Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson

American Catholic Bishops Censure Fordham Scholar Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson

The Case of Sister Elizabeth Johnson 3/31/2011

“The Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine is first and foremost concerned about the spiritual welfare of those students using this book who may be led to assume that its content is authentic Catholic teaching,” wrote Archbishop Donald Wuerl, chairman of the committee, in a letter addressed to U.S. bishops, and suggested it would have been “helpful” if Sister Elizabeth “had taken advantage” of the opportunity to seek an imprimatur, the church’s official approval of a book, granted by a bishop after a lengthy process of review by theologians. The archbishop added, “The Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine is always open to dialogue with theologians and would welcome an opportunity to discuss Sister Elizabeth’s writings with her.”

For her part, Sister Elizabeth, in a statement said that the bishops’ committee “radically misinterprets” what she thinks in several instances “The book itself endeavors to present new insights about God arising from people living out their Catholic faith in different cultures around the world. My hope is that any conversation that may be triggered by this statement will enrich that faith,” she said.  Sister Johnson noted that the committee had not invited her to discuss the book before the appearance of their statement. “I would have been glad to enter into conversation to clarify critical points, but was never invited to do so. This book was discussed and finally assessed by the Committee before I knew any discussion had taken place.” via America Magazine