Did someone say "Gumbleton?"

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 29, 2004

From his lofty perch at Notre Dame-- where he alternates his days between calling for an "inclusive" Church and hurling another anathema at those who disagree with him (that is, orthodox Catholics)-- Father Richard McBrien pronounces the verdict of history.

In 1984, he remembers, Cardinal John O'Connor criticized Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro for her virulent attacks on the Church's teaching regarding the dignity of life. (That's not how McBrien puts it; he would have you believe that the cardinal unilaterally attacked Ferraro, when the reality was the reverse. But I digress.) McBrien tells us:

It became clear to many people that, whatever the bishops' actual intentions, the Catholic hierarchy was indirectly endorsing the re-election of President Reagan by publicly criticizing only the Democrats.
In 1984, there was no criticism of Reagan from the US bishops? Riiiiiiiiiight! Father McBrien was alive in 1984. (I know; I saw him on TV.) So presumably he was aware of the US bishops' "peace pastoral." And the economics pastoral. And the steady stream of USCC statements about US policy in Central America. And Cardinal Bernardin's famous "seamless garment" offensive.

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  • Posted by: - Jul. 30, 2004 12:36 AM ET USA

    "Will not someone silence for me this troublesome priest?" If it was good enough for Becket, is it good enough for McBrien? Figuratively, of course.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jul. 29, 2004 9:59 PM ET USA

    Geraldine Ferraro didn't merely publicly dissent from church teaching on the dignity of life, She made it personal by disputing Cardinal O'Connor's authority to define the Catholic position on abortion. Ferraro, in her naivete, thought that she would actually lead a visible "Catholic" movement arguing that the Church's position on abortion allowed one to be personally opposed and publicly supporting abortion. The accounts of this dispute 20 years ago are invaribly described as a an "attack".

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2004 5:40 PM ET USA

    We should recall the aging process and how it plays funny tricks with memory; of course, McBrien's always was a bit selective anyway.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2004 2:18 PM ET USA

    Diogenes, have you begun to respect the bishops or something?