Notre Dame's McBrien Blasts Pope, U.S. Bishops [UPDATED]
From an email I received from The Cardinal Newman Society:
The Cardinal Newman Society(emphasis added)
For Immediate Release
October 7, 2008
Notre Dame Tenured Theologian McBrien Blasts Bishops
Manassas, Va. – Father Richard McBrien, the Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Roman Catholic Theology at the University of Notre Dame, ripped into the hierarchy of the Catholic Church at a talk given at a Unitarian church in Kansas City recently. According to an article today, October 7, 2008 in the National Catholic Reporter, McBrien said Pope John Paul II’s greatest failing was naming bishops.
“Father McBrien’s blatant disregard and contempt for the leadership of the Catholic Church is nothing new,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Until Notre Dame and other Catholic colleges are rid of such jaded liberal theologians, the renewal of Catholic higher education can never be complete.”
During the question and answer segment of his talk, Father McBrien sharply criticized the life-long office of the Papacy, characterizing it as tyrannical. He compared the pontificate of John Paul II to an imaginary lifetime Bush presidency, where as many appointments of jurors to US courts could be made as desired.
“That's exactly what Pope John Paul II -- or any other pope for that matter -- was able to do in his long term of office, and that is why the Catholic church finds itself today . . . with such a dearth of pastoral leadership,” said McBrien.
The Notre Dame professor added that John Paul II’s greatest failing as Pope lies in the bishops he named.
“Men were appointed bishops or promoted within the hierarchy on the basis of loyalty to the Holy See rather than on the basis of pastoral aptitude, theological sophistication and leadership skills,” quipped McBrien.
McBrien attacked the US Bishops, who steadfastly urge Catholics to vote pro-Life, for supposedly violating guidelines set out in USCCB documents. Such guidelines specify that the bishops do not “wish to instruct persons on how they should vote by endorsing candidates.”
Carl Olsen gives Fr. McBrien's diatribe the treatment it deserves:
... I wonder: how many of the Apostles would pass McBrien's litmus test of "pastoral aptitude, theological sophistication and leadership skills"? Very few, I suspect. Paul? Pastorally insensitive. Peter? Theologically naive. John? Not clear how good his leadership skills really are. And so forth.
The perfect bishop? Perhaps Archbishop Rembert Weakland. After all, he wasn't a "one-issue bishop"; on the contrary, he seemed to have a multitude of issues.
The long and rather strange "papacy" of Richard McBrien (isn't that what it really boils down to?) is slowly winding down, marked by a recent attempt to declare anathema sit on Humanae Vitae, angry denunciations of Latin and the "Tridentine Latin Mass," and a gig consulting on one of the most lucrative anti-Catholic movies in history. It appears, however, that he will never be named a bishop. Why? Perhaps because he has long been a one issue sort of guy, fixated on a single topic that consistently comes through in his various writings and talks: himself.