by Steven Ertelt
March 27, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Leading pro-life Catholic groups are calling on Marquette University to fire Daniel Maguire, a professor of religious ethics who recently wrote a document saying faithful Catholics can be pro-abortion. The nation’s Catholic bishops recently rebuked Maguire over the publication.
Maguire claims abortion and contraception are morally permissible and says the Catholic church has always had a "pluralistic" position that allows for Catholic theologians like him to take dissenting views.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine recently declared his teaching "irresponsible" and a "serious error" of interpreting church doctrine.
Now pro-life groups want the college to can him.
The Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International told LifeNews.com in a statement Tuesday that "Catholic parents should shudder at the thought of Dan Maguire teaching theology to their children at a Catholic University."
"I call upon Marquette to stop hiding behind false ideas of tenure and ‘academic freedom’ in the face of theological malfeasance and dismiss Dan Maguire," he added.
Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick Reilly agreed and wrote a letter to Marquette University president Rev. Robert Wild.
"Students can rightly question why a Catholic university’s theology department includes a former priest who falsifies Catholic teaching and disputes infallible doctrine as the basis of his scholarly work," he wrote.
“The Daniel Maguire scandals must end," Reilly added, according to a statement he sent LifeNews.com.
In his letter, Reilly cites an October 2006 letter in which Wild admitted to the “apparent incongruity” of Maguire’s faculty position at a Catholic university despite his publication and advocacy of positions “not totally consonant with Catholic teaching."
Responding to the controversy, Marquette 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.”
It added that Maguire had a right to air his personal views as a tenured professor.
But that’s not good enough for the pro-life groups.
“Marquette’s response to the bishops’ censure has been to assent to the censure while denying responsibility for the problem. This response is inadequate and dishonest,” Reilly writes.
In their condemnation of Maguire’s pro-abortion position, the bishops 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 Weinandy, executive director for the bishops’ doctrine committee, said, “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.