NOM BLOG

The Difference Between a "Platform" and a "Forum"?

 

Providence College, a Roman Catholic higher education institution in Rhode Island, made news this week when it cancelled a planned speaking event for same-sex marriage advocate John Corvino.

TheĀ New York TimesĀ reports:

ProvidenceThe event at Providence College was initially planned as a solo lecture, though Mr. Corvino said he suggested that it be a debate and provided the names of several potential sparring partners. Last week, the organizers added Dana L. Dillon, a theologian at Providence College, to present a response.

But Dr. Lena, the provost, said in an interview late Monday night that the event was canceled because it was largely a platform for only one side, and that it could be rescheduled if it included a philosophy professor with experience arguing against gay marriage.

In cancelling the event, organizers cited a 2004 document from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops which stipulates that "Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles."

The point seems to be not that Dr. Corvino is unwelcome to engage the issue or provide his perspective at the college, but that this would need to be in the context of a balanced presentation that gives the Catholic Church's position alongside. What do you think? Is this a fair application by the college of Church discipline, or too cautious?