HLI Responds to Father McBrien:
Dissenting From Assent Damages
Faith, Schools and Catholic Students

FRONT ROYAL, Va., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Fr. Richard Welch, C.Ss.R., J.C.D., President of Human Life International, the world's largest pro-life, pro-faith, pro-family organization today decried the position taken by theologian Father Richard McBrien regarding Roman Catholic higher education as ``just one more example of dissenting from assent.''

Father McBrien, a long-time Church critic, stated in the latest issue of the Jesuit magazine America that he will not request the mandatum, or teaching mandate, from his diocesan bishop in order to teach at a Catholic university, in accordance with the exhortation made in the papal document on Roman Catholic higher education: Ex Corde Ecclesia. He added that he anticipates that most other theology professors will do the same. The mandatum is required under the guidelines of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, as approved in November 1999.

``This is a typical dissenter's tactic: ignore Church law. In this way, the dissenters hope to bring pressure on Church leaders who will then not enforce it. It is a call to apostasy,'' explained Welch.

``Ex Corde Ecclesia requires that a Catholic university maintain and strengthen its Catholic identity, which can only be accomplished by its fidelity to the truth of the Christian message as it is handed down by the Catholic Church. Students who attend a Catholic university have the right to expect the truth from their professors. Parents who send their children to a Catholic university have the right to expect an authentic Catholic education,'' continued Welch.

``I urge all Catholic parents, students and professors who love the Church, to defend the teaching of the Magisterium. Do not be swayed by dissenters. Obedience to the Magisterium is obedience to the Truth. We do not have the right to twist it to suit our own opinions or ego. As the Holy Scriptures warns: 'There is a way which seems right to man, but its end is the way to death.''' (Proverbs 14: 12), said Fr. Welch.

Founded in 1981, Human Life International is the world's largest pro-life and pro-family educational apostolate, with chapters in the United States and a network of international branches and affiliates serving 90 countries.