- Created on 23 March 2007
Washington, Mar. 23, 2007 (CWNews.com) - The US bishops have announced that two pamphlets circulated by a Marquette University theologian represent “false teaching” which cannot be reconciled with Catholic doctrine.
In a statement released on March 22, and approved by the administratative board of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the bishops’ doctrinal committee said that the works by Daniel Maguire “do not present Catholic teaching.”
The doctrinal committee, chaired by Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, addressed two pamphlets circulated last year by Maguire, covering the issues of contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage. The USCCB concluded that Maguire’s views on those topics, and his understanding of Church teaching authority, “cross the legitimate lines of theological reflection and simply enter into the area of false teaching.”
In the pamphlets, Maguire had argued that “the Roman Catholic position on abortion is pluralistic,” claiming that some Catholics have always endorsed the “pro-choice” stance. He writes that on abortion-- and on other issues such as contraception and same-sex marriage-- there are two opposing Catholic views. “Neither is official,” he says, “and neither is more Catholic than the other.”
The US bishops flatly reject that claim. “While there may be individuals who disagree with the teaching of the Church,” the USCCB statement observes, “such divergent views cannot be considered authentic Catholic teaching or the basis for reliable guidance regarding faithful Catholic moral life.” The bishops encourage reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for “correct and authentic teaching.”
Informed about the USCCB statement, Maguire did not budge from his position, saying that the bishops themselves are wrong. “They’re simply uninformed,” he told the New York Times, insisting that there are many different Catholic positions on controversial issues. Daniel Maguire, a former priest who has long been an active proponent of legal abortion and supporter of “Catholics for a Free Choice,” teaches moral theology at Marquette, a Jesuit-run university in Milwaukee, Wisconson. The USCCB statement noted that Milwaukee’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan “has made public statements affirming that the views expressed by Professor Maguire in his two pamphlets are erroneous and incompatible with the Church's teaching.”