Catholic News Service Disses Pope
Christopher Blosser reports at the Benedict in America blog that Catholic News Service, the official news arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, gave the Pope an "official" send-off by interviewing students at one of the country's most liberal PROTESTANT seminaries in "Theology students extol pope's pastoral gifts but say change unlikely":
NEW YORK (CNS) -- Catholic students at one of New York City's most prominent schools of theology said Pope Benedict XVI's visit did not soften some of their concerns about his papacy and the future of the U.S. Catholic Church.
The students at Union Theological Seminary, a nondenominational graduate school of theology with Protestant roots and a home for Catholic academics who have run afoul of the Vatican, praised Pope Benedict's pastoral gifts and his ability to energize the Catholic faithful.
But they also said the visit will not lead to what they feel are much-needed reforms within the church and expressed concern that the U.S. church's current and future needs are not likely to be addressed any time soon.
Of the current five full-time Catholic faculty members at Union, three are women. Union's current Catholic faculty includes Jesuit Father Roger Haight, whose book, "Jesus Symbol of God," was sharply criticized by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when it was headed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict. The Vatican has banned Father Haight from teaching at a Catholic institution.
Another Roman Catholic theologian who has had trouble with the Vatican is Paul F. Knitter, currently Union's Paul Tillich professor of theology, world religions and culture.
Kirk told Catholic News Service April 20 that Union was lucky to have scholars like Father Haight and Knitter on the faculty, adding that the student view of Pope Benedict at Union is colored in large part by the pope's relationship with them, with figures like Father Sobrino and by Pope Benedict's past criticism of liberation theology.
[Read Chris' entire post]