One of the things Bishop Dunn set himself to do was to raise money to finance a chair of Catholic theology at Durham University. A couple of days after his death it was announced that £2.1 million had been raised to achieve this. Durham University announced it here. Recently candidates were interviewed for the post. It has just been brought to my attention that James Mawdsley has an account of the interviews for the four candidates on his very sound blog. You can read it here. He writes:
Of the four candidate's for the new Bede Chair at Durham University's Centre for Catholic Studies, three of the candidates seem to favour a hemeneutic of rupture over a hermeneutic of continuity when it comes to understanding the Church's relation to its past. Sentire cum Ecclesia is not their way: they want to build something new which is in conflict with the Church of former generations. This apparently sets the Church Militant in conflict with and judgement upon the Church Triumphant. If this is unfair to Profs. Beattie, McPartlan or O'Leary then maybe someone can explain why. So Prof. Ayres looks like the best candidate.
UPDATE: I understand that Prof. Ayres got the job.
FURTHER UPDATE: I`d never heard of Fr Joseph O`Leary but he appears to be a controversial character to say the least. For more click here on the Pertinacious Papist blog
"three of the candidates seem to favour a hermeneutic of rupture over a hermeneutic of continuity"
This is no surprise, I am actually surprised it was not four out of four given the kind of theology I am told is taught at Ushaw.
If one of these three get the post it would be better if it did not exist, 2.1million to undermine the Church is not a good investment.
I couldn't help but laugh to hear Prof. Tina Beattie who is apparently in favour of women been ordained to the priesthood say we need to recover the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, has she read what St. Thomas Aquinas has to say about women lol.
Prof. Rev. Paul McPartlan is clearly a modernist who has succumbed to rationalism so definitely NO, please Lord.
Prof. Rev. Jospeh O'Leary is another modernist, and also sounds like he may actually be a heretic from what was said by James.
How are these even allowed to apply for such a post, the Church in this country is very sick at the moment we must pray more.
We are left with Prof. Lewis Ayres simply because the others are so obviously servants of the devil, but I must say he was far from convincing either, more questions would need to be asked I would say.
The Church should not be ashamed to reject them all if none are suitably orthodox, this is too important a position to just give to anyone.
Then again the priesthood is even more important and the two worst candidates seem to have managed to enter that!
I would agree with Father that Prof. Lewis Ayres is the best choice.
From what Volpius Leonius says in his comment, Prof Ayres appears not to have given a very good account of himself. But this is an academic post and he does have a reputation for intellectual coherence.
Why do I suspect in my cynical way the post will go to a dissident ?
"Why do I suspect in my cynical way the post will go to a dissident ?"
Because of past experience I would imagine.
I am uneasy about this post. Secular universities really should not be appointing academic posts which demand a 'faith test' (presumably a condition of funding). Imagine if scientology offered sufficient funding for a professor of applied religious philosophy for which the postholder had to be a practising scientologist. Would Durham accept the funding and so compromise its academic principles?
Anonymous you make an interesting point. I wonder whether the post needs to be occupied by a practising Catholic. It is for the study of Catholic theology and a person could have great knowledge of the subject without even being a Catholic I imagine. I think the worry expressed in the comments is that some of the candidates appear to have had an unorthodox view of what Catholicism is. Catholic theology can be studied in a secular, academic context as a an important phenomenom.
Very true, and an issue that was raised apparently, though I don't know what conclusions were drawn. Theology is an odd and tricky department in this respect - there is a Canon Chair, after all, is there not? As someone with instinctive sympathy for the first few positions above, I think I would prefer to see a non-Catholic in the post above, rather than a 'dissident' Catholic.
Yes, there is a chair reserved for an Anglican - not sure what the official title is. With regard to the Bede chair, I believe the contract says the holder is also to act as an advisor to the Bishop. This would present obvious difficulties for a non-Catholic.
One of the candidates accused of a hermeneutics of discontinuity is on the Vatican's own International Theological Commission. Perhaps instead of worrying about Durham we should be worrying about Rome?
Fr Joseph O`Leary has been giving Father Blake a hard time over at https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=31069882&postID=8696619164640080504, Father Blake rightly called him a heretic, O'Leary didn'ttake to kindly to it even though he is. You can read exactly what he said on his blog:
He's very proud of himself so it seems.
I don't think I gave Fr Blake a hard time. I scolded him, rightly I think, for calling Anglicans heretics. I also challenged him to read my paper, now published at josephsoleary.typepad.com and substantiate his criticisms. You are also invited to do so. JSOL
Is this what counts as giving someone a "hard time"? I did not know heresy-hunters were so sensitive:
"Fr Ray Blake of Brighton, who apparently heard the above talk, states on his website: "O'Leary is a heretic". He is welcome to give a reasoned justification of this charge here, if he can spare the time. The only basis he gives in his website is that I urge Roman Catholics to learn from Anglicans about improving liturgical and scriptural culture. Fr Blake calls Anglicans "heretics", which is very much against the spirit of the Council."
Fr Blake has withdrawn his remark, on his website, so I also withdraw mine. JSOL
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