Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fr. Richard McBrien, theologian, has died | National Catholic Reporter

Fr. Richard McBrien, Catholic theologian
Richard McBrien - the Notre Dame voice of  progressive Vatican II Catholicism in America has died.  A longtime columnist for National Catholic Reporter, he found diocesan paper after paper dropping his essays as the pinch of John Paul II and Benedict XVI was felt.
Rather than celebrate as heroic the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adherence to the papal bar on artificial contraception, the embrace of mandatory priestly celibacy, and renunciation of female ordination Fr. McBrien never trimmed his conscience to fit current Vatican fashion.
We have lost a voice and must hope that Pope Francis's heart and Jesuit savvy last long enough to turn the doctrinal tide that has for fifty years been running in favor of a crabbed and cramped Catholicism. - gwc
Fr. Richard McBrien, theologian, has died | 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.

'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment