Saturday, August 06, 2005

Dan Maguire, Catholic Theologian?

While the fellows at GOP3.COM are debating whether Dan Maguire should be fired, or at least transferred to a department other than Theology, we can’t help notice a singular bit of chutzpah on the part of the leftist Marquette faculty member.

From a website largely devoted to publicizing the thoughts of Maguire, the following:
Against his better judgment, Dan Maguire accepted an invitation to be interviewed on Fox’s On the Record. Gretta Von Sustern in her introduction kept referring to him as “a former priest” not as a theologian. When Dan got to speak—and he was cut off very quickly—he said that he was indeed a former priest and that he was also a former high school student, but that he was not appearing as such but as “a Catholic theologian, trained in a pontifical university in Rome and teaching on a Catholic faculty at Marquette University.” In this and in other interviews, Dan remarked that the press usually interviews priests or bishops who are not theologians but play one on television. Thus the press is regularly getting misinformation on true Catholic teaching from those who could not pass a graduate exam in theology but happen to be priests of bishops. Gretta then immediately, with much deference, brought on a priest who was not a theologian to refute Dan.
Maguire seems to believe that “a Catholic theologian, trained in a pontifical university in Rome and teaching on a Catholic faculty at Marquette University” is the appropriate spokesman for Catholicism, and that people without such a degree and without a Theology Department appointment can’t speak for the Church.

In the first place, a lot of Catholic theologians disagree with Maguire. So why should anybody pay much attention to him, as opposed to those theology professors who disagree with him?

But worse is the elitism that Maguire shows.

He seems to think that “Catholic theologians, trained in a pontifical university in Rome and teaching on a Catholic faculty at Marquette University” should have more authority than the bishops, more authority than priests and certainly more authority than lay people.

Maguire, in other words, is as elitist and authoritarian as the Church hierarchy at its worst.

Let’s be honest here. Maguire is just a college professor, and college professors aren’t any sort of special people. They know bigger words than most people. But their opinions are heavily influenced by both prevailing academic fads and by secular ideologies popular among academics.

Maguire is just a 60s-type former priest with the standard leftist opinions. The notion that he somehow has more authority than a bishop is bizarre, and the idea that his opinion should count for more than the average lay Catholic is highly questionable.

He has every right to express his opinions, but no sensible person will take them very seriously. Nor consider them perceptibly “Catholic.”

2 Comments:

Blogger HoopsMalone said...

Is this arguing that education does not matter? Dan Maguire knows more about Catholocism than most of us combined. His opinion should carry weight.

What do you call the Archbishop who censors his opinions? How is that not elitist?

12:48 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Is this arguing that education does not matter?

"Education" can be an enlightening or a corrupting experience. With Maguire, it's been corrupting.

What do you call the Archbishop who censors his opinions? How is that not elitist?

I'm not aware of anybody successfully censoring Maguire's opinions.

Various Church officials have said that Maguire can't speak for the Church. They have every right to say that, since Maguire has no right to claim to speak for the Church.

2:51 PM  

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