|From left to right: Paul Lakeland, Daniel Maguire, and Fred Parella.|
Three theologians who teach at Jesuit institutions--Paul Lakeland of Fairfield University, Daniel Maguire of Marquette University, and Frank [sic] Parella of Santa Clara University--blasted the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for its opposition to same-sex marriage.Commentary. These distinguished gentlemen know full well that academic theologians are not the authentic teachers of Catholic faith and morals and their views are to be seen normative in any way, shape, or form. That's an exclusive prerrogative of the Catholic Bishops in union with the Pope. The mocking epithet they apply to the Church's pastors of suffering from "an idiosyncratic minority view" is precisely what these "theologians" labor under.
“[Cardinal Timothy] Dolan and the United States Catholic Conference are misrepresenting ‘Catholic teaching,’ and are trying to present their idiosyncratic minority view as the ‘Catholic position,’ and it is not,” said Maguire in an e-mail. “The bishops will stand with Dolan and the US Catholic Conference, but on this issue, they are in moral schism since most in the Church have moved on [to] a more humane view on the rights of those whom God has made gay.”
“Most Catholic theologians approve of same-sex marriage and Catholics generally do not differ much from the overall population on this issue,” Maguire added. Maguire, an ex-priest, has also been a stalwart defender of legal abortion.
Parella said he sees “nothing in the Gospels” that should lead the Church to oppose same-sex marriage, while Lakeland said that the US bishops’ opposition to same-sex marriage is “not really an argument that has a theological justification.”
Lakeland, Maguire and Panella are delusional. The rarefied view they get from their ivory towers and their pretensions to speak for a "mature" (read: "dissenting") laity is galling. How is it that they remain Catholic theologians in good standing, still teaching as such in Catholic institutions?
I must applaud the US Bishops for taking a more visible role in their exercise of their magisterium to our Church and for their truly prophetic stance. Much has changed since at least 2004, where, except from a few courageous voices among them, the bishops' lacked a coherent, unified stance against the challenges of our times. Though that appears to be changing, some work remains for the bishop to accomplish, in my opinion. Perhaps bringing Catholic institutions in their jurisdictions in line with the authentic teaching of the Church, while disciplining so-called Catholic theologians who specialize in confusing young minds and undermining the Church can be the next step in the true renewal of the Church.