Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Theologian: Church doctrine must be life-giving, not oppressive

Theologian: Church doctrine must be life-giving, not oppressive
[Editor’s Note: Richard Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College. He is the author of By What Authority? Foundations for Understanding Authority in the Church; the revised edition was just released by Liturgical Press, and An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism. Last month he was awarded the Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence by Barry University. He spoke to Charles Camosy.]

Camosy: If you were to boil down your lecture into a 2-3 sentence thesis, what might it be?
Gaillardetz: One of the more daunting challenges facing the Church today comes from many young adults, in particular, for whom the idea of adhering to a normative religious tradition appears both unnecessary and irrelevant to their lives. The Church needs to offer an account of its tradition that makes evident the authentic human flourishing that tradition makes possible while affirming the value of questioning, doubt and disagreement. Such an account might build on the biblical metaphor of Jacob’s wrestling with an angel in the book of Genesis to propose what it might mean to “wrestle “with the Church’s normative tradition.