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'Pre-Christian' theologian no longer speaking at Catholic college

US Feminist theologian Dr Carol Christ will now speak at a Uniting Church venue following the Dominican Sisters' acceptance of advice from Bishop Julian Porteous that her use of their Santa Sabina college would be "inappropriate".

Online Catholics reports today that Dr Christ is associated with the so-called 'Goddess' spirituality, which is characterised by opponents as pre-Christian or pagan.

Bishop Porteous, Rector of Good Shepherd Seminary and auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Sydney, said: "Following an enquiry from myself on behalf of the Archdiocese, the Dominican sisters decided it would be inappropriate for a talk promoting Goddess worship and pagan spiritualities as an alterative to the basic tenets of the Christian faith to be held in a Catholic venue."

Dr Christ has taught at Harvard Divinity School, Columbia University and San Jose State University and directs the Ariadne Institute for the Study of Myth and Ritual in Oregon, which offers pilgrimages to Greece and Crete celebrating goddess worship.

The visit is sponsored by the Australian Feminist Theology Foundation. Spokesperson Dr Kathleen McPhillips described the switch of venues as "censorship", and suggested that it indicates that life for Sydney Catholics is "repressive".

Dr Patricia Brennan, convenor of the Foundation, told Online Catholics: "Carol blows apart conventional ideas of a 'male' God. She wrote key texts in the 80s that changed women's lives and revolutionised the study of religion."

Dr Christ will now speak at the Uniting Church in Strathfield at 7:00 pm on Saturday 12 March.

More bans on free speech (Online Catholics 8/3/05)

LINKS (not endorsed by Church Resources)
Santa Sabina College
Carol P. Christ's Visit to New Zealand (Massey University)
Ariadne Institute
Archdiocese of Sydney
Seminary of the Good Shepherd
Women Scholars of Religion and Theology

Pell put muzzle on scholar, say feminists (Sydney Morning Herald 9/3/05)

9 Mar 2005