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Vatican about-face on condemned 19th century theologian

On Saturday, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document explaining that the reasons for "concern and doctrinal difficulties" with the work of Fr Antonio Rosmini have been surmounted.

Independent Catholic News reports that Fr Rosmini is currently a candidate for beatification and his cause is being supported by Pope John Paul, II.

In 1887, a Post Obitum condemned Rosmini's forty propositions. The new document explains that "the meaning of the propositions", exactly as understood and sanctioned by the decree, does not reflect Rosmini's authentic position. Rather, it says, the propositions reflect possible 'conclusions' drawn, at times, from his works and proposals by some of his students.

Fr Rosmini, who lived from 1797 to 1855, founded two religious congregations: the Charity Institute, known as the Rosminians, and the Sisters of Divine Providence.

His Five Plagues of the Church, and Constitution According to Social Justice, (1848) were included in the 1849 index of prohibited books.

In his encyclical Fides et Ratio, Pope John Paul II described him as "one of the recent philosophers who combines the fruitfulness of philosophic learning with the Word of God".