OECTA Religion 2 AQ Course and Richard McBrien

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

McBrien REligion 2


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.

3 thoughts on “OECTA Religion 2 AQ Course and Richard McBrien”

  1. Yes McBrien’s Catholicism was rejected many years ago, by the US bishop’s committee on doctrine, for use in catechetical instruction. Now if the US bishop’s reject a book, then you know that it must be really bad. Do you think OE”C”TA cares? Another dissident Catholic bashing author is Thomas Groome, whose books continue to show up with OECTA support. So many teachers being led astray.


    1. It is possible that the people organizing this course, don’t even know about the US bishop’s statement on the McBrien book. On the other hand they might, and, in typical OECTA fashion, simply ignore episcopal directives they don’t like. The “C” in OECTA should stand for “Contumacious”, that is, insolent disobedience. The course material in this 2 AQ Course is your standard fog that starts nowhere and goes nowhere. It lacks a clear cut doctrinal framework. Often in these courses guest speakers, will appear, with their standard dissident boilerplate. This is nothing new. It is simply, the latest instantiation, of the catechetical rot, that began to flourish, in the 60s. Will graduates of this course be able to answer such basic, yet essential questions as: What is Man? What is the purpose of Man? What is the general purpose of the Church? The immediate purpose of the Church? The fourfold intention/purpose of Holy Mass? What really is a sacrament? Matter? Form? Effects? Ministers? What each commandment prescribes and proscribes? Seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer? Twelve articles of the Creed? etc., etc. It is answers to questions such as these that enables an educator to talk intelligently about Catholic faith and morals, and therefore to teach, effectively, Catholic truth.

      Liked by 1 person

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