Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Fr John Navone: "Are there any Catholic Theologians?"

This morning I popped into the Daniel Mannix Library to look up an article in the January 2006 edition of the English Dominican journal “New Blackfriars” for my friend, the Lutheran pastor of Geelong, Dr. Adam Cooper. His Durham University thesis (“The Body in St. Maximus the Confessor: Holy Flesh, Wholly Deified”) had received a favourable mention in the first article in this edition.

The article immediately after this however caught my eye. It was entitled “
Are there any Catholic Theologians?” and was written by Jesuit Father John Navone of the Gregorian University in Rome.

In this article, Fr Navone cobbles together a bunch of great stuff, including


A strange assortment indeed. What is the thrust of Fr Navone’s commentary? That Catholicity implies both fullness and purity, while the mission of the Church must be carried out with a simultaneous commitment to Love and Truth (I think B16 would concur).

Specifically he says:

  • “The liberal-conservative rift that undermines the Church’s unity and mission can, at least in part, be explained by a failure to integrate the apostolic and the Catholic aspects of our ecclesial identity and the objective and subjective aspects of the human person.”

  • “A new apologetics in a new evangelisation will, following Christ’s example, combine truth with charity. Apologists need both clear minds and open hearts.”

  • “Catholic Christianity adheres to the fullness of the given, cleaves to God’s Yes in Christ, and rejects all that stands in opposition to him. Catholicity therefore implies both fullness and purity. Any version of Christianity that is not Catholic is to that extent deficient.”

So, hands up if there are any Catholic theologians out there!

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