition ?

      Not a bad idea – alan.

      • Seems more like the only way USD could lose its non-profit status would be TO forcefully teach the faith. But universities have non-profit status anyway, regardless of whether secular or religious (for instance Harvard and Yale)

  30. The article refers to Arch Lavada as Prefect of Supreme Tribunal of Catholic Church.To my knowledge Arch Lavada retired some months ago at age 75 and lives in residence in San Francisco. The Prefect of the Church in Rome is Bishop Mueller for some months now.

    • SAM — this is so typical of the media.

      they don’t never know nuthin’ !!!

      when a priest leaves the minsitry they say “he left the catholic church.”

      you’d think they would do at least SOME homework…

  31. Welcome to the world of Catholic education! If dissenting viewpoints are not tolerated at all, there will be a declining number of professional educators seeking jobs at Catholic universities in the US, declining number of students attending them, a declining number of major donors, but an increase in press and public perception that US catholic colleges are “all a bunch of ruthless hardliners, so don’t attend it”.

    What if a visiting professor publily proclaimed that the Church’s position on birth control was wrong…..a point of view that 90% of American Catholics agree with? Prohibit the visting prof from lecturing at all? Fire them? Where is the line drawn on disagreeing with Church teaching? Are some positions worthy of censure and being “univited” to teach, yet other teachings will be OK to disagree with?

    If the US system of Catholic higher education is only supposed to look like Ave Maria University, then Catholic colleges and univseristies nationwide will see plumnmenting admission rates and scaled back major donors. US Catholic colleges would basically become “closed colleges, open only to students who give a public proclamation of 100% fealty to Vatican doctrine”. Just like the Church at large, the numbers of those interestred in participating will fall through the floor. Is that the future you want?

    • goodcause:

      Statistics shows that Catholic participation at Mass, in the number of priests, seminarians and religious sisters all plummeted after Vatican II. That indicates a weakening of the faith that coincided with a less than “100% fealty to Vatican doctrine.” That situation is starting to turn around, finally, beginning in our seminaries.

      When “Catholic” universities are not teaching the faith but are instead undermining it, and are confusing students about the meaning of what it means to be “Catholic,” the fewer students exposed to it the better. As for your concern about what the American “press and public perception” will be, the Church’s job is to evangelize them, not the other way around.

    • goodcause is just using another ruthless scare tactic by inferring that “US Catholic colleges would basically become “closed colleges” open only to those students who give a public proclamation of 100% fealty to Vatican doctrine.”

      We are talking about educators who will not undermine the Magisterium. We are not talking about the students.

      goodcause is also tempting USD to bow down and worship (tolerate) false doctrines in order to gain worldly status, money and popularity. Would goodcause also refer to Jesus as a “ruthless hardliner’ when Jesus rejected the temptations of the devil when Jesus was offered all of the kingdoms of this world and their splendor?

      Follow the example of Jesus. There is never a goodcause to sell your soul to the devil.

    • goodcause, dissenting against the teaching of the Church – makes one a heretic and/or schismatic.
      This is grounds for automatic excommunication.
      We can’t have professors teaching lies.
      People pay good money for tuition, and have a right to the truth, unless you support fraud as well.

      Read the CCC and Code of Canon Law.

    • Who cares?

  32. Dear Mary Lyons,

    You’re soul is precious to God! Do not be afraid! It is now time to place you’re total confidence in God. If God is for you, Mary Lyons, than who can be against you?” Could the answer to that question be: The 100 faculty members who are not with God because they are choosing to be against Him? You have now been given the very publicly viewed yet holy opportunity to choose to be either completely pleasing to God or to tragically choose to pacify those who are against Christ because they are against the teachings of His Church. The choice will be clear to God.

    There are more than 100 faithful Catholics who would be more than grateful, more than willing and pleased to take on the teaching positions of these 100 faculty members who are clearly rebelling against God. Good jobs are scarce during these very difficult times. Please place an invitation on USD’s website: We are now looking for 100 new faculty members who will agree to sign an oath of fidelity to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church. Mary, God, in His Great Mercy for you’re displaying complete confidence in Him, will abundantly bless USD with 100 new wineskins that are a true reflection of a faithful Catholic University. Many faithful graduates of faithful Catholic Institutions are awaiting such an invitation.

    Mary Lyons, By you’re showing of complete confidence in God, you will also be able to accomplish a great Spiritual Work of Mercy for the 100 terminated faculty members.

    “In heaven, the most beautiful souls are those that have sinned the most and repented. But they made use of their miseries like manure around the base of a tree.” – Blessed Mariam Baouardy

  33. Kenneth Fisher:

    What is “rath”??!!

  34. i think the USD professors who wrote in protest should take their protest even further — they should downright REFUSE to accept any paychecks in their great indignation.

    working for free would be a great sign of their being in a big snit, and the money could be used for other, better purposes.

  35. It’s sad to see a new oxymoron developing: “Catholic University”.

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