Monday, May 11, 2015

1968: The Year of Revolution in American Catholic Education

Fr. Peter Mitchell's book The Coup at Catholic University: The 1968 Revolution in American Catholic Education, recently published by Ignatius Press, is a detailed studied of revolutionary events that took place in the late Sixties at Catholic University of America. The revolution was led by Fr. Charles Curran, professor of Theology at CUA, who with more than 500 theologians signed a “Statement of Dissent” declaring that Catholics were not bound in conscience to follow the Church's teaching in Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae.

The battle at Catholic University was focused on the nature, purpose, and limits of academic freedom. Curran and other dissenting theologians insisted they should be free to teach as they wished, without direction or oversight from the authority of the bishops. The bishops, in turn, said that the American tradition of religious freedom guaranteed the right of religiously-affiliated schools to require professors to teach in accord with the authority of their church. Fr. Mitchell used never-before published material from the personal papers of the key players to tell the inside story of the conflict at CUA; his account begins with the 1967 faculty-led strike in support of Curran.  (more...)

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