Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic World News

Catholic Theological Society leaders question bishops' caution on theologian Johnson

April 11, 2011

Directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) have joined in a message questioning the US Catholic bishops for their criticism of a book by a former CTSA president.

In March the doctrine committee of the US bishops' conference released a caution on the book Quest for the Living God, by Sister Elizabeth Johnson. The bishops found that the book, which is used in many Catholic college classrooms, "contains misrepresentations, ambiguities, and errors that bear upon the faith of the Catholic Church as found in Sacred Scripture, and as it is authentically taught by the Church’s universal magisterium."

In a critical response, the CTSA directors charged that the bishops had not followed their own procedures in reviewing the book, had misunderstood Johnson's arguments, and had cast a shadow on the work of Catholic theologians.


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

  • Posted by: Obregon - Apr. 12, 2011 12:20 AM ET USA

    I often wonder, who is in charge of this Church, the bishops in communion with the Bishop of Rome or the theologians who are supposed to be at the "service" of the Church? Who decides in our Church what is orthodox teaching and what is not, theologians or the magisterium of the Church? For years and years, and years, the CTSA has contradicted official Catholic teaching but has Rome or the American bishops ever corrected them? No such luck!

  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 12, 2011 12:05 AM ET USA

    Sounds like "academic freedom" all over again, this time by those who know our faith better than we do, of course. Looking for the imprimatur needs to be in vogue again, for everyone's sake.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Apr. 12, 2011 12:00 AM ET USA

    The CTSA has an exalted opinion of themselves.

  • Posted by: annedanielson4099 - Apr. 11, 2011 11:57 PM ET USA

    To be clear, if one is on a quest for the Living God and believes one can make an analogy between three random rocks and The Blessed Trinity, one will be LOST from the beginning. One would think that The Catholic Theological Society of America and Sister Elizabeth Johnson would realize that three random rocks that appear not to be of the same substance, are not ordered, do not exist in unity so there can be no communion nor can they be One, in no way help us to understand The Blessed Trinity.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 11, 2011 4:47 PM ET USA

    It looks like the signs of incipient backbone amongst the U.S. Bishops is causing alarm in dissenting quarters. Good; let's hope they have plenty to be alarmed about.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 11, 2011 3:01 PM ET USA

    Of course, the CTSA has never thought that the Magisterium understood Catholicism.