Vatican critique of book confuses catechesis, theology, CTSA board says
Published: June 8, 2012
ST. LOUIS (CNS) -- The Vatican "inappropriately conflates the distinctive tasks of catechesis and theology" in its criticism of the 2006 book "Just Love" by Mercy Sister Margaret Farley, according to the board of directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America. The board, meeting in St. Louis, said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's assertion in a June 4 notification that many of the positions taken by Sister Farley are contrary to Catholic teaching is "simply factual. In our judgment, however, Professor Farley's purpose in her book is to raise and explore questions of keen concern to the faithful of the church," the board said in a one-page statement. "Doing so is one very legitimate way of engaging in theological inquiry that has been practiced throughout the Catholic tradition." The congregation said Sister Farley's book contains "erroneous propositions" on homosexual acts, same-sex marriage, masturbation and remarriage after divorce that could cause confusion and "grave harm to the faithful." It said the book "is not in conformity with the teaching of the church" and "cannot be used as a valid expression of Catholic teaching, either in counseling and formation, or in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue." The June 7 CTSA statement was signed by president John E. Thiel of Fairfield University in Connecticut, president-elect Susan A. Ross of Loyola University in Chicago and past president Mary Ann Hinsdale of Boston College, as well as seven other board members.
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