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I swear I did not do this! March 2, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, North Deanery, scandals.

Someone has been doing some additional research on Dr. Richard Gaillardetz (pronounced gah-lard-eez), the University of Toledo ‘theologian’ who will be the speaker at the upcoming Lenten retreat being held at St. Mark the Evangelist in Plano.  Although I have been quite concerned about bringing Dr. Gaillardetz to speak on marital (or several other) matters, this is not my work.  Check this out:

I know that a number of people have been concerned about this conference, and the defense that “he’s a theologian, it’s a theologian’s job to question the Church” doesn’t hold water, in particular his views on ‘non-traditional married unions’ and contraception.  Given that one primary topic Dr. Gaillardetz will be discussing is the Sacrament of Matrimony, it’s a good bet that questions on the Church’s doctrine on contraception and gay marriage will come up.  Will Dr. Gaillardetz present the Church’s infallible doctrine on these subjects clearly, or will he interpret it through dissenting beliefs?  That’s a serious question, and judging from his commentary on this blog, it’s not one that I think can be answered positively from an orthodox viewpoint. 

I had read, with great dismay, Gaillardetz’ argument that items not dogmatically defined by Church councils, but those traditional items believed by the Church that are defined through the Magisterium and through certain Papal authorities (the ordinary universal magisterium) may not constitute truly infallible teachings, but only are infallible insofar as they remain ‘uncontroversial.’  Once they become ‘controversial,’ these teachings would no longer be infallible.  My jaw hit the floor when, being pressed by another theologian, Dr. Lawrence Welch, Dr. Gaillardetz asserted that even such a part of the ordinary universal magisterium as the RESURRECTION could become controversial, and, thus, fallible.  In essence, anything that is not dogmatically and specifically defined by a Church council could become a fallible, less than certain doctrine of the Church.  Anything.   And who typically generates this controversy?  Why, theologians, like Dr. Gaillardetz!   One could wonder at the emotions in play as a theologian arrogates to himself and other theologians the authority to dictate the doctrine of the Church. 

Dr. Gaillardetz shares this view with one of his heroes and mentors, Richard McBrien, that well known Notre Dame ‘theologian’ and dissenter from too  many Church doctrines to list.  Both have argued it would be reasonable to replace the current magisterium with one consisting of…….wait for it……theologians!  It’s nothing if not ironic. 

This may sound like a small thing, but  it’s huge.  As I’ve read more on Gaillardetz, I’ve become convinced that he thinks all teachings of the Church, save for those dogmatically defined in a Church council, are up for grabs, in a sense, and subject to a continuing reevaluation based on the mores of the faithful at the time.  It is very hard not to see this as moral relativism.  I’m not the only one who sees Gaillardetz views of the authority of the Church in the magisterium as a view tending towards legitimizing cafeteria catholicism.

.pdf of the flier below.   I believe you are free to pass it around, if you so wish.

Dr Gaillardetz flyer1

Cross posted at www.dfwcatholic.org

UPDATE: ELEVENTY!!1!!1  According to the review in This Rock magazine, Gaillardetz rejects the REAL PRESENCE of Christ in the Eucharist, and believes that the Mass is a community meal, not a sacrifice offered to God for our salvation.  It also appears that continuing public revelation, which ended with the death of the Apostle John, is not only continuing, according to Gaillardetz, but also might extend to the Quran and Hindu texts.  That’s great!

I had a 2nd update here, but I deleted it.  At one point it looked like Dr. Gaillardetz did support the belief in the Real Presence. After more research, I found Dr. Gaillardetz does deny the Real, Physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist – p. 8 of By What Authority…..“In the Eucharist, Christ is encountered in a manner that we speak of as sacramental but not physical.”  This is not somebody’s analysis, or my own, but his own words, in his book By What Authority: A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium and the Sense of the Faithful (The Liturgical Press, 2003).


1. Rev. Clifford G. Smith - March 3, 2010

I’m sorry, but I can find no reference to Dr. G. rejecting the Real Presence in the Rock Magazine you reference.

2. tantamergo - March 3, 2010

“As can be expected, Gaillardetz takes some “progressive” views of Church life: Christ is present in the Eucharist symbolically but not physically; the author constantly refers to the Mass as “the liturgy,” in which we attain “communion with the fellow believers gathered at the eucharistic assembly” (66). He suggests that the Church’s Marian teachings be discarded for the sake of ecumenism, and he takes as a given the feminist complaint that the Bible contains anti-female bias.”

Third to last paragraph, from the review of “By What Authority….”

I re-read the portion of the copy of “By What Authority” I have, see update to the post.

3. Catechesis for the New English Missal « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - March 3, 2010

[…] the faith, the formation, and the catholic identity of the parishioners there.  I do wish I could report that all goings on at St. Mark were so positive, and not just the substantial majority of […]

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