US Bishops Denounce False Abortion, Marriage Teaching by “Catholic” Theologian Maguire

By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2007 ( - In a rare move, a committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has openly criticized a professor at a Catholic university who styles himself a ‘Catholic’ theologian.  Professor Daniel Maguire of Marquette University has been a dissident on the issues of abortion, homosexual marriage and contraception for many years. reported in 2001 that Maguire made headlines with a paper he wrote which claimed falsely that the Catholic Church supported embryonic stem cell research.  That piece entitled "Abortion Debate Clouds Stem Cell Issue" caused many to write Maguire’s then-Archbishop, Milwaukee’s Rembert Weakland, for public redress.  None was forthcoming.

  Last year Maguire again made headlines by writing all 270 US Catholic Bishops sending them pamphlets claiming Catholic support for abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’ and contraception.  On June 19, 2006, Professor Maguire sent two pamphlets one entitled The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion and the other A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage.

  Shortly thereafter his new Archbishop Timothy Dolan responded in a letter which 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.

  Yesterday the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) declared that pamphlets published by Maguire of Marquette University on contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage "do not present authentic Catholic teaching."

"Since it is apparent that considerable efforts have been made to give these views the widest possible distribution as if they were a valid alternative to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Committee on Doctrine…considers it important to offer a public correction of the erroneous views proposed in these pamphlets," the Committee said.

  Maguire’s main point is that there is no one position that can be called "Catholic" on these issues especially since so many Catholics disagree on the issues. 

"Catholic teaching is authenticated by the Church’s teaching office that mirrors and transmits the revelation of Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit," the statement said. "While there may be individuals who disagree with the teaching of the Church, such divergent views cannot be considered authentic Catholic teaching or the basis for reliable guidance regarding faithful Catholic moral life. It is a serious error, therefore, to claim that the teaching of the Pope and the bishops represents merely one voice among many legitimate voices within the Catholic Church, all of which are vying to be heard and accepted."

  The Bishops concluded: "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."

  For the full text of the statement of the Bishops Committee including their names click here:

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