The Fr. Richard McBrien plagiarism case continues to gain traction. The University of Notre Dame has said it will investigates the claims. McBrien is alleged to have plagiarized a column by the Boston Globe‘s Eileen McNamara about the Menino-Catholic Charities affair.
The Cardinal Newman Society wrote a letter to ND’s president, Fr. John Jenkins, requesting the investigation and the university has said it will do so.
McBrien is predictably sticking to his guns, claiming that he didn’t plagiarize the Globe, but admitting that he should have referenced the original column. Yes, and when you don’t do that it’s called … plagiarism. He also lashes out at the Cardinal Newman Society:
“The Cardinal Newman Society is well-known for irresponsibly criticizing Catholic theologians and U.S. Catholic universities over a number of years,” he said. “They use any ploy they can to attempt to discredit theologians whom they regard as unorthodox and universities which they regard as un-Catholic according to their ultra-conservative perspective.”
The quote reeks of arrogance. “How dare you question your intellectual and moral superiors, you whippersnappers!,” it seems to say. Of course, it’s also a classic diversion tactic perfected by the likes of Bill Clinton. Instead of addressing the substance of the complaint, turn it around and make it an ideological witch hunt.
Silencing the heretics