US theologians (letter)

US theologians (letter)

Fr G.H. Duggan SM

Some of your readers, sickened by the sexual scandals at present gravely troubling the Catholic Church in the United States, may be wondering about their causes. They will find at least a partial explanation in Msgr George A. Kelly's book The Battle for the American Church (pp 104-114).

Msgr Kelly tells how the executive of the Catholic Theological Society of America, which was elected by a minority (150-170) of the Society's 1500 members in 1977, commissioned a book Human Sexuality to be written by five of its members. It is in Kelly's words "the most outspoken contradiction of the Catholic moral code by Catholic theologians in the recent history of the American Church"; and he quotes eleven texts to show that this judgement is justified. It allows among other things premarital intercourse, contraception, homosexual relationships, masturbation and bestiality.

Sister Agnes Cunningham SSHM, on the staff of Mundelein Seminary, Chicago, one of the five authors of the book, said, "I do not know on what grounds the bishops could intervene." Brought to the attention of the Bishops' Conference, it should have provoked a thundering condemnation. All it evoked was a timorous, deprecatory squeak. It is clear from Kelly's account that the bishops were routed by the revolutionary theologians.

Silverstream, New Zealand

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