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ND Prof Deplores Vatican Extremist Appointee

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 10, 2004

Mary Ann Glendon's appointment as president of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences earned a compliment from a secular adversary in the pro-life, pro-family battle:

Alan Dershowitz, Glendon's Harvard Law School colleague and a supporter of abortion rights and gay marriage, described her as "one of the most brilliant and effective and moderate voices at the law school."

"If a woman could be made pope, she'd be my candidate," Dershowitz said. "She brings to bear all the best of religion and secular thinking. Whenever I get upset about religion, which happens from time to time, I think about Mary Ann Glendon and I remember the virtues of a religious perspective."

Turning now to the theological professoriate -- that repository of calm, impartial, judicious Catholic scholarship -- we find that Glendon doesn't make the grade after all.

But the Rev. Richard McBrien, a Notre Dame theologian, compared Glendon's selection to that of Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court. His conservative views have been sharply criticized by fellow blacks, and Glendon's views, he said, are also extreme and out of step with the constituency she is supposed to represent.

"Catholic women who know her would not see her as one of their own and would not see her as evidence of the Vatican's commitment to place women in high positions of visibility," McBrien said.

Only conservatives cause divisiveness in the Church, as we know, otherwise one might be tempted to think Father McBrien's remark was less than gracious and even smacked of partisan sentiment. If Glendon's views are judged "extreme" by the canons of the theological academy, we have a much clearer picture of where it locates the midfield line.

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Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Mar. 12, 2004 3:01 PM ET USA

    That is sooo McBrien--class with a capital A. Hunk Hondo

  • Posted by: principle not pragmatism - Mar. 11, 2004 6:45 PM ET USA

    Mary Ann Glendon is a marvelous spokesperson for pro-life. Her views on domestic policy are, to my observation, socialistic.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 11, 2004 5:01 PM ET USA

    I'll be happy to contribute to the New Inquisition as soon as the Holy Father orders it to get to work.

  • Posted by: windsor - Mar. 10, 2004 4:57 PM ET USA

    McBrien is on leave, I believe, from the diocese of Hartford, CT. It's past time for his bishop to call him home and put him in a parish to do some real work. It won't harm the parishoners too much, since it's fairly obvious his brain is rotting from inactivity.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 10, 2004 4:09 PM ET USA

    The Rev Richard McAdHominem. When I'm feeling down, I usually read some of his theological bird cage lining meanderings in our local dissident rag and immediately pump myself back up. If he's had a coherent or constructive thought about the Catholic Church I can't recall what it is. I did enjoy his piece attacking Tom Monaghan and Ave Maria Florida for committing the mortal sin of creating golf courses. Tennis Fr?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 10, 2004 2:45 PM ET USA

    McBrien speaks eloquently for the post-Christian Catholic Church. Recently I read an article written by a professor of the religious studies department at Santa Clara U., in which he talked of the current sociology of the American Church. He passingly noted (without comment) that 95% of self-identified American Catholics believe in God. My guess is that the 5% are professors of theology at Jesuit universities.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Mar. 10, 2004 1:52 PM ET USA

    What's remarkable about McBrien's quote is the utter lack of subtlety in it. It just screams "I'm arrogant, proud, and jealous of her." McBrien's pleading that she's not a real Catholic woman tells you more about him than it does about Professor Glendon.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Mar. 10, 2004 10:29 AM ET USA

    Oh, Really? Her views are "out of step"? And what of yours, Fr. McB? I hope that you don't consider yourself a mainstream Catholic. Even some of the liberal Passionists whose parish I attend would have a hard time swallowing your stance on the Church. I simply don't understand why you just don't join Bishop Robinson where you would find companionship and bonhomie.

  • Posted by: AveMaria580 - Mar. 10, 2004 10:27 AM ET USA

    "Catholic women who know her would not see her as one of their own.." Too true. Glendon is brillant and she can think. She also sees issues clearly and is a committed Catholic. The women I all too often encounter since entering the Church live in their subjective worlds. They deliberately deride logic and thinking as patriarchal. It doesn't occur to them that one persons valued subjectively may be someone else's vomitorium. That's why we need objectivity. Glendon's appt. is exciting.

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