The internet is buzzing with the Vatican's condemnation of a book by American Jesuit theologian Roger Haight
(Zenit). One of his books
(albeit not the one condemned) was required reading for all graduate students in theology at my university. It was the only book of Haight's that I have read (or will read); I found it doctrinally inoffensive but altogether unhelpful in understanding the doctrinal issues he pretended to address. The most odd thing I found about it was that, in his treatment of the fifth-century Pelagian debate, Haight claimed that the respective soteriological positions of Augustine and Pelagius were 'two poles' between which Catholic theology had to situate itself, so to say, erring at neither extreme. Haight hardly seemed to notice that one of the two was a saint and the other, well... I suppose it must be difficult for one entirely soaked through with German liberationist ('political') theology to have much toleration for the Augustinian brand of hellfire and mass damnation. While canonizing the anathematized is nothing new (expect it to happen in spades in the coming weeks among left-leaning Catholic periodicals & journals *ahem* NPR), one might be justified in preferring it be kept out of college textbooks. A CNS report
today shows USCCB doctrinal director Fr. Thomas Weinandy pleased, if not giddy, with the recent condemnation; he had given a hatchet job to the same book years ago, it seems. It has been noted that the Vatican note will have little practical effect, since Haight teaches at a non-Catholic university, and is not prevented by the aforementioned note from publishing, which is where most of the damage is done. But it is a symbolic move, and a powerful one at that.