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Curran Faces Forfeiture of Priestly Duties

August 21, 1986|Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — Father Charles Curran, the U.S. theologian censured for his liberal views on sexual issues, could face further punishment if he continues to defy the church, a Vatican spokesman said today.

Another Vatican official said further "housecleaning" might be ordered when two Vatican-appointed panels complete a review of Roman Catholic clergy and religious institutions in the United States.

Curran, who has been stripped of his right to teach Roman Catholic theology, could also lose the right to perform his duties as a priest, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro said.

"The best thing for him to do now is to reflect and, hopefully, change his mind," Navarro told the Associated Press in an interview.

In making the announcement on Tuesday, the Vatican said the censure was personally approved by Pope John Paul II.

Curran, who has taught moral theology for 20 years at the Catholic University in Washington, told a news conference Wednesday that he would not change his positions and would fight to remain a professor. (Story, Page 14.)

Despite repeated Vatican criticism, Curran has taken issue with the church's strict opposition to artificial birth control, abortion, divorce and homosexual acts.

Another Vatican source, who spoke on condition that he not be named, said he expects "corrective steps" in the U.S. church institutions after two Vatican-named commissions finish their work.

One reviewing the activities of priests and nuns in the United States is supposed to report to the Vatican in October. The second, looking into the quality of Catholic education at the college level, is scheduled to finish by early 1988.

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