Me thinks not.
Fr Dresser’s “Letter of Apology” published on Cathnews seems just to dig the whole deeper. Of course he is sorry for the pain which he caused, but it is hard to see how to square his statements in this letter with his statements in the original document and in his radio interview.
At the outset I want to reaffirm my belief in the Divinity of Jesus, the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Jesus. This affirmation is entirely unsolicited and comes from the heart of a person who has cherished his Catholic religion from childhood and has no reason to repudiate or disparage its core tenets.
That is well and good, but the problem is that we no longer trust what he means when he says he believes in these three core doctrines.
On the divinity of Jesus:
“This whole matter regarding Jesus being God … not only does violence to my own intelligence, but must be a sticking point for millions of people trying to make some kind of sense of the Christian religion … No human being can ever be God, and Jesus was a human being. It is as simple as that.” (God is Big. Real Big)
On the Virgin Birth:
“I have no problems with the, with the virgin birth, provided we understand exactly how this concept came about and why it had to come about… what happened, of course, was that in the Council of Nicea it was basically brought about because of a political situation which developed. It came about at the Council of Nicea that Jesus was defined as being a divine person with a human and a divine nature. …And, in order to explain the fact that he was a divine person, something had to be done regarding his birth. …he had to have some sort of divine intervention in his birth, so there arrived, or there, there came about this doctrine of the virgin birth.” (Livenews interview)
I think you can forgive the interviewer for translating this as “they tabloided it up”.
On the Resurrection:
“I think resurrection goes far beyond any kind of bodily resuscitation kind of idea. And I think this is born out in the New Testament. I think that Resurrection means that Jesus was alive and well in the minds and in the community, of his followers. I think that’s what resurrection means.”
(Livenews interview). And so, just to clarify, Father, could you tell us whether you believe the tomb was empty on Easter Sunday or not? Might I suggest that Fr Dresser just have a peek at the Holy Father’s most recent General Audience on the subject?
It is all very well to feel saddened about offending people’s simple faith, but what do you expect when you start publically saying things that are quite obviously not the full deal when it comes to Catholic orthodoxy? As I said in a combox below, sometimes even popular Catholicism gets it more right than the theologians.