The next time a teacher brags to you that they know more than you as a parent about the Catholic Faith because they have taken the Religion 2 Additional Qualification course.
– it is run by the OECTA, the Gay Pride marching teachers’ union
– they use textbooks like Richard McBrien’s Catholicism!
What do the Bishops say about this book?
After studying it for two years, the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices released a statement indicating that the book was inaccurate or misleading in describing Church teachings on the Virgin Birth, the ordination of women, and other issues. Not only had McBrien failed to remove the previously noted ambiguities from the previous editions, but he had introduced new ones.
The bishops’ report stated that McBrien minimized Catholic teachings and practice:
On a number of important issues, most notably in the field of moral theology, the reader will see without difficulty that the book regards the official Church position as simply in error.
The bishops also questioned the manner in which McBrien made use of dissenting theologians, and they noted sections of the book where the presentation is not supportive of the Church’s authoritative teaching. They warned that “for some readers it will give encouragement to dissent.”
The bishops cautioned that McBrien reduced the teaching of the pope and bishops to “just another voice alongside those of private theologians.” In so doing, he created the impression that the official teachings of the Church have validity only when they are approved by a “consensus” of theologians, including Protestant ones. In short, McBrien elevated the theological arguments of dissenting theologians to (or above) the level of the magisterium. The bishops concluded that Catholicism should
not be used in theological instruction.4
But given its title, McBrien’s position of authority at Notre Dame, and his high profile as a Catholic commentator, readers of Catholicism are likely to believe they are reading authentic Catholic teaching. That is not the case. As one reviewer said of the third edition, “Whatever else it may do, it is likely to leave Catholic students doctrinally illiterate.”5
Update: From a correspondent:
Noel Cooper should also be highlighted! He taught and then worked for the York Catholic Board. When I took the Archdiocese of Toronto Lay Pastoral Ministry Course back in the mid-90’s he gave some of the talks and he qualified all of his talks on the Bible with “this is what I believe.”
Check out http://www.noelcooper.ca/contents,_sample.html
and then view some of his other book The Sexual Believer.
His work is as bad as McBrien’s.