The Insights eNewsletter
Theology Today: Sorting out the Mess
First appeared on 03/09/2012. Insights is also available to members via email delivery.
The Pope has used the Vatican's International Theological Commission in recent years to offer insights on difficult theological questions, and on the nature of theology as a whole. In a new document released this week, the Commission continues its study with Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria.
Clearly Catholic theology has become fragmented and often unfaithful over the past fifty years. As the Commission explains: “The present text seeks to identify distinctive family traits of Catholic theology. It considers basic perspectives and principles...and offers criteria by which...theologies may...be recognised as authentically Catholic, and as participating in the Catholic Church’s mission.” This task is much-needed.
A related problem, which also mutes or obscures the authentic mission of the Church, is the propensity of bishops in some countries to issue statements on everything under the sun, whether there can be an official Catholic position on the topic or not. Phil Lawler illustrates and condemns this baleful tendency in The noise-to-signal ratio at the USCCB.
Catholic novelists, on the other hand, have greater scope for exploring all the dimensions of life and growth without obscuring anything essential. This performs another kind of service to the Church. I briefly call attention two worthwhile novelists in A More Contemporary Sigrid Undset and Roger Dubin: A Novelist in our Ranks.... [more content for subscribers]