Theologian once disciplined by Archbishop Dolan now claims it is Dolan who ‘betrays Catholic teaching’

Prof. Dan Maguire

Hollywood and the media would have you believe that Catholic bishops routinely discipline Catholic professors ‘who get out of line.’ But in fact, it is extremely rare for a bishop to discipline any dissident theologian.

Yet, in 2006, Archbishop Dolan (then of Milwaukee) corrected Dan Maguire for claiming that Catholics could support abortion and marriage between couples of the same sex. Maguire had sent two pamphlets titled The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion and A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage to all 270 bishops in the United States. The USCCB agreed with Archbishop Dolan and corrected Maguire in 2007.

[Note that I said “corrected.” He was not excommunicated.]

So how does Maguire react to the constructive dialogue between House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Archbishop Timothy Dolan on how to help the poor while also addressing our debt crisis?

Well. He claims that Archbishop Dolan ‘betrays Church teaching.’ Yes, I know. This seems rather awkward coming from the same theologian who has called on Pope Benedict XVI to resign last year.

You see, Maguire thinks Dolan’s letter suffers from an “outrage deficit.” The dissident theologian thinks Chairman Ryan should have received a letter full of anger and scorn from Archbishop Dolan.

Why? Well, it could be because Maguire compares Chairman Ryan to a criminal:

Suppose a Catholic thief in the act of robbing the homes of the poor were to proclaim his fervid commitment to “Catholic teaching” against theft… while busily robbing. Would Archbishop Dolan praise the robber for his knowing about and proclaiming Catholic teaching?

But instead of condemning Chairman Ryan, Archbishop Dolan praised the lawmaker for his ‘continued attention to the guidance of Catholic social justice.’ To which Maguire responded by calling Dolan’s correspondence a “love letter” to Chairman Ryan. (!)

This dissident theologian remains a theology professor at Marquette University, a Catholic college in Milwaukee run by the Jesuits. (And you thought the hiring of ousted pro-abortion Senator Russ Feingold at Marquette Law was a fluke.)



  • blandina

    The real joke is that adherents and supporters of this line of thought really only hear and believe from him and others like him that a vote for Obama or any Democrat will nicely discharge them from their obligations as Catholics towards the poorest. Using his equation, everyone gets ripped off. Does his advocacy really and truly “trickle down” to help the poorest and least empowered or does it just affirm the elites in their authority and dominion over the people. Where is Dan Maguire on the Planned Parenthood corporate handout? Couldn’t those billions be better allocated to support charters or vouchers for the working poor? Couldn’t a portion go to genuinely needed health care, prenatal care, and more to actually affirm women and supports them in caring for their children? Is he active in prolife work at Marquette? How can he claim to care one iota about the poor if he thinks it is perfectly ok that the brutal state encourages their slaughter in the womb?

  • Matt B

    Prof. Maguire is rendering himself inconsequential by his offbeat opinions. Just as universities like Marquette are fading into historical anonymity. The real weakness of these heretical views, and of the midgets who promulgate them, is that they fall far from the greatness of the Gospel, which the Church is commissioned to proclaim. Who even remembers the Arians, or Nestorius, or Donatus? They have faded from our vocabulary. So will these dissident professers and their enablers. Our job as faithful Christians is to witness boldly to the Truth in charity, while looking to our own souls as well. Jesus will take care of the rest.

  • Jill K

    The parents and students at Marquette University need to speak with the almighty checkbook! Is this guy related to Nancy Pelosi? They both seem to have a habit of explaining Church teaching to the bishops and the Pope!

    • Joe

      It does seem at times that some Catholics are chomping at the bit for a way to elect popes with union-style politics.

  • Russell

    So, what is your point?
    Are you saying he is not entitled to his opinion?
    You never state that he is teaching any of his opinions in his classes. If he is not teaching his opinions, then no matter how objectionable you find them, he is within his rights hold any opinion he so desires. In fact, he was never “disciplined” by Archbishop Dolan or anyone else, that headline is just plain incorrect and written for sensationalism. You are trying to tie the closed issue of the pamphlets to his current opinions of Archbishop Dolan and Rep. Ryan. The original issue, as anyone who invests five minutes to check, is closed.
    ” Marquette University issued a statement March 26 saying it agrees with the bishops’ statement “that the views outlined by Daniel Maguire in pamphlets he circulated to the hierarchy earlier this year do not represent the teachings of the Catholic Church.
    “Dr. Maguire circulated the pamphlets as an individual theologian, not in any way representing the views of the university,” Marquette’s statement said. “As a citizen, Dr. Maguire has a right to express his views on the issues of the day. As a tenured professor, he also has rights related to his academic discipline.”

    For you to label this professor a “dissident” because you want to damn him for prior private opinions makes you a poor and non-objective journalist.

    • Joe


      Has Maguire recanted the dissident views he made previously? I don’t see what difference it makes in terms of his relationship to the Catholic Church whether the statements were made as a private citizen or under Marquette’s banner.

      The views he had expressed dissent from those of the Catholic Church. Until he changes his position (privately or not), he remains a dissident by definition.

      Of course Maguire has a right to free speech in this country. However, he can not reasonably expect the Catholic Church to support any view he feels like expressing. It seems to me that his views differ so much from the Church that he should consider using his free speech rights to start his own Church based on his own beliefs.



Receive our updates via email.