Briefly noted

April 19, 2005

The Vatican order to prohibit Jesuit priest Roger Haight from teaching Catholic theology unless “his positions have been corrected” to conform with church doctrine recently was condemned by Haight’s fellow theologians and welcomed by the Doctrine Committee of the U.S. Catholic Bishops. At issue is Haight’s 1999 book, Jesus: Symbol of God. Haight, currently teaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York, said he does not disagree with church teaching but was simply raising new theological questions and arguments. In backing the Vatican, the seven-member bishops’ doctrinal committee said in part that the faithful should “not become confused by ambiguous or erroneous theological speculation.” But the board of directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America, which Haight once served as president, said Rome’s action “gravely threatens the very process of serious, systematic, internal criticism which [the Vatican] and the bishops have long been encouraging among theologians.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s radio ministry underwent a major change after Easter. The newly retitled Grace Matters has a new host, Peter Marty, senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, and it features a magazine format with a guest interview. Known since it began in 1947 as Lutheran Vespers, the show will have guests such as a surgeon, a violin maker and a wetlands naturalist. “I want to draw on the insights of scripture, tradition, contemporary culture and everyday life,” said Marty, a board member of the Christian Century Foundation. The program airs on more than 175 radio stations.