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Rome censures two more scholars

A German Benedictine who is also a Zen master has been ordered by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's top doctrinal official, to cease all public activities, including lectures, courses and publications.

At the same time, the Conventual Franciscans have relieved a theologian of teaching duties at Rome's Bonaventura faculty of theology. His writings have been under review by Ratzinger's office.

The action against Benedictine Fr Willigis Jäger, 76, also known by his Zen name of Ko-un Roshi, was made public Feb. 5 by the Würzburg diocese, where Jäger's Münsterschwarzach Abbey is located. Fr Nokter Wolf OSB, the abbot primate of the Benedictine order, confirmed in response to an NCR query that the decision came from Ratzinger.

Jäger has been faulted for playing down the Christian concept of God as a person in his work as a spiritual guide, and for stressing mystical experience above doctrinal truths.

Meanwhile, Franciscan authorities say Fr Josef Imbach, 56, has been assigned a year of "reflection," amounting to a suspension. Though a Franciscan spokesperson would not elaborate on the motive for the action, Imbach had revealed two years ago that Ratzinger was carrying out an investigation of his 1995 book on miracles.

Imbach said at the time that he was accused of not believing in the divinity of Jesus, of refusing the magisterium of the church, of describing the gospels as teaching texts rather than historically reliable accounts, and of excluding the possibility of miracles. He denied holding these views.

CHOGM 2002
Jubilee Australia


4 - Mar - 2002