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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