Daniel Maguire Banned by Milwaukee Archdiocese
The fact that Marquette Theology professor Dan Maguire has been, in effect, banned from from Catholic churches and parishes in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
The following is from an e-mail sent out by Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
10. May I speak to you about a couple delicate issues? The first would be guidelines about hosting a speaker or a group in the parish or under Church auspices. Some bishops, as you know, have drawn up very detailed rules about this. I have not gone that route, and hope I do not have to. Canon Law, diocesan policy already in place, common sense, and love that all of us have for the Church, should guide us. I have trust in your prudential judgment, and in your ecclesial wisdom that you would never invite or host a speaker or a group that has publicly taken stands blatantly at odds with clear Church teaching. There are speakers or groups who certainly may not be “my cup of tea,” but who still stay “within the boundaries,” and I trust your judgment about invitations to them. We need dialogue, we are not afraid of respectful probing and earnest examination of Church teaching; but there has to be a limit. One speaker whom I would ask you not to have is Dr. Daniel McGuire [sic]. He should never be given an invitation or provided a platform at any parish in the archdiocese. He has recently publicly stated that both Archbishop Weakland and I have welcomed him to any parish in the archdiocese, which necessitates this corrective. His position on abortion — and on a number of other areas — is so radically outside Church teaching that his appearance at any parish would be a grave scandal and a cause of disunity in the Church. Dialogue about Church teaching and pressing pastoral challenges is always welcome. But the above speaker is not into dialogue but into clear and purposeful dissent from Church teaching: He gets enough attention without us giving him another platform.Jan Nowak, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese, confirmed for the Marquette Warrior that this text is authentic, from an e-mail that Dolan sent to all priests in the Archdiocese on June 8th.
While we believe in free speech, we are inclined to agree with Dolan that the Church doesn’t owe Maguire a platform. Maguire’s apparent claim that he somehow has the imprimatur of Church officials in Milwaukee really is something that deserves a rebuke.
More important, perhaps, is the fact that Maguire espouses the liberal orthodoxy which is well represented in the mainstream media, in political discourse, and in the entertainment media. The job of the church is to oppose this orthodoxy, not promote it. There is no question that the liberal orthodoxy will be heard. The only question is whether alternative views will be heard.
That said, we see nothing wrong with having Maguire as part of a balanced debate in any venue, ecclesiastical or otherwise. But if an invitation to him by a parish is going to be interpreted — by Maguire or by people generally — as saying that his views are legitimate, then it’s better to pass.