National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Theologian: 'Impasses' stunt church

 |  NCR Today

Terrence W. Tilley, the outgoing president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, gave quite an address at the society's annual meeting last week in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He said he's worried that unresolved "impasses" in theology and in church life could "stunt" the growth of the church.

Tilley, chairman of the theology department at Fordham University, identified three current impasses he sees in the U.S. church:

  • "a shrinking, and in some places demoralized, presbyterate that cannot be enlarged significantly under present rules";

  • "a laity that loves the church but has stopped listening to the bishops";

  • "a hardworking and loyal body of religious women who are disgusted and discouraged by repeated investigations of religious life and attempted reversals of self-governance."

And three ongoing impasses in theological circles:

  • whether one begins with Scripture and tradition, "or does one begin with the current situation?"

  • "how to account for God's salvific will being effective beyond the community of the baptized."

  • how Jesus could be both divine and human

Various tactics "have been tried and found wanting" to solve the impasses, he said, but "the key failed tactic ... is stopping the dialogue, often done by silencing theologians."

envelope-gray-background.jpgLike what you're reading? Sign up for NCR email alerts.

Here's a news account of the address, CTSA head suggests approaches to resolving 'impasses' in church.

Here's the full text of Tilley's presidential address, from the society's Web site.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

07-18-2014_0.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.