At a time of considerable disagreement over how the church’s teaching authority is being exercised, this is truly an important book.
Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, America magazine
This impressive collection offers new perspectives on the sometimes testy relationship between theologians and bishops as they exercise their shared responsibility to make the time-honored truth of the Gospel speak anew to every generation. Any reader will be grateful for the editor’s inclusion of the central documents concerning the recent controversy surrounding Professor Elizabeth Johnson’s book Quest for the Living God.
John E. Thiel
Professor of Religious Studies
President, Catholic Theological Society of America
Those of us concerned with the future of Catholic theology are deeply grateful to the authors of the essays in this book. With uncommon scholarship and clarity they have shown where the relationships between theologians and the episcopal teaching office have gone wrong---Elizabeth Johnson's case being the latest tragic illustration. With equally uncommon depth and insight they have also charted helpful ways to improve the collaboration between the two magisteria. The book should be required reading to restart a fruitful conversation on the nature of theology and the role of the episcopal magisterium within it.
Dr. Peter C. Phan
The Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought
When the Magisterium Intervenes is a hard-hitting book that places the exchanges between Elizabeth Johnson and the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine in an historical and analytical context. The anguish and exasperation that seep through the careful academic work express mainlythough not exclusivelythe progressive theologians’ side of things and signal that any irenic phase of this discussion remains in the future. Still, Gaillardetz and this team of eminent experts consistently give earnest voice to the hope that authoritative processes and relationships in the Catholic Church will come to reflect more fully Vatican II’s vision of communion and dialogue.
Dennis M. Doyle
Professor of Religious Studies
University of Dayton
The Catholic Church is the only church with a vast and vibrant international academy of theologians. It is also perhaps the only church that takes theology so seriously that it has offices that question, judge, and even reject the work of some of these theologians. But the manner in which this occurs, and the damaging consequences for theologians as persons and for the life of the Church, raise grave ethical and religious questions as well as debates over the nature of theology itself. Richard Gaillardetz has pulled together a must-read for all who are concerned about the fate of the Church’s contemporary life, its credible proclamation of the Gospel, and the future of Catholic theology.
Paul Crowley, SJ, Jesuit Community Professor, Santa Clara University
These fine essays by major Catholic ecclesiologists shine the bright light of informed common sense upon the vexed question of when and how the teaching authority of the church should insert itself into theological debates. In an age when magisterial oversight is more notable for its insistence on its own prerogatives than it is for its sensitivity to the way doctrine develops, this reasoned and moderate articulation of how it is the responsibility of the whole Church to find the way to fuller possession of God’s truth could not be more timely. The concluding section on the Elizabeth Johnson affair’ stands as a sad exemplar of the distance we still have to travel.
Paul Lakeland, Aloysius P. Kelley SJ Professor of Catholic Studies, Director, Center for Catholic Studies, Fairfield University
Richard R. Gaillardetz is the Joseph McCarthy Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College. He holds a PhD in systematic theology from the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of seven previous books, including By What Authority? A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful (2003) and (with Catherine E. Clifford) Keys to the Council: Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II (2012), both from Liturgical Press. He is presently the vice-president of the Catholic Theological Society of America.