Curran, Dissent, & Rome: A Symposium

As members of the Theology Department of the University of America we wish to associate ourselves with the public statement of support issued by Bishop Matthew B. Clark, Father Curran’s local ordinary.

We concur with Bishop Clark that Father Curran is a priest of exemplary personal life, generous in his availability to other persons. We agree also that he is a careful, scholarly, and responsible theologian whose views have been valuable to the theological community as it seeks to meet the challenges of the present day. On issues where his views appear to be at variance with the current official statements of the Church, Father Curran is thorough and respectful in his presentation of official teaching and of the Catholic moral tradition. Finally, we concur that if Father Curran’s status as a Catholic theologian were denied it would be a setback for Catholic education in this country.

As colleagues we are in a position to testify that Father Curran is an outstanding teacher, director, and mentor, and a dedicated, loyal member of the university community. The loss of his service and presence would be severely damaging to this university as a center of theological research and education.

In view of all these considerations we strongly support the compromise proposed by Father Curran and endorsed by Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin as chairman of the University Board of Trustees. According to this compromise Father Curran would not in the future teach sexual ethics at The Catholic University of America. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would point out what it judges to be the errors and ambiguities in his teaching, while still recognizing that he is a Catholic theologian in good standing. The acceptance of this compromise by the Vatican would in our judgment be in the best interests of everyone concerned.

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