|Fr. Jacques Dupuis, S.J.|
Francis knows Amaladoss because of his long and distinguished career as a Jesuit, both as a theologian and author of hundreds of books and articles, and also as a longtime assistant at the Jesuit headquarters in Rome. Amaladoss is traveling abroad, Mudavassery said, and the theologian did not respond to emails sent to him at the Institute of Dialogue with Cultures and Religion that he heads in Chennai.
Mudavassery said he did not know of any restrictions placed on Amaladoss. But Amaladoss has pulled all speaking and writing commitments as he tries to address the Vatican’s concerns. Jesuit sources said Amaladoss told his U.S. publisher, Orbis Books, to halt work on a planned collection of his writings; Orbis officials declined to comment on the status of any project with Amaladoss.The priest also canceled a lecture at Union Theological Seminary in New York, scheduled for April 8, titled “Is Theology in India Really Different Than Theology in the West?” A note on the seminary’s website reads: “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Vatican has forbidden Dr. Amaladoss from speaking and publishing until a process of examining his thought has been successfully completed.” “Amaladoss has asked us not to comment on the specific reasons for this cancellation, and we respect his wishes,” added Union spokesman Jeff Bridges. Investigations by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are conducted in secret, and targeted theologians often don’t know that they are under scrutiny until the investigation is well underway. They also typically do not know who lodges complaints or who in the CDF is conducting the investigation. Theologians have long complained that such secrecy and the limited opportunities they have to answer charges in person have led to a coercive system that reflects poorly on the Catholic hierarchy.
During the quarter century that Ratzinger ran the office under Pope John Paul II, Jesuits were often the targets of CDF probes, in part because Jesuits have a missionary focus and seek to translate traditional beliefs for modern believers and to other religious cultures.The process of engaging cultures is especially advanced in Asia, where Christianity is a minority and where Jesuits have established a beachhead for Catholicism. But that also means that theologians working there often use nontraditional formulations to try to communicate the faith to Hindu or Buddhist audiences who have little understanding of Western views of God and Jesus. Amaladoss’ own teacher, the Belgian Jesuit Jacques Dupuis, faced a long and grueling investigation by the CDF over his views on religious pluralism. The stress of the probe, led by Ratzinger, is said by colleagues to have contributed to Dupuis’ death in 2004.
Link (here) to RNS