I was thinking more about this part of The Pillar’s interview with Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez.
There seems to be increasing criticism of Veritatis splendor in the Church today, and even a desire to reexamine it. Why is that? How should it be addressed?
Veritatis splendor is a great document, powerfully solid.
Obviously, it denotes a particular concern — to set certain limits. For this reason it is not the most adequate text to encourage the development of theology. In fact, over the last decades, tell me how many theologians can we name with the stature of Rahner, Ratzinger, Congar or Von Balthasar?
Not even that which they call “liberation theology” has theologians at the level of Gustavo Gutiérrez.
Something has gone wrong.
There were controls, [but] not so much development.
Today perhaps a text will be needed that, collecting everything valuable from Veritatis splendor, has another style, another tone, which at the same time allows for encouraging the growth of Catholic theology, as Pope Francis asks of me.
I have read Veritatis Splendor (6 August 1993) | John Paul II a couple of times, and should be seen as a source of nourishment, not deprivation. It should be further mined, not undermined. Still, what I fundamentally disagree with here is that it has caused theological stagnation.
I invoke Chesterton’s brilliant line in Orthodoxy “Catholic doctrine and discipline may be walls; but they are the walls of a playground.”
There is so much room within the Church’s theological playground to play in to be concerned. Plus, I don’t understand being concerned about the current stature of theologians within the Church. Even if true, was there ever a time of continuously having a posse of theologians of great stature? That any seeming lull indicates that “something has gone wrong.”
Now I am just another convert and one that started with zero understanding/belief of Christianity. As an autodidact I have had a succession of foolish teachers, so I have no competence to evaluate the current state of theology within the Church. My caveat would be that after seeing the interviews Larry Chapp has done with theologians, I think we have much to learn from them as they have learned from those who went before them.
The domain of my website is http://www.splendoroftruth.com, which is a homage to this encyclical.