The following comes from a Jan. 25 item in the liberal National Catholic Reporter.
Fr. Richard McBrien, who as a scholar brought distinction to a university theology department and who as an author and often-interviewed popular expert explained the Catholic church to the wider world, died early Sunday morning. He was 78.
McBrien had been seriously ill for several years and had moved recently from South Bend, Ind., to his native Connecticut.
It would be difficult to find a figure comparable in making understandable to a broad public the basic beliefs and traditions of the Roman Catholic church.
For more than three decades, he was the star of the theology faculty at the University of Notre Dame and the go-to voice on all matters Catholic in the popular press. His books, particularly Catholicism, Lives of the Popes and Lives of the Saints, were staples of libraries, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
At his peak in the 1980s and ’90s, it is arguable that McBrien had a higher media profile than anyone in the Catholic church other than Pope John Paul II. He was the ideal interview: knowledgeable, able to express complex ideas in digestible sound bites, and utterly unafraid of controversy.
“I don’t hold things back,” McBrien said in a 1990 profile by the Chicago Tribune, adding in a rare moment of understatement: “I’m outspoken.”
Unabashedly on the progressive side of most Catholic debates, McBrien advocated the ordination of women priests, an end to mandatory celibacy for priests, moral approval of artificial birth control, and decentralization of power in the church. In so doing, he helped to define the battle lines within Catholicism over the legacy of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).
He was a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and former chair of the theology department at the University of Notre Dame. To fans both inside and outside the theological guild, McBrien was a double icon. He lifted the status of Catholic theology, and American Catholic theology in particular, by his media visibility and literary accomplishment. He also cheered the liberal wing of the church by lending intellectual heft to its reading of Vatican II.
“No Catholic theologian in the United States has made a larger contribution to the reception of Vatican II than Richard P. McBrien,” said theologian Fr. Charles E. Curran at Southern Methodist University in Dallas….
For supporters of the conservative direction set by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, McBrien was instead a favorite bête noire. Foes routinely tried to get him fired at Notre Dame, occasionally tried to cajole bishops into excommunicating him, pressured diocesan papers to drop his syndicated column, and once even lodged charges of plagiarism. University officials investigated the plagiarism complaint in 2006, and McBrien was cleared.
McBrien’s critics didn’t just circulate in the blogosphere or on op-ed pages. At times, they were right down the hall at Notre Dame.
“McBrien has terrible ideas,” Ralph McInerny bluntly said in 1990. The late McInerny was a renowned philosopher and author of the “Father Dowling” mystery series, as well as a stern critic of what he once called the “pell-mell pursuit of warm and fuzzy Catholicism” he associated with McBrien.
“I think the demonology he works with is that once we had a hierarchical view of the church, which was authoritarian,” McInerny said. “Then we had Vatican II and, he believes, that model was thrown out. His view is wrong….”
Based upon the information provided in this article, Richard McBrian was a heretic.
McBrian did not adhere to the Doctrine of the Faith which can be found in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition”.
” McBrien advocated the ordination of women priests, an end to mandatory celibacy for priests, moral approval of artificial birth control” – which are covered in the CCC – opposite McBrian’s positions.
Btw the National Catholic REPORTER is heretical (not liberal).
The Reporter was literally condemned in 1968 by their Diocese Bishop Helmsing.
This was reaffirmed in 2013 by the current Diocese Bishop.
The Reporter is called the “Distorter” by many Faithful Catholics, and puts heretics like McBrian, Pelosi, Biden, Cuomo, etc., in the very best possible light when they take positions against Church teaching.
McBrien also served as a paid consultant for the controversial film ‘The DaVinci Code’, a movie that offended many Catholics because it portrayed a sexual relationship between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.
In 2009 he wrote an article in the Reporter in which he criticized Eucharistic Adoration.
And of course O’Brien wrote in favor of common ground with President Obama on the issue of Abortion.
O’Brien was one of the worst things that ever happened to Notre Dame.
I only hope ND can recover.
McBrien was a man who simply did not believe in Christ or His Church and did untold damage to thousands of Catholics. He should have been removed many years ago, of course like most Bishops in this country they did nothing to stop him, all gutless little men. McBrien knows now for sure, and probably wishing he was not a dissident …
He was so controversial and outspoken that he gave theologians a bad name but…Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord and let perpetual Light shine upon him. May be rest in peace.
I hope Fr. McBrien was prepared and composed for his meeting Our Lord, and I hope his passing was painless and peaceful.
However, it is important to recall only a few things about McBrien: he neither believed in the Virgin Birth nor the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (read his own “Catholicism”); or that he called Eucharistic adoration: “Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward.” (NCR, Sept 8th, 2009); or that he felt compelled to attack and doubt both the existence of the stigmata and the consequent canonization of Padre Pio (Oct. 12, 2003, 60 Minutes” appearance). This is only scratching the surface of this strange man, a proud and, unfortunately intellectually gifted, Novus Ordo priest who misled and confused thousands, nay, tens of thousands of priests and laity for a long and sorry career.
And now he can explain it all, I am sure in a technically excellent theological way to the Holy Trinity. I hope he doesnt ask intercession for mercy—esp. from Bl. Virgin Mary nor Padre Pio.
Charles Curran: “No Catholic theologian in the United States has made a larger contribution to the reception of Vatican II than Richard P. McBrien,” said theologian Fr. Charles E. Curran at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
It gets better and better. Birds of a feather…
Why was this man a leading theologian? Of what? What Fr. McBrien taught was largely non- or anti-Catholic. He was celebrated, to be sure, but so was Adolf Hitler, once popularly elected. Why was he seen as such a darling of Catholic thought?
Certainly McBrien’s ideas were not novel. He was clearly a man “of the world”, and was not shy about confrontation. Perhaps that is why people — liberal people — liked McBrien so much. He actually believed the silliness that he screamed out.
In fact, McBrien’s advancement is yet more proof of the “Peter Principle”: something about every employee rising to their level of incompetence. And, now, so many more Zombie-Liberals are out there, seeking whom they might devour. Stale ideas, heretical notions, threats, and demands; all this is the hand work of Pope Francis and those that wanted him in power. Just look at Cardinal Maradiaga, and his boast that what the Pope needs to do is put in place reforms that are not possible to reverse.
How many madmen, how many revolutionaries have spouted the same inanities? Of course, all things — “all things” including our own Constitution, for example — will be reversed, and destroyed at their proper time. Only the Word of God will endure, and His Church will endure, as well, and the Deposit of Faith that is its treasure.
In the 1990s, McBrien’s column regularly ran in the Tidings, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Cardinal Mahony was our bishop. I was saddened that a heterodox priest was allowed to mislead people in the official newspaper of our archdiocese.
This priest, McBrien, was a extreme left agitator. From Wikepedia:
McBrien served as a paid consultant for the controversial film The DaVinci Code, a movie that offended many Catholics because it portrayed a sexual relationship between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.
In September 2009, McBrien published an article in the National Catholic Reporter in which he criticized the centuries-old devotional practice of Eucharistic Adoration, calling it “a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward.” McBrien’s outspoken critique, shaped by an understanding of the Eucharist which centers upon the communal meal (and thus locates the proper place for the Eucharist within the setting of the Mass), was met with a sharp and critical reaction from some Catholics.”
His Lives of the Saints was a victory lap dedicated to the disastrous Vatican Council II. I had to throw the book away. These people have been unforgiving in the persecution of Catholicism. He died at triumphant moment for his kind but I hope St. Peter keeps score at the Pearly Gates.
Jesus will judge Him based upon his life on earth.
Jesus is merciful, but Jesus is also just.
Jesus also said that “many will not be saved”. Mt 7:13-14 and Lk13:23-28.
And Jesus does not lie.
I hope that McBrien still believes his heresies and scandals and political activisim within the Church was worth it.
WARNING: McBrien’s book “Catholicism” does not bear a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. More, it is such a fount of dissent and heresy that no less than the Doctrinal Committee of the USCCB condemned the book, stating:
“Catholicism gives very little weight to the teaching of the magisterium … On a number of important issues, most notably in the field of moral theology, the reader will see without difficulty that the book regards the ‘official church position’ as simply in error.”
USCCB Committee on Doctrine, April 9, 1996
The errors in McBrien’s “Catholicism” are too numerous to cover in this forum, but you can read them in the USCCB’s statement here:
Warm and fuzzy Catholicism? Perhaps informed, rational and sane are better descriptors based on the other comments above.
McBrien was one of those guys who found more excitement in pleasing the Left than being a devout, faithful priest. The seminaries of the1960’s produced these unhappy men who turned against the true theology of the Catholic Faith—all to the utter delight of the Leftist media who promoted them.
Good posts Steve Phoenix and St . Christopher.
I could never get past his not dressing like a priest combined with that smarmy McCarrick half smile. A real wise guy.
One of the most wicked theologians of late 20th century, a leading white-washed tomb of AmChurch whose rancid book “Catholicism” and writings popularized falsehood to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Catholics. I hope he repented of his sins prior to death and received the final sacraments. Serious prayers for the repose of his soul are needed.
Fr. McBrien had common law wife.
Prayers Needed 01-29
Fr. McBrien’s column regularly ran in the The Observer, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Monterey too. Thank the Lord that when we got our new Bishop, Bishop Garcia, the columns started to disappear, and then finally the paper did too.
Bishop Garcia has not done much tor Tradition, though, has he? Please advise if he has done anything positive to implement Summorum Pontificum, after shoving the TLM into the Queen of Heaven Cemetery Chapel.
Does he continuously say the TLM? Does he encourage new priests to do so? Are other churches encouraged to start a TLM? Does Bishop Garcia use the extraordinary sacraments in Monterey? Please advise.
McBrien had a common law wife? I took time to watch the Vortex clip on McB. Quite the shocker!