I’m going to give you an example of real life application here.
For a project that I’m trying to do, I’m attempting in the complex world to prove that it is possible to divide by zero without using zero in denominator. That is to say I’m going to prove that n x 0 = a. for n not equaling a/0. This would be what I call academic research. One of the principles of academic research is that you do not go “public” (in this case public being the classroom) with any research until what you’ve proven has been scrutinized and you’ve had chance to defend your thesis. You can then go “public” with such research and present your theories to the class.
Certainly it goes this way for any subject, whether, math, english, physics, philosophy, or even Theology. When we get to Theology the public expands to not just classmates, but as well as the pulpit, the congregation assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or a Protestant service, whatever. Your personal research CAN NOT be preached from the pulpit. (Well, at least for Catholics, Protestants, not so sure about). ) For example, many of you are familiar with the “work” of “Fr” Richard McBrien. These are supposed “essays.” on Theology or what not. McBrien is bound to teach the Catholic Faith from the pulpit and in the classroom. His personal opinion is not to get in the way of the transmission of the Catholic Faith.
Where his personal opinion CAN be is in the academic world, that is with fellow colleagues, who are questioning things IN PRIVATE and NOT IN the public eye. Hence, I believe that none of these Theologians articles should be published for the public world, (that’s us). Since i am in the world of academia, I do have a little bit of sympathy (not much granted)…but these characters, Has Kung, Richard McBrien, etc, should not be published in the newspapers for public viewing, but only in academic journals for questioning…
So that leaves the question, isn’t it inevitable that their work will get out in the public eye. (Well, as you’ll notice mine hasn’t, (as I haven’t published it yet), well, yes; but this particular case, they’re not being published as Catholic teaching, but rather in an academic journal, which if these people were smart, this is what they’d do and not put their reputation or faculties at risk.
Hence, they should be punished on the account of stupidity, not just for dissenting view points.
Rant on academic world is over