Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A talk with The Rev. Richard P. McBrien

by Michael Paulson in the Boston Globe, December 28, 2008

Father McBrien gives his explanation of why many diocesan newspapers no longer carry his column.
As the Catholic hierarchy became more conservative under Pope John Paul II, bishops who were open to a diversity of viewpoints in the church either died or retired, and were replaced, in almost every case, by bishops who were more, let's say, attuned to the desires and intentions of the Holy See. I used to kid, I'd say bishops get points if they drop my column. They get noticed, and then they get promoted eventually, and so forth. I can give you so many examples. I mean, let's take Boston. Cushing was a patron of mine. He liked me, and I liked him. He had his foibles, but we all do. I liked Cardinal Cushing very much.

So when bishops let his column run it was not so much because they were "open to a diversity of viewpoints" but because they sympathized with McBrien's.
But [Archbishop] Medeiros was in, and Medeiros once said to me, 'Richard, what would my mother think if she read your column?' and I said, 'Your eminence, I don't write my column for your mother.' So then it got dropped.

There was no follow-up on for whom, if anyone, he does write his column.

To the concluding question, "Why don't you wear a collar?" McBrien replies
I only wear a collar when I go to my home parish in West Hartford to say Mass on a Sunday when I'm home. My Roman collar is my television uniform. You don't see the apostles with Roman collars on. It's a custom. And the custom in the academic world is that most priests who teach in Catholic colleges and universities wear a tie or just have an open sport shirt.

At his website, he's pictured in that academic uniform and calls the column Essays in Theology. When the column ran in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald, the accompanying picture was of him in a Roman collar and the paper called the column "Essays in Dialogue".

(via Cathleen Kaveny at dotCommonweal who refers to this as a Boston Globe Interview with Dick McBrien)

1 comment:

  1. You don't see the apostles in an academic uniform either.