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The Catholic diocesan university of San Diego has withdrawn an offer of a one-year appointment to eminent feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, according to InsideHigherEd.com. The USD the donor that funds the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair had a "different vision" of the position, though the theology faculty had chosen Ruether for the one-year job, which included teaching an undergraduate course and giving a public lecture. Lifesitenews.com, a Canada-based prolife website, had reported that Ruether had been offered the chair, calling her a "radical non-Christian feminist."

 It's hard to say what actually pushed USD to withdraw the offer (which it claims was never actually made), but it is unfortunate that conversations among Catholics continue to be stifled by the unwillingness of some people to have an open, charitable conversation. Even if you disagree with Ruether, for LifeSiteNews.com to call her a "radical feminist non-Christian" is uncharitable and unjust to say the least, as is the claim on the site that she calls God "Gaia." I doubt the writer of the piece has ever read more than a sentence of Ruether's work.

 In a mere 40 years, Ruether and other Catholic feminist theologians have transformed the way we think about God, and their work will continue to shape Christianity well into the future. Whether you agree with everything Ruther or any feminist theologian says, it is a tragedy that voices like hers are being stifled just as they are being found. Women have been muzzled through most of Western political, social, and religious history, and we need their voices now more than ever.