Last week’s announcement that Father Richard McBrien’s column will be discontinued for an indeterminate period of time prompts a prayer that he receive God’s blessings in his illness and that this time of recovery be a time of insight and growth in God’s wisdom.
Over many years some have given Fr. McBrien an “A” for scholarship, but from many he has received an “F” for his ability to edify and elevate. Consistently he has been the poster child for moral relevancy as he relentlessly ventured to expose the clay feet of every pope and taken aim at all bishops who did not agree with him and his people in the pew about moral absolutes.
We have been frustrated by his constant overstepping the line regarding the leaders of our Church, hiding behind a series of questionable resources and surveys (most recently 1-12-12: “…it is clear that relatively few Catholics look to the bishops as the source of guidance on moral issues”). These are thinly veiled attempts to eat away the foundation of faith and morals to suit his whims which have done little to encourage focus, fidelity and constancy in the faithful.
It has never ceased to amaze us that our basic 130-year old Catholic resource, The Catholic Messenger (a lamp unto our feet), determined that we have needed a fair and balanced selection of “thoughtful commentary” that included the erudite butterfly and the scholarly termite.
No surprise that many Catholics today wonder then wander. Since Catholicism is not for wimps, it does not take much to send many to the cafeteria line. Perhaps the writings of discontented theologians — rather than evangelize — scandalize.
Catholics do deserve better.
Ed and Charlene Merritt