Has anybody checked on Fr. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame? I know that after the motu proprio was released his graduate assistants took away his shoelaces. And now the news that he belongs to the “one true church” may be so upsetting to him that he may have to be put on 24- hour watch for a while.

Today’s document from the Vatican daringly reaffirmed the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, but I haven’t seen McBrien’s anti-Catholic tirades in the press for hours? I’m really getting worried.

McBrien recently wrote:

“There were always Protestants attracted to the Catholic Church in the pre-Vatican II era for biblical, theological or historical reasons, all of which were carefully laid out in Father John O’Brien’s writings. With the Second Vatican Council, however, and with the ecumenical movement which the council and the popes had endorsed, it became practically impossible to present the Catholic Church any longer as “the one, true Church” and all other denominations as awash in error and falsehoods.

And so the traditional apologetical tactics — “demonstrating” that Catholicism alone is right, while Protestantism is completely wrong — were generally abandoned. If Protestants became Catholics in the late 1960s or in the ’70s and early ’80s, it was mainly for family reasons, or because they intended to marry a Catholic, or because they had grown familiar and spiritually comfortable with Catholic worship.

In the past two-and-half decades, however, we have seen something of a reversion to the pre-Vatican II approach. Many seeking entrance into the Catholic Church today do so as an act of rejecting their Protestant past and of embracing “the truth” found only in Catholicism.

Notice that McBrien couldn’t even write about the “one true church” without putting the scare quotes around it. He even threw the old scare quotes around “the truth.” Did Vatican II do away with truth, too?

Now this document might just put him over the edge. Remember that McBrien predicted that if Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope, “thousands upon thousands of Catholics in Europe and the United States would roll their eyes and retreat to the margins of the church.”

So, someone please look for Fr. Richard McBrien. Look in the margins of the church — the one true church.