Sobrino case sparks call for CDF reform

On the eve of Pope Benedict's departure for Brazil, supporters of liberation theologian Fr Jon Sobrino have published a letter of solidarity for the disciplined Spanish Jesuit and issued a call for reform of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In a statement issued in Lisbon, the Catholic Base Movements including Church on the Move and accused dissenting organisation We are Church, have come out in support of Fr Sobrino.

The statement issued a week before the Latin American and Caribbean Council of Bishops CELAM will be opened by Pope Benedict XVI in Aparecida, Brazil, the movements said that they "welcome and support the demand made by some 100 respected and reputed Catholic university professors for an 'intelligent reorganisation' of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith".

The movements say they support criticism by the theologians of the condemnation of Fr Sobrino's teaching.

The movements say they also welcome the fact that theologians have opened up a theological debate "by expressing their criticism - as Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict has invited them to do in his recent book on Jesus".

In a request initiated by former Professor of Dogmatics at Tuebingen University in Germany, Peter Huenermann, the movements call for support for what they describe as an "intelligent reorganisation" of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The European Network Church on the Move, founded in 1990, claims the adherence of some thirty three grassroots groups "working for reform of the Catholic Church in 13 European countries" and has affiliated members in the US.

The International Movement We Are Church, founded in Rome in 1996 following the pedophilia scandal around Vienna's late Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, says it is represented in more than twenty countries on all continents.

Many bishops regard this organisation as dissenting from the teaching of the Magisterium but it claims to be the "voice of the people in the pews".

Catholic Base Movements support P. Jon Sobrino and ask for Reform of the CDF (We are Church Media Release, 7/5/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Jon Sobrino (Wikipedia)
We are Church
European Catholic People
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Wikipedia)
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith website

Sobrino right to apply Gospel to injustice, Vatican paper says (CathNews, 29/3/07)
Christ hides his divinity, Melbourne Jesuit says (CathNews, 16/3/07)
No bar for liberation theologian but work "erroneous" (CathNews, 15/3/07)
Liberation theologian to be silenced (CathNews, 13/3/07)
Liberation theologian named to key Vatican post (CathNews, 1/11/06)

8 May 2007