22 June 2010

More Nonsense from Fr. Richard McBrien

The scandal to Catholics caused by the University of Notre Dame invitation to Pres. Obama continues on by the shameful fact that Fr. Richard McBrien is still on the faculty there.  Fr. McBrien's latest article to appear in the National Catholic Distorter,  the aptly self titled "independent" Catholic weekly is a particular hoot.  Fr. starts out with this particular gem, praise for Fr. Charles Curran.
Georgetown University Press will publish a new book by Fr. Charles E. Curran, who is widely regarded as the leading Catholic moral theologian in the United States and one of the Catholic church's most distinguished moral theologians worldwide.  Curran is currently the Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at Southern Methodist Univ.
What Fr. McBrien fails to mention is that in 1986, the Catholic University of America removed Fr. Curran  from his teaching post after the Vatican declared that he was "neither suitable nor eligible" to teach as a Catholic theologian.  The Vatican had condemned Fr. Curran's liberal writings on issues of sexual ethics such as artificial contraception and homosexuality.  There is a reason he can't be called a Catholic moral theologian.  Guess that says a lot about credibility and the dissenting ideas of Fr. McBrien too.

He continues,
In 1976, the first presidential election since the Roev. Wade decision, the then-president of the bishops' conference, Archbishop Joseph Bernardin, elevated the abortion issue to such a central place that many concluded that the bishops were supporting the candidacy of Gerald Ford, the Republican, over Jimmy Carter, the Democrat.

Bernardin not only backed away from this impression, but in due course he developed what he called a consistent-ethic-of-life approach to abortion and related moral issues.

For several years thereafter the bishops endorsed now-Cardinal Bernardin's consistent-ethic-of-life framework, that is, until 1989 when they unanimously passed a resolution making abortion a moral issue of the highest priority. When Cardinal Bernardin died in 1996, the consistent-ethic-of-life approach died with him, according to Charles Curran.

Under the impact of Pope John Paul II's 1995 encyclical, Evangelium vitae, the bishops in 1998 applied papal teaching to the U.S. scene, calling abortion and also euthanasia preeminent threats to human dignity.

But the bishops went even further than that. They reinterpreted the consistent-ethic-of-life principle in a way that differed from Cardinal Bernardin's original idea.  [Blather]
Not only is Fr. McBrien misleading about Fr. Curran he also spreads falsehoods about Cardinal Bernardin's consistent ethic of life philosophy. It was Cardinal Bernardin himself who dismissed those [like Fr. McBrien?] who hijacked his philosophy by trying to make all moral issues equivalent. He emphatically re-affirmed that abortion was a greater moral issue than the other moral issues in his consistent ethic of life idea. It is a shame that Fr. McBrien still seems to be stuck in the age before computers where you couldn't fact check someone. Fortunately Catholics today can quickly find the truth about issues rather than the serpents spin.  If you have a strong stomach you can read the rest of the article here.

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