An interesting article was forwarded to me by my dear wife concerning a former Jesuit priest and his views on contraception, same-sex marriage, and abortion in relation to Catholic teaching.  Here is the article in its entirety:

In a rare step, Roman Catholic bishops in the United States have declared as ”false teaching” two pamphlets by a Catholic theologian who argues that abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage are morally permissible under Catholic doctrine.

The theologian, Daniel C. Maguire, teaches religious ethics at Marquette University, a Jesuit institution in Milwaukee. He is a 75-year-old former priest and a prolific writer, educated at the prestigious Gregorian University in Rome, who has been challenging Catholic teaching on sexuality for years.

Last summer, Mr. Maguire mailed two of his pamphlets, ”The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion” and ”A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage” to 270 Catholic bishops. In them, he argued that the Catholic position on these issues was ”pluralistic,” and that Catholic theologians through history had taken a variety of acceptable stances on these issues.

The bishops’ Committee on Doctrine denounced the pamphlets as ”irresponsible.” The bishops said that it was a ”serious error” to claim ”that the teaching of the pope and the bishops represents merely one voice among many legitimate voices within the Catholic Church.”

The Rev. Thomas G. Weinandy, executive director for the bishops’ doctrine committee, said in an interview, ”The big concern was that the pamphlets are written in a very popular and lively style, and from what the bishops knew, they were very widely distributed.”

Father Weinandy said it was ”quite unusual” for American bishops to formally denounce Catholic theologians, especially when the Vatican had not issued something first.

Last week, the Vatican rebuked a Jesuit priest in El Salvador who is a leading scholar of liberation theology, which emphasizes religious advocacy for the poor.

Mr. Maguire said in an interview that there were only a few thousand printed copies of the pamphlets in circulation, though the one on same-sex marriage was accessible on a Web site. He said he sent that one to members of Congress and state legislators in Wisconsin.

”They’re simply uninformed,” Mr. Maguire said of the bishops. ”There is no one Catholic view on contraception, abortion or same-sex marriage. There’s a diversity of views. And it’s not just Dan Maguire versus the bishops. There’s a large school of thought that agrees with everything I’ve said in these pamphlets.”

Marquette University, responding to questions from a reporter, issued a statement saying that the university ”agrees with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine 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.”

Mr. Maguire is a tenured professor and ”has rights related to his academic discipline,” it also said.

I think Professor Maguire is wrong.  Now, before you get your lefty panties in a bunch and those of you with righty panties feel vindicated, allow me to explain.

Professor Maguire’s main argument is that the Catholic position on these hot-button issues is “pluralistic.”   According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of the adjective pluralistic is as follows:

A state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain an autonomous participation in and development of their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization.

The evidence that has mounted in recent decades shows that the Catholic Church has moved increasingly toward monism.  It is dubitable to ever have thought that the Catholic Church was or is, except for certain and distinct periods of time, pluralistic.  The nature of Catholicism as the apostolic succession of Jesus’ prophetic works lends itself openly and embracingly as pluralistic.  However, with the dawn of the established Church at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, pluralism recieved the proverbial spear-wound to the side.  Once it was deemed that there were to be rules, dictates, and a “successor” to Saint Peter to rule the Church, pluralism went the way the notion of peace has in the modern Church.

John XXIIIThe simple idea that the Catholic Church is built on a collection of ideas where all maintain some sort of collective participation of doctrine is surely utopian, but is clearly out of reach for the forseeable future.  I did not clearly understand doctrine until I recently started reading Thomas Cahill’s book, John XXIII.  My eyes were opened to the constant push and pull of politics in the Papal seat of power – much like our government is run this very day.  Power, riches, and land were the foodstuffs to satiate the Vatican beast, save for a few honest Popes that looked toward progression and a true Catholic approach to humanity and to the world.  “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” as so many political pundits like to put it in these modern, but cyclical times.

This is why Professor Maguire is wrong.  The Church surely has no room to allow abortion in any form, same-sex marriage, or contraception because monism allows for dictatorial rule from a single seat of power.  Until the Vatican is occupied by a theologically progressive Catholic priest that understands that the very existence of the Church power structure corrupts Jesus’ mission and the pluralism he espoused (as evidenced by his very own Apostles), the Catholic Church cannot be viewed as a pluralistic entity.  The ideas that were presented in Maguire’s pamphlets have some validity, because as everything in life moves, lives, and progresses, situations alien to our own concept of life become focused.  Individual experiences, philosophies of love, and situational family experiences all bear down on these topics, which should not and should have never been the cornerstone of Catholic doctrine.  Emotionally twisting topics as they may be, they do not belong to the Church, but to us, the faithful, and to God – they are knots for us to untie and to ultimately reveal the truths held within.