Denver Newsroom, Aug 5, 2020 / 01:55 am America/Denver (CNA).
After controversy surrounding the removal of American Catholic author Flannery O’Connor’s name from a residence hall, Loyola University Maryland has not said whether it will reconsider its decision.
A petition asking the university to reverse the decision came in the form of a letter, written by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, a former Loyola professor and a Flannery O’Connor scholar who is the associate director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University.
Signed by O’Donnell, as well as more than 80 other authors, scholars and leaders, the letter defended O’Connor’s work and asked the university to reconsider its decision. Among the signatories are Alice Walker, a Black author who grew up down the road from the O’Connor farm, and Bishop Robert Barron.
The letter was presented to Fr. Brian Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola University Maryland, on July 31.
“O’Connor believes in the Imago Dei, the fact that every human being is beloved of God and made in God’s image. Her stories champion the despised, the outcast, and the other, demonstrating their humanity, and call to account people who try to deny their God-given sacred nature,” the letter states. “Among the despised in her stories are African Americans, and the primary objects of her satire are most often racist whites.”