Fr Haight Cannot Teach Catholic Thology


#1

I sam posting this notice in this forum because some of the clear statements of the Vatican on what is wrong with his theology and thus he can no longer call himself a “Catholic theologian”;

After a five-year investigation, the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation said it had found “serious doctrinal errors” in the work of U.S. Jesuit theologian Father Roger Haight and forbade him to teach as a Catholic theologian.

The Vatican’s critique focused on Father Haight’s 1999 book, “Jesus Symbol of God,” which explored the themes of Christ’s divinity, the resurrection, the Trinity and salvation for non-Christians.

A lengthy notification summing up the investigation’s conclusions was published by the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, in its Feb. 7-8 edition. The notification, dated Dec. 13, was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; a note said Pope John Paul II had approved the notification and ordered its publication.

The doctrinal congregation said Father Haight’s book contained “serious doctrinal errors against the Catholic and divine faith of the church.”

“As a consequence, the author is forbidden to teach Catholic theology until his positions have been rectified in such a way as to be in full conformity with the doctrine of the church,” the notification said.

Contacted by telephone in New York, Father Haight said, “I’m not going to comment at all” on the Vatican document.

The notification said Father Haight’s assertion that Catholic theology must be “in dialogue” with the modern world leads him to downplay or deny central teachings of the church, including that:

– The Word of God existed from all eternity.

– The Word was made flesh in Jesus Christ.

– Jesus was divine.

– Salvation is offered to all humanity through Jesus.

– The Son and the Spirit are separate persons within the Trinity, not simply “metaphors” for actions of the one God.

The congregation also criticized Father Haight’s assertion that “because of modern pluralistic consciousness,” one cannot continue to affirm that Christianity is a superior religion or that Christ is the centerpiece of God’s plan for salvation.

catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0500764.htm


#2

Another down, many more to go.

PF


#3

Very interesting…

I read Jesus: Symbol of God last year… I enjoyed it very much (for its scholarship) but I must admit it raised questions in my mind on exactly what the doctrinal parameters of the Catholic Church were… That was all before I entered RCIA…

The book was a “challenging read” to say the least but it spoke to certain issues I was dealing with at the time. The five points that you cited did indeed “stick out” as red flags from the standpoint of “traditional orthodoxy”.

My personal “feeling” is that the book is still valuable from an educational standpoint (although I’m all about submitting to the wisdom of the Holy Father & Ratzinger). I will definitely check out the “catholicnews” link!

I wonder how this ruling impacts his previous theological work… Have you read any of his other stuff???

Grace & Peace


#4

Quaysman:

All you really need to know. unless you’re a Bishop or a Theologian, is that “he was leading the sheep astray” and “preaching a Gospel different from the one you received”…

[quote=quaysman]Very interesting…

I read Jesus: Symbol of God last year… I enjoyed it very much (for its scholarship) but I must admit it raised questions in my mind on exactly what the doctrinal parameters of the Catholic Church were… That was all before I entered RCIA…

The book was a “challenging read” to say the least but it spoke to certain issues I was dealing with at the time. The five points that you cited did indeed “stick out” as red flags from the standpoint of “traditional orthodoxy”.

My personal “feeling” is that the book is still valuable from an educational standpoint (although I’m all about submitting to the wisdom of the Holy Father & Ratzinger). I will definitely check out the “catholicnews” link!

I wonder how this ruling impacts his previous theological work… Have you read any of his other stuff???

Grace & Peace
[/quote]

…You’re better off sticking with the writings of the Fathers, the Creeds of the Church, the Christology of the early Ecumenical Councils, the writings of Pope John Paul II, and an interesting book I’ve recently borrowed from my parish priest, Life of Christ by Archbiship Fulton J. Sheen.

I know that Abp. Sheen and St. John Chrysostom won’t lead you astray.

The Church usually doesn’t declare someone to be in error unless the people in authority believe this person will lead you astry with his teaching. Stick to the people above. Or, if you’re looking for challenging reading, try Hans Urs von Balthazar. He’s the favorite theologian of many in the Vatican and of Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. Th.D., the Provost of Ave Maria University. He’s conservative, but he’s right on when it comes to the teaching of the Church.

May God richly bless you.

Michael


#5

[quote=Traditional Ang]Quaysman:

All you really need to know. unless you’re a Bishop or a Theologian, is that “he was leading the sheep astray” and “preaching a Gospel different from the one you received”…

…You’re better off sticking with the writings of the Fathers, the Creeds of the Church, the Christology of the early Ecumenical Councils, the writings of Pope John Paul II, and an interesting book I’ve recently borrowed from my parish priest, Life of Christ by Archbiship Fulton J. Sheen.

I know that Abp. Sheen and St. John Chrysostom won’t lead you astray.

The Church usually doesn’t declare someone to be in error unless the people in authority believe this person will lead you astry with his teaching. Stick to the people above. Or, if you’re looking for challenging reading, try Hans Urs von Balthazar. He’s the favorite theologian of many in the Vatican and of Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. Th.D., the Provost of Ave Maria University. He’s conservative, but he’s right on when it comes to the teaching of the Church.

May God richly bless you.

Michael
[/quote]

Hey Michael,

Thanks for the advice…

Balthasar’s been “on my list” for a long time… Where would you recommend beginning???

Since I’ve entered RCIA I’ve been reading much more conservative material than Haight. Suffice it to say that my journey from Sabbatarianism to Catholicism was a “long and winding road”…

Being in RCIA, I get handed alot of “popular” stuff to read - which I must admit is helpful. I’ve also tried to follow the advice of our “very holy priest” (we’re so blessed) and read Lumen Gentium along with some things by John Paul II (who I absolutely love). Augustine’s Confessions is one of his big recommendations (which you may have seen from my other posts that I’m reading for Lent - you don’t know of a nice “annotated” version do you???)…

The Trinity/Christology was a big factor in leading me to the Catholic Church (along w/ Sola Scriptura, Canon, etc) and I was reading everything I could get my hands on for a while on that subject. I’m taking a “little break” from that right at the moment…

So many books, so little time…

So what exactly IS a Traditional Anglican anyway (I never pass up an opportunity to get it straight from the horse’s mouth)???

(I “flirted” very briefly w/ the Episcopalian Church - about the time I was reading Haight, actually - and the Anglicans - my last stop before the Catholic Church - just seems to be so much chaos going on in your denomination at the moment)

But, alas, even “night owls” have to go to bed sometime, more on all of this later - this “vampire” has to find his coffin…

[And I am curious to get some input from someone who’s also read Haight]

Your brother in Christ,

quaysman


#6

Be prepared for the pity act. They will claim he has been a faithful priest all his life, that is very hurt by this injustice, and that they didn’t understand the nuances of his work ie. he never actually taught heresy. I have heard it all before. Theologians can press the envelope without falling into error. If you end up explaining away our faith rather then explaining it then it should be a red flag.


#7

The sum total of my knowledge of theology probably should embarass me, but it doesn’t. I read the articles in NCR about this matter, and I just simply wonder what Haight and others like him think they’re doing when they knowingly contradict Church teachings.

Of course, to theologians, these matters are never settled and there’s always something to be hashed out. But, I’m just corny enough to think that if Haight wants to teach some other religion, then why doesn’t he just make a clean break and do so? Why are so many theologians trying to reform Catholic theology to the “post-modern view”?

We see so much emphasis NOT on evangelizing non-Catholics, but on tinkering with what it means to be Catholic and what the Church is. I hope it does offend some people, because that sort of thing is the anti-Christ in my span of living. Yes, quite frankly, I did make up my mind a long time ago…


#8

[quote=BayCityRickL]The sum total of my knowledge of theology probably should embarass me, but it doesn’t. I read the articles in NCR about this matter, and I just simply wonder what Haight and others like him think they’re doing when they knowingly contradict Church teachings.
[/quote]

It is called “intellectual arrogance” and is reminiscent of one of the first stories we read in Scripture about those who would not serve and so were cast down.

Some of these people have an agenda for the church - again another symptom of the same disease. The long and short of the human side of it is that without being able to use the word “Catholic”, without being able to say they are the David fighting the goliath of an oppressive and patriarchal organization, they are as sand upon the wind – who would be listening to them without that word Catholic tangled up in the story?

Pride is not one of the capital sins for no reason and yes, it does indeed lead to many others.


#9

[quote=BayCityRickL]The sum total of my knowledge of theology probably should embarass me, but it doesn’t. I read the articles in NCR about this matter, and I just simply wonder what Haight and others like him think they’re doing when they knowingly contradict Church teachings.

Of course, to theologians, these matters are never settled and there’s always something to be hashed out. But, I’m just corny enough to think that if Haight wants to teach some other religion, then why doesn’t he just make a clean break and do so? Why are so many theologians trying to reform Catholic theology to the “post-modern view”?

We see so much emphasis NOT on evangelizing non-Catholics, but on tinkering with what it means to be Catholic and what the Church is. I hope it does offend some people, because that sort of thing is the anti-Christ in my span of living. Yes, quite frankly, I did make up my mind a long time ago…
[/quote]


Good post my friend.


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