Haight update: Vatican action “not definitive”

According to a Jesuit spokesman in Rome, via this CNS story, the action against Fr. Roger Haight reported below is “a suspension” rather than a final punishment. The process is ongoing, as a committee of three (unnamed) U.S. Jesuit theologians study Haight’s work, with Haight’s cooperation, the article says:

“He can continue to teach, but not systematic theology connected with Christology,” said Father Giuseppe Bellucci, spokesman for the Jesuits.
“The prohibition against teaching is not a condemnation and is not definitive; a committee of Jesuits, in fact, is studying the position of Father Roger, who is willing to collaborate to clarify his positions,” Father Bellucci told Catholic News Service Jan. 5.
In 2005 the doctrinal congregation published a notification that Father Haight could no longer teach as a Catholic theologian because of “serious doctrinal errors” in his 1999 book, “Jesus Symbol of God.”
While discussions with his Jesuit superiors and between the Jesuits and the doctrinal congregation continued, Father Haight has been teaching at Union Theological Seminary, a nondenominational graduate school in New York.
Several news agencies reported in December that last summer the doctrinal congregation barred Father Haight from theological writing and from teaching anywhere, but Father Bellucci said the reports were inaccurate.
The spokesman described the Vatican action as “a suspension” and added, “Father Haight is an excellent Jesuit and neither he nor anyone else is involved in a fight. The desire is simply to clarify his position.”

I’m not sure what the status of Haight’s teaching faculties is. My understanding is that he still must leave Union, even though I believe the bulk of his teaching was not related to systematic theology.

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posted January 5, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Crack reporting, there. So virtually nothing in your previous report was accurate?

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Rick Landry

posted January 5, 2009 at 5:10 pm

As a Catholic, I find the Vatican response insufficient. As a Christian faith it is unacceptable to have a cleric that does not believe in the basic tenets of our faith, ESPECIALLY believing Jesus is the incarnate Son of God, as outlined in the Apostles Creed and in the Gospels. This is not OPTIONAL information for Christians, it is essential to being a believer in Christ and an emulator of His life. He should be removed with haste.
He should be able to continue in the church but not as a cleric, there are scriptural requirements as well as traditional requirements he does not meet, absent his belief in Jesus Christ.

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