Most Reverend John D'Arcy, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend, recently gave an interview to Thomas Bounds, a student at the University of Notre Dame.
Reflecting on the University, Bishop D’Arcy comments, “The most significant improvement over the past 25 years has been in the Theology department.
“At the last ad limina visit I made with Pope John Paul II in 2004, I had the opportunity to meet with Cardinal Ratzinger [now Pope Benedict XVI]. He said, ‘You have done a wonderful thing for the Church,’ referring to the Theology department. I said, ‘It wasn’t me. It was the Blessed Mother.’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘you’re the instrument.’ I replied, ‘No, not really, it was John Cavadini.’
“He’s such an outstanding scholar, and he has recruited outstanding scholars who are also Catholic. You now have a department that is in close communion with the local bishop and is growing stronger theologically. No one’s freedom was threatened, and yet it has grown closer to the Church and the theology has improved.”
Yes, Fr. Richard McBrien is still the Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology at Notre Dame but, like so many other infamous dissidents, he is also getting pretty long in the tooth. Fr. McBrien will turn 74 this summer and, judging from Bishop D'Arcy's comments, it appears that his influence within ND's theology department has been on the decline for some time.
Full interview here.