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International Justice Promoters Lend Support
to Embattled Theologian Jon Sobrino, SJ

Jon Sobrino
Jon Sobrino spoke at the Voices of the Americas meeting, ElSalvador, December, 2005
(photo: Anne Lythgoe OP)

SANTA SABINA, SANTA SABINA -- April 9, 2007-- In response to recent Vatican criticism of the writings of theologian Jon Sobrino, SJ, -- Prakash Lohale, OP (Pakistan) and Toni Harris, OP, (Sinsinawa) International Promoters of Justice and Peace for the Order, have written in support of the liberation theologian and are encouraging others to do the same.

In a simply worded statement the promoters expressed their sadness at " the recent action of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in relation to your theological work". Sobrino has been censured by the Vatican for his work on Christology in the context of the poor.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, two of his books on Christology contain statements that are “either erroneous or dangerous...and may cause harm to the faithful." Further, it complains of insufficient emphasis on the divinity of Christ.

Contrary to some early reports, the Vatican has not barred Sobrino from teaching or publishing, though a Jesuit spokesperson in Rome said that future disciplinary action has not been ruled out.

The dificulty centers around two of Sobrino's books, both of which recieved imprimaturs from other theologians.

According to reports, the Portuguese translation of Jesus the Liberator, carries the imprimatur of Cardinal Paolo Evaristo Arns of São Paulo, Brazil. For Christ the Liberator, Sobrino cites a number of theologians who he says found the book free of doctrinal error: Frs. J. I. González Faus, J. Vives and X. Alegre of the Monastery of San Cugat, Spain; Fr. Carlo Palacio, of Bello Horizonte, Brazil; Fr. Javier Vitoria of the University of Deusto in Spain; and Fr. Martin Maier, of the German Jesuit publication Stimmen der Zeit.

John Allen of NCR reported that "Sobrino says it would not be honest for him to accept the Vatican’s findings, and that to do so would be to question the judgment of these other theologians."

Vatican newspaper says Jesuit was right to apply Gospel to injustice

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican newspaper said Jesuit Father Jon Sobrino, whose work was recently criticized by doctrinal authorities, was right in trying to apply the truth of the Gospel to concrete situations of global injustice. READ MORE

Related Links

Read John Allen's analysis of the Vatican's action

Letter of support from International Justice Promoters

on the Notification
on the works of Jon SOBRINO from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

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