— Council of Vienne ♰♰♰

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Stephen Lewis Removed as Chair of Steubenville English Department

The Catholic University of Steubenville OH dismisses as president of the English Department, the apostate professor, Stephen Lewis, promoter of blasphemous book against the Virgin Mary. 

Mahound's Paradise 

Stephen Lewis, the Franciscan University of Steubenville professor at the center of the recent controversy over his assignment of a "pornographic" and "blasphemous" French novel that included sexually graphic musings, some involving the Virgin Mary, has just been removed as the chair of the English Department.

The department description, above, listing Dr. Lewis as Chair, was I believe still up yesterday (the cache itself is from January 8th). But a new description, without the Chair designation, has now replaced it.

UPDATE: The new chair is Dr. Mary Ann Sunyoger.

This follows an initial defense of Lewis's actions by Steubenville's Public Relations Manager, Tom Sofio. However, after pressure from other faculty members, donors and alumni, the President of Steubenville, Father Sean Sheridan, quickly backtracked and issued an apology. 

According to Christina Niles at Church Militant, which initially broke the story, Stephen Lewis himself remained "defiant".

Lewis has been a controversial figure for some time. Among other things he had backed Rebecca Bratten Weiss, the self-proclaimed "leftist feminist" that Steubenville had decided not to re-hire in 2017. His wife, Suzanne M. Lewis still edits the journal Convivium with Weiss and the two worked together on the Revolution of Tenderness festival in Pittsburgh.

Suzanne M. Lewis and Rebecca Bratten Weiss
As I reported on my Twitter feed, just last night most web links to the journal and the festival were suddenly made "private", even though the until then very public pages had previously been used by Lewis, Weiss and others to raise money for and publicize their writings and events.

Obviously, you can still view most of the pages by choosing the "cache" option in your Google search.

The incident has been an embarrassment to Steubenville and perhaps a minor tragedy for its students. But I hope I will be forgiven for thinking it also has its comic elements. The Lewis-Weiss axis seems to have an obsession with juvenile vulgarity, whether it is assigning French "erotic" novels to graduate students or making political comments on Twitter.

Bratten Weiss spent much of yesterday defending Stephen Lewis in the twittersphere. "We're basically open-minded and unprudish Catholics. Why is Steubenville being so fascist?" was the general if predictable gist. But her last tweet was on an unrelated subject:

What a lovely young lady. Definitely Steubenville English Department material.

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