I haven’t commented much on the Sobrino case. My general opinion is that John Allen’s take is probably more accurate than Sandro Magister’s, ie. it is really about Christology and Pluralism rather than about Liberation theology and Marxism.
Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the comment on the CatholicCulture.org newsletter.
The latest liberation theologian to earn Vatican censure is Jon Sobrino, SJ. See the full text of the admonition on CatholicCulture.org. While you’re at it, consider that it took over fifteen years after the publication of one of his major errant theological works for Fr. Sobrino to be thus admonished.
Consider also that Fr. Sobrino is a member of the Society of Jesus, an order which is in many respects in rebellion against the authority of the pope whom it exists to serve, or, at the very least, cannot bring its own members to heel. If you consider these things, you’ll be no more impressed with Catholic discipline than you have been in the preceding fifty years.
I have friends who often ask me why the Catholic Church doesn’t just excommunicate the dissenters in its ranks (those who call themselves “the Loyal Opposition”. I commented recently somewhere that (contra Monty Python) we don’t have Church Police–more of a sort of “Neighbourhood Watch” (The Catholic Blogosphere).
But doesn’t all this dissent just prove that the Catholic Church is in no better state than any of the protestant denominations when it comes to disunity and heretical teaching and behaviour? Not at all. There is a major distinction to be made between the role that dissenters try to play in the Catholic Church and the role that the heterodox play in the ecclesial communions. CatholicCulture.org went on to comment:
But at least we have this document [the CDF judgement]. While we are right to be concerned about the lack of discipline in the Church, we should still be very thankful for the clarity of her teaching. Few Christian groups have this consolation. The nature of modern individualism makes the disciplinarian appear evil. As a result, we live in chaos, but not, thankfully, in blindness.
In short, our dissenters don’t get a vote at Synod!