Dolan’s response to Maguire, priestesses and Call to Action

Dolan’s response to Maguire, priestesses and Call to Action

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee followed up this in his weekly newspaper column regarding his correspondence with dissenting theologian Dr. Daniel Maguire. Last week, Maguire published on his web site the letter he received from Dolan and his response regarding Maguire’s heretical positions on various Church teachings.

Now Dolan has his say from his point of view.

After my arrival here four years ago, I sought counsel as to whether or not I should publicly warn the faithful about his erroneous opinions. Voices I considered wise advised me that this was not necessary, since the great majority of our people already recognize his views as clearly inconsistent with legitimate Catholic teaching.

I wonder how wise those advisory voices were, because (a) Milwaukee has been a hotbed of dissent all the way through the tenure of Dolan’s predecessor, Archbishop Rembert Weakland and (b) it’s a mighty big assumption that everyone knows that Maguire is a dissenter. And if his opinions are so erroneous that you’re thinking about warning the faithful, why do nothing about the fact that he’s teaching theology at a Catholic university in your archdiocese, i.e. Marquette? Now that Dolan is publicly stating that Maguire’s dissenting opinions are “wrong and disingenuous”, it seems he’s recognizing that those “voices” indeed gave some bad advice. Then when you consider the next two points in Dolan’s column, you see the need for bishops to speak out more often, not less, and not to give the faithful the benefit of the doubt when it comes to knowing what’s acceptable in Catholic teaching and what’s not.

Priestesses and Call to Action

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  • “Again, I suggest that the archbishop is displaying some naivete and has been listening to the wrong advisors…”

    …on the assumption that this is all there is to it. Were his address nothing more than a “warning shot across the bow,” it might be enough to generate some activity behind closed doors.

    Or make the president of Marquette wonder what His Excellency is up to.

  • I would submit, Father, that we are well past that point with Maguire. He’s already feted by the media, consulted on everything from killing Terri Schiavo to same-sex marriage as a “Catholic Theologian(TM)”, thus giving his ravings a stamp of authenticity for the unknowing masses. He’s even lobbying Congress as an expert on Catholic belief.

    But if the Church publicly disavows him and the bishop takes a stand, then he’s not fooling anyone anymore.

    I’m reminded of how Fr. Robert Drinan took a similar tack back in the early 70s on abortion, saying it was just fine for a Catholic politician to support Roe v. Wade, and you saw all those politicians who were once pro-life—yes, even Ted Kennedy—make a run for the pro-abortion side and all those feminist and liberal votes as soon as they had a Catholic priest to give them cover.

    If only someone had spoken up then, loudly and publicly and made a big media fuss, all those Catholics who vote for Ted Kennedy every six years might have known better.

  • I am inclined to agree with Fr Philip that responding often gives the dissident standing with the media and a platform from which to promote his views. Every time the media wishes to get a quote on the Church here they grab for a leading dissident and if he gets a slap from the bishop so much the better. That being said I think Dolan has done the right thing to lay it on the line. With the media losing credibility now is the moment to let others know how does and who doesn’t speak for the church.

  • Once the person has been removed, their whinning means nothing.  What good is a non-Catholic who bashes the Church?  Nothing.  Remove him and excommunicate him if need be.