Monday 22 June 2020

Catholic chaplain at MIT sacked after he questioned whether George Floyd died because of racism

From the New Boston Post quoted in an article by Rod Dreher.

The Catholic chaplain has been forced out at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology because of an email message he sent Catholic students that questioned whether George Floyd died because of racism and stated that Floyd did not live a virtuous life.

Father Daniel Moloney, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, was asked to resign last week, according to the archdiocese.

“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, most people in the country have framed this as an act of racism. I don’t think we know that. Many people have claimed that racism is a major problem in police forces. I don’t think we know that,” Moloney wrote in an email message to the MIT Catholic Community, according to a news story published Tuesday night in The Boston Globe.

Moloney, according to the Globe story of Tuesday, June 16, wrote that Floyd should not have been killed by a police officer in Minnesota, but also stated that Floyd “had not lived a virtuous life” and that police “deal with dangerous and bad people all the time, and that often hardens them.”
Some students complained to university administrators, including the university’s Bias Response Team.

University officials contacted the Archdiocese of Boston, which quickly sought Moloney’s resignation.
This is much shocking even than the case two years ago of the Catholic Chaplain at the University of Glasgow who was removed by the University after he held a novena in his parish church at a parishioner's request, “in reparation” after a homosexual pride march. Not a word was said in his defence by his Archbishop or colleagues but he was fired by the University acting unilaterally, not with the complicity of the Church. 

This time the Church itself removed a good priest, though at the instigation of the M.I.T.

A pedant writes: Rod Dreher says that we don’t know that Officer Chauvin acted out of racism 

but we can know for sure, though, is that Chauvin’s act was evil. 

I don't think that acts are evil. Evil, as the word is usually used at any rate, implies evil intent, either the intent of men or of demonic forces. Thoughts and intentions are often evil. If a man is struck dead by by lightning or by an object inadvertently falling from a great height these things are not evil. The first is what insurance companies call an act of God, the latter an accident. A homicide committed by a madman is not evil either - he cannot be blamed for it. 

I suppose one can use the word evil in an old fashioned sense, as when we say of something 'High unemployment is an avoidable [or unavoidable] evil'. I suspect, though, that Mr Dreher is trying to protect himself from accusations of racism.

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