Jesuit President of USF Criticizes Denver Archdiocese, Defends Fr. Drinan's Legacy in Rebuttal to Weigel Column
Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
The February 20 issue of the Denver Catholic Register published a column on the Jesuits titled "Some Questions for Father General" by George Weigel. In response, the president of the University of San Francisco, Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J., published "Attack on Jesuits Out of Place" in Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocesan newspaper.
Father Privett not only attacked what he termed the "mean-spirited assault" of Weigel, but he was also sharply critical of the Denver archdiocese for publishing it. Father writes,The readership of Catholic diocesan newspapers deserves more civil, balanced, and professional fare than that served up and passed around by the Denver Catholic Register.I don't know of a single instance in the history of this country's Catholic Church when one diocesan newspaper attacked another by name.
Father Privett's outrage suggests that he is unaware that Weigel is merely speaking aloud questions that are shared by Catholics around the world. He specifically charges Weigel with making unfounded allegations about two Jesuits in particular, Rev. James Keenan, S.J., and the late Rev. Robert Drinan, S.J. Wiegel puts both forward as examples of Jesuit attitudes toward basic Church teachings on abortion and marriage.
About Father Drinan, Weigel writes, "He did more than anyone else to convince Catholic legislators that the settled teaching of the Church on the grave immorality of abortion had no bearing on their legislative work." Father Privett's reply to Weigel: "His stunningly sweeping statement . . . lacks any supporting evidence."
I'm sure that Weigel would be surprised to hear that he needed to document the career of Father Drinan, whom I call in my recent book the "Jesuit priest who invented the pro-abortion Catholic politician." Perhaps Father Privett needs to be reminded that, after being elected to Congress in 1970, Father Drinan wrote in support of Roe v. Wade and Clinton's veto of the ban against partial-birth abortion. After being forced by John Paul II to leave Congress in 1981, Father Drinan continued as a pro-abortion lobbyist both within the Democratic Party and as head of Americans for Democratic Action.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
National Catholic Register: "Hope and the Politics of Abortion"
First Things: Robert Drinan, Infanticide, and the "Unthinkable"
Demythologizing Father Drinan
Fr. Drinan's Legacy ...
Fr. Robert J. Drinan, S.J. - Rest in Peace