To the editor:
I enjoy reading Father McBrien’s weekly column. However, its title should be “Issues in Theology” not “Essays in Theology.” An essay may lack impartiality, but it implies a focus on a topic, not on persons. Issue implies a divergence of view among persons. Each week, Father McBrien treats a topic in theology with an emphasis on naming the proponents with the correct perspective and/or the proponents with an erroneous perspective. His four columns in March were typical.
March 4, “Apologetics”: Professor Richard Gaillardetz is on the right side for listing several bad attitudes toward apologetics on the part of those on the wrong side, namely Scott Hahn and Karl Keating.
March 11, “Salvation outside the church”: Quotations of Mel Gibson expose his heretical view. Father Feeney of Boston was excommunicated for that view. Evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants bemuse Father McBrien by zealously promoting a film by Gibson. These Protestants are oblivious to being merely used by Gibson. They should shun Gibson and his art, because of his personal theology, which excludes them from salvation. Ironically, an ad labels Gibson a staunch Catholic.
March 18, “Ecclesiology, ecumenism”: The column delineates the persecution of Cardinal Yves Congar by the erroneous side, namely, Pope Pius XII and curia and names Pope John XXIII and the Fathers of Vatican II on the correct side, for vindicating Cardinal Congar’s views.
March 25, “lack of religious belief and fitness for office”: Cathy Young of the Boston Globe is identified as being on one side, while on the other are The New Republic, a rabbi of beliefnet.org and Pat Robertson. Young is on the correct side in labeling inquiry into religious belief “personally intrusive and dangerously close to a religious witch-hunt.”
Robert E. Drury