ANTHONY J. FIGUEIREDO, THE MAGISTERIUM-THEOLOGY RELATIONSHIP. Contemporary Theological Conceptions in the Light of Universal Church Teaching since 1835 and the Pronouncements of the Bishops of the United States
Since Pope John Paul II has stated that «a correct rapport between magisterium and theologians is a decisive factor for the life of the Church and for the testimony that all believers in Christ are called to give to the world», this study presents contemporary theological conceptions of the magisterium-theology relationship in the United States as found in the writings of «classical» theologians, and three «elder statesmen» of theology: Avery Cardinal Dulles, Fr. Francis Sullivan, and the late Fr. Richard McCormick. It also examines the pronouncements of the U.S. Bishops, both as a Conference and as individuals, on this theme.
The presentation reflects on the many issues raised by the contemporary discussion within the framework of the development in terminology and the practice of the magisterium since 1835, when «magisterium» entered ecclesiastical language in its current usage. It offers an historical and systematic analysis of magisterial documents from that time through to the present day, addressing such important issues as the relationship between theological reasoning and magisterial statement, dissent, the natural moral law, the «grades» of Church teaching and the «conditioning» of dogma. The study identifies and discusses areas of difficulty, points out internal contradictions, offers possible solutions, suggests questions in need of further reflection, and determines the definitive foundation for a correct rapport between magisterium and theologians.
ANTHONY J. FIGUEIREDO, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, U.S.A.. After a career in international banking in England, he entered the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Newark. Ordained in 1994, he served as a missionary in the Baltic Lands, and then as secretary to the Archbishop of Newark. In his four years in Rome, he was awarded a licence in Spiritual Theology from the Angelicum University, and a licence and a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from the Gregorian University, all summa cum laude. He is currently part of the Faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary and the School of Theology of Seton Hall University, Archdiocese of Newark.
(C) PUG 2004