Monday, March 26, 2007

Dan Maguire Chastised by Bishops, Marquette

We’ve written a good bit about Marquette Theology Professor Dan Maguire. For example, how he doesn’t believe that Jesus died for the sins of mankind.

Maguire has demeaned Pope John Paul The Great.

Maguire has gloated over the 9/11 terrorist attacks and blamed them on America.

He has claimed the early Church solemnized and recognized gay unions.

And all the while, claiming that he and like-thinking liberal theologians have as much authority to interpret Church teaching as the bishops.

Eventually, the Church had to push back. With a hat tip to The Provincial Emails, a story from the New York Times:
In a rare step, Roman Catholic bishops in the United States have declared as “false teaching” two pamphlets by a Catholic theologian who argues that abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage are morally permissible under Catholic doctrine.

The theologian, Daniel C. Maguire, teaches religious ethics at Marquette University, a Jesuit institution in Milwaukee. He is a 75-year-old former priest and a prolific writer, educated at the prestigious Gregorian University in Rome, who has been challenging Catholic teaching on sexuality for years.

Last summer, Mr. Maguire mailed two of his pamphlets, “The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion” and “A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage” to 270 Catholic bishops. In them, he argued that the Catholic position on these issues was “pluralistic,” and that Catholic theologians through history had taken a variety of acceptable stances on these issues.

The bishops’ Committee on Doctrine denounced the pamphlets as “irresponsible.” The bishops said that it was a “serious error” to claim “that the teaching of the pope and the bishops represents merely one voice among many legitimate voices within the Catholic Church.”
How did Maguire react? With supreme chutzpah.
“They’re simply uninformed,” Mr. Maguire said of the bishops. “There is no one Catholic view on contraception, abortion or same-sex marriage. There’s a diversity of views. And it’s not just Dan Maguire versus the bishops. There’s a large school of thought that agrees with everything I’ve said in these pamphlets.”
There is, of course, a “large school” of people who agree with Maguire. They are called “liberal Catholics” and they disagree with the Church (and agree with secular liberals) on most issues.

But the problem with Maguire is not that he disagrees with the Church. It’s that he can’t tell the truth about what the Church teaches.

It’s one thing to say “I disagree with the Church,” and another to lie about what Church teaching is.

But we suppose that, if the Constitution can mean whatever you want it to, Church teaching can be anything you want it to be.

Marquette has openly agreed with the Bishops. In a public statement, the University said:
Marquette University agrees with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine that the views outlined by Daniel Maguire in pamphlets he circulated to the hierarchy earlier this year do not represent the teachings of the Catholic Church. Dr. Maguire circulated the pamphlets as an individual theologian, not in any way representing the views of the university.

As a citizen, Dr. Maguire has a right to express his views on the issues of the day. As a tenured professor, he also has rights related to his academic discipline.
At some point, honesty should require a person like Maguire to say “I don’t agree with the central doctrines of the Church. I don’t agree with the moral teaching of the Church. I really agree with secular liberals, and am, in fact, a secular liberal.”

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