VATICAN EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER PERUVIAN THEOLOGIAN

     LIMA (CWN) - The Archdiocese of Lima, Peru announced last week that Catholic theologian Father Gustavo Gutierrez, one of the authors of Latin American liberation theology, is still under scrutiny by the Vatican Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and will need to make further corrections to his theological writings.

      According to the announcement, early in January, Cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora of Lima received a letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of the CDF "expressing concern for the delay in resolving" Father Gutierrez' clarifications of his theology. A copy of the letter addressed to Cardinal Vargas Alzamora was sent to Bishop Ramon Gurruchaga, head of the Commission of Faith at the Peruvian Bishops' Conference. The exact content of the letter has not been made public, but according to sources in the Archdiocese of Lima, the document reminds the bishops that the Gutierrez "case" cannot be considered closed or resolved, and asks them to make Peruvian Catholics aware of this in order to "avoid further confusion."

      The letter also says that the partial corrections made by Father Gutierrez to his main book "A Theology of Liberation" has not been sufficiently distributed and published, despite the agreement made with the Archdiocese of Lima in 1991. At the time, Father Gutierrez agreed that he would write a separate article containing corrections to the propositions in his books, especially "A Theology of Liberation" and "Historical Power of the Poor." According to the agreements, the wide distribution of the article would ensure a "new key for the interpretation" of Gutierrez' books. The article was written in 1991, but it is not well known among Gutierrez' readers.

      The CDF also said that Gutierrez has not yet resolved "the problem of his ecclesiology, which still requires further clarification," and also expressed "negative surprise" at Father Gutierrez' support for Sri Lankan theologian Father Tissa Balasuriya who was excommunicated by the Vatican last year for refusing to recant erroneous teachings. The penalty was lifted early this year after he signed the Creed of Pope Paul VI and agreed to change his writings.

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February 5, 1998 volume 9, no. 26          DAILY CATHOLIC

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