Over at Crux there is a short interview with Richard Gaillardetz who is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College. I believe he is also, or at least once was, the President of the professional society for American Catholic Theologians. He is the author of By What Authority? Foundations for Understanding Authority in the Church; and An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism. He has been appointed to numerous official positions in Catholic circles, both nationally and internationally and has represented the Catholic position in numerous theologic forums the world over. In short, he is considered by both his colleagues in the theologic profession and by the Vatican hierarchy to be one of the best of American catholic theologians. He represents the cream of the crop of catholic theologians in America.
Yet here is what he said in the interview in Crux:
“Finally, I want to add that being a fan of Pope Francis, as we both are, doesn’t mean being a booster. For all of his many accomplishments, I remain deeply saddened by his two great blind spots: 1) his failure to see that compassion for clerical sexual abuse victims is necessary but not sufficient; there must also be a clear commitment to bring episcopal enablers to justice. 2) his criticism of “gender theory” and Christian feminism which strikes me as lacking in both understanding and nuance.”
Its number 2 that I find to be such a striking statement, particularly for a duly canonically licenced catholic theologian.
I have never read of Gaillardetz’s books so it is not really fair of me to criticize him for a brief statement in a short interview. So dear reader take what I say here with a large grain of salt as I may be completely mischaracterizing this man’s views BUT….
It seems from the quote that he is saying that Pope Francis’s very mild criticisms of “gender theory” and Christian feminism were too much for him. I am inferring that Gaillardetz finds something of value in “gender theory” and Christian feminism. I hope that that is not the case but I would not at all be surprised if it were the case as the American academy—at least the departments of humanities and social science, has been utterly corrupted by these ideologies. That is all they are. There is no intellectual substance to “gender theory” whatsoever. Most biologists treat it as a kind of American Lysenkoism– A state enforced Stalinist-like ideology mascarading as a bona fide science or intellectual discipline. The evolutionary biology and neuroscience of sexuality is so utterly complex that it far surpasses anything that gender theory can throw at it. If one feels some compassion for same-sex oriented people or transgendered people I recommend reading and studying evolutionary biology of sex—not “gender theory”!
It is a shame that this Gaillardetz can take gender theory seriously at all and then chide the Pope for his very mild criticisms of it. The problems with feminist theory are of an entirely different order than gender theory so I will not even attempt to discuss feminist theory here. My point is that here we have a major catholic intellectual and Church-licenced theologian who apparently is entirely taken in by a pathetic academic fad.
If you live in the Boston area you can take in some of the wisdom dispensed by Gaillardetz concerning the joys of the Francis papacy at an upcoming talk:
The Welcoming Church of Pope Francis February 25, 2018 at 11:15 am – 12:15 pm Sacred Heart Church, 1995 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA
or visit the man’s website at: