Providence College Reschedules Cancelled Lecture on Gay Marriage


Just days after cancelling an upcoming lecture of John Corvino, the chairman of Wayne State University's philosophy department, Providence College officials said that the event has been rescheduled to next spring. The decision comes after many protests from student and faculty members.

Corvino, a nationally-known proponent of same-sex marriage, was scheduled to give a lecture titled, 'The Meaning of (Gay) Marriage' Thursday at the Roman Catholic College. The campus community was shocked by the college provost's decision to cancel the planned lecture. They claimed that in 2012, the university invited Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a supporter of legal abortion, to the campus.

According to Catholic World Report, before cancelling the lecture, Hugh F Lena, the college's provost planned to postpone the lecture. He wanted to arrange for an opposing perspective on gay marriage. Allowing Corvino to speak without any opposition on same sex marriage would indicate the college supported gay marriage, which contradicts the Church teachings. 

Lena cancelled the lecture saying that the event supporting gay marriage was not in accordance with the catholic university. Plus, the lecture would also violate a college policy that states that public forums on controversial issues should be presented with both sides.

"While academic freedom is at the heart of teaching in a Catholic university, the United States bishops maintain that in accord with Ex corde ecclesiae: "the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions' (Catholics in Political Life, USCCB, 2004)," Lena said in an email to the faculty. The email has been posted in one of the student's blog.

However, the opponent to Corvino's lecture has now been arranged.

Lena said that Corvino will now be debating Sherif Girgis, a nationally well-known opponent of gay marriage and a Ph.D. student in philosophy at Princeton. She said that the event will most likely take place during the spring semester.

Corvino, a supporter of gay marriage, participates in friendly debates with religious opponents of same-sex marriage and has given similar lectures at over 10 Catholic colleges.

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