Bishops' Committee Reaches Out to Fordham Theology Dept.

From Thomas C. Fox at NCR:

In what appears to be a reconciliatory move by the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine towards church scholars who took issue with the committee’s sharp critique of a book by a prominent Fordham University theologian, the committee executive director has written it never meant to question the “dedication, honor, creativity, or service” of the author.

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After the committee's critique of Sr. Elizabeth Johnson's book,

[180] faculty members signed a statement, dated April 19, defending Johnson as “an esteemed and cherished member of the Fordham community for over two decades.”

...They sent a letter to the committee “to convey our unconditional support for our colleague, Sr. Elizabeth Johnson.” They said they were “dismayed” at the committee’s action and urged the bishops’ conference “to take steps to rectify the lack of respect and consideration” shown to a Catholic scholar “who has given a lifetime of honorable, creative, and generous service to the church, the academy, and the world.”

Responding to these harsh criticisms, Capuchin Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, executive director of the doctrine committee, April 28 addressed a letter to the Department of Theology at Fordham. He said the doctrine committee “takes seriously your concerns.”

The letter assured the faculty that the committee never intended to tarnish Johnson’s reputation or impugn her honor or dedication to the church.

Weinandy stated the doctrine committee “in no way calls into question the dedication, honor, creativity, or service” of Johnson.

Read the rest here.

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Winifred Holloway
6 years 11 months ago
The bishops committee said that Johnson's book "completely undermines the gospel and the faith of those who believe in the gospel."  But, you see, they didn't mean to tarnish her honor, creativity, dedication and a whole bunch of other good stuff.  You say to a Catholic theologian that she  is undermining the gospel and the faith of believers, but hey, don't take it so personal.   

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