McBrien investigation begins

McBrien investigation begins

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

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
6 comments
  • Dear Dom,

    I think you’ve a typo.  You write “They, like many of us, merely think that if McBrien wants to spout heterodox rubbish then he should [sic] be able to use the reputation and prominence of a Catholic institution to do so.”

    Peace,

  • I will pray for Fr. McBrien.  For the sake of his soul and for the souls of others I pray that he is removed from his post at Notre Dame.

  • Unfortunately it has been part of Fr. McBrien’s MO to look down upon anyone who questions his opinions or columns assuming that they have no theological or intellectual apparatus.  It’s been a familiar tactic of dissenters: they can only dialog with their theological peers.  Of course the next question is: what is the criteria for being a theological peer?  McBrien has always reminded me of the petulant teenager.  Do you recall his reaction to the mandatum requirement of Ex Corde Ecclesiae?  He proclaimed to the world: I won’t!  I won’t!

  • Anybody know Mr. Fr. McBrien’s history? I wonder what kind of bad tree bore this bad fruit. I don’t particularly mean his family tree. I’m just wondering when and what kind of evil influenced him in his life. It would be so simple if it was discovered that he and all the other misguided dissidents had the same alma mater.

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