In your view, what did Father Mc Brien contribute to Catholic theology?
By the late 80s, though, this approach had definitely become a minority voice, especially among younger Catholics – and remains so, except in the secular media.
He usually represented what had been a pretty widespread point of view among Catholic theologians in the late 60s and 70s: liberal on the “hot-button” issues, but—as he saw it—still theologically defensible.
He understood himself, I think, to be making available a Catholic viewpoint that was both substantially anchored in the theological tradition and decidedly on the “progressive” side.
To my mind, we especially need Catholic thinkers who are deeply conscious of the roots of Catholic teaching and practice in the Scriptures and in the great classical writers of our tradition, and who are confident enough of what the church has thought and thinks to be able to know what forms of further development are possible.
A thoughtful and sympathetic understanding of tradition—as the theologians of the “ressourcement” showed us in the 1930s and 1940s—frees us to imagine what the church can best be today and tomorrow. I suppose I would have to pick 2 Cor 4:7-12, where St.
But from all I have heard, he enjoyed both positions, and showed real leadership abilities in them.
He was a team player, and like a good captain, sacrificed himself for what he thought were the best interests of the team.
We live in a culture that is increasingly polarized: in politics, in public discourse, in social institutions, even in the church.
The “culture wars” continue to grow more intense, and to paralyze us.