Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Response of Fr. JD Laurance (and Its Precedent)

Fr. JD Laurance has moved down the street a bit from his old haunts at Marquette High.

Now chairman of Theo at MU, he was asked about Dan (the Cancer) Maguire, who sent a pamphlet to a few thousand folks. The pamphlet's contents directly contradict some Catholic teachings (abortion being the most egregious dissent), but Maguire made it clear that he taught Theo at Marquette U.

This caused the US Catholic Conference to issue a strongly-worded rebuke, which followed a similar rebuke from Abp. Dolan.

So Fr. JDL responded to questions from the Marquette Tribune.

"This is a department of Catholic theology," Laurance said. "When the Church teaches something, theologians try to explore that teaching. People take and get different things out of it.

"Theologians try to teach an interpretation of Church doctrine; that's presumably what he's trying to do."

The theology department has a number of Catholic and non-Catholic instructors who provide "all kinds of perspectives given on moral issues," Laurance said, adding that he would hope professors characterize their teaching adequately.

The Cardinal Newman Society letter suggested Marquette explicitly label Maguire and his theology as non-Catholic and not fully consistent with Catholic theology.

According to Laurance, providing such labels is not a function of the theology department.
"We (the department) don't function as the Magisterium of the Church here," Laurance said. "
The department doesn't function as an arbiter of true and false doctrine."

According to Maguire, students in his class leave with a deeper understanding of Church teaching.

"They're taught that Catholic theology is a lot richer and broader than hierarchical theology," Maguire said. "A lot of students taking my course say they were thinking about leaving the Church, but then afterward decide to stay because they realize there is room for their conscience (in regard to Church teaching)."

Laurance added that because Marquette is an academic institution, Maguire is not out of bounds.

"He puts his ideas out there and people are free to judge them and he has a right to do that in a university setting," he said.

Umnnhhh...Father L., the precedent to the one highlighted in red, bolded, and italicized (above) was the one we'll hear this week:

Veritas? Quid est veritas? --P Pilate, to Christ, 30AD.

Further, Father JDL, "an interpretation" of Church doctrine on homosexual activity and abortion should not be too difficult to state.

The word is "No." What part of "No" needs interpretation?

HT: GOP3.com

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