Thursday, 21 June 2007

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Over one hundred German theologians have expressed support for Peter Hünermann’s recent call for an “intelligent restructuring” of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Hünermann observes that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “has preserved the structure of a censor’s office, which it had at the beginning of the modern era.” And he notes: “Today, it’s necessary to elaborate the ratio fidei in a very complex culture, with its grave social, scientific and human problems. This presents a degree of complexity that a censor’s office according to old models is absolutely not capable of handling, even on an organizational and technical level.” He is, of course, exactly right.

In 1968, Ratzinger himself signed the Nijmegen Declaration – a similar call for reform, which stated that the teaching office of the pope “cannot and must not supersede, hamper and impede the teaching task of theologians as scholars.”

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