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German bishops respond to statement by dissenting theologians

Catholic World News - February 09, 2011

Father Hans Langendörfer, SJ, the secretary of the German bishops’ conference, has responded to a recent statement by over 140 German theologians calling for changes in Catholic doctrine and discipline.

“In their memorandum, many professors of Catholic theology wish to contribute to the conversation about the future of faith and the Church in Germany,” Father Langlois said. The priest noted that bishops and theologians have been engaged in “beneficial” structured dialogue for 20 years and that the theologians’ memorandum includes “ideas often discussed together.”

“In a number of issues, the memorandum is in tension with theological beliefs and Church determinations of a highly binding nature,” he continued. “The relevant issues require urgent further clarification.”

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  • Posted by: filioque - Feb. 09, 2011 6:22 PM ET USA

    The bishops and theologians have been in a "structured dialogue" for 20 years? That's almost as bad as the futile Anglican-Roman Catholics confabs. Pray, what is it the bishops think they have to learn from these theologians? Are they negotiating over press releases? Please note that theologians are not part of the teaching authority of the Church. They work for the Church and are subservient to the Magisterium. They can contribute to the development of doctrine, but not determine it.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Feb. 09, 2011 10:38 AM ET USA

    "Church determinations of a highly binding nature" - yep, that will sway them, a pure appeal to authority. The teachings are of a "highly binding nature" because they are TRUE, i.e., they accurately reflect the mind of Christ. It's a bit like saying the axioms of Geometry are not to be challenged because they are of a "highly binding nature".

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Feb. 09, 2011 7:50 AM ET USA

    This is frankly nonsense.Where do the German bishops detect that these dissident theologians want to contribute to the conversation about the future of faith/Church in Germany? They want to change the faith/Church in Germany according to their own beliefs. A milk toast response that will only embolden the heterodox.

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