Tag Archives: charles curran

Pax Christi Head to Benedict: ‘time to resign.’


EDITORS NOTE: I view these types of screeds as not only proof of the unavoidable demise of liberal Catholicism, but as a true sign of purification. Wherein the false christ and false church of the past 40-years or so is being replaced with authentic spiritual renewal…

Any New Evangelization must always be based on truth, and for too long both spiritual and moral truth within the Church have taken a back seat to the ruling spirit of this world. Folks like Mr. Slavick below have been led to believe they are fighting the good fight. They are not. They’re merely fighting against the spiritual-moral truth of God. After all, God wills the salvation of sinful men, not the salvation of their sins. To use the current crises as a vehicle for a false reformation will only end in defeat. So, we must pray for true reform and conversion…

Bill Slavik: Pax Christi Maine

PORTLAND – The clueless Roman Catholic hierarchs and their apologists can moan endlessly about “the petty gossip of dominant opinion” and anti-Catholic bias. That did not work for Cardinal Bernard Law nor will it now. The Vatican’s Teflon shield is shattered.

In truth, John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, fearing loss of patriarchal control, conspired to slam shut the windows the Second Vatican Council opened to the modern world and shore up the battlements of the Church Triumphant and celibate male power. That campaign has been, for the Church, on all fronts a disaster. Now revelations of the Vatican subordinating care for children to the “Church’s” reputation demands a reckoning.

Both hierarchs rejected the Council’s first fruit—Latin America’s liberation theology and implementation of a preferential option for the poor, initiating a precipitous decline there. The Vatican was removing the Salvadoran poor’s champion, Archbishop Oscar Romero, when he was assassinated for protesting death squad killings.

They dumped on out of step theologians—Hans Kûng, Leonardo Boff, Charles Curran, and Tisa Balasuriya.

They have carved away at the Council’s well-prepared, almost unanimously approved and welcomed liturgical reforms, again distancing the celebrant from the assembly; now mandating sexist Latinate language that won’t pray, and encouraging the Tridentine Mass that reduces the assembly to audience.

Despite 60’s warnings that sex abusers should not continue in ministry, the hierarchy continued to coddle abusers and threaten, silence, shame, dupe, or buy off victims to put the appearance of a pure institution before the dignity, innocence, and healing of victims. John Paul II and bribed curial cardinals sheltered the Legionnaires of Christ founder-abuser and big Vatican fund-raiser. Ratzinger ordered bishops to keep abuse information secret and slowed defrocking processes.

The Church is imploding, suffering the largest defection ever in the turn on Council reforms, re-emphasis on doctrine over living the Gospel, abandonment of John XXIII’s pursuit of peace and justice for the poor, rejection of women’s equality and birth control, sex obsessions, denial of the Eucharist and pastoral care to half of the faithful for lack of male celibate priests, and continued failure to act responsibly regarding priest abuse.

To reassert authority, the patriarchy has engaged in a heartless war on “objectively disordered” gays and lesbians that runs roughshod over their dignity and human rights and flouts Vatican II recognition of church-state separation, religious liberty, and primacy of conscience. In Maine, the anti-Marriage Equality campaign was, for many, the last straw.

By their fruit we know them. As Munich archbishop, Ratzinger turned a wolf loose on his sheep—still loose 20-odd years later. In Rome, his office opposed Wisconsin bishops defrocking a serial abuser of hundreds of deaf children, honoring his wish to die a priest before affirming his victims’ human worth. He refused to laicize a young California abuser for “the good of the Church.” These are unfathomable and unconscionable, betrayals of pastoral trust.

Benedict XVI’s defenders claim that he has done everything possible about abuse—everything except the essential—putting the healing of the abuse victims foremost by affirming their dignity. That requires holding abusers accountable, ending legal stonewalling, removing hundreds of complicit bishops, and recognizing Vatican culpability. He and they still don’t get it: their first pastoral obligation is to give succor to the wounded. His defenders continue to substitute for accountability ridiculous excuse-making that further diminishes victims. The words of Chaucer’s Parson echo endlessly: the “shitten shepherd and the clene sheep.”

It is time for an humble Benedict XVI to search his conscience, to acknowledge that fear of change, patriarchal authoritarianism, and righteousness have led the Church into a moral morass. It is time for him to recognize that his temporizing while thousands more were victimized; his refusal to acknowledge his and Vatican’s wrongs, and his lack of care and compassion for still wounded victims make him unfit to lead the People of God—time to resign.

Before he goes, he should remove bishops and cardinals who have been party to that misdirection and abuse cover up. Then he should ask the consistory to pray to John XXIII and Oscar Romero for intercessions in picking a new Bishop of Rome committed to being a faithful servant and shepherd of the People of God.

Otherwise, it is time for beleaguered priests, religious, and laity to petition for Benedict’s removal, as Boston’s priests did to remove Law—to tell the patriarchs everywhere, plainly and forcefully, that the jig is up. They must go and allow the Gospel to bloom out of the hearts of the faithful.


William H. Slavick is a retired USM professor and long-time coordinator of Pax Christi Maine.

FULL STORY: http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/it-is-time-for-catholic-leaders-to-go_2010-06-09.html

Theologian’s on crack, or the glories of modern life…


“You have to either be smoking crack or be a full-blown, hyper-committed believer in The Glories of Modern Life to believe such rot…” 

Charles Curran

EDITOR NOTE: Carl Olson is busy on Monday, but couldn’t pass up commenting on the following lament. And I couldn’t pass on Carl’s–must read–remarks either…

Charles Curran, martyr for the life-destroying gospel of the “modern life”

I have a big deadline Monday, am behind on that and other projects, but I simply can’t let this one pass by: A Re-Declaration of Victim Status by Charles Curran, titled, “Banned By the Pope,” and written for Newsweak’s “My Turn” column. Tssk, tssk; fisk, fisk:

I knew that the letter—approved by Pope John Paul II and issued by then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—was unlikely to be good news.

Because, for one thing, Curran had been openly undermining, scoffing at, rejecting, and attack key moral teachings of the Church since the mid-1960s. (Quick note: the Summer 2009 issue of Nova et Vetera has a great essay, “The Cultural and Ecclesial Situation 1964 to 1967: Paving the Way for Dissent From Church Teaching on Contraception”, by Dr. William E. May, which provides a lot of helpful information and context.) Note how long the process of evaluating and dealing with dissenters takes—a loooong time. And yet the common (mis)perception is that “the Vatican” or the CDF deals in a knee-jerk, off-the-cuff, reactionary manner. False. Completely false. This priest was publicly rejecting the Church’s moral teachings for almost twenty years before he was finally stripped of his ability to teach theology at a Catholic school.

It was 1986, and for the previous seven years, Ratzinger’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—the office charged with safeguarding official theology—had been investigating my work.

Seven. Years. That’s. A. Long. Time. See point above.

As a professor at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., I lectured and wrote about traditional church teachings.

“About.” Well, how to say this? It’s a rather meaningless word in this case; in fact, it’s something of a weasel word. As in: Arius spoke and sang about the Logos. Nestorius wrote and spoke about the Theotokos. Hans Küng has written volumes and volumes about Christianity. What Curran doesn’t make clear here is that as far back as 1966 or 1967 he was already contradicting Church teaching on contraception. A sympathetic (to Curran) September/October 1989 article in Academe (PDF format) states:

In articles and in his first book, Christian Morality Today, published in 1966, Professor Curran established himself as a scholar who subjected accepted views, including noninfallible teachings of the Church, to careful scrutiny and did not hesitate to publicize his conclusions. An interest in sexual ethics led him specifically to dissenting views on such subjects as abortion, birth control, and homosexuality.

TIME magazine reported in an April 1967 article: “Curran had been fired by the trustees, without a hearing, largely because of his unconventional teaching on doctrinal issues — most notably, approval of birth control.” Curran, you see, had been fired by Catholic University of America for holding and teaching positions directly contrary to clear Church teaching. But, it being the late 1960s, all it took were some student protests and threats, and CUA caved. (Hey, it was all the rage back then.) And so Curran continued to lecture and teach “about” traditional Church teachings. And:

But I also pointed out areas where I believed Catholicism and modern life were misaligned, including Rome’s opposition to birth control for married couples; its stance on homosexuality, divorce, and remarriage; and the status of women in the church.

Hmmm. “Misaligned.” That’s a nifty way of putting it. First, a weasel word. Now a slithery word. But note what Curran is saying, plain as day: he, as a young Catholic priest (he was 33 in 1967), was solidly and publicly on the side of “modern life” over against Catholicism and Rome. He was opposed to the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, divorce, contraceptives, women’s ordination, masturbation, euthanasia, and sterilization (goodness, what’s left??). And so he as ever been.

The Vatican had finally had enough. “One who dissents from the Magisterium as you do,” the letter said, “is not suitable nor eligible to teach Catholic theology.”

Despite that rebuke, I remain a committed Catholic, a priest in good standing, and a professor of Catholic theology (albeit at a Methodist institution).

I bet good money that a Methodist would do a better job of accurately and fairly teaching Catholic theology than Curran, but I digress. Curran, who is something of an American Hans Küng (a dissenter who whines in the press, mocks or openly attacks the pope and Church teaching, but insists on being a “Catholic theologian” despite denying nearly every point of Catholic doctrine), likes to have it both ways, as most dissenters do. He wants to be recognized and known for rejecting the Church, but then complains that he is a victim, a martyr, when the Church says, “Uh, we have a problem…” He’s been employing this stunt routine for over forty years, a routine that Jeremy Lott reported about in the October 2006 issue of Catholic World Report:

In response to the [1986] Vatican condemnation, [Curran] insisted to reporters that “I neither denied nor disagreed with the core elements of the Catholic faith.” Rather, he had “dissented from noninfallible church teachings on a few moral issues . . . far removed from the core beliefs of the Catholic faith.”

So what, exactly, were all those peripheral issues that the Vatican was making such a fuss about? “I was asked to reconsider and retract my positions on contraception and sterilization, abortion and euthanasia, masturbation, premarital sexuality, and the indissolubility of marriage,” he writes. In other words, by the mid-1980s, he had come to disagree with the Vatican on pretty much every moral issue in the catechism.

And this from a man who had, as Lott notes, “wrote, edited, contributed to, or was the subject of Dissent in and for the Church, The Responsibility of Dissent, Dissent in the Church, Faithful Dissent, Vatican Authority and American Catholic Dissent, and now we have Loyal Dissent.  The subtitle is ‘Memoir of a Catholic Theologian.'” Curran, in other words, is not only a one-trick pony, he is the poster boy for Catholics who want to be “Catholic” without actually being Catholic (the ponies and the posers go well together, actually). And, of course, he is constantly trying to justify his legless position:

I also continue to care deeply about the church, which I believe is facing a crisis that predates the sex-abuse scandal of recent years. Today, about a third of people who were raised Catholic have left the church; no other major religion in the United States has experienced a larger net loss in followers in the last 30 years.

Ah, the last thirty years. Say, isn’t that the same era during which the many wonders and joys of “modern life” finally came to full fruition, with the sexual revolution in bloom, contraceptives as common as candy, divorce rates skyrocketing, cohabitation likewise, etc., etc., and so forth? What, then, is Curran’s point? Is he suggesting that if the Church had embraced and endorsed divorce, contraceptives, premarital sex, abortion, et al, that those Catholics would not have left the Church/stopped going to Mass? You have to either be smoking crack or be a full-blown, hyper-committed believer in The Glories of Modern Life to believe such rot. You either have to be quite stupid or quite arrogant to go for that line of argumentation:

Many of the issues that troubled me decades ago have contributed to this decline. Some, like those related to contraception, homosexuality, and family life, are considered matters of divine or natural law—the will of God—and, therefore, are immutable. I disagree, and I’m not alone, but we have been unable to persuade the church to make changes.

Arrogant it is.

Follow this link for the rest of the story…