What interests me is the language being used to spin this. The petition suggests that not appointing Ruether to an endowed chair in Roman Catholic Theology at a Roman Catholic university threatens "academic freedom". From the AP story:
"We are deeply concerned by this turn of events both because it is insulting to Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether and because of what it portends for academic freedom in a Catholic institution," the petition reads.
And Ruether suggests that people cannot "discuss" controversial issues if someone who disagrees with official Roman Catholic teaching is not put in a position of authority over the discussion. From the San Diego Union Tribune:
Ruether, 71, is concerned about the decision's effect on academic freedom.
“It appears to me that some right-wing group has put pressure on the university,” she said.
And from the AP story:
Ruether said the dispute reflects a larger debate in Catholic institutions about how to treat hot-button issues, including gay and lesbian rights and ordination of women priests.
"There's just a huge conflict going on between whether people can discuss controversial issues or whether you can only give the official position," she said.
Gay and lesbian rights? Hmmm, the news story mentions Ruether is a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter. I see Amazon sells copies of her column from November 2005 titled
"Marriage between homosexuals is good for marriage".
I support compassionate pastoral care for gays and lesbians. But orthodox Christian theology, and certainly Roman Catholic theology requires that we recognize homosexual behavior as a simulacrum.