Fr. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame is slipping. He used to couch his anti-Church statements with question marks so he could just claim he was asking a question or he’d make simply say something heretical but start it with “Many say…” or “Some believe…”. It’s a clever rhetorical flourish to avoid serious hot water.

But it looks like Fr. McBrien messed up this time. He said what he actually meant. Uh-oh. Fr. McBrien wrote in The Tidings:

Religious communities of women have been responsible for many of the good things that the Catholic Church in the United States has achieved, both before and after the Second Vatican Council.

It is all the more distressing, therefore, that two Vatican agencies — the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) — have targeted these communities and their principal leadership organization for a “visitation” and “doctrinal assessment” respectively.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the “visitation” is the requirement that each of the visitors will be required to make a public profession of faith and an oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See.

This requirement will discourage a number of potential visitors from volunteering their services in this study, and thereby skew the visitation teams in a particular ideological direction.

Did you get that? An oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See skews you in a particular ideological direction, ie conservative.

Fr. McBrien, it’s called being faithful. It’s not ideological.

But using logic would lead one to an inescapable conclusion. If being a conservative Catholic is defined as being faithful to the Apostolic See, then how must a liberal Catholic be defined?

Tsk Tsk Fr. McBrien. The first rule of Heresy club is you don’t talk about Heresy club. And you never ever say what you really mean.