Publication of the Document
In the wake of its document In Search of a Universal Ethic: A New Look at Natural Law (2009), the International Theological Commission, as part of its work of assisting the Holy See, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in particular, to examine more important doctrinal questions, has today (8 March 2012) issued a new English-language document, entitled Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria. It will be published on the International Theological Commission’s page on the Vatican website (www.vatican.va) and in the CNS documentary service Origins, as well as on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. An Italian translation will shortly appear in La Civiltà Cattolica and translations into other major languages are also planned.
Work on the document began during the quinquennium (2004-2008) in the sub-commission headed by Father Santiago del Cura Elena. The text was drafted in the light of studies undertaken during the current quinquennium in the sub-commission headed by Msgr. Paul McPartlan.
The document examines a number of contemporary theological issues and sets forth, in light of the foundational principles of theology, methodological criteria which must be considered decisive for Catholic theology vis-à-vis other related disciplines, such as the religious sciences. The text is divided into thee chapters: theology presupposes attentive listening to the word of God accepted in faith (chapter 1); it is practised in communion with the Church (chapter 2); and its aim is to ground a scientific approach to God’s truth within a horizon of authentic wisdom (chapter 3).
The text was approved in forma specifica by the International Theological Commission on 29 November 2011 and submitted to the President of the Commission, Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who authorized its publication.