Oxford supports emeritus professor accused of 'transphobia'
FREE Catholic Classes
Oxford University is standing by an emeritus law professor after more than 400 people have signed a petition calling for his removal from the university. Petition organizers say the professor holds discriminatory views about homosexuality and transgenderism.
Oxford, England, (CNA) - "John Finnis, Professor at Oxford's Law Faculty, has a long record of extremely discriminatory views against many groups of disadvantaged people. He is known for being particularly homophobic and transphobic," the petition reads.
Finnis, 78, is in fact an emeritus law professor at Oxford; he retired from full-time teaching work in 2010, but co-teaches seminars for postgraduate students. He also holds a chair at the University of Notre Dame's law school.
The professor is known in philosophical circles as a proponent of the "new natural law" theory, which holds that by recognizing certain basic human goods, moral norms can be identified through practical reasoning.
In response to the petition calling for Finnis' removal, an Oxford spokesperson said that the university and its law school "promote an inclusive culture which respects the rights and dignity of all staff and students. We are clear we do not tolerate any form of harassment of individuals on any grounds, including sexual orientation. Equally, the University's harassment policy also protects academic freedom of speech and is clear that vigorous academic debate does not amount to harassment when conducted respectfully and without violating the dignity of others."
Alex Benn, an Oxford law student and petition organizer, told The Oxford Student that "John Finnis has built a career on demonisation. His so-called 'arguments' about disadvantaged people are hateful, not to mention widely discredited. His position at Oxford ignores his decades-long promotion of discrimination and, in particular, his active role in worsening the lives of LGBTQ+ people. Meanwhile the Law Faculty "in its silence "is content to give him its stamp of approval."
But Finnis told The Oxford Student that "the petition travesties my position, and my testimony in American constitutional litigation. Anyone who consults the Law Faculty website and follows the links in the petition can see the petition's many errors. I stand by all these writings. There is not a 'phobic' sentence in them."
Referencing a 1994 essay on homosexuality especially criticized in the petition, Finnis said it "promotes a classical and strictly philosophical moral critique of all non-marital sex acts and has been republished many times, most recently by Oxford University Press in the third volume of my Collected Essays."
Finnis made headlines in 2017, during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote a dissertation under the professor's supervision. In February 2017, Robert P. George, McCormich Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, praised Finnis as an "internationally acclaimed philosopher of law and a theorist of natural law and natural rights."
The professor is a Fellow of the British Academy, and was a member of the International Theological Commission of the Holy See, the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, and the Pontifical Academy Pro Vita.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary. That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.
Pope Francis Saturday accepted the resignation of the Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, who has faced ... continue reading
In a message for World Water Day, Pope Francis stressed the need to remember the suffering of billions of people who do not have ... continue reading
A Venezuelan cardinal has called on state security forces to exercise civil disobedience when given orders to use lethal force against ... continue reading
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, a personal friend and close collaborator of St. John Paul II, this week defended the Polish pope's record on ... continue reading
Meeting with pediatricians at the Vatican on Thursday, Pope Francis encouraged the medical professionals to be "promoters of a culture of ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, March 25th, 2019 HD Video
- Pope Francis accepts resignation of Chilean cardinal accused of cover-up
- 'Living Lent': Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent - Day 21
- St. Margaret Clitherow: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, March 26, 2019
- Montreal priest stabbed at Mass 'eager' to return
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, March 26, 2019
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, March 25th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, March 22nd, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, March 24th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.