Sunday, January 25, 2015

Richard McBrien R.I.P.

National Catholic Reporter posts that Fr. Richard McBrien, theologian, has died.
"At the height of McBrien’s influence, almost 25 diocesan papers and a couple dozen parish bulletins carried his column. As the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI wore on, McBrien found it increasingly difficult to penetrate official venues. By the end, only six diocesan papers carried the column."
The Milwaukee Catholic Herald long carried his column, though for some reason did not use the 'Essays in Theology' title he gave it.

The column archives are at his website.

P.S. One still-pertinent column is A Meditation in Imperfection from 2002, on the fall of Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

'''What bothered Catholics most about the Weakland matter was the nearly half-million-dollar settlement reached with the individual with whom the archbishop had had a long-since-ended relationship. During the recent prayer service in Milwaukee at which he apologized and asked for forgiveness, the archbishop pointed out that "in hindsight" he could understand why that financial settlement had "the appearance of 'hush money'."

'''Indeed, it was hush money, and one wonders how anyone involved in that decision could have possibly encouraged the archbishop to go forward with it.'''
If it was hush money, then that hardly seems to have been a proper use of Archdiocesan funds. But no one was publicly brought to account for any impropriety. And if that means our Archdiocese regards this a having been a proper use of funds, then presumably it would settle any similar subsequent cases in similar fashion.

And that comes to my mind, thanks in part to Fr. McBrien, when the word 'stewardship' comes up around here.

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