a lost opportunity

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 17, 2003

Modest Dan Maguire, Professor of Moral Theology at Marquette ("Milwaukee's Jesuit university"), had high hopes 25 years ago for the newly-elected non-Italian pope...

Instead we saw a pope who squandered his moral authority on issues in which he has no privileged expertise. I did not expect to be writing now that this has been a failed and disappointing papacy.

About 40 years ago, Pope John XXIII threw open the windows of the Catholic Church by convening the liberating Second Vatican Council. But beginning in 1978, John Paul II slammed the door on the council's progressive changes and locked the Catholic Church out of dealing with the issues of a turbulent new age.

Since then, it has been left to other Christian churches to meet the many modern challenges, including the role of women in organized religion, clerical celibacy, moral questions surrounding reproductive science and contraception and even the mere acceptance of gays. ...

Aside from reversing many of the changes emanating from the Second Vatican Council, he silenced the voices of many Catholic theologians and arrogantly asserted his own unique teaching prerogatives in ways that cut the legs out from any true ecumenism.

Two areas especially signaled his inadequacy as a world moral leader: his demeaning view of half the human race -- women -- and his obsessive concern with what can be called pelvic orthodoxy.

I think I see the point ... you see, if we had a more open ecclesial structure -- one that recognized and rewarded talent -- experts like Maguire could do the thinking and pastors like Weakland could do the outreach and we would meet the many modern challenges as successfully as the Episcopal Church. Obvious once you think about it.

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 18, 2003 8:38 AM ET USA

    The problem, I think, is not so much the anarchists themselves but that there seems to be an unususal lack of orthodox apologists to meet these so-called theologians. He is a PROFESSOR OF MORAL THEOLOGY? HOW??? His complaint doesn't even make sense. From his point of view, I suppose, the goal of Vatican II was the undermining of previous Church teaching and the erosion of absolute Biblical moral values. The really serious question is, why no opposition from within the Jesuits???

  • Posted by: - Oct. 17, 2003 5:13 PM ET USA

    Maguire on the Holy Father: "...if he accepted women as human peers and was humble about his office..." Well, given Maguire's acrimonious and very public 'divorce' from his first wife, one wonders about his acceptance of women as 'human peers'... And as for Danny Boy's humility, well we know he doesn't have any - given the tone of his letter to his bishop ridiculing Ex Corde Ecclesiae and the Mandatum. The bishop was, of course, Rembert Weakland.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 17, 2003 11:59 AM ET USA

    All one needs to know about Maguire one can find at: http://www.religiousconsultation.org/ Abortion, it seems, is consistent with God's law.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 17, 2003 10:56 AM ET USA

    Ah yes, Daniel C. Maguire, Professor of Moral Theology, Marquette (Jesuit) University; Board of Directors, Catholics For a Free Choice. With so-called theologians like Dan, it is no wonder "educated" catholics are confused. How did it ever get this bad? This guy is headed for "hell in a hand basket" and leading so many others with him.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 17, 2003 10:01 AM ET USA

    Having for years heard Kung & Co "obsess" about Pope JPII"s "obsessing", I can only conclude that their version of outreach is akin to the construction of the Tower of Babel in the Old Testament. Their pelvic reductionist theology reminds of William Blake's marriage of heaven and hell, to which CS Lewis' Great Divorce was the ultimate rejoinder. I do not know of any collection plate big enough to afford their attempt to reach heaven without Our Lord.