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Faith/Spirituality Forum: Fr. Charles Curran

by Catherine Frakas 23 Aug 2001

Fr. Charles Curran QUESTION from Lilia Bodino on July 22, 2002 Hi Bro. John-Paul:
I have four books on theology: Catholic Moral Theoloby in Dialogue, Moral Theology-a Continuiung Journey, Directions in Fundamental Moral Theology, and Readings in Moral Theology No.4.
A book on Faithful Dissent, a book on Issues in Sexual & Medical Ethics, a book on Directions in Catholic Social ethics.
Most of these books I bought in the Notre Dame University bookstore. Why would a catholic university sell tainted books.
Fr Charles Curran is also listed in Ourladyswarriors websited as one of dissenting authors and speakers.
What should I do with these 7 books. Should I give them away?
Thank you so much. God bless you for all your good work in this forum.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on July 27, 2002 Dear Miss Bodino:
On the question of why a Catholic University would sell tainted books there are a couple of answers:
1) many Catholic Universities are Catholic in name only and not very loyal or obedient to the Catholic Church and her teaching. Such schools should have the name Catholic removed from them and could if the applicable bishops had the guts.
2) some Catholic Universities while generally loyal to the Church have a misplaced and dangerous notion of academic freedom even at the expense of truth and thus allow many individual professors who are not loyal to the Church to teach. This is a mistaken notion because the University is responsible for what is taught on its campus and as a Catholic University it has a responsibility to teach the CATHOLIC faith and teach it accurately. Bishops are suppose to be observant of this and take action accordingly when necessary.
3) however, there can be a legitimate academic purpose to using tainted books in the university setting. If I were a professor at one of these schools I might assign one of these tainted books as an assignment. But the assignment would be to study how and why the authors are teaching error. Such an assignment would always be within the context of teaching the truth. One might have a study of errant ideas, or a study of the history of heresy, etc.
Because of this particular teaching technique and motive that is legitimate one may find tainted books in the University bookstore. One should not presume that the University itself is tainted as a result, or that the individual professor is tainted.
Now, as to Father Curran. He is a leader in the movement to oppose Humanae Vitae. This is truly evil. Humanae Vitae is a brilliant dissertation from the Holy Spirit on Human Life. Anyone opposed to it, is opposed to God.
Therefore, while it is possible that Father Curran may have writings that are loyal to the Church, it can be like trying to find the tiny drop of poison in a barrel of water. Unless one is an expert chemistry and biology it is best to throw out that barrel and get a new barrel that one KNOWS is clean.
In similar manner, unless one is very knowledgable in theology and secure in that knowledge and faith, it is not wise to read books from such dissenters. Besides there is NOTHING that these disenters can say that is true that cannot be learned from some other writer or speaker who is loyal to the Church and without the fear of some hidden poison.
I would either throw the books away, or if you like you can donate them to us, the Legion of St. Michael. We can use them for academic and apologetics purposes.
Should you wish to donate them to us, the address is:
Legion of St. Michael P.O. Box 184 Roscoe, SD 57471
But whatever you do with them, please to not rely upon these books to learn the untarnished truth. There can be bits of poison in those pages.
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