In a USA Today article on the investigation of Fr. Peter Phan.
The process of debating theology can be messy, but better to endure the messiness than stifle thought, said Reese, who was forced to resign as editor of America magazine after it published articles challenging church teaching.
That is true up to a point, but when you start denying or diminishing Christ as the unique and universal savior of the world you can cause real damage and lead people to indifferentism – then something needs to be done.
"If you knew a company where the executive leadership was not on speaking terms with the research division, would you invest in that company?" Reese said. "That’s what we have in the Catholic church today. The hierarchy is very suspicious of the theologians and the theologians are very suspicious of the hierarchy. And that’s a very unhealthy situation."
This is just not true that there exists a hierarchy against theologians mindset. Though there might be a progressive theologians against the magisterium mindset. Fr. Reese seems to think all theologians are in the same camp which is funny since previously in this article he complains about an echo chamber mentality in the Vatican. Just because the theologians he surrounds himself with all align together for the most part he seems to think this is the case with all of them.
If you look at the cases the CDF has taken on over the last 30 years you only find a handful of theologians that were investigated and in many cases problems were rectified without disciplinary action. Besides using Fr. Reese’s example if you had a company with a research department that was saying that the products of other companies were superior or equal to their own – which is what Fr. Phan and some others are doing – would you invest in that company? Fr. Reese is talented with the sound bite and so it is no wonder he frequently shows up in the media.
Notice though how Fr. Reese does not take up any aspects of Fr. Phan’s theology and to defend them. This is understandable since so far Fr. Phan has also not defended himself by answering the questions posed by both the CDF and the Bishop’s conference. But I guess asking theologians to explain themselves is unhealthy.
The Rev. Joseph Fessio, a former doctoral student of Pope Benedict whose publishing house is the primary publisher of the pope’s writings in English, said the Vatican is neither heavy-handed nor close-minded in weighing questionable theology. What often fails to be disclosed, he said, is the long process allowing all sides to be heard.
"It’s important for theologians to talk to each other, reflect and try to reformulate and understand more deeply what the church’s belief is," Fessio said. "But if they move outside the realm of the church as soundly defined, then it’s a sign that they have gone beyond their competence as a theologian."
"You can boil it down pretty simply," Fessio said. "Who has the final say in on what Catholics must believe? The answer is, ‘not the theologians.’"
Paragraphs liked that make me admire Fr. Fessio all the more. This is a very succinct and a nicely put explanation of the situation.