Commentary | In his Letter to the Montrealers, Paul condemns dismissing Cornett

Re: “Paging Doctor Cornett” | Commentary | October 8

I write to join those who, like me, are troubled by the quite unfathomable saga of McGill University, my alma mater, and its stance toward the dismissed professor, Norman Cornett.

I am the recipient of four academic degrees from McGill, all of which I am proud to have received: B.A ’58, B.D. ’61, S.T.M. ’63, and Ph.D. ’67. McGill provided me with the requisite mind and tools for my own academic career in theology, from which I retired seven years ago. But now, my pride in my alma matter is shaken: I am puzzled and deeply saddened that McGill is shrouding itself in silence in relation to the dismissal of Cornett. I was one of the guests he invited to his classes and, however entrenched I was in my own academic teaching methods, I left those classes challenged into new ways of teaching and, more importantly, of seeing my students differently.

It is troubling for a range of reasons, including theological ones, that the administration of McGill University has nothing other to say in response to questions, heartbreaking ones at that, but “No comment!” Why should pride in being a McGill graduate be diminished by the University’s silence about a dismissal that, unless it is openly explained, leaves deep suspicion and a concomitant angered sadness?

Martin Rumscheidt
Doctor of divinity
Dover, NH


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