I expect this is a form letter that Fr. Robert Wild, S.J., president of Marquette University in Milwaukee, sends to people who complain about the presence of Daniel Maguire on the theology faculty. One recipient of the letter tells me that it shows that Fr. Wild is a "weasel." Well, I’m not so sure. True, there is the usual stuff about academic freedom and the legalities surrounding tenure, and to say that Maguire’s "positions regarding certain matters are not totally consonant with formal church teaching" is a little like saying that Osama bin Laden has some problems with Christianity. But then Fr. Wild goes on to write, "I also find it useful to recall that even Jesus did not have a perfect group of disciples." As with the apostles, the whole faculty should not be condemned "for the misdeeds of one of them." Comparing Prof. Maguire to Judas Iscariot strikes me as taking a rather definite position. Prof. Maguire is not invited to exit the scene in the manner of Judas Iscariot, but Fr. Wild offers the assurance that he teaches no required courses and, except for those "who elect to enroll in his advanced classes," students are shielded from his influence. The one-line summary of Fr. Wild’s letter is, "We’re stuck with this guy."
You make my heart sink ...
I don’t know if Marquette has tried the Boston College ploy used in the case of Mary Daly, the wild-eyed feminist who promotes a utopian world without men. Rather than fight her lawsuit over tenure, they gave her a bundle to stay far away from campus. It might be worth it to protect the credibility of a university that, in the words of Fr. Wild, "unreservedly and enthusiastically avows itself as Catholic."
Goes without saying.
Of course, Prof. Maguire might resist the idea that he can be bought off. After all these years of working for pro-abortion and population-control organizations while trading on the claim that he is a Catholic theologian at a Catholic university, he has had more than the usual number of occasions to wrestle with the ethics of personal and intellectual integrity.
Update: Background at Marquette Warrior.