But there's more to the story. The Boston Herald reported on January 19 that the Cardinal Newman Society will ask Father McBrien's boss, University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, to investigate that column for plagiarism.
You probably know that the Society is a watchdog group that promotes orthodoxy, decency and the right to life on Catholic college campuses.
Between them, the Society and the Herald say they've found nine similarities between Father McBrien's words and a December 11 Boston Globe column by Eileen McNamara as well as Globe news coverage of the December protest about which Father McBrien wrote.
The Herald says Father McBrien credited one sentence but not the other passages in question. It also says Father McBrien "conceded that he took facts from the Globe that he should have credited, but denied committing plagiarism."
One of the "facts" that Father McBrien seems to have taken is columnist Eileen McNamara's claim that pro-lifers miss the Latin Mass and miss Cardinal Law for letting pro-lifers gather at Catholic churches before rescues.
Father McBrien in the past has taken a nasty tone toward the Blessed Virgin Mary, vented his anger at pro-lifers and said the Pope should not canonize then-Blesseds Padre Pio, Josemaria Escriva and Juan Diego, whom he called "bad models for the universal Church." If The Tidings has not dumped him by now, will it do so because of a plagiarism rap, should it stick? Let's not hold our breath.