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bishops black-flag maguire

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 23, 2007

The First of April is nine days away; the following is not a prank. The USCCB's Committee on Doctrine has acted in defense of Catholic teaching:

On June 19, 2006, Professor Daniel Maguire of Marquette University sent two pamphlets to all of the Catholic Bishops in the United States, one entitled The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion and the other A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage. These pamphlets do not present Catholic teaching. His views about contraception, abortion, same sex "marriage", as well as the very nature of Church teaching and its authoritative character, cross the legitimate lines of theological reflection and simply enter into the area of false teaching. Such mistaken views should not be confused with the faith and moral teaching of the Catholic Church. Since it is apparent that considerable efforts have been made to give these views the widest possible distribution as if they were a valid alternative to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops considers it important to offer a public correction of the erroneous views proposed in these pamphlets. At the same time, the Committee on Doctrine calls attention to the Catechism of the Catholic Church where correct and authentic teaching can be found.

Such-and-such views of Prof. So-and-So are in error. Here's where you can find the correct teaching. That wasn't so hard, was it?

I'm pleased to report that, in the Committee's statement, the bishops not only tag Maguire's positions as wrong but they apologize neither for Catholic doctrine itself nor for their acting in its defense. "We deplore as irresponsible," they write in their conclusion, "his public advocacy of his views as authentic Catholic teaching." Spoken like a ... pastor.

Laurie Goodstein's NYT article shows that Maguire has one working key on his broken piano and is stabbing at it for all he's worth:

"They're simply uninformed," Mr. Maguire said of the bishops. "There is no one Catholic view on contraception, abortion or same-sex marriage. There's a diversity of views. And it's not just Dan Maguire versus the bishops. There's a large school of thought that agrees with everything I've said in these pamphlets."

In Maguire's terms, there is a diversity of Catholic views on necrophilia, cannabilism, and the Dodgers' chances of winning the pennant. If we understand any opinion on any subject held by any person who has not been formally excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church to count as "a Catholic position," we'd have to grant him his point. But can Maguire really believe the bishops are uninformed -- in a way he isn't -- about who holds which opinions? A feeble tune, but it's all he has left.

Goodstein goes on to add this response from Maguire's employer, Milwaukee's university in the Jesuit tradition:

Marquette University, responding to questions from a reporter, issued a statement saying that the university "agrees with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine that the views outlined by Daniel Maguire in pamphlets he circulated to the hierarchy earlier this year do not represent the teachings of the Catholic Church."

Marquette's statement is welcome, and it is true. It could have been issued verbatim, however, by Kansas State University, or Texaco. It would be great if Marquette had said, "the views outlined by Daniel Maguire do not represent the teachings of the Catholic Church, and are false." Well, some of the bishops have been reinfected with pastoral gumption. Let's hope it's contagious.

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Show 14 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Mar. 26, 2007 6:47 PM ET USA

    ...so glad you asked! The committee includes a Los Angeles auxiliary and the archbishop of D.C....Credit is due...

  • Posted by: - Mar. 26, 2007 12:56 PM ET USA

    Ok, who let the "right wing fanatic" loose in the USCCB's Committee on Doctrine? Swift action must be taken to prevent such intolerance! Think of the damage such statements might do to the children! Quick, launch an investigation and dismiss anyone who might be involved in this.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 7:37 PM ET USA

    If the bishops continue to act like this, I'm liable to stop criticising their lack of action on matters of faith and morals. Now, if we can just get schools like Marquette to get rid of the dissenting faculty, we might see a return to an authentic Catholic education.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 4:49 PM ET USA

    Does Maguire teach theology at Marquette? He does not seem to conform to the admonishments in Ex Corde Ecclesiae regarding presenting official Catholic doctrine. It would seem that Maguire thinks that every person in error on these issues establishes validity to his statements. That would not get him out of logic class. Let us hope the university counsels him or invites him to teach somewhere else.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 3:38 PM ET USA

    Come, folks, let's stop the begrudging attitudes here. Didn't Jesus say, "There's more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over 99 who don't need to repent"? We should be glad that this happened and not looking for excuses as to why it happened. However, the role of Fr Thomas Weinandy, OFM Cap, should not be overlooked. He's the Secretary for Doctrine & Pastoral Practices. A solid theologian and one I had at Steubenville, he's willing to take on the bad guys.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 2:43 PM ET USA

    I wonder how many of the Bishops have read his phamplets? But then I realized that such reading would interfere with a Bishop's first priority: fundraised and edifice erection.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 1:50 PM ET USA

    Di, help me out here. What is this that I'm feeling? It's familiar, but it's nothing that I've felt in years. Is this pride for the American Bishops?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 12:09 PM ET USA

    We will soon find out just how much the average Catholic understands about who has authority to teach in the Catholic Church. If they side with Maguire, we'll know the Great Apostasy has begun.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 10:49 AM ET USA

    Teaching Fields Theological Ethics Social Ethics Cross-Cultural Ethics

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 10:47 AM ET USA

    There's a large school of thought that agrees with everything I've said in these pamphlets." Tail waging the dog! "Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God , the angels, and the saints. These are your public. If you are afraid of other people's opinion, you should not have become Christian." St John Vianney

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 10:22 AM ET USA

    I think this display of pastoral gumption is a sign of the Benedict XVI papacy and a product of the pope's appointment of an American to head CDF.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 10:19 AM ET USA

    Maguire's name was familiar as a veteran dissenter and ex-priest, however I didn't realize how far gone he was 'til I checked his website. Really, even the most hapless bench of bishops couldn't have refrained from comment on those works, if they had some real pastoral backbone they'd issue a blanket condemnation of him, his work, and anyone who's ever shaken his hand! I doubt there's a more wanton or blatant dissenter employed by a purportedly "Catholic" university anywhere in this country.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 8:15 AM ET USA

    Eleazer, Marquette University is about as, Roman Catholic, as The University of San Francisco. his was just such a blatant lie, with this Professor Daniel Maguire, sending out two pamphlets to the USSCB. They were "forced" into saying something! As you noticed the Marquette University's response was "very weak", This Professor belongs on campus about ,as much, as a "Rotten Apple in a box of Good Apples". Doesn't matter what subject he teaches.I bet 50%+ of their professors are just like him.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2007 6:56 AM ET USA

    What does Professor Daniel Maguire teach at Marquette University? If its basket-weaving, who cares what he thinks about contraception, abortion or "same sex marriage?" If, on the other hand, he's teaching theology, morals, ethics or something along those lines, why is he still employed by Marquette?

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