In recent weeks we have run stories about Fr. Richard McBrien and charges of plagiarism brought against him by the Cardinal Newman Society. We take those charges seriously, since plagiarism violates not only academic standards but also the canons of journalism. This week we carry another story about the findings that resulted from the process at Notre Dame University. The complaint against McBrien was dismissed with the note that the offense “constitutes ‘carelessness’ rather than unethical behavior.” (See story)
Fr. Jenkins find nothing unethical about McBrien - well - there is a shockeroo.
Here's another important allegation in Fr. Jenkins defense of McBrien:
It is important to note the findings also point out that the group that brought the charges has already listed McBrien in a fundraising letter on its Web site under “heretics and dissidents at Catholic colleges teaching anti-Catholic theology to our children and grandchildren and leading them away from the one true faith.”
McBrien's lackeys, Fr. Jenkins & the N.D. administration found the allegations against McBrien lack credibility because the people who brought them call McBrien a heretic.
The Good Old Boys.
There are legitimate and serious questions all over the Catholic landscape: questions of Catholic identity; of the role of Catholic institutions in the wider culture; of what is taught to Catholic students; about the role of academic freedom at a Catholic university, and so on.
I found it actually quite amusing when people applauded Jenkins for his acedemic freedom shtick as if they didn't know that Jenkins has the duty to enforce the Mandatum.
There is no discussion when one side has all of the answers.
Which is the point of leaving McBrien in place - so he can ridicule parents and theologians who give them the answers written in the Catechism and attack the people who are holding the schism up into the light and exposing it for what it is.
It is safe to say the Cardinal Newman Society’s motivation in pursuing McBrien was even more suspect than the case itself. It is also safe to predict that 50 years from now McBrien’s distinguished academic contributions will remain far more valuable to American Catholic life and Catholic academic life than any product of these bullying tactics.