There they go again.
Aged McBrien, Richard, is defending the abortion performed at the Catholic hospital in Phoenix and rejecting the Church’s position about abortion as an evil meriting excommunication.
First, I would remind McBrien that Bp. Olstead did not excommunicate Sr. Margaret Mary McBride (without whose approval the direct abortion could not have taken place). My understanding is that Bp. Olstead affirmed that sister president’s excommunication took place by the fact that she did what she did. Had Bp. Olstead wanted to issue a formal statement, he, a canonist, would have made it clear that that is what he was doing. Read this.
But wait! There’s more!
McBrien exalts the opinion of Charles Curran to defend sister president’s action. But the amusing dimension of it comes from his reference to the sensus fidelium as a force or dimension of the Church which (to McBrien’s mind) trumps or changes the Church’s teachings and laws.
"In my judgment," Curran concludes, "the strong reaction by many Catholics to the action taken by the Bishop of Phoenix could well indicate the sensus fidelium ["sense of the faithful"]. At the very minimum … the church should study again the history and reasons proposed in this case.
"It is clear that many theologians and some bishops have come to the conclusion that an abortion to save the life of the mother is a morally good act."
That is "clear"? Who are these bishops? Names please? May we have a list?
Sensus fidelium is not cobbled up at the water cooler of NCR and LCWR or the Theology Department of Notre Shame, or at Charles Curran’s office at Southern Methodist University.
Who are the "fideles" of their sensus fidelium?