Monday, April 18, 2011

Catching up on Theologians in Trouble

Dr. Mary Hunt, a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) and writer at Religion Dispatches, identifies some Catholic theologians in trouble.

Elizabeth Johnson, a distinguished theology professor at Fordham University, received a lot of media attention after her book, Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God (Continuum 2007) was condemned by the U.S. Catholic bishops because it “contaminates the traditional Catholic understanding of God.”  More interesting than their conclusion was their decision not to tell Professor Johnson that she was under investigation or to ask her questions about her book before issuing their condemnation. This appears to violate the bishops' own norms for dealing with theologians.

Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois was excommunicated in 2008 for advocating women's ordination and now is being ousted from his religious order unless he recants his support for women's ordination.

Meanwhile 55 of 188 dioceses risk being out of compliance with the bishops' national policy to prevent sexual abuse of children.

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