Ideology or Theology?

But the suggestion that Catholic theology is just another ideology roaming the marketplace of ideas ultimately only serves to diminish the transcendent truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is a quote from a comment on the NCR (National Catholic Reporter) blog in an article on the recent election of Archbishop Dolan as the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). John Allen, the respected analyst and commentator with the NCR, has pointed out that with Archbishop Dolan’s election the Bernardin era of the ‘seamless garment’ approach to moral teaching has ended. From now on the ethical and theological teaching of the US Bishops will be carefully aligned with the narrowed perspectives of Vatican views on abortion, same-sex relationships, civil partnerships, and liturgical matters. It is difficult not to see in this narrowed perspective the imposition of a Roman ‘ideology’ on Catholicism in the West. Equally, it is difficult to see how Benedict XVI’s justified critique of ‘aggressive secularisation’ can be carried through in any credible fashion without a broad vision of how the Church enters into dialogue with the secular world. Transcendence and one-dimensional thinking do not sit well together.


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