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Arkansas Catholic
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September 16, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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September 16, 1990

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PAGE 6 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC SEPTEMBER 16, '19 In Brazil--- theologian criticized again Vatican By Karla Bruner Sat Paulo, Brazil (CNS)- Franciscan Rev. Leonardo Boff, a prominent lib- eration theolo- gian recently criticized again for his writings, said the Vatican has a "distorted mechanism" for reprimanding theologians. Boff said the head of the CNS KNA Vatican Congre- Rev. Leonard0 B0tl gation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, "never writes a direct letter to a specific author." He said he assumed this was because the author, such as himself, would use the letter to defend himself through the press. Folha de Sao Paulo reported the Vatican is upset with Boff's criticism of what he considers the centralization of power in the Church. The newspaper reported that the head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Jo- seph Ratzinger, has sent a letter to the Franciscan superior general in Rome questioning three articles by Boff. The newspaper said the Vatican wants the Brazilian bishops' conference to analyze the articles and assume a punishment for Boff. The bishops' conference has not commented publicly about the matter, but the next meeting of the conference's doctrinal commis- sion is scheduled for Sept. 24. In his case, Boff said Ratzinger wrote the Franciscan superior general in Rome, who in turn passed on the com- plaint to Boff's superior in Brazil. "I consider this especially perverse, because Rome is not taking a direct position," Boff said. "They want my superior to take a position. Then Rome can say they aren't invoking it, and it's an internal problem among the Franciscans. This has to be denounced as a distorted mechanism that provokes conflict between myself and my supe- rior." He said his relationship with his Franciscan superior is designed to be fraternal, not hierarchical. "Our superior is a friar like us," Boff said. "He comes to me and says he can't stand it any more, and the process breaks the fraternity among the friarsf Pocahontas JOE England, AR all lines of coverage." One of the articles questioned is "A Project for Latin America," published in December 1989 in Vozes, a general interest monthly magazine published by the Franciscans. In the article, Boff criticized the predominance of bishops' appointments among "conservatives" and described the Vatican's desire to eventually reduce the power of bishops' conferences. From April 1985 to March 1986, Boff was barred from lecturing and writing on theology after the Vatican declared that his book, Church: Charism and Power, contained views that"endanger the sound doctrine of the faith." Boff said that from August through December 1989, he agreed under pres- sure not to travel or grant interviews outside Brazil. He said he agreed "to calm Rome, to quiet them," and to be allowed to continue teaching at the Institute of Theology in Petropolis, Brazil. "I had to accept, or I would have had canonical punishment," he said. Although he said he had been re- ceiving similar letters condemning his writings since 1972, Boff said the cur- rent controversy concerned articles published in a theological magazine. "Ratzinger said I could always write in theological magazines without cen- sorship," Boff said. "Only books for the larger public had to be approved be- fore release." He said this meant that "Rome is increasing the pressure." "What bothers me is they don't dis- cuss the big questions of poverty, the situation in the Third World, ecology," said Boff. "This makes me sad. Instead, they waste time and effort discussing my writing." Springfield, IL-Applications are now being accepted for membership in the Dominican Associate Program, spon- sored by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield. Any baptized person 21 years of age or older may consider association with the community, according to Sr. Charlotte Rebbe, OP, Associate Direc- tor. "Participation in the Dominican As- sociates is open to men and women, married, single or ordained, who want to commit themselves to a deeper life of prayer, study, common life and preaching according to the charism of St. Dominic," Rebbe said. Dominican Associates participate in the activities and ministry of the Springfield Dominicans in a way that best fits their own abilities and lifestyle. At all times within the four-step process associates remain financially and legally independent of the Do- minican community. -=Dominican Associates are different than vowed members of the community Dominican Associate Committee member Harms and Sr. Charlotte visit motherhouse In Springfield, IL. in that they are independent for community and continue present lifestyle," Rebbe said. association with the Springfield minicans is intended to provide with an opportunity for community sharing and involvemeiat ministry." '=" Interested persons may coo Springfield Dominican Sisters in area or Rebbe, 1237 W. Monroe Springfield, IL, 62704; (217) i~ meet in Prague, Czechoslovakia Catholic and Jewish lead( discuss the Holocaust traveled to former Nazi death camp to memorate its victims. Members of the Catholic-Jewish Liaison travele to Theresienstadt, or about 30 miles northwest of t Czechoslovakian capital of About 141,000 Jews were Theresienstadt between 1941 and The gathering preceded a meeting in Prague to discuss the locaust and anti-Jewish bias. The logue, the first in three sponsored by the Vatican for Religious Relations with the. and the International Jewish on Interreligious Consultations. , "We must work together to all forms" of anti-Jewish bigotry, tively "examining the historical and ideological roots of this phenomenon I. Cassidy, president of the Commission for Religious with the Jews. He said Christian leaders in Czechoslovakia as "a witness to failure to be authentic witnesses to faith at times in the past." The International Liaison Committee was sue a statement on the anti-semitism at the end of its