After consultation with St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, the Aquinas Institute of Theology has canceled its annual Aquinas Lecture for 2008.
The Rev. Peter Phan, a Georgetown University professor and former president of the Theological Society of America, was scheduled to give the prestigious lecture in about three weeks.
Phan's 2004 book, "Being Religious Interreligiously: Asian Perspectives on Interfaith Dialogue," is being investigated by the Roman Catholic bishops in the U.S. and by the Vatican. A document issued in early December by U.S. bishops publicly called into question the orthodoxy of Phan's book.
"Our judgment here was that the potential was too great that the Aquinas Lecture would be given over to that whole controversy," Peddicord said. "Given the concerns about his work, the publicity and bishops' statement, the purpose of the lecture would not have been served."
Peddicord said Burke did not ask the school to revoke Phan's invitation. But other than to say Burke was "very gracious," Peddicord would not go into details about their conversations.