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.)



  • Kathryn Faherty

    It is time for the bishops to excommunicate this clown and to remove Catholic from Marquette’s name. Until they do so, confusion will continue to reign and the laity will continue to be scandalized. Unless the Jesuit superiors restore the virtues of humility and obedience, the order should be repressed again. They do more damage to our Church than any other single group. It is time for them to be dissolved.

    • Russell

      WOW, that really is quite harsh.
      Aside from Marquette University not containing the word Catholic in it… I’ll just leave that obvious one alone.
      Enlighten us and quote which article of Faith or Canon Law did this man break or violate to incur excommunication? The Church’s harshest punishment for expressing a personal, private opinion?
      What virtues of humility and obedience have been disobeyed? Why do you want the Jesuits repressed or dissolved? Is the professor a Jesuit?
      Just trying to follow your “logic” and train of thought.

      • Everett

        I’ve got to agree here. Excommunication is a very specific penalty/remedy, that can only occur under very narrow circumstances which can be found in canon law. He certainly needs to be corrected again, and could be forbidden from teaching theology at Catholic Universities. This then would require said University to act accordingly, which seems unlikely in the case of Marquette. The bishop does in fact have the right to no longer allow Marquette to call itself a Catholic University, as the bishop is the guide in the diocese for any entity that wishes to call itself Catholic.

      • David K

        Actually, if you want to get right down to it. Dan Maguire was a Jesuit and then when he received tenure as a theology professor he left the Jesuits within the same year. I’m a MU alum and I know that to be a fact.

      • Teresa

        Abortion and traditional marriage is not an opinion but is Church Doctrine and this man is causing scandal to the Faith. At the very least, the threat of his excommunication should be on the table but most of our bishops nowadays are cowards.

  • fishman

    How can we help and encourage our bishops to take stronger action in policing catholic universities? What kind of actions can and should they take. I remember the bishop portrayed himself as quite powerless in his last row with ND, although he spoke out against Obama’s degree. Do we really want them to be totalitarian, expelling religious and excommunicating people who attend specific school? If so are we willing to accept the same disipline when a new bishop comes to town who disagrees with us?

  • G.K. Thursday

    Yes, Jesuit Universities have crumbled in the last 20 years as has almost every College or University run by religious orders. The decline in the lives and ideals of most religious orders goes a long way to explain the disintegration of these institutions of higher ed. Literally, what has happened is a dis-integration, a falling apart of the integration between these educational institutions and the lives of the faithful. Instead they chased after the secular ideal of the “research university”, trying to eschew what was perceived as the ghetto of Catholic higher ed in the 1950s. So as they went after academic distinction as judged by the standards of secular higher ed, they simply left their Catholicism behind. And as the religious orders who founded them lapsed into talking of experimental liturgies, third-way communities, and sexual celibates during the 70s and 80s, they dropped the reins of the institutions they founded, developing lay-run boards whose eyes were not on orthodox belief and behavior, but on increased enrollments and the bottom line.

    John Paul II, through his advisors, saw this happening and tried to stem it with Ex Corde Ecclesiae, but it was too little too late. Perhaps if it had come out in 1979 instead of 1989, it might have helped. But alas it made little difference to most Catholic institutions of higher ed. One good effect was in pushing 13 American Catholic colleges and universities to end their affiliation with the Church. Shockingly, many of these institutions still trade on their “Catholic heritage” to reassure parents that the aren’t as bad as the state universities when it comes to vice and violence.

    One hopes that those few Catholic Colleges and Universities which have wholeheartedly embraced the Catholic Church’s guidance on faith and morals will spark a renaissance among the faithful. If the laity would send there children to those schools, avoiding the Marquettes and Notre Dames, a renaissance would burst forth in our time!

  • Davide

    Maybe that’s the whole problem bishops are not disciplining as they should. I grew up with pretty strict parents who gave us structure, taught us responsibility that we were in fact our brothers (sisters) keeper we were responsible for each other. We had no choice. Looking back I see now how right my parents were and this shaped our family in such a way us kids are each others cheerleaders and best of friends. Sure we might fight but anyone to fight with one of us outside the family would find al of us ganging up on them. This is missing in the church-tough love and clear charity. Too many bishops are cowards. What if my parents were cowards? I end up like many of my friends who’s parents didn’t give two beans about them or were their friends. Parents are not their children friends and Bishops are not friends with theologians or even priest and laity. They are teachers, elders and rightly be called parents to their flock. That’s the whole issue isn’t it? Many bishops are not sheapards or parent to their flock. And who else needs a parent more than a renegade child? Think about it.

  • Richard A. Williams

    No surprises, the Jesuits seem to think they, not the Pope, are in charge of Faith and morals.

  • Terri

    …and we wonder why our flock is going elsewhere…these professors like this and the lack of discipline are ruining our Church :(



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