by Steven Ertelt
March 23, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s Catholic bishops have repudiated a document written by a professor at Marquette University, a Catholic school, saying that abortion and contraception are morally permissible. The call the pro-abortion views int he pamphlet "false teaching" and point to the church’s long-standing pro-life views.
Daniel Maguire, a professor of religious ethics at Marquette, authored the document and mailed it last summer to the nation’s 270 Catholic bishops.
The document — titled "The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion" — says the Catholic church has always had a "pluralistic" position on contraception and abortion that allows for Catholic theologians like him to take dissenting views.
But, according to a New York Times report, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine recently declared the teaching is "irresponsible" and a "serious error" of interpreting church doctrine.
They said it was wrong for Maguire, a former priest, to claim "that the teaching of the pope and the bishops represents merely one voice among many legitimate voices with the Catholic Church."
The Rev. Thomas G. Weinandy, executive director for the bishops’ doctrine committee, told the Times in an interview, “The big concern was that the pamphlets are written in a very popular and lively style, and from what the bishops knew, they were very widely distributed.”
He said it was unusual for the nation’s Catholic bishops to rebuke a theologian without the Vatican having first issued a comment itself. However, the church and Pope Benedict XVI have repeatedly said that abortion violates the pro-life views of the church.
The Times reported that Marquette University issued a statement saying it “agrees with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine that the views outlined by Daniel Maguire in pamphlets he circulated to the hierarchy earlier this year do not represent the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
The university said Maguire had a right to air his personal views as a tenured professor.