Thursday, February 17, 2005

Notification on the Book, 'Jesus Symbol of God'

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, after careful study, has judged that the book Jesus Symbol of God (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1999), by Father Roger Haight, S.J., contains serious doctrinal errors regarding certain fundamental truths of faith. It was therefore decided to publish this Notification in its regard, which concludes the relevant procedure for doctrinal examination.
The complete text of the Notification can be read here.

Some highlights:
This interpretation [of the pre-existence of the Word] is not in accord with the dogma of Nicaea, which intentionally affirms, even contrary to the cultural vision of the time, the true pre-existence of the Son/Logos of the Father, who became man, in time, for the salvation of humanity.

This interpretation of the divinity of Jesus is contrary to the faith of the Church that believes in Jesus Christ, eternal Son of God, who became man, as has been proclaimed repeatedly in various ecumenical councils and in the constant preaching of the Church.

This interpretation of Trinitarian doctrine is erroneous and contrary to the faith regarding the oneness of God in the Trinity of Persons that the Church has proclaimed and confirmed in numerous and authoritative documents.'

The Author's position [on the salvific value of the death of Jesus] is in reality contrary to the doctrine of the Church, which has always held that Jesus intended his death to be for the sake of universal redemption. The Church sees in the New Testament references to salvation, in particular the words of the institution of the Eucharist, a norm of faith regarding the universal salvific value of the sacrifice of the Cross.

This theological position [on the unicity and universality of the salvific mediation of Jesus and of the Church] fundamentally denies the universal salvific mission of Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 4:12; I Tm 2:4-6; Jn 14:6) and, as a consequence, the mission of the Church to announce and communicate the gift of Christ the Savior to all humanity (cf. Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15; Eph 3:8-11), both of which are given clear witness in the New Testament and have always been proclaimed as the faith of the Church, even in recent Documents.'

The Author's interpretation [of the Resurrection] leads to a position which is incompatible with the Church's doctrine. It is advanced on the basis of erroneous assumptions, and not on the witness of the New Testament, according to which the appearances of the Risen Lord and the empty tomb are the foundation of the faith of the disciples in the Resurrection of Christ, and not vice versa.
Quite a number of grave points discussed in this Notification.

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