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Curran Suspended From Teaching at Catholic Univ.

January 12, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Theologian Charles Curran said today that he has been formally suspended from his teaching duties at Catholic University of America, five months after the Vatican declared him unfit to teach as a Roman Catholic theologian.

Father Curran, who has been under fire from top church officials for years because of relatively liberal views on birth control, divorce, homosexuality and other sexual issues, was suspended just before he would have resumed teaching at the school, which begins a new term Thursday.

He had been on sabbatical all last year as the controversy continued between him and church leaders in Rome and the United States.

Curran said the formal order for his suspension came from Archbishop James Hickey of Washington, who is chancellor of the school, the only Vatican-chartered university in the United States.

After lengthy investigation and efforts at negotiations--which included a trip by Curran to Rome last year--the Vatican told Curran in August that his views would make it impossible for him to continue as a professor of moral theology at the university.

Curran has contended, however, that he is protected by his contract as a tenured professor, and he has also set in motion a faculty-investigation process of the action against him.

"Archbishop Hickey's action at this time is unwarranted and amounts to a prejudgment of the case under consideration," Curran said in a statement today.

He said that Hickey had acted against the advice of the heads of the university's theology department and School of Religious Studies.

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