Priest’s abortion lecture at SMU draws Dallas bishop’s attention

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas has taken issue publicly with a Southern Methodist University professor's upcoming lecture on U.S. Catholic bishops and abortion law.

The Rev. Charles Curran is a Catholic priest and ethicist who has long taught at SMU, and who also has a history of tangling with the Vatican over social issues.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLife EthicsReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

10 Comments
Posted October 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Paula Loughlin wrote:

“In 1986, the Vatican – in a ruling shaped by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI – declared him unfit to teach theology at a Catholic school.”

Pretty much tells me all I need to know.

October 28, 6:15 pm | [comment link]
2. advocate wrote:

I do think that one should hear what the man actually says before making a blanket condemnation.  I think that the Bishop has every right to counter and correct false teaching in his diocese. But…in an academic setting to jump to conclusions about what the lecturer is going to say based on that blurb and not on what he actually said (or having a copy of the text beforehand) is premature. If you are going to counter false teaching, then do it right, and do it well.  This just makes the bishop look bad.

October 28, 9:20 pm | [comment link]
3. Fr. J. wrote:

2.  Maybe we should not be so quick to judge the bishop either.  Charles Curran’s overwrought self defense (taking such personal offense has nothing to do with academics) is plenty condemning as it stands.  The Catholic Church’s position on abortion is not only that it is an immoral act, but also that it is such a heinous act against humanity that civil law ought in every circumstance to treat it as a crime.  Abortion is not regarded by the Church as only an offense against a revealed moral law (in which case it should be irrelevant to civil law), but that abortion is always an offense against the natural moral order and its proscription is thus a universal principle fundamental to all human law.  Catholic teaching regards abortion in the same class as any other murder, theft, false witness, torture, etc.

October 28, 10:17 pm | [comment link]
4. the roman wrote:

“The paper deals solely with abortion law and argues that one who holds the Catholic moral teaching can come to different conclusions about what the law should be.”

I guess “one” means a cafeteria Catholic slipping into moral relativism. Maybe the paper is meant to help them sleep at night.

October 29, 6:43 am | [comment link]
5. stjohnsrector wrote:

Curran has been trouble since the 1960’s He was a main speaker at the Call to Action conference here in Detroit in 1976 that forwarded the careers of reappraisers in the RC church, supported by the late Cardinal Deardon.  Two Archbishops of Detroit later, and there has been a statement that the anniversary celebration of that conference is off limits to Catholics in the Detroit archdiocese. http://www.aodonline.org/AODOnline/News+++Publications+2203/ACC.htm

October 29, 9:25 am | [comment link]
6. Dan Crawford wrote:

I too am troubled by the hierarchy leaping to a conclusion before the speech was given (maybe the Dallas bishop has consulted with Mrs. Schori). What has troubled me consistently about some Catholic bishops’ “pro-life” stance is that they have enthusiastically embraced politicians whose politics are a thinly disguised form of Social Darwinism in their contempt for the working poor and their willingness to sacrifice what the Popes (including Benedict XVI) have consistently regarded as social justice on the altar of corporate profit. Cardinal Wuerl seems to understand some of the difficulty - sadly, a good many of his colleagues in the National Conference of Catholic Bishops don’t. But then this is the gang whose silence on the abuse of children will haunt the church for centuries.

October 29, 9:36 am | [comment link]
7. phil swain wrote:

Dan, perhaps you could specifically name the bishops who have “enthusiastically embraced” politicians(you might name them,also) who advocate policies which are “thinly disguised social Darwinsim.”  Then we might be able to judge the accuracy of your accusation.  I don’t wish to leap to the conclusion that you’ve sunk to a new low in calumny.

October 29, 1:18 pm | [comment link]
8. Ad Orientem wrote:

Obviously I haven’t heard or read his speech so I can only speak to his record.  On that subject I feel quite comfortable in saying that I have navel lint that is more “Catholic” than Fr. Curran.  And I haven’t been RC in a number of years.

October 29, 3:23 pm | [comment link]
9. DonGander wrote:

“In fact, the paper accepts the Catholic moral teaching that direct abortion is always wrong. The paper deals solely with abortion law and argues that one who holds the Catholic moral teaching can come to different conclusions about what the law should be.”

The fact that this needs to be said indicates an obfuscation of truth. It is an axiom that tries to coerce listeners into adapting existential unreality. Satan used the basic argument with Eve.

Don

October 30, 10:20 am | [comment link]
10. Fr. J. wrote:

“In fact, the paper accepts the Catholic moral teaching that direct abortion is always wrong. The paper deals solely with abortion law and argues that one who holds the Catholic moral teaching can come to different conclusions about what the law should be.”

But the teaching of the Church quite simply is that a Catholic in good conscience cannot and must not conclude that abortion under any circumstance is legally or morally permissible.

October 31, 8:30 am | [comment link]
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