Saturday, 24 December 2005

Benedict XVI: church and theology

On 1 December, Benedict XVI addressed the International Theological Commission. He had some very profound things to say about the theological task, and about the relationship between faith and theology: “Theology can only result from obedience to the impulse of truth and from love that desires to be ever better acquainted with the one it loves, in this case God himself, whose goodness we recognized in the act of faith.”

He also emphasised the ecclesial context of academic theology: “The revelation of Christ is ... the fundamental normative starting point for theology. Theology must always be exercised in the Church and for the Church, the Body of Christ.... To consider theology a private affair of the theologian is to underestimate its very nature.”

Naturally I have reservations about the Catholic conception of the authority of the magisterium in relation to theology; but I do think that the Holy Father is exactly right in his emphasis on the ecclesial character of theological study.

Justin Nickelsen has the full transcript of the address here.

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