I noticed a story from Poland picked up by CNS, but so far ignored by Zenit. It seems a Polish theologian, Father Waclaw Hryniewicz has angered the CDF by a critique of the congregation’s July 2007 document responding to “questions” on church teaching touching on Church and ecumenical issues. The theologian faces censure not only for disagreeing with the CDF, but for the tone of his September 2007 article. I cannot find the piece, so if anyone has a link, I’ll add it to this post.
One might think that devotion to the truth of theology is foremost in the minds of the CDF. Not according to their complaint. According to CNS:
The congregation “deplored above all” Father Hryniewicz’s “gratuitous judgment that the Roman Curia is going back to the old ecclesiology and ecumenical theology before Vatican II” and “wishing to have a monopoly of the truth.”
Obviously, there’s a struggle for the truth here. Is Father Hryniewicz correct in stating that non-Catholics have been “profoundly hurt” by the document, as he says? That was my experience in Kansas City last year. Catechumenate directors all over the city reported smaller-than-usual inquiry groups last Fall. Cynics might not think so, but non-Catholics do pay close attention to what Catholics do and say.
If a person claims problems with the CDF is that really a matter for the CDF itself or some other body of church governance? Father Hryniewicz’s own comments in the aftermath of the CDF demand he recant and his own refusal to do so:
I wrote my comments in consonance with my own conscience.
You may be sure in the future I will not comment on any documents of the CDF. I have been sufficiently discouraged by the present experience.
A few of my comments:
Does political criticism of a curial department fall under the management of “doctrine of faith?” It wouldn’t seem so to me.
The CDF seems to be going head-to-head in many areas with other curial departments, the CDWDS, ecumenism. One can see how different departments in any human organization can’t help but butt heads from time to time. When another theologian or department complains, should that conflict be resolved by the one of the butters, or is this an instance in which leadership outside the groups is needed?