Sulphur Springs News-Telegram (Sulphur Springs, Tex.), Vol. 112, No. 219, Ed. 1 Sunday, September 16, 1990 Page: 26 of 46
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C-12—THE NEWS-TELEGRAM, Sulphur Springs, Texas, Sunday, September 16,1990
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Two Catholic scholars cry foul
By GEORGE W. CORNELL
AP Religion Writer _
NEW YORK (AP) — In a period
of hardening Vatican demands for
doctrinal conformity, two top
American Cathokc thinkers have
zeroed in on a specific case of en-
forcing it, and cried foul.
They say the action was unjust in
the first place, and that continuing
academic complicity in it is harm-
ful not only to the victim but to
Roman Catholic higher education
and to the church itself.
The protest amounts to a chal-
lenge both to ecclesiastical
authorities and to administrations
of Catholic universities.
It comes after a recent tightening
by the Vatican of prohibitions
against dissent, but focuses on a
1986 case against the Rev. Charles
Curran, a prominent moral
theologian ousted from the Catholic
University of America.
Arguing the ouster was carried
out by unjust means, the Rev.
Richard P. McBrien, theology
department chairman at the Univer-
sity of Notre Dame, -and the
school’s noted Christian ethicist,
the Rev. Richard A. McCormick,
“Continuing exclusion of Father
Curran from Catholic college and
university theology faculties
represents complicity in the
the two scholars say efforts have
been made by various Catholic
theology departments to get Curran
on the faculties, but “he has been
positively excluded by upper ad-
Writing in the Sept 8-15 issue of
the Jesuit-edited national Catholic
weekly, America, the two scholars
“We regard this exclusion as a
continuing complicity in the
original injustice done to Father
Curran and as harmful not only to
him but also to Catholic higher
education in this country and to the
Most of Curran’s theological col-
leagues “would give their prover-
bial right arms to get him” on their
faculties, but the resistance comes
from “upper administrations which
By DEBORAH HASTINGS
AP Television Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The
Miss America pageant, during
which Bert Parks flubbed his long-
awaited return, was crowned the
most-watched show on TV last
The live NBC broadcast Satur-
day night got a 17.8 rating, and
NBC’s “Golden Girls” was No. 2
with a 15.9, the A.C. Nielsen Co.
reported Tuesday. Each ratings
point represents 931,000 homes.
During the broadcast, the 75-
year-old Parks, who was fired as
emcee 10 years ago to give the
pageant a younger look, mixed up
his cue cards and failed to intro-
duce about a dozen former pageant
winners standing on stage.
During another segment, he was
painfully out of sync while lip-
synching the contest’s trademark
song, “There She Is.”
Parks later said of the broadcast,
“I’m feeling terrible about it”
NBC felt great. The pageant
breezed past a CBS update on the
Helsinki superpower summit and
also beat NBC’s debut of the sit-
com “The Fanelli Boys,” about
four Italian brothers in Brooklyn
and their widowed mother. It was
In the No. 6 slot was Sunday’s
“60 Minutes,” featuring a segment
by Dan Rather in Helsinki, where
President Bush and Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev discussed the
Persian Gulf crisis.
NBC again won in the overall
prime-time ratings, receiving a 10.7
average. ABC scored a 9.4, CBS a
9.3. With the exceptions of “The
Fanelli Boys,” “60 Minutes” and
the pageant, every program in the
top 10 was a rerun.
In the network news wars, Peter
Jennings and ABC were well in
front with a 9.8 average. CBS and
Dan Rather had an 8.4, and NBC
and Tom Brokaw an 8.3.
Here are the top 10 shows, their
network and rating:
1. (X) “Miss America Pageant,”
NBC, 17.8,16.6 million homes.
2. (7) “Golden Girls,” NBC,
15.9,14.8 million homes.
3. (1) “Cheers,” NBC, 15.4,14.3
4. (X) “Fanelli Boys,” NBC,
.15.0,14.0 million homes.
5. (9) “America’s Funniest
Home Videos,” ABC, 14.8, 13.8
6. (8) “60 Minutes,” CBS, 14.7,
13.7 million homes.
7. (20) “Designing Women,”
CBS, 14.2,13.2 million homes.
7. (2) “Roseanne,” ABC, 14.2,
13.2 million homes.
9. (4) “A Different World,”
NBC, 13.8,12.8 million homes.
10. (3) “The Cosby Show,”
NBC, 13.7,12.8 million homes.
10. (12) “Unsolved Mysteries,’
iC, 13.7,12.8 million homes.
are afraid,” the article says.
“It is at once unintelligible and
inexcusable that Catholic educators
who know better should now have
assumed the disturbing role of ac-
complices to the original injustice
— an injustice not only to Father
Curran but to Catholic higher
education and the church he con-
tinues to serve so faithfully,” the ar-
The Rev. George W, Hunt,
America’s editor in chief, said he
expected the essay to cause a great
deal of reaction both in ecclesiasti-
cal and educational circles.
Curran was ousted after some of
his views on sexual ethics, such as
defending contraception, were
denounced by the Vatican’s
doctrinal arbiter, Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger ruled him neither
“suitable nor eligible” to teach
Catholic theology. More than 750
American theologians signed a
statement supporting Curran’s sta-
ture in his field.
In the last three years, he has
held teaching posts at secular in-
stitutions, at Cornell University, the
University of Southern California
and now Auburn University.
At issue in the case was “not the
right of the church to teach and to
defend its teaching against error,
but the proper scope and use of that
right,” the article contends.
It says Vatican interventions in
such cases have been “improperly
and unjustly exercised” and flout
“rights recognized in modem
societies” by such practices as
these: Both prosecuting and judicial
authorities are combined; the ac-
cused has no access to documents
touching on charges; the
proceedings are in secret; there is
no right of appeal.
“In brief, the institutional struc-
tures and procedures are unfair to
start with,” the article says.
The authors say Catholic higher
education could repair some of the
damage to itself if a prestigious
Catholic university such as Notre
Dame, Boston College or
Georgetown University offered
Curran a theology professorship.
But the administrations are “in-
timidated by the actual or potential
opposition,” McBrien and Mc-
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Keys, Clarke. Sulphur Springs News-Telegram (Sulphur Springs, Tex.), Vol. 112, No. 219, Ed. 1 Sunday, September 16, 1990, newspaper, September 16, 1990; Sulphur Springs, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth824448/m1/26/: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hopkins County Genealogical Society.