Maguire argues for diversity of Catholic views on divisive issues



Jessica White | Staff Writer

Daniel C. Maguire, author and professor at Marquette University, has had a successful, scandalous career.

Conservatives call Maguire a heretic, and United States bishops condemned him in 2007 for his progressive writings on abortion and same-sex marriage. Yet Maguire’s books remain popular, and he has written more than 150 articles for publications such as The New York Times, USA Today, The Christian Century and The National Catholic Reporter.

Maguire, who teaches moral theological ethics at the Jesuit institution, will give a lecture titled “The Loneliness of the Truth-Teller” at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Hall of Philosophy.

In his teachings and writings, Maguire often discusses how conservative Catholic politics have strayed from Catholic teachings that are actually intended to be good and helpful. His style is lively and humorous, and he is passionate about injustices in the church.

“There is no one Catholic view on contraception, abortion or same-sex marriage,” he said in a 2007 interview with The New York Times about his condemnation by U.S. bishops. “There’s a diversity of views. And it’s not just Dan Maguire versus the bishops. There’s a large school of thought that agrees with everything I’ve said in these pamphlets.”

Maguire was baptized and raised as an Irish Catholic and became a Catholic priest and professor after he graduated from the Gregorian University in Rome — a prestigious Catholic school that challenges the church’s teaching on sexuality. In 2010, he symbolically “came out” as a Jew to point out similarities in the world’s faiths. He said he didn’t convert; he simply became Jewish, absorbing the faith into his personality.

“Some of my Jewishness I got from Catholicism which, like all of Christianity, is an offshoot of Judaism,” he wrote in a 2010 blog post. “So all Catholics are to some degree Jews even if they don’t know it.”

More recently, Maguire has argued against U.S. bishops with regard to the portion of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that requires all insurers — and therefore employers — to provide copay-free contraception to women, calling the bishops’ claim of threatened religious freedom “bogus.”

He continues to argue that abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage are morally and theologically acceptable — even under the Catholic doctrine.

“There is even a pro-choice Catholic saint, the 15th-century archbishop of Florence, St. Antoninus,” Maguire wrote in an article for USA Today. “He approved of early abortions when needed to save the life of the mother, a huge category in his day. There is thus no one Catholic view.”