In his dissent with the Roman Catholic Church, Father Curran (Editorial Pages, Oct. 16), "Theological Dissent Brings New Truths to Catholicism," basically argues that Catholic truth can in some sense be established through a democratic process.
In Curran's view, the line between democracy and hierarchy (i.e. between dissent and authority) can be based on a distinction between what he calls "infallible" versus "non-infallible" church teaching.
Curran's attempt to explain this distinction, however, does not quite succeed. He defines non-infallible teaching as that which "cannot offer a certitude that excludes the possibility of error." It is certain, Curran cites as an example, that the Christian must be "faithful, hopeful, just, and chaste," but it is uncertain "what is just, or faithful, or chaste"--reasoning that is circular, to say the least.
Although Curran insists that the substance of his dissent does not involve matters at the "core of faith," the fruit of his logic suggests that a line between core of faith and what one presumes could be called meat of reason, doesn't even exist!