Are book-burnings next?, they ask ominously

Are book-burnings next?, they ask ominously

More overheated rhetoric over Fr. Thomas Reese leaving America magazine at the Chicago Tribune. The tone suggests that Inquisition’s stormtroopers will be going through the headquarters of all these dissident publications soon.

For one thing, Reese resigned from his post. There has been no public acknowledgement that he was removed under pressure from the Vatican or Pope Benedict specifically, despite the article’s statement of that as a fact. No one has been on the record as saying that he was removed at the request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

And it’s not like his replacement, Fr. Drew Christiansen, is some orthodox clone put in his place. Christiansen isn’t likely to vary much from the way Reese was running things.

Also, we can shoot down the claim that Reese was only allowing debate on “controversial Church teachings.” There are some things which Catholic priests and theologians are obligated to do and one of them is to publicly support Church teaching on settled matters and not go printing public debates that include prominent Catholics dissenting from those teachings. It creates a lack of understanding about the unity of the faith and can cause scandal for the faithful, who could be confused into thinking that settled matters of teaching are really up for debate.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli