Those who’ve followed the goings-on of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for the past few decades surely recall the name “Brennan Hill,” a (former?) theology professor at Xavier University rightly notorious for his open dissent from Magisterial teaching and, more specifically, his co-authorship in the early-90s of the “Hill & Madges” video series (and accompanying book) on the then-new universal Cathechism, a fortunately ill-fated attempt to spin its content for his panic-stricken fellow travelers among the mostly local catechetical elite. He’s weighed-in on the new archdiocesan teachers contract in the LTE section of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and his assessment comes as no surprise:
The famous inventor, Samuel F.B Morse captured the anti-Catholicism of 19th century America when he said that Catholicism is opposed in its very nature to Democratic Republicanism; as it is, therefore as a political system, as well as religious, opposed to civil and religious liberty, and consequently to our form of government. Catholics in the 19th century were perceived as a closed perfect society, wherein their thinking and actions were dictated by the hierarchy and the Vatican.
Enter the new contract for teachers in the Catholic schools in the Cincinnati. The contract seems to a throwback to a Catholicism of former times. It appears to be devised to prevent teachers from using the American court system when unjustly terminated, deprive them of their freedom of speech, their religious freedom and ignore the primacy of their consciences.
Didn’t Vatican II teach that Catholics as well as all people have the civil right of freedom from interference in their lives according to their conscience? (Vatican II, On human dignity, parag 13.)
Brennan Hill, Anderson Township
It’s rather curious that a man whose theology and eccelesiology have a sell-by date of 16 October 1978 uses the derisive term “throwback” without a hint of irony.