Bishops introduce new standards for theological inquiry

ncronline.org/news/theology/us-bishops-quietly-adopt-protocols-theological-investigations

I think that this article leaves out one major fact - if the author in question had tried to seek a Nihil Obstat Imprimatur prior to publishing then all of that dialogue would have taken place and the situation would have been avoided. However, what is being missed is that theologians receive their authority to call themselves “Catholic theologians” from the Church if they are operating under the proscribed principles of the Church. Meaning if a theologian takes it upon himself or herself to publish without asking first for review then they certainly do open themselves up to this risk - especially if he or she knows what they are writing is possibly not within the guidelines of Church teaching.

But shouldn’t the theologian in question be able to give an account of themselves to clear up possible ambiguities before being publicly criticized by the Church?

I think they knowingly run that risk when they publicly go against Church teaching when they publish without seeking the Nihil Obstat Imprimatur. When they publish without doing this they are already in a state of public disobedience and I submit they have forfeited that right.

I am not surprised by the comments on the link. It’s fish wrap after all lol.

I am not surprised by this at all, and thought it was the status quo. Given, as others have said, the NO/Imp. process exists these are individuals who are operating outside of that centuries-old process and I fail to understand why they should have “dialogue” when they have bypassed that exact opportunity.

Second, what is going on in those comments? I am flabbergasted. Please, someone, explain to me if that is normal thought process from people you know and I am just sheltered or if there is another explanation.

The bishops were criticized, and justly so, for not following their own rules regarding investigations of theologians. So…they change the rules.

Wait, you mean theologians are no longer going to be able to wrap themselves in the respectability of the church’s cloak unless they actually submit their work to oversight of the bishops? No more “write whatever you like and nobody can say it’s not catholic?”

How refreshing!

As JoanofArc noted, the time in the process for the theologian to clear up any ambiguities is when the work is submitted to the local bishop for an Imprimatur.

If the theologian bypasses this process, and introduces the work into publication without such a review, then the response of the bishops should also be public in nature.

The theologian might see the work as crystal clear, but others might not see it as ambiguous, for example.

How can it be a full investigation if the author of the work isn’t even consulted?

Because again the Nihil Obstat Imprimatur is permission to publish - and a theologian interested in obedience would have applied for one in the first place.

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