MILWAUKEE, June 6, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a blog posted on the liberal online magazine Religion Dispatches, prominent Catholic dissident Daniel C. Maguire, a professor of moral theology at Milwaukee’s Catholic Marquette University, took exception to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s letter to Representative Paul Ryan, where the archbishop praised Ryan’s “attention to the guidance of Catholic social justice in the current delicate budget considerations in Congress.”
Maguire compares the letter to Rep. Ryan with a letter he received from Archbishop Dolan correcting him on his dissident stance on the issues of abortion, homosexual “marriage” and contraception, in which he said the archbishop was “rabid.”
“In 2006, I also received a letter form Archbishop Dolan (then Archbishop of Milwaukee where my Marquette University is located),” Maguire wrote.
“My oh my, how different was the letter Dolan sent me from his mellifluous effusion to Ryan, criticizing my support for pregnant women making their own decisions about problem pregnancies and my defense of marriage for those whom God has made gay. He was rabid!
The archbishop, said Maguire, said that Maguire’s views were “‘preposterous and disingenuous,’ ‘totally at odds with clear Church teaching, Sacred Scripture, the Magisterium, and Natural Law,’ and ‘contrary to the faith and morals of the Catholic Church.’
“He then followed up by banning me from ever speaking in any parish of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on any topic whatsoever/”
“That’s Dolan when he’s serious.”
In June 2006, Maguire made headlines by sending all 270 U.S. Catholic Bishops two pamphlets claiming that abortion, same-sex “marriage” and contraception are acceptable under Catholicism.
In the pamphlets, titled “The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion” and “A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage,” Maguire claimed that homosexual marriage and abortion are morally permissible and that faithful Catholics can be pro-abortion.
He wrote: “The Roman Catholic position on abortion is pluralistic. It has a strong ‘pro-choice’ tradition and a conservative anti-choice tradition. Neither is official, and neither is more Catholic than the other.”
Shortly thereafter Archbishop Dolan responded in a letter that was made public. “To claim that support for abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’ is consonant with Catholic moral teaching is preposterous and disingenuous,” wrote the Archbishop.
In March 2007, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine censured Maguire for his writing, proclaiming his teachings to “cross the legitimate lines of theological reflection and simply enter into the area of false teaching. Such mistaken views should not be confused with the faith and moral teaching of the Catholic Church.”
The USCCB declared that the pamphlets published by Maguire at Marquette University on contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage “do not present authentic Catholic teaching.”
The bishops concluded, “The Archbishop of Milwaukee, exercising his pastoral responsibilities as teacher and shepherd, has made public statements affirming that the views expressed by Professor Maguire in his two pamphlets are erroneous and incompatible with the Church’s teaching.
“We the Committee on Doctrine of the USCCB concur that, despite his claims to authority as a Catholic theologian, the views of Professor Maguire on contraception, abortion, and same-sex ‘marriage’ are not those of the Catholic Church and indeed are contrary to the Church’s faith. We deplore as irresponsible his public advocacy of his views as authentic Catholic teaching. Lastly, we trust that this statement will clarify the Church’s teaching for all of the Catholic faithful throughout the United States.”
Following this censure by the bishops, The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) wrote to the president of Marquette University, Rev. Robert Wild, S.J, calling on him to take responsibility for Maguire’s acts of public dissent.
“Marquette employs Maguire as an expert theologian despite his repeated violations of the principles and methods of Catholic theology,” wrote CNS. “Students can rightly question why a Catholic university’s theology department includes a former priest who falsifies Catholic teaching and disputes infallible doctrine as the basis of his scholarly work.”
According to CNS, Fr. Wild responded that while he admitted to the “apparent incongruity” of Maguire’s position at a Catholic university, this was “simply an instance of what must be done when an institution makes a commitment to academic freedom.”
Subsequently, The Cardinal Newman Society publicly stated of Maguire and Marquette: “[A] Catholic university that for many years has refused to discipline or remove a stridently pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage activist from its theology department is guilty of gross negligence. Marquette University does serious harm to the Church by granting credentials to a reckless theologian whose work has been condemned by the U.S. Catholic bishops, who persists in misrepresenting Catholic teaching and who advocates a moral right to killing innocent pre-born children.”
Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J. President
1250 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Phone: (414) 288-7223
The full text of the statement of the Bishops Committee is available here.