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Vatican City – An American Catholic theologian censured by the Vatican for “grave doctrinal errors” has been told to cease teaching about the nature and identity of Jesus Christ.
The Rev. Roger Haight, a Jesuit, has been asked by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic Church’s highest doctrinal authority, not to teach Christology at any institution, even one unaffiliated with the church.
The news was confirmed to Catholic News Service on Monday (Jan. 5) by the Rev. Giuseppe Bellucci, chief spokesman in Rome for the Society of Jesus, as the Jesuits — the church’s largest religious order — are known.
Haight, 72, has been forbidden to teach theology at Catholic universities since 2005, when the congregation denounced his book
“Jesus: Symbol of God” for casting doubt on the reality of Christ’s divinity, resurrection, and unique role as the savior of all humanity.
At that time, the congregation was headed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
A former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Haight is currently a scholar in residence at Union Theological Seminary, a nondenominational graduate school in New York City.
Bellucci, the Jesuit spokesman, characterized the congregation’s move as a “suspension,” rather than a “definitive” prohibition, and noted that Haight could continue to teach on subjects other than Christology.
A panel of Jesuit theologians is working with Haight to help him “clarify his positions,” Bellucci said.
The Vatican in recent years has censured several Jesuit theologians for deviations from orthodoxy on such matters as the uniqueness of the Catholic Church and the compatibility of Christianity with the teachings of Karl Marx.
By Francis X. Rocca
Religion News Service
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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